What’s Different About the New iPad Air?

Moments ago, Apple showed off  its latest 5th generation iPad and 2nd generation iPad mini. There are a slew of changes for them both, so we wanted to highlight the difference between the previous model and new model.

iPad Air

First, the iPad got a much needed facelift and a new name: iPad Air. It’s been redesigned in the style of the iPad mini, which is to say, a huge improvement. Apple says it’s “thinner, lighter and more powerful.” The tapered edges on the back are gone, replaced by something more square. The front has polished chamfers, meticulously beveled with diamonds where the cover glass meets the rest of the case. The speaker has been relocated from the back to the bottom, just like the iPhone. The screen is still the 9.7-inch IPS Retina Display we’ve all come to know and love, but the bezels around the screen have been shrunken on the right and left sides, much like the proportions of the iPad mini. The iPad Air is just 7.5mm thin, a 20% reduction from the previous model.

Under the hood, the iPad Air has been beefed up with a considerable bump in processing power. It’s powered by Apple’s new A7 system on a chip (SoC), which brings 64-bit architecture for the first time. Like the iPhone 5s, it also has the M7 motion coprocessor. Apple claims it’s twice as fast as the last generation iPad, and 8 times as fast as the original.

The rear-facing iSight camera stays at 5MP, but the front-facing FaceTime HD camera gets a bump in pixel size, giving you better quality video calls.

As we expected, there are updated color options. It comes in Silver, White, Gray and Black.

The iPad Air will go on sale November 1 starting at $499 for the 16 GB WiFi-only model. LTE models will start at $629 for the same 16 GB option.

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  • http://www.twitter.com/davezatz Dave Z

    And when can we expect an iPad Air Zagg keyboard?

    • Ana Layton Hills ZAGG

      We already have one in stores! It’s called the ZAGGKeys Folio :)

      • http://www.twitter.com/davezatz Dave Z

        When will the Cover be available? Thanks!

  • Lori Finnerty

    Not all of the keys even work on my ZAGG keyboard since the IOS7 update, how is it the new Ipad is working with your keyboard? Kind of frustrated. The ZAGG tech said it was an apple issue, and I have to wait for a new update to make many of the keys work…Id anyone else experiencing this? I have an Ipad2 and the Zagg Profolio+ keyboard.

    • Drag0nsilver

      I had a similar problem with iOS 7.0.2. My keyboard is all better now with the 7.0.3 iOS update. Seems like there was an Apple bug that got fixed..

    • owleyes

      I have an iPad2 & a logitech keyboard, which I really enjoy using. I have had no problems with the upgrade to iOS7, except i had to fuss with passwords on an email account, that took some experimentation. However, that is not due to the keypad. If I should upgrade to the new iPad Air I would stick with a logitech keyboard.

  • GadgetDiva

    When can we expect Zagg screen (front and back) for the iPad Air?

  • Brad M

    WOW!!!!!! Apple is sooooo falling behind the curve. Relying on just there name at this point.
    I am so glad I got off the Apple rediculousness…….

    • http://dongilbert.net/ Don Gilbert

      So releasing the first tablet with a 64-bit processor is “falling behind the curve” in your eyes?

      You obviously “fell behind the curve” in both math and english. It’s ridiculous.

      • Shane Siemund

        I think what he is saying is that while other companies are making full computers in tablet form and tablets that are made for the real web and not the mobile web and tablets that have monitor and USB ports plus expandable memory apple changed their chip from one to the other, zero innovation. Others improve camera, and flash player Apple only changes a chip or 2 and yes the other companies are changing those chips also

        • John Dietle

          Shane, thats the wonderful aspect of having choices. No one device is going to be the best fit for everyone. What satisfies your needs may not be the best fit for others. Just as not everyone drives a Lexus or BMW, no manufacturer is going to gather 100% of the market.

        • bayhuntr

          I looked into the Surface 2 Pro, nice computer. Twice as heavy, twice as thick and battery is a fraction of the iPad air. Although I need something for work, and the only limitation I find with the iPad, is editing spread sheets. What I do more than spread sheets is read books, iPad hands down. I also need internet at any time, no cell service built into the Surface. I also have software that is extremely useful that shares across my iPhone and iPad.
          FYI, I haven’t had a Flash issue in a couple years. Flash is inherently inefficient, Apple pushed the industry away from if.

  • Munkypoop

    I am paralyzed from the shoulders down. I am waiting for something I can control every single app and everything on it with just my voice and no help. Not looking good so far

  • Jen

    I was very dissapointed to find that the ipad 4 was far too heavy for the Zagg Light up keyboard, and kept falling out of the slot and crashing to the floor. Zagg should have made it clear the keyboard was not compatible with the 4th gen model. The lack of a magnetic strip doesn’t help either. I switched back to the official apple logitech keyboard instead, but sadly it does not light up. What a waste of money.

    • Shelagh Delves-Broughton

      If it kept crashing to the floor should it not have shattered its glass by now? Yet no mention of that happening?

  • David Katzeek

    I ordered my iPad over two weeks ago. No one mentioned that there was going to be a new one. Can I return mine and get the new one?

    • Guest

      All the tech websites have been saying for months that the new iPad would be released in October…

    • http://ListWithTom.com/ Thomas A B Johnson

      Oh come on!

    • Captain Stereo

      David, new models come out every year. At exactly this time. And every tech site, including the one you just posted on, has been talking about the new models for many, many weeks. Don’t blame others because you’re not paying attention.

    • el

      it depends on the store refund policy,i just bought mine too 2 wks ago and returned it today as long as you have the receipt….

  • IPaddingtonBear

    This is not all about the keyboard, it is more about how apple are failing to impress anymore. I see no big reason to upgrade. If you have ipad 4 & iphone 5s, why bother?
    I am disappointed by this meager & mean upgrade.
    Apple are going to have a rough 2014… All is about to change for them!

    I think my ipad 4 will be my last. I am using my surface tab so much more now that I have Office13 on it.

  • Shane Siemund

    why would you spend that much for an iPad?? A couple hundred more you can get a full computer tablet, the Surface Pro. It does so much more including full programs, full not mobile web, flash drive equipped, a ton of apps, USB equipped, kickstand equipped, a keboard accessory that has a mouse and much more. When you buy an iPad, you are buying a high priced name with a lesser device. Ipads are nice at $250, not $500 $600 $700 and $800 for Pro storage. Come on.

    • http://ListWithTom.com/ Thomas A B Johnson

      Umm, ipads work and there is seamless integration with the ecosystem, And now, the free apps cover the Apple price premium.

      • Shane Siemund

        Lol, its a giant phone. Great in its day, hopefully they upgrade soon. Its funny watching Apple release stuff that’s obsolete before it hts stores. 5s not as good as Samsung g4, or Nokia 1020, or LG g2, which were already out and the iPad passed by note and surface and way passed by surface pro. Too bad you are blind and can’t read stat sheets

        • Jason

          Wait…so basically what you are admitting to is not reading the stat sheet yourself. Anandtech did a huge breakdown of the 5S specs including a million benchmarks. And the 5S beat every major handset out there on every single test save a couple. Look it up. Seriously. The 5S is lightyears ahead of any Android device. Yes, I’m an Apple fan. But facts are facts. And I can admit when a device didn’t reach the bar. The iPhone 5 was cool. But was far surpassed in technology by Samsung and LG devices. I realize this article was about the new iPad and not the iPhone. But since it has the same processor as the 5S (which I have) I felt the need to attest to its abilities.

          • Shane Siemund

            lol, whats better the no flash, the non live tiles or the weak camera? what bench mark have you got, fits in in a smaller hole, very small screen, finally has most of the droid stuff, have to convert all things to itunes, whats this bench mark. Apple fans too funny. Brain washed.

          • Terrie

            Only people who don’t use Apple iPads or other iOS stuff would think you cannot access flash content on them.

          • Shane Siemund

            We all know you can with this ap or that, and a crossed finger here and there, but we all also know its not always and not great.

          • bayhuntr

            I just sold my iPad 2 for $400, that’s nearly 50% of the original cost after two years. Not going to see that with the Galexy or Surface. It also brings my cost for the top iPad Air down to $500.

          • Shane Siemund

            Don’t do it man, that surface rt is only $500 and does more the the iPad. It uses the real web not the mobile and has flash meaning you don’t have to use so many apps to do stuff you can just use the web and do more. It doesn’t have as many apps but how many do you honestly use. Its ok to admit when someone made something better even though its not apple. That’s how innovation happens. We had win 7 then iPad then Droid now 8 and 8rt. I’m sure the next is coming but its not a super up old device. Sorry man.

          • Shane Siemund

            oh and i know you cant re sell other devices at $400 later on because they barely cost that new. Check stats and prices and apples only defense is we are apple. They are a rip

        • David Cruickshank

          I think that all apple products are rubbish but even I know that the iPad is and has always been the best tablet out there.

          • Shane Siemund

            Obviously that’s why apple people borrow surface or deoid to access flash, load programs, use USB a real mouse so on

          • David Cruickshank

            Have you ever used an iPad?

          • Shane Siemund

            Yea we use them for work, great mobile device like a phone. Was awesome. Jjust isn’t keeping up with the times. If one does it all and one does half as much and has to use apps to do that half then the other is better, hands down. When iPad 1 & 2 came out it was the shit, now its 3rd maybe a tie for second. Apple needs to advance not stay the some only shinier. We all loved it in the beginning. Bur a surface beats a lot of mac books and yet its a tablet. Case closed,even the surface rt uses the full web flawlessly not the mobile web like iPad, and yes I know you can change that and every other page has checker board effect and need a mouse. Use a pro for a year and see what you are missing with the iPad. Its simple evolution of electronics

          • David Cruickshank

            I get your view now, but I don’t want a tablets that has desktop programs and keyboard and mouse, I want a touch optimised easy to use tablet ( not an oversized phone). I just think surface’s and android tablets are too messy and try to hard to be a computer you hold.

          • Shane Siemund

            got ya, and like your argument. Im impressed and see where you come from and wouldnt hold it against you. I think we both have valid points and can agree to disagree on the tablet of choice.

          • al

            maybe your company not keeping up with the times what do they have for tab? the mac maybe!!bahgaha

  • NYAngel98

    I have the original 1st Gen ipad (Wifi+3G, 64GB) and still have no desire to upgrade.. it’s fast enough for anything I’d use it for, there are more than enough pixels – and I really wouldn’t never want to hold up an ipad to take photos…. “If it ain’t broke, I ain’t fixin’” :)

  • Tyson

    Still 500$ for the 16gb version which means, still not interested. Plenty of just as powerful, just as accessible android tablets out there for under 400$.

  • Mark Junk

    Instead of hoping for a new keyboard, how about Zagg fixes the ones that are not working now! My poc belkin works 100% on iOS 7, my zagg 75% on a good day, fantastic!

  • Mike

    Shane, you know that the only Surface 2 worth getting is the Pro version. The 128GB model costs $999 and weighs 2 pounds. That’s right, it weighs 2 pounds. It only has wifi no LTE or cellular connection (that’s coming in 2014 supposedly). The 128GB version of the new iPad Air, with LTE, costs $929. It weighs only 1 pound. Unless you absolutely require flash and are a hardcore MS Office user with no laptop, the iPad is the obvious choice. But doesn’t it really come down to personal preference? For me, a 1 pound tablet that has killer e-mail and calendar functions, with quality apps for reading books & magazines, watching movies, playing games, surfing the web, keeping score at my kids’ baseball games, (and a ridiculous amount of quality apps) etc, why would I even remotely consider a Surface 2? Need to answer e-mail on my lap at a baseball game that is more involved than you want to do on a smartphone? No problem, the iPad weighs only a pound and has a super fast LTE connection. I don’t need flash. I’ve used an iPad for 80% of my computing needs for the past 3 years and I’ve done just fine. Frankly, the iPad Air and the Surface 2 are designed for different target markets. Is the iPad Air expensive? Well, yes, I think it is. But seriously, you get what you pay for. By the way, I’m typing this on my new iPad Air and my hands feel very relaxed holding only a 1 pound tablet while typing with my thumbs!

    • Shane Siemund

      That’s funny. The surface rt 128gb $599 does all that an iPad does, weighs the same, comes with office, uses the full web all the time, because it can without blocking up, uses flash, connects HDMI to a tv, can add a mouse and keyboard when needed, does 90% of what anyone needs at good cost savings. The Pro does 100% of what all computing needs. It weighs 2 pound but the 128gb iPad air actually weighs 1.5 pounds. You should never buy a tablet with cell connection, tethering to your phone is only $25 a month and when you get a new phone then everything is up to the new speed. once you have a device that does it all, you won’t be upgrading your tablet every year, but will upgrade your phone more often. Just makes sense. I went with the pro, after using an iPad for 50 days of trial threw best buy and know its the better product, but after trying a Droid tab on my dad, we ended up getting him an Surface rt, and its sweet and syncs with their personal PC. And no back doors to get around flash. ;-), plus now when they vacation in Florida they hook it to thier tv and watch movies and do their banking. Hey go to YouTube desktop, I want to show you something, oh that’s right, sorry you can’t, better use an app. Lol.

      • Mike

        Shane, do you realize you’re fighting a losing battle? I just bought a 2014 Mercedes S550. It’s not for everyone and some would say I overpaid for what I got. Well, I have the disposable income and it’s what I wanted and it fit my specific needs so I bought it. That makes it the right purchase for me, but maybe not for you. I, and millions of others, thought the Surface RT was garbage. That’s why MS lowered the price $150 so people would start buying it. They still couldn’t sell many of them. So, MS came out with the Surface 2. Your specs are wrong. The iPad Air with LTE weighs 1.05 lbs, not 1.5 lbs (note the position of the “0″ and the “5″ in that number). The Surface 2 weighs 1.49 lbs and the Surface 2 Pro weighs 2 lbs. Weight is important to me. You mention the “surface rt 128gb $599.” The Surface RT was never offered with 128GB of storage. The only model that is now offered with 128GB is the Surface Pro for $799 (through third-party retailers) and Surface 2 Pro for $999. If you’re going to argue in a forum like this, at least get your facts right. I should never buy a tablet with a cell connection because I can tether to my phone for $25 a month? Really? I get a blazing fast LTE connection on my iPad Air with AT&T and it only costs me $10/month on my family plan.

        • Shane Siemund

          Lol, that’s what I surmised, you pay more for less because of the emblem on it. Mercedes was a good buy though, hard to beat quality like that. Congrats. I’d run the numbers on the att $10 plan, every way I’ve run the numbers , its cheaper the other way, but maybe it worked out for you.

      • al

        you cannot use macros on the rt excel program so its limited also it is very limited in the other programs also

  • Chibey

    When is Zagg PROfolio coming out for iPad Air? Thanks

    • Halee

      I would like to know this also…