Without the usual fanfare of a media event, the Cupertino tech giant in a press release this morning introduced a new 10.5-inch iPad Air and 7.9-inch iPad mini.
In a surprising move, Apple today quietly refreshed its tablet lineup.
Without the usual fanfare of a media event, the Cupertino tech giant in a press release this morning introduced a new 10.5-inch iPad Air and 7.9-inch iPad mini. The launch comes ahead of Apple’s March 25 event, where the company is expected to announce a video streaming service.
Apple hasn’t upgraded the iPad Air since 2014 or the iPad mini since 2015.
Priced from $499, the new iPad Air (pictured above with a $159 Smart Keyboard accessory) “delivers a 70 percent boost in performance and twice the graphics capability” compared to the 9.7-inch iPad, Apple said. Its Retina Display “is nearly 20 percent larger with over half a million more pixels.”
The new iPad mini (above), which starts at $399, offers “three times the performance and nine times faster graphics” compared to the previous generation, Apple wrote. It’s also “25 percent brighterand has the highest pixel density of any iPad.”
Both new tablets feature the A12 Bionic chip, which also powers the latest iPhones. They both offer support for the $99 Apple Pencil stylus, which is sold seperately. The starting prices mentioned above are for Wi-Fi only models. Wi-Fi plus cellular models start at $529 for the new iPad mini and $629 for the new iPad Air.
Both are offered in a choice of silver, space gray, and gold finishes. They’re available for pre-order now on Apple’s website and slated to hit store shelves next week.
“Today the iPad family takes two big leaps forward with an all-new 10.5-inch iPad Air that brings high-end size, features and performance at a breakthrough price, and a major upgrade to the 7.9-inch iPad mini, which also brings Apple Pencil, Retina display and the A12 Bionic chip to the many customers that love its compact size,” Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said in a statement.