SAN FRANCISCO - Apple announced the iPad Air on Tuesday, a thinner version of the company's flagship iPad that is powered by the 64-bit A7 processor that also powers the iPhone 5s. The device is thinner that the iPad 4, weighs only a pound, starts at the same price as the iPad 4, and will ship on November 1st.
Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller with iPad Air
Apple said that the device is 20 percent thinner than its predecessor and weighs 28 percent less. The devices also have a narrower bezel (the area around the display where you hold it), making it narrower, as well.
Dave Hamilton handled one of the devices and said that the "Air" name was quit justified, and that it is demonstrably lighter to hold than its predecessors.
It features the same 2048 x 1536 Retina Display first introduced in the iPad 3 and then again in the iPad 4. It's also the same resolution as the new iPad mini with Retina Display that was also announced on Tuesday.
iPad Air includes Multiple-In-Multiple-Out (MIMO) technology, a way of using multiple antennas for improved Wi-Fi performance. Apple said this device offers twice the performance as its predecessor.
On the camera side, Apple is using a 720p FaceTime camera in front and a 5-megapixel iSight camera on back.
A 16GB iPad Air is priced at $499, with 32GB ($599), 64GB ($699), and 128GB ($799) models available. Wi-Fi + cellular models are $129 more.
The iPad 2 remains for sale at $399.