Apple on Tuesday announced a brand new iPad Air, featuring a slimmer and lighter look than previous models, at the company's latest Apple Event. With a 10.9-inch screen, a new GPU for better performance, compatibility with the Apple Pencil, and five different colors to choose from, the company is looking to make the new iPad Air a powerful middle ground between the iPad Pro and iPad.
The iPad Air will be available in October at a starting price of $599.
The iPad Air will be available in silver, space gray, rose gold, green, and sky blue colors with a fully laminated display that should reduce reflections with its special coating. Thanks to a more powerful chip and a new GPU, the iPad Air will be capable of a 30 percent improvement in graphics quality. This will make mobile games look much better as well as increase the performance of machine learning features such as image recognition and natural language learning.
There are two cameras, one in the front for FaceTime chats and another on the back for taking higher quality photos. The rear camera is the same quality as the iPad Pro camera, allowing users to take 4K videos.
The iPad Air also has a touch ID fingerprint sensor, a first for the iPad family.
The device continues to be a solid pick for students and artists thanks to its compatibility with the Apple Pencil (sold separately), the Apple Magic Keyboard (also sold separately), and iPadOS 14.
With iPadOS 14, the Smart Selection feature will be able to use machine learning to understand the difference between a user's handwriting and drawings. This will allow handwritten notes to be easily selected, cut, and pasted onto other documents. You could even type a handwritten phone number and make a call through the iPad Air (if you have a cellular model).
The new iPad Air is also one of the company's most environmentally friendly designs. The iPad Air uses 100 percent recycled aluminum and tin for its external and inner parts, 100 percent recycled rare Earth elements for parts of the speakers, and recycled wood fiber for the packaging. The tech giant also says the device is "highly energy efficient" and "remains free of harmful substances."
These steps toward sustainability are part of the company's plans to adjust its manufacturing and supply chains to become carbon neutral by 2030.