Despite having an event booked in for next week, Apple dropped some hardware news last night.
Say hello to the new iPad Mini and iPad Air.
Both new models have updated processors and displays and are compatible with the Apple Pencil. Interestingly, they aren’t following in the footsteps in the iPad Pro when it comes to USB-C charging; they’re still rocking the proprietary lightening ports. The Home Button also continues to reign supreme.
The revived iPad Air is 10.5-inches and comes with 10 hours of battery life, 64GB and 256GB storage options, Retina display and Apple’s A12 Bionic chip. You’ll also find a 8MP rear camera and a 7MP HD front-facing camera. In terms of weight it comes in at 456g for the the Wi-Fi model and 464 grams for the Wi-Fi + Cellular. It also has Apple Keyboard support
The new iPad Air starts at $779 for the 64GB Wi-Fi option and $979 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular. For 256GB you’re looking at $999 and $1,199, respectively.
The new iPad Mini is tells pretty much exactly the same story, but in a 7.9-inch package. it’s getting the same new display, processors and Apple Pencil compatibility. No Keyboard, though.
It also has the same storage options, same cameras and same True Tone technology to display more colours.
As the name suggests, it’s really just smaller.
Funnily enough, neither the Air or the Mini are slimmest of the iPad family – the iPad Pro coming in at 0.23-inches to the their 0.24-inches.
The iPad Mini starts at $599 for the 64GB Wi-Fi option and $799 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular. That jumps up to $819 and $1,019 for the 256GB options.
Both new models are available to pre-order from Apple today and will begin arriving from next week. They both have the option of Silver, Space Grey and Gold.
Since an early Q2 launch was the expected time frame for some new iPads, we’re not exactly surprised to see them. But dropping new hardware a week before an event seems like an odd move.
Rumour has it that streaming and subscription services will be at the front and centre of next week and we wonder whether that’s actually exciting enough to warrant not holding the new iPads until then.
I guess we’ll see what Apple has in store for us next week – and if the news will warrant using the Steve Jobs Theatre for a non-iPhone launch for the first time.
Apple’s March event will be live streamed on March 26 at 4am AEDT. Yeah, we don’t like the early start either.