Apple has announced a new 10.5-inch iPad Air and an upgraded iPad mini with A12 Bionic chip, True Tone display and Apple Pencil support. The iPad Air has a brand new screen size, 10.5-inch, but it keeps the old design with the Touch ID home button. iPad mini has the same old design and 7.9-inch screen size. The new iPad mini costs $399, while the iPad Air starts from $499.
2019 iPad Air
The new 10.5-inch iPad Air is an enlarged version of the old iPad design. It has the same bezels and the Touch ID capable home button. However, apart from the smart connector, most of the major changes are in the internals.
Equipped with an A12 Bionic chip with a Neural Engine, the same as iPhone Xs, the new Air is the fastest non-Pro iPad every made. Yet, it still has the standard 10 hour battery life expected from Apple’s tablets. The Retina display gets features like True Tone, wide color, fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating, antireflective coating and 500 nits brightness but no ProMotion. Support for first generation Apple Pencil is included and a new Smart Connector will allow users to connect a Smart Keyboard for productivity.
The cameras are not as advanced as the iPad Pro. Apple has opted to include an f2.4 camera instead of the f1.8 camera found on the Pro models. 4K video capture, wide color capture and Quad-LED True Tone flash are also missing from the Air. Since the Air does not have Face ID, the front camera does not support Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting, Animoji and Memoji.
The new iPad Air seems to have replaced the old iPad Pro. It doesn’t get the brighter display, PromMotion or 4 speakers of the Pro but it does cost much cheaper. 2018 iPad is still available for sale for $329, which still makes it the cheapest iPad in the line-up. For most users who want Pro-level performance at a cheaper price and somewhat dated looking design, iPad Air is a great bargain starting at $499.
P.S. it weighs just 1.0 pound.
2019 iPad mini
After 4 long years, iPad mini has made a comeback. It looks exactly the same as before. But the 7.9-inch tablet has received tons of upgrades. A12 chip with Neural Engine makes it 3x faster than the outdated iPad mini 4. It also has an improved Retina Display with first generation Apple Pencil support, wide color, True Tone and lamination. The display has a pixel density of 326 ppi, which makes it the highest density display on an iPad.
The camera system is the same as the Air, and Touch ID is used instead of Face ID so no Portrait photography goodness in the mini. Unlike the Air, the mini does not ship with a Smart Connector. This is kind of a let down as you get all this performance but you have to rely on non-efficient Bluetooth keyboards to get the most out of the tablet.
Weighing it at just 0.66 pounds, with performance comparable to Intel’s Core i7 processors, the new mini is a powerhouse in a small package. Price starts at $399.
iPad Air and iPad mini are available in Wi-Fi and cellular variants and can be configured with 64GB or 256GB storage. Both devices can be purchased in Silver, Space Gray and Gold colors.