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Introducing the iPad Air: New Design, A7 Processor, 5MP iSight Camera, Starts at $499

As you all know, today is the highly anticipated iPad media event which was held at the  Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. And just like clockwork, Apple has just announced the next generation iPad and for a change, it's something that was not preempted by ridiculous number of rumors and speculations. Well, at least not the name. Ladies and gents, here's the next generation iPad, the iPad Air.


iPad Air Announcement

New Design

Not ever since the iPad 2 that we have seen a brand new design for the iPad lineup. The iPad Air sports the ever-familiar 9.7-inch display like all its predecessors. However, the shape has been updated which is now along the lines of the iPad mini design language. The iPad Air is weighing only about a pound, effectively making it the lightest full-sized tablet in the world. It is actually .4 lbs lighter than the previous generations. As for the thickness, the iPad Air is only 7.5mm thick, that makes it 25% thinner than previous gen iPads.

iPad Air

The bezel on the side is about 43% thinner, and it also sports tapered edges that curves along the sides. Yes, just like the iPad mini. Contrary to the rumors, this bad boy has no TouchID.

Processing Power

iPad Air GPU

As one would expect, the iPad Air packs some serious processing power. Apple has updated the iPad's processor to the A7 chip, the same processor that runs the iPhone 5s. According to Apple, it is 8x faster than the first-gen iPad and the graphics are 72x times faster than the iPad 1. Of course, we would rather how it compares with the iPad 4 but it's just typical that you don't get everything you want from an Apple announcement.

And just like the iPhone 5s, the new processor in the iPad Air is accompanied with the M7 motion chip. The new A7 processor of course runs on the new 64-bit architecture. As for the battery life, the iPad Air can offer up to 10 hours of battery.

Camera

iPad Air Camera

The iPad is never known for its camera which is really outdated at best. But of course, that didn't stop folks from taking photos using their Apple tablet. So Apple decided that with the iPad Air, they will give more attention to the Camera, and so they did. The iPad Air is packing a 5-megapixel iSight camera, a front-facing 1080p FaceTime camera, and dual-mics for video chatting.

Pricing and Availability

iPad Air Pricing

The 5th generation iPad will be available in four different colors: black, white, silver, and space grey. For some reason, it doesn't come in gold (perhaps that comes later). The iPad Air will take the place of the fourth-gen iPad as Apple's new flagship tablet. Starting price is $499, while the Wifi + Cellular model starts at $629.

Apple will still continue to offer the iPad 2 for $399. The new iPads will be made available on November 1.

So what do you think of the iPad Air?

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