As it was expected, today Apple announced the next generation of iPads: iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display. It’s not a surprise because as usual we’ve seen a lot of leaks that suggested a new design for the big iPad and some that said that the mini iPad will get a Retina Display. And boy they were all true. The only thing that was surprising was the name of the new iPad: iPad Air.
Although I am not Apple no.1 fan, I must agree with majority and say iPad Air looks awesome. Besides this new design it’s also slimmer, lighter and faster. It comes with A7 CPU, the same that was first put on the iPhone 5S and also the first 64-bit CPU ever used in a tablet. It’s paired with M7 motion coprocessor just like it was on the iPhone 5S.
To understand how light is the new iPad Air you have to remember the fourth generation iPad, which weighted 1.44 pounds (652 grams) and imagine how would be to have an iPad 28 percent thinner. This means that the new iPad Air weights 1 pound (469 grams). To make it smaller Apple had to shrink a bit the bezels, especially the vertical ones. So the new iPad has a width of just 6.6 inches (169.5 mm) compared to 7.31 inches (185.7 mm) of the 4th generation iPad.
Surprising or not, I assume that both iPads have the same features because this is what Apple website indicating at this moment. So I won’t talk a lot about the new iPad mini since I suspect is similar 99% with the iPad Air.
The new iPad mini looks the same as the previous generation of iPad mini. The biggest change is the addition of the Retina Display and the new A7 processor. So, iPad mini can now join the race for the fastest high resolution tablet in the world.
Another good surprise is on the connectivity side. Both iPads have doubled their Wi-Fi performance by adding support of Multiple-In-Multiple-Out (MIMO) technology, which means that now there are two antennas, instead of one as it was before. With MIMO technology iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display can achieve speeds of 300 Mbps while on Wi-Fi connectivity.
It appears that the new iPads will also come with improved cameras: Facetime HD camera on the front and iSight 5 megapixel camera on the back with zoom options. Another the good news is that the new A7 processor will deliver console like visual effects thanks to the support of OpenGL ES version 3.0. So expect awesome games and great apps.
Apple’s iPad Air will be available in two colors(silver or space gray) starting on Friday, November 1 from $499 for the 16 GB, until $799 for the 128 GB Wi-Fi only version. The 4G versions will cost with $129 more. iPad mini with Retina display will be available later in November in silver or space gray colors from $399 for the the 16 GB, until $699 for the 128 GB Wi-Fi only version. The 4G versions will also cost with $129 more.