Apple Announces Thinner, Lighter iPad Air With 64-Bit A7 Processor
At today’s media event in San Francisco, Apple debuted its much-anticipated fifth-generation iPad, re-named the iPad Air, which has been redesigned to resemble Apple's thinner-bezeled iPad mini. With its narrower side bezels and a slimmer form factor, the iPad Air is significantly lighter and smaller than the fourth-generation iPad, weighing in at only one pound. The iPad Air is 20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than the fourth-generation iPad.
Along with a redesigned chassis, the new iPad includes a 2048x1536 Retina display with a film-based sensor and an upgraded 64-bit A7 processor alongside the M7 motion coprocessor, plus a 5-megapixel rear iSight camera and a next generation FaceTime HD camera with improved backside illumination for better low-light performance.
With the A7 chip, the iPad Air offers twice the CPU and graphics performance of the previous iPad. The 64-bit architecture supports Open GL ES version 3.0, for "game console-like visual effects."
"iPad created an entirely new mobile computing experience, and the new iPad Air is another big leap ahead. It is so thin, light and powerful, once you hold one in your hand you will understand what a tremendous advancement this is,” said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “iPad Air with its 9.7-inch Retina display weighs just one pound and packs the incredible performance of iOS 7 running on a 64-bit desktop-class Apple A7 chip, and delivers all-day battery life in the lightest full-sized tablet in the world."
Available in white/silver and black/space gray, the iPad Air comes in both 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and LTE cellular models that feature two antennas to support Multiple-In-Multiple-Out (MIMO) technology, which offers twice the Wi-Fi performance and data rates up to 300Mbps. Cellular models also feature expanded LTE coverage for additional worldwide LTE networks.
The iPad Air continues to offer up to 10 hours of battery life and is available in capacities ranging from 16 GB to 128 GB. U.S. Pricing remains the same as previous models, at $499/$599/$699/$799 for Wi-Fi versions, plus an additional $129 for comparable cellular versions. The iPad Air will be available on November 1 at 8 a.m. local time in the United States and more than 40 other countries in Europe and Asia.
The iPad Air will replace the current full-sized fourth-generation iPad, but Apple will continue to sell the iPad 2 at $399 for the 16 GB model. Alongside the iPad Air, Apple has also announced new Smart Covers and cases designed to fit the smaller chassis.