The new iPad Air and iPad mini: What’s new and what isn’t

The new iPad Air and iPad mini: What’s new and what isn’t

Surprise! Apple just announced updated models for the
iPad Air and the iPad mini. Some of us had given up on seeing new versions
of these models, but suddenly they’re available for purchase. We should have our hands on the new tablets
sometime this week, but we wanted to give you a quick rundown on what’s new and what
remains the same for both iPads. So let’s kick off with what’s new with the
iPad Air, which we thought was effectively replaced with the 10.5-inch iPad Pro in 2017. In essence, this is the iPad Air 3, but much
as with the iPad mini, Apple’s dropping the numerals. It’s now just the iPad Air. The price sees a welcome change, as Apple
now sells it for a starting price of $499 instead of the $649 we saw with the iPad Air
2. There’s also a change in storage options,
as Apple only sells the new iPad Air in 64GB and 256GB configurations. Before, you could buy the iPad Air 2 with
16, 32, 64, and 128GB options. It’s a smart move for a more data-hungry age. The tablet is also bigger—insomuch it has
the same 9.8 by 6.8-inch frame as the 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro. For comparison, the iPad Air 2 measured 9.4
by 6.67 inches. And much like the old iPad Pro, the new iPad
Air supports the first-generation Apple Pencil. That could be a big deal if you don’t want
to pay iPad Pro prices but don’t like the smaller screen of the 9.7-inch iPad—or,
NOW, the 7.9-inch iPad mini. In addition, the iPad Air now supports its
own $159 Smart Keyboard that you’ll need to buy separately. I especially like that the new iPad Air sports
the A12 Bionic processor we find in the iPhone XS and XR, which marks a massive jump from
the A8X chip in the iPad Air 2. Keep in mind, though, that it’s NOT QUITE
as fast as the A12X chips that we find in the 2018 iPad Pros. The display has changed, too, as the resolution
is now 2224 by 1668, up from 2048 by 1536. It’s ALSO packed with Apple’s TrueTone technology
that adapts to ambient light in order to deliver a more natural viewing experience. That display is also laminated, which effectively
means the glass sits on top of the display. When you use an Apple Pencil, it makes for
an experience that feels slightly more like writing on paper than what you’ll get with
an unlaminated display. It’s also brighter, as it delivers 500 nits
of brightness versus the 415 in the older iPad Air. That’ll be great if you often have to use
your iPad in the sunlight. And last but certainly not least, the front-facing
FaceTime camera got a big boost from 1MP to 7MP. That’s a lot of good stuff, especially when
you compare it to the iPad Air 2. When you compare to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro,
though, the truth is that we’re basically looking at an iPad Pro from 2017 with a better
chip. In other words, if you got your 10.5-inch
iPad Pro two years ago, you may not need to upgrade. The new model still has a home button with
Touch ID, and *I* think that’s a bit of a bummer as the latest iPad Pros have taught
me that Face ID is even better suited for iPads than iPhones. It’s still LED backlit, so don’t expect the
super cool OLED displays you find in the new iPhones. Even the new iPad Pro doesn’t have that. While the FaceTime camera got a boost, the
rear camera hasn’t changed much, as it still has an 8MP rear camera like the iPad Air 2. It’s still got a 3.5mm headphone jack, it’s
still sold in space gray, silver, and gold, and it still gives you a battery life of around
10 hours. And it still supports Lightning cables instead
of USB-C. So let’s move on to the new iPad mini. I know a lot of you have been waiting for
this one for a long time, and as you might expect after a four-year wait, it’s a massive
improvement over the iPad mini 4. So what’s new? First off, much as with the iPad Air, this
is now simply called iPad mini — even though it’s essentially the iPad mini 5. It also sports the A12 Bionic processor, and
that’s enough of an upgrade from the A8 chip to give you around three times the graphics
processing power of the iPad mini 4. It’s also got a laminated display and first-generation
Apple Pencil support like the iPad Air, along with support for Apple’s TrueTone technology. It even has a wider P3 color gamut, and Apple
says its pixel density of 3 million is the highest of any iPad. The display itself is 25 percent brighter
at 500 nits, up from the 450 in the iPad mini 4. The camera remains at 8MP, but the newer model
reportedly offers better low-light performance and HD video recording. And here again we see the boost to 7MP from
1MP in the front-facing camera. The iPad mini 4 only sold in a 128GB configuration,
but the new iPad mini comes with both 64GB and 256GB storage options. For that matter, it now supports the same
Wi-Fi and gigabit-class LTE speeds you’ll find in new iPads. So what HASN’T changed? Well, for one, there’s the starting price,
which remains the same as the iPad mini 4 at $399. I’d be annoyed with that considering that
the 9.7-inch iPad supports the Apple Pencil and gives you more screen space for $329. Nonetheless, this delivers a lot of upgrades
for people who want a smaller iPad. As for the display, it may have that TrueTone
tech and the wider P3 color gamut, but the 7.9-inch display itself still has a resolution
of 2046 by 1536. In fact, I’ll probably have a hard time telling
the iPad mini 4 apart from the NEW iPad mini when we get ours. It’s still got the same 8 by 5.3-inch frame. It’s still got a home button that supports
Touch ID, and it still supports Lightning cables instead of USB-C. And yes, it still
comes in space gray, silver, and gold, and it still delivers around 10 hours of battery
life. I know a lot of you have been looking forward
to getting your hands on a new iPad mini in particular, so I look forward to seeing if
both of these devices live up to expectations. We should have our reviews for both models
ready within the next two weeks, so be sure to subscribe to Macworld to check them out
when they drop!

26 thoughts on “The new iPad Air and iPad mini: What’s new and what isn’t

  1. 16 seconds into the video and …why do you look excited instead of disappointed?!!!!

    2:45 you are looking at an iPad Pro 2017 with a chip with a better compute scores and SIGNIFICANTLY WEAKER GPU(check A12 vs A10X, since you obviously haven't), you also lose ProMotion display , 1GB RAM, 2 speakers, 100 neat screen brightness, Pro cameras (12MP f/1.8 vs 8MP f/2.4) also 4k recording and the LED flash! and all of that for pretty much same price if not cheaper.

    now this is the textbook definition of rip off!

  2. Messing up the specs and the ipad air is no upgrade over 10.5 pro since it doesn't have promotion and only stereo speakers

  3. 😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑 apples is really some greedy fuckers. Gave us the headphone 🎧 jack back but took away to the quad stereo speakers. And gave us shit cameras. Apple 😑😑😑😑😑😑 wtf is wrong with you?????

  4. So it's not the latest and greatest. I'll still take it. At least I don't have to worry about the mini bending in half…

  5. I'm just looking to get an ipad that I can use to watch netflix at the gym.
    That is my sole purpose of buying an ipad.
    Is there big difference between A10vsA12?

  6. I’m still getting the iPad 6th gen, I really don’t think that these iPads are any better. Plus they both are more expensive than the 6th gen. Just my opinion..

  7. BEWARE IF YOU BUY NEW IPADS.. a cracked or faulty display will mean a need for a complete replacement of the device.. with no respite once you’re out of warranty

    my iPad Pro 10.5 suffers from a bright spot an inch from the home button which has affected many users as well.. an obvious hardware and manufacturing defect.. went down to the Apple store today and they said they can’t just fix iPad displays and have to get the whole device replaced for almost S$700..

    So many people with the same issue!! 25 pages on macrumors!!!

    very very disappointed in the brand and this is coming from a long time apple fan. Unreliable products being made nowadays

    Little wonder why they discontinued this model.. they need a repair program ASAP

  8. The iPad Mini 4 didn’t just come in 125GB, matter of fact it didn’t even come in 125GB, it came in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB….

  9. Apple stuck with the old designs because they are still unsure whether consumers will go for a mid-range iPad which is what the iPad mini and iPad Air are. If they sell very well, then they will add the newer features from the iPad Pro like Face ID, thin bezels, Apple Pencil 2, and others. With that in mind, I hope they sell well so they can make those iPads.

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