At the “Peek Performance” event which took place yesterday, Apple unveiled the new iPad Air. The new device features Apple’s powerful M1 chip, optional 5G connectivity, a new front camera with Center Stage, and even faster USB-C connectivity. The last model of the iPad Air was said to have debuted a year and a half ago. The latest iPad Air supports 5G, and the USB-C port is up to twice as fast with 10Gbps of data transfer speeds.
In comparison to the previous iPad Air, in terms of performance with the M1 chip, the 8-core CPU can deliver up to 60% faster performance while the 8-core GPU delivers up to 2x faster graphics performance. According to Apple, this gives the device a pure advantage of being faster than even the fastest competitive tablet, and 2x as fast as the best-selling Windows laptop in its price range.
The front-facing camera of the new iPad Air has now received updates, from the 7 megapixels the last time to about 12-megapixel sensor which delivers amazing AR experiences. It now has support for Apple’s Center Stage feature that is designed to keep you in the frame while on calls. The rear camera is still the same with a resolution of 12 megapixels. With a peak brightness of about 500 nits, the new iPad Air comes with a screen size of 10.9-inch and HDR support, but there’s no mention of ProMotion. The iPad Air has landscape stereo speakers.
Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing said that “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.” He added that “With the breakthrough M1 chip, Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage, and ultra-fast 5G, the iPad Air is simply more powerful, more capable, and simply more fun than ever.” The Center Stage makes connecting more engaging than ever. Center Stage automatically pans to keep users in view as they move around. When others join in, the camera detects them too, and smoothly zooms out to include them in the conversation.
Preorder for the new device starts on Friday, March 11th, and is available starting March 18th. Prices start at $599 for the Wi-Fi-only model, $749 for the Wi-Fi and cellular model. Available colours include grey, pink, purple, blue, and a silver/gold cross Apple is calling “starlight. Also comes in storage of 64GB or 256GB.
The new iPad Air just like its predecessor is compatible with the $129 Apple Pencil, which magnetically attaches to its side, as well as the $299 Magic Keyboard. Also compatible with the Smart Keyboard Folio at $179 and Smart Folio covers at $79. The Touch ID is built into its power button for biometric security.