As part of the announcements rolling out from Apple’s “Time Flies” event on Tuesday, September 15, an update to the iPad Air is coming to bridge the gap between the new iPad Pro and the more classic iPad.
The new iPad Air has the same look as the iPad Pro, which includes slim bezels all around the screen, as well as compatibility with the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard accessories that turn the device into a digital canvas for creatives or a hybrid laptop for road warriors.
The cameras also match the iPad Pro’s with a 12-megapixel rear camera and a 7-megapixel front camera.
It even comes equipped with the new A14 Bionic chip, which means that it not only has a more powerful processor than the iPad Pro, but it also has the most powerful chip in any device that features Apple silicon (for now, at least).
To top it off, it comes in one of five pastel colors: Silver, Space Gray, Rose Gold, Green and Sky Blue.
But with a starting price of $599, there are some trade-offs.
How Does the new iPad Air Differ from the iPad Pro?
For starters, the 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display is ever so slightly smaller than the 11-inch version on the iPad Pro, and it doesn’t support the 120 Hz smooth scrolling of its more advanced sibling. It does, however, feature the same True Tone color accuracy.
Face ID is also a no-go on the new iPad, and instead a redesigned version of Touch ID has been integrated into the power button along the top of the tablet. But to be honest, this may actually be considered an upgrade for Apple customers, many of whom have been longing for the return of Touch ID.
Still, considering it’s $200 cheaper than the iPad Pro, these aren’t bad tradeoffs. In fact, they’re barely tradeoffs at all.
This ultimately positions the iPad Air as an ideal tablet for the person who wants the looks and general functionality of the iPad Pro but doesn’t need the advanced features that come with the added cost.
Apple’s new tablet is expected to arrive sometime in October in Wi-Fi and LTE variants, though no firm release date for the iPad Air has been revealed.
8th-Generation iPad Is Perfect for Remote Learning
Apple also revealed the 8th-generation iPad, which features the look and feel of the classic iPad and could be a good alternative to a laptop for education and remote learning.
The only substantial upgrade to the tablet, which starts at $329, is the improved A12 Bionic processor.
This promises improved graphics performance and ensures it can handle iOS 14 and any updates beyond that.
Aside from that, the 10.2-inch screen, 1.08-pound weight and 0.29-inch thickness are all virtually the same as the 7th-generation iPad.
It even still works with all the same iPad accessories, such as the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, and comes with the same Lightning port for connectivity.
The 8th-Generation iPad will be available starting on September 18, and it will come in Wi-Fi and LTE versions.