The iPad Air is the latest addition to the Apple tablet family. New name aside, here’s the key specs and features to look forward to.
With 170 million iPads already sold, the Air is likely to shift a few million more when it launches on November 1st starting from £399 (16GB) up to £639 (128GB). Is it worth the upgrade? We run down the key new features to lure the money out of your pocket.
iPad Air specs: Slimmer, lighter design
Replacing the iPad 4, the iPad Air is thinner and lighter than the current 9.7-inch Apple tablet. It weighs less than 0.5kg making it lighter than the iPad 4. Apple claims this makes the Air the lightest full-sized tablet in the world. It’s 7.5mm thick making it thinner than iPhone 5S and the bezel is 43% thinner than the one surrounding the iPad 4 display. The 9.7-inch screen is a Retina (2048 x 1536) resolution display managing an impressive 264 ppi pixel density so you should expect similar levels of razor-sharp clarity as its predecessor. Keen not break from tradition, the Air will come in silver/white and space grey/black colour combos.
SEE ALSO: iPad Air vs iPad mini 2 Retina
iPad Air specs: More processor power
Currently nestled inside the iPhone 5S, Apple is adding the same A7 chip technically making it the first 64-bit tablet. Apple claims it is two times faster than the A6 chip and should benefit demanding games like Infinity Blade III and make the Air better equipped to handle video and editing apps. Best news of all, is that you should still be able to get around 10 hours of battery life when you take the Air on your travels.
iPad Air specs: Staying connected
The Air includes two antennas and MIMO technology, the data transfer accelerator already available in laptops and tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire. The key benefits should be a vast improvement for downloading and streaming. It aims to offer twice the Wi-Fi performance of the iPad 4, though sadly there’s no 802.11ac support like on the new MacBook Pros.
iPad Air features: Free iPad Air apps
As well as usual suspects like Mail, iBooks, Messages and Newsstand, the Air will also get the new free iLife and iWork apps. That includes the redesigned iPhoto app which introduces Photobook to make photobooks from your iPad Air and Apple can print them and send them out to you. Garageband now lets you work on up to 32 tracks and adds automated drum tracks. iMovie lets you change the speed of video and the new iMovie Theater allows you to watch all of your videos on any iOS device.
On the iWork front, there’s now full file compatibility so you can open documents on any of your devices. You can also have two people editing the same document in real-time.
iPad Air features: New covers
It wouldn’t be an iPad if it didn’t come with its own official case. Apple is offering Smart Covers and Smart Case for the Air. Both should fit the new iPad snug, offer different viewing angles and put your iPad Air to sleep when it’s not in use. The Smart Case comes in more conservative colours like the iPhone 5S, while the Cover follows the iPhone 5C colour selection.
iPad Air Video Preview
Next, read our iPad Air vs iPad 4 comparison