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Apple has announced iPad Air, the latest generation of its full sized tablet that features a 9.7-inch Retina display in a new thinner and lighter design.
Precision-engineered to weigh just one pound, iPad Air is 20% thinner and 28% lighter than the fourth generation iPad, and with a narrower bezel than its predecessor.
Apple today also announced iPad mini with Retina display, bringing all the pixels from the 9.7-inch iPad to its 7.9-inch screen. The new iPads feature the Apple-designed A7 chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture, ultrafast wireless with faster built-in Wi-Fi and expanded LTE cellular connectivity, and the newly-designed iOS 7.
The A7 chip in the iPad Air allows the battery to be even smaller, helping reduce the overall volume by 24% from the previous generation while doubling its performance and maintaining its up to 10-hour battery life, says Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
The new iPad mini with Retina display packs all the 3.1 million pixels (2048-by-1536 resolution) of iPad Air into its 7.9-inch Multi-Touch display, for a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. The 7.9-inch Retina display of iPad mini is 35% larger than screens on 7-inch tablets, says Schiller. Images are crisp, text is crystal clear, movies play at full 1080p HD-resolution and the 475,000 apps designed specifically for iPad work automatically, he adds.
The A7 chip in iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display offers 64-bit desktop-class architecture, support for OpenGL ES version 3.0,and improved image signal processing from previous generations. How much? Up to twice the CPU and graphics performance on iPad Air, and up to four times the CPU and eight times the graphics performance on iPad mini with Retina display. Both also sport the M7 motion coprocessor that gathers data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass to offload work from the A7 for improved power efficiency.
Both new iPads feature two antennas to support Multiple-In-Multiple-Out (MIMO) technology, bringing twice the Wi-Fi performance to iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display at a data rate up to 300 Mbps. Cellular models also come with expanded LTE coverage to accommodate even more LTE networks worldwide, while continuing to deliver support for other fast cellular technology around the world (DC-HSDPA, HSPA+), all in a single model.
The new iPads also have a next generation FaceTime HD camera with improved backside illumination sensors featuring larger pixels for better low-light performance. The iSight camera with 5MP sensor and advanced optics, combined with iOS 7 and the image signal processing of A7, further improves still image and video capture on iPad bringing faster auto-focus, up to three times video zoom, five times still zoom, better dynamic range and automatic image and video stabilization, says Schiller.
iPad Air with Wi-Fi models will be available in silver or space gray starting on Friday, Nov. 1, for a suggested retail price of US$499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, $699 for the 64GB model and $799 for the 128GB model.
iPad Air with Wi-Fi + Cellular will be available starting on Friday, Nov. 1 for a suggested retail price of $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model, $829 for the 64GB model and $929 for the 128GB model. iPad 2 remains available at $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $529 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model for either AT&T or Verizon.
iPad mini with Retina display will be available later in November in silver or space gray. iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi models will be available for a suggested retail price of $399 for the 16GB model, $499 for the 32GB model, $599 for the 64GB model and $699 for the 128GB model.
iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi + Cellular models will be available for a suggested retail price of $529 for the 16GB model, $629 for the 32GB model, $729 for the 64GB model and $829 for the 128GB model. Additionally, the original iPad mini is now offered at a more affordable price of $299 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $429 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model for either AT&T, Sprint or Verizon.
New custom-designed polyurethane Smart Covers for iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display will be available for $39 in a range of colors, including blue, green, pink, yellow, black and (RED). iPad Air Smart Cases and iPad mini Smart Cases are completely redesigned in a beautiful aniline-dyed leather available in six rich colors, including beige, black, blue, brown, yellow and (RED) for a suggested retail price of $69. Smart Covers and Smart Cases are available through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and select Authorized Apple Resellers.