At today’s media event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Apple announced an update to the larger-screen iPad that includes a number of new features and improvements.
The improvements were so significant that Apple gave a new name to the device — the iPad Air.
The iPad Air comes in an all-new thinner, lighter and narrower design, a 64-bit A7 chip, new Silver and White colors.
The iPad Air comes with a much needed design overhaul, with a form factor that resembles that of the iPad mini. The device is thinner, lighter and narrower than the iPad 4, comes with rounded edges and a new metallic finish.
64-bit A7 chip
The iPad Air is powered by the all-new A7 chip, whose highlight is the “desktop-class” 64-bit architecture that’ll make apps run quicker. The A7 chip also includes an upgraded GPU that supports OpenGL ES 3.0, a graphical library extensively used in games and photography apps. Earlier iOS devices supported OpenGL ES 2.0, but support for 3.0 means more detailed and complex graphics, previously seen only on PCs, Macs and consoles.
It also includes the new M7 motion coprocessor that lets apps access motion related data off the motion sensors on the device without draining out the battery or overloading the CPU.
Expanded LTE support
The iPad Air includes a much wider support for LTE bands all over the world, since it includes support for 14 LTE bands, up from the 5 LTE bands the iPad 4 supported. For more details on LTE support, head to this page on Apple’s website.
The iPad Air is capable of delivering twice the Wi-Fi performance owing to to two antennas and MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) technology. Apple says that with dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and MIMO, the iPad Air can get download speeds of up to 300Mbps, depending on your service provider. This’ll translate into faster AirDrop transfers, web browsing and other network related activites.
The iPad Air comes in two colors, silver and space gray.
The iPad Air will be available in four different storage option, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB.
The iPad Air retains the same price configuration as the iPad 4, with the 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB iPad Wi-Fi only models available for $499, $599, $699 and $799 respectively, and the 16GB, 32GB, 64BG and 128GB iPad Wi-Fi+Cellular models available for $629, $729, $829 and $929 respectively.
The iPad Air will go on sale from November 1st in the following countries:
US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China (Wi-Fi models only), Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao (Wi-Fi models only), Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
Let us know what you think of the all-new iPad Air in the comments below.