Today at its “Peak Performance” event, Apple announced the new iPad Air Mini featuring the M1 chip, 5G connectivity for cellular models, and support for Center Stage.
“Whether it’s a college student taking elaborate notes, a content creator working on their latest project, or a gamer playing graphics-intensive titles, users love iPad Air for its amazing performance and versatility in such a portable design,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
New iPad Air Features
True to the event’s headline, the new iPad Air promises better performance with the Apple-designed M1 chip loaded into the new iPad Air. This is the same chip used by Apple in the iPad Pro. According to Apple, the M1 chip makes the new iPad Air twice as fast as most Windows laptops in its price range.
As expected, the new iPad Air now features a 12MP front-facing ultra-wide camera. This is a big upgrade from the 7MP front-facing camera of its predecessor. What’s good about the new camera is that it now supports Center Stage. Center Stage is a feature that is essential for those who use their Apple tablet for video conferencing. With its ultra-wide front-facing camera, the iPad Air will be able to keep users in the frame even when they move around during video calls. For the back camera, Apple retained the 12MP back camera of the previous iPad Air model.
The new iPad Air will also finally be available in 5G for the cellular models. It also features an upgraded USB-C port which, according to Apple, offers 2x faster capability with a data transfer speed of up to 10Gbps. This will allow users to import large photos and videos much more quickly. The USB-C port could also connect to various USB-C accessories such as external storage, external display, and camera.
For its display, the new iPad Air sports the same 10.9-inch screen-size but it has been upgraded to Liquid Retina display as compared to previous model’s LED display. This means the new iPad Air’s viewing experience should be much better than with the previous iPad Air.
Other notable features of the new iPad Air include Touch ID, compatibility with 2nd generation Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard, and Smart Keyboard Folio.
New iPad Air Availability and Pricing
Available for pre-order starting this Friday, March 11, the new iPad Air will be available in 5 colors: Space Gray, Starlight, Blue, Pink and Purple. The iPad Air Wi-Fi price starts at $599 and the Wi-Fi + Cellular models at $799. It will also be available in 64 and 256 GB configurations.