October 22, 2013 marks the day Apple announced the release of its latest version of the iPad – the iPad Air. Apple stated in its press release that the Wifi-only models of the iPad Air will be available for sale beginning November 1, 2013. Apple users and iPad lovers everywhere may have expected the previous naming conventions of Apple’s tablet to be termed the iPad 5. However, it seems as though Apple chose to market the new iPad Air for its improved design and portability, rather than marketing the device as an improved version of the iPad with Retina Display(also referred to as the iPad 4).
iPad Air Features
The newest feature of the iPad Air is undoubtedly in its design. Apple chose to deliver the iPad Air with a remarkably similar body structure as the iPad Mini. Unlike the iPad with Retina Display or the iPad 2, the iPad Air’s box-like design may have aided in its becoming the most portable 10 inch tablet on the market today. Now, it’s difficult to differentiate the iPad Mini from the full-sized version of the tablet. The iPad is now 20% thinner, 28% lighter, and weighs only 1 pound.
The new iPad Air has also paved the way for tablet processors and power. The mobile device comes with the same A7 processor and M7 coprocessor that is now available in the iPhone 5s. The new M7 processor is the first mobile processor to utilize a 64-bit architecture. Paired with the eye-catching retina display, iPad users can now experience incredible graphics and visual displays with lighting speed.
iPad Air Pricing
The new iPad Air will maintain the same price as its predecessors. One part of the iPad that has remained relatively stable over models is Apple’s consistent pricing structure. The tables below show the suggested retail prices that consumers are likely to encounter when purchasing the new tablet.
Wi-Fi Only Models
Wi-Fi + 3G Models
Improvements Over the Previous iPad Versions
Processor. iPad users can look forward to the revolutionary A7 processor in the new iPad Air. The A7 processor is the first 64-bit processor for mobile devices, including tablets and smart phones. The new processor also supports OpenGL ES version 3.0. Open GL ES version 3.0 allows the new iPad to produce detailed graphics and visual effects once possible only on desktop computers and game consoles. The faster processor is paired with the M7 coprocessor, which helps to alleviate the load of the device’s peripheral components, such as accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass. This gives the A7 the ability to focus on making apps load faster and gaming more responsive to touch and movement.
Portability. The new iPad Air is the lightest, thinnest tablet currently available. Portability is the one area in mobile device design that Apple continually outshines its would-be competitors. Even with the marginal improvements in performance and functionality, the new iPad continues to boast up to 10 hours of uninterrupted battery use.
No Fingerprint Reader. Many Apple followers may have expected the new iPad to come standard with the same new technology that was released with the new iPhone 5s. However, it seems like the latest version of Apple’s mainstream devices won’t come with the new fingerprint reader. The fingerprint reader is thought of by analysts to potentially revolutionize security if mobile devices.
Same Display. While the retina display was truly an amazing addition to the iPad family, the iPad air shares the identical screen size, specifications, resolution, and pixel density as the iPad 4. It’s unclear why this is the case, when the new iPad Mini with Retina Display boasts a much higher pixel density at 326 pixels per inch(ppi).
iPad Air Technical Specifications
Size and Weight
- Height: 9.4 inches (240 mm)
- Width: 6.6 inches (169.5 mm)
- Depth: 0.29 inch (7.5 mm)
- Weight: 1 pound (469 g)
- Retina display
- 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
- 2048-by-1536 resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi)
- Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
- A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion coprocessor
- 5MP photos
- Face detection
- Backside illumination
- Five-element lens
- Hybrid IR filter
- ƒ/2.4 aperture
- HDR photos
- 1.2MP photos
- 720p HD video
- FaceTime video calling over Wi‑Fi or cellular3
- Face detection
- Backside illumination
Summary of the new iPad Air
The new iPad Air can be compared to Apple’s release of the new iPhone 5s – marginal. Once again this year we’ve seen Apple release a subsequent model of a mobile device that offers little improvement over its predecessor.