Apple has launched a 10.5-inch iPad Air - Tablets

Sheri Evans
March 19, 2019

The Cupertino, California-based company on Monday unveiled the new 10.5-inch iPad Air as well as an upgraded iPad mini model that will succeed the company's existing iPad mini 4.

Both the new iPad Air and iPad mini come with support for the Apple Pencil. For now, the A10X-powered 10.5-incher still starts at $650 at the likes of Best Buy and B&H, which is actually 150 bucks higher than the entry-level price of the 10.5-inch iPad Air with its newer A12 Bionic chip under the hood. According to Apple, the advanced Retina display with True Tone technology is almost 20 percent larger with over half a million more pixels. A much more modern Apple A12 Bionic chip should pay dividends in performance, compared to the iPad's aging A10.

Unlike the iPad Pro, both these new iPads have Touch ID, and no Face ID.

Both new tablets are shipping now and can be had starting at $499 for the iPad Air and $399 for the iPad mini. It starts at £399 with 64GB of storage, or there's a 256GB model for £549. By comparison, the standard iPad, which continues alongside the new model, has a 9.7in display with a 2048 x 1536 resolution, which equates to an identical 264ppi. The last time that the iPad mini got an update was in late 2015. The Smart Keyboard for the 10.5-inch iPad Air is priced at Rs 13,900 with layouts for over 30 languages, including simplified Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. However it kept the original stylus on sale too, because some of the existing iPad models - including the original iPad Pro tablets and the iPad 6th generation - had compatibility with that, not the Apple Pencil 2nd generation.

With the question of whether you go for the basic iPad from a year ago or the new iPad Air, you're also getting a lot more screen and (possibly, as we've not had this confirmed) the powerful four speakers that bring an extra dimension to multimedia playback.

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Like every version of the iPad since the first in 2010, the latest models come in configurations that connect to either just WiFi or cellular networks as well.

The iPad Mini has finally been lavished with some attention, too.

So far in its annual March event, Apple has been making announcements related upgrades for its product lines, but this year the focus is likely to shift to services, especially after it reported its first ever drop in Phone sales in January. Indeed the only real spec omission is the absence of Smart Keyboard support, though given the iPad mini's size that probably won't be something most typists will miss. As before, the 1st generation Apple Pencil will be available for $99.

Alongside these new devices, Apple has released a Smart Cover and Leather Smart Cover for the iPad Air, and a Smart Cover for the iPad mini. The new iPad Air lacks the 512GB option, but that was always an expensive, but useful, option for those wanting to use the Pro 10.5 in a professional capacity.

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