Apple updates $499 iPad Air, $399 iPad mini ahead of services event next week

We’re one week out from Apple’s services-focused occasion in Cupertino, and the corporate simply introduced a pair of units we have been anticipating for fairly a while. Apple debuted a brand new, $499 10.5-inch iPad Air and a brand new, $399 7.9-inch iPad mini at present. Each have acquainted designs but additionally have the corporate’s new A12 Bionic chip.

The brand new iPad Air appears like earlier fashions, with thicker bezels on the highest and backside of the superior Retina show (now with True Tone expertise) to deal with the digital camera array and the bodily Dwelling button. Whereas each new iPads have up to date cameras that may higher deal with low-light conditions and immersive AR experiences, they seem to omit FaceID completely.

Contained in the iPad Air is the brand new A12 Bionic chip with Apple’s neural engine, and the corporate claims it is going to make the brand new Air 70 % quicker than earlier variations, with twice the graphics energy. The up to date show now helps the Apple Pencil as nicely, giving extra customers the chance to attract, sketch, and take notes on an iPad.

Related updates had been made to supply the brand new 7.9-inch iPad mini. Apple’s most compact iPad now runs on its A12 Bionic chip, which the corporate claims will present 3 times higher general efficiency and 9 occasions quicker graphics efficiency. The brand new iPad mini now has a complicated Retina show with True Tone, and it’ll assist the Apple Pencil as nicely. Very similar to the brand new Air, the brand new mini did not obtain different noticeable design updates—it nonetheless has chunky high and backside bezels in addition to the bodily Dwelling button.

The $499 iPad Air sits nearer to the common iPad in Apple’s lineup, with a beginning value that is $170 greater than the $329 iPad that debuted final yr. The latter system was positioned as an education-focused, reasonably priced choice for individuals who needed an iPad however did not need or want the ability and price ticket of an iPad Professional. With its A12 Bionic chip, the brand new Air will probably be a extra highly effective system than the bottom iPad, and it could entice extra prospects with its easier-to-swallow beginning value (the iPad Professional, as compared, begins at $799).

Whereas the brand new iPad mini appears equivalent to its earlier mannequin, it is a refresh that was a lot wanted. The mini hasn’t seen a significant replace since 2015, and the spec bumps within the new model could encourage customers to lastly improve.

Apple has usually introduced new iPads at spring occasions, however the occasion to be held on March 25 this yr will focus completely on upcoming providers. Apple will possible announce its new and extremely anticipated TV streaming service and presumably a brand new information subscription service.

The brand new iPad Air and iPad mini can be found for preorder at present from Apple’s web site. The iPad Air begins at $499 for a Wi-Fi mannequin with 64GB of storage (a mobile mannequin begins at $629). The iPad mini begins at $399 for a Wi-Fi mannequin with 64GB of storage (a mobile mannequin begins at $529).