remember how an Air was predicted for the name of the next gen iPad last year? well, it didn’t quite came true… until now. meet the new iPad Air, the next generation 10-inch class tablet that the Cupertino folks proudly proclaim as “dramatically thinner, lighter and more powerful iPad” featuring a 9.7-inch Retina display, packed into a package that with a mere 0.29″ (7.5mm) thickness and weighs in at just one pound (469 grams), shaving a good .08″ (1.9mm) and .46 pound (193 grams) off the thickness and weight, respectively from the 4th gen iteration. along with a thinner and lighter form factor, it has a slightly narrower bezel and most important, it now runs on the Apple-designed A7 chip with 64-bit architecture, featuring M7 motion coprocessor as found on the iPhone 5s.

with the A7, the new iPad now boasts support for OpenGL ES version 3.0, thereby making game console-like visual effects on a sleek on-the-go device a reality. other key features include a 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera, a 5MP iSight BSI camera with Full HD videoing capability, and dual-channel WiFi (no ac supports still, though) and Bluetooth 4.0. available starting November 1 in both WiFi and WiFi + Cellular model, and in four capacities: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, as well as a new 128GB. as for prices, as always, it is not going to be cheap; expect the new WiFi-only iPad Air to cost $499 for the entry level capacity and runs up to $799 for the 128GB model, while WiFi + Cellular models cost $629 and up (all the way to $929 for the 128GB version).

also announced along with the iPad Air is the much anticipated iPad mini, now packing Retina technology with 326 ppi into its 7.9-inch multitouch display. amazingly, Apple has decided that the iPad mini shouldn’t be any less speedier and thus, it is also powered by an A7 chip with the same goodness found on the iPad Air and iPhone 5s. you know, stuff like 64-bit architecture, OpenGL ES, M7 motion coprocessor and more. as far has the spec sheet goes, the iPad mini is pretty much a shrunken down iPad Air, sharing similar specifications like 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera, 5MP BSI main shooter with 1080p videoing, dual-channel WiFi (no ac supports also) and Bluetooth 4.0. physically, the second generation iPad mini is a tad thicker by .01″ (.29 vs. .28 or 7.5mm vs 7.2mm) and slightly weightier at 0.73 pound (331 grams) versus the first gen’s 0.69 pound (312 grams).

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the iPad mini with Retina display will be available later in November in a choice silver or space gray and also in four capacities, from 16GB all the way up to 128GB. by being smaller, the Retina-equipped iPad mini is not anywhere cheap as well. price for this gem starts from $399 for the entry capacity WiFi-only model and goes all the way up to $699 for the 128GB model, while the WiFi + Cellular prices range between $529 and $829. wow. with these prices, i guess most of us won’t be making the upgrade after all.

Published by Mike chua

Avid tech enthusiast, gadget lover, marketing critic and most importantly, love to reason and talk.