Apple launched the iPad 5 – or as it calls it, the iPad Air. Like the MacBook Air, the iPad Air is tooted to be one of the most light-weight tablets with some of the most advanced processing power hidden beneath the retina display.
The iPad Air features a new processor – the A7 and the M7 coprocessor – which was introduced in the iPhone 5s. There are other interesting improvements to the iPad Air that make it look like an incremental update over iPad 4.
Here's everything you need to know about what's new in iPad Air:
One “Gravity-Defying” Pound, Leaner
Apple has really mastered the art of producing light-weight gadgets. It has some relentless focus on using lighter materials, producing thinner gadgets and ending up creating products that are truly light-weight. “Thinner and lighter” has been a consistent theme ever since iPhone 5, iPad with Retina Display and iPad Mini. It continues into the period of iPad Air.
The iPad Air is light-weight already. At one pound – just one pound (470g) – it's one of the lightest tablets in town.
The iPad Air is also leaner with a 7.5mm thickness to boast of. On paper, all these changes don't really convey the real experience-shift that a user has while holding and using the iPad Air.
The A7 Chip & The M7 Coprocessor
The other large-scale change with hardware is the processor. Amidst a lot of speculation in the past, Apple decided to fit the A7 and the M7 into the iPad Air too. The processors were introduced about two months back during the launch of the iPhone 5s. Rumors hinted at a new A7X. That didn't happen.
The A7 brings a 64-bit architecture to the iPads. The M7 performs the same function that it does on the iPhones – motion-related processing that helps A7 be more efficient.
Dual Wi-fi, Dual Microphones
“Two heads are better than one” so you get dual Wi-fi antennas and dual microphones. Each has its own benefit that will probably have a good impact on user-experience.
Dual Wi-fi antennas are supposedly aimed to increase the reception and make the iPad Air a powerful Wi-fi device. Specs from Apple report Wi-fi speeds up to 300Mbps.
The Dual Microphones on the back are set to make sure there's better noise cancellation and crispier audio input. This will help you in making better calls, especially FaceTime, and also in letting Siri hear better.
Facetime HD Made Better
The iPad Air has a 1.2 MP 720p HD FaceTime camera but there's more to it now: there are more pixels and therefore better video quality. Your FaceTime video chats are going to be of higher-quality and all those selfies and Photobooth manipulations are going to be excellent.
New Built-In Apps
Of all the things, I liked the fact that Apple has made the iPad even better by simply adding more apps to the default set. The iPad Air now comes with apps like Garageband, iPhoto, iMovie, and all the iWork suite (Pages, Numbers, Keynote). All of these apps aren't free on the App Store for other users.
iPad Air Spec Sheet/Features
- Colors: Space Grey, White
- Dimensions: 9.4×6.6×0.29 inches
- Weight: 1 pound
- Display: 9.7-inch retina display, LED-backlit, IPS, 2048x1536px, 264 ppi
- Chips: A7 64-bit ARMv8, M7 coprocessor
- Memory: 16/32/64/128GB (RAM unknown yet)
- Camera: 5MP iSight, Backside illumination, 1080p HD video, video stabilization, 3x zoom, f/2.4 aperture
- FaceTime: 1.2 MP 720p HD
- Battery: 10 hours of battery backup, 9 hours on LTE
- OS: iOS 7.0.2
- SIM: Nano