9.7-Inch iPad Air Announced

Apple is giving their larger iPad some extra love this year with a brand new redesign.  Last year’s iPad with Retina Display was a phoned-in effort with barely any new features or upgrades compared to previous efforts. Well the 9.7-inch tablet is back as the iPad Air and looks pretty sweet.

This redesign brings the iPad closer to what the iPhone 5/5S looks like.  It is all around thinner and lighter being only 7.5mm thick and only weighing a pound.  Apple claims that it is the lightest full-size tablet on the market, a claim that may very well be true.

iPad Air

Inside, the iPad Air is very much like the iPhone 5S.  It shares the 64-bit A7 processor and M7 co-processor found in Apple’s latest phone.  Compared to the fourth-generation iPad, iPad Air is 8x faster, has 72x faster graphics performance and opens files twice as fast.  Battery life is estimated to be about 10 hours, which is in line with the previous iPad model.

Camera fans will enjoy the improved front and rear cameras.  The front camera is now a FaceTime HD camera, which was introduced in iPhone 5S.  The back is a 5 megapixel iSight camera.

iPad Air comes in Silver, White, Space Grey and Black.  Sadly, no Gold model like the iPhone 5S.  The price starts at $499 for the basic 16GB, Wi-Fi only model.  The basic cellular enabled 16GB model starts $629.  Like usual, there will be different models available.  iPad 2 will still be available for $399 for the 16GB, Wi-Fi only model.

iPad Air is out November 1