Earlier today, the Apple Store briefly went offline, which is a surefire sign that something new is coming to the store. Sure enough, alongside the iPad Mini 5, Apple has unveiled a brand new iPad Air – the first since 2014’s iPad Air 2.
Obviously a fair amount has changed in the intervening five years, and the new iPad Air moves with the times, somewhat. For starters, it has grown a little, and now packs a 10.5-inch Retina screen over the original’s 9.7-inch display.
iPad Air (2019) price and release date
The 2019 iPad Air starts at a more wallet friendly £479 for the WiFi version or £599 for the WiFi and 4G model.
If you want more than 64GB of internal storage, you’ll need to buy the 256GB version, which goes for £629 (WiFi only) or £749 (WiFi and 4G).
These prices are a lot more competitive than the iPad Pro, which starts at £749 for the 11-inch model and rises to £969 if you want the roomier 12.9-inch version.
The new iPad Air is available to order today, and will begin shipping next week.
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iPad Air (2019) features and specs
This new device really blurs the line between the iPad Air and the existing iPad Pro lineup – especially as the new Air also supports the smart keyboard – making it the first none-Pro model to do so.
One key difference is the choice of processor, with the new iPad Air packing the Apple A12 Bionic chip, which is a small step down from the A12X Bionic. It’s still the processor that powers the incredibly quick iPhone XS, mind, so it’s not like you’re investing in a slowpoke of a tablet.
So what else is different? Well, there’s the traditional Lightning connector, rather than USB-C and there’s no Face ID like the latest Pro tablets, meaning Touch ID is the authentication of choice. It also comes closer to resembling last year’s 9.7-inch iPad than mimicking the slim bezels of the latest Pro devices.
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Along with supporting the Smart Keyboard (this seems to be the same keyboard folio Apple used for the 10.5-inch Pro a couple of years ago) the new Air also works with the first-generation Apple Pencil. All currently available iPads sold by Apple support either the first or second generation Apple Pencil which is nice to see.
Other highlights include a body that’s just 6.1mm thick, a 10 hour battery life (according to Apple) and True Tone support in that 10.5-inch Retina display.
While it packs the iPad Air moniker, there’s a lot here that resembles the first-gen 10.5-inch Pro that proved such a fantastic tablet. Considering the lower price and updated internals there every chance this could become the best tablet around.
We’ll be bringing you more thoughts on both the iPad Air and the new iPad Mini 5 when we’ve had the chance to put them both through their paces in the coming weeks.
Are you going to buy a new iPad Air? Let us know on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.