Today Apple announced new iPads. Both the standard, affordable iPad and the higher-end iPad Air have been updated with new processors, cases, and features to better suit the iPad Pro range and later iPhones. The new iPad is on sale today, the Air is coming in October.
The design of the case itself doesn’t seem to have changed at all. This means that there is no new input port and the old home button with Touch ID is retained. It’s compatible with all of the accessories and cases that worked with the 10.2-inch seventh-generation iPad, including Apple’s own Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil. This includes the new features introduced in iPad OS 14.
Price starts at $ 329, $ 299 for education – the same price as the old model. It’s on sale today and will be shipped to customers Friday, September 18th.
The higher-end iPad Air is given a drastic makeover, including the smooth vertical sides and curved screen corners of the iPad Pro line, but comes in a range of pastel aluminum colors (pink, blue, and green). A less superficial change is the move to the USB-C connector, as Apple has done for all Mac laptops and the iPad Pro (though it steadfastly refuses to remove the iPhone’s proprietary Lightning connector).
The Retina screen is 10.9 inches and fits easily between the standard iPad and iPad Pro. Underneath is a new A14 Bionic processor with a new 5 nm chip design. To put Apple’s somewhat glorious jargon: with a 6-core CPU, it’s faster and more efficient than ever, 40% faster than the last iPad Air with 30% graphics boost.
The new Air drops the home button to rely solely on gesture navigation. Surprisingly, however, there is no Face ID unlock as seen on the iPhone and iPad Pro. Instead, Apple has integrated Touch ID on the power button on top of the device. This is a solution found on some other tablets like the Google Pixel Slate. It is compatible with all the applications it was before.
The iPad Air also has a Smart Connector that makes it compatible with a new Magic Keyboard accessory – also very similar to the iPad Pro. The front camera will be raised to 7 megapixels, while the rear will be upgraded with the iPad Pro’s current 12MP sensor. It also includes stereo speakers and a magnet for the Apple Pencil.
The new iPad Air starts at $ 599 and will go on sale in October.