Highly anticipated: Apple's latest marketing event kicked off today, and it's already led to a plethora of new product announcements. Revealed devices include an updated entry-level iPhone SE, a new Mac Studio workstation product, and -- of course --the all-new iPad Air. The latest tablet from Apple features improved data transfer speeds via USB-C, an improved camera, and better performance courtesy of its new M1 chip.
The newest iPad Air comes in five distinct colors: space grey, pink, purple, starlight, and even blue -- a color you don't commonly see in Apple products these days. In terms of size, the Air 5's Liquid Retina display still comes in at 10.9-inches, so there's no screen space upgrade this time around. If you want a bigger iPad, the M1-equipped Pro is your best bet.
As previously noted, the latest iPad Air has finally made the leap to the M1 era, like the MacBook before it. As such, Apple promises a 60 percent boost to CPU speeds and up to 2x faster graphics rendering for the Air; with both components containing 8 processing cores. Furthermore, machine learning workloads ought to benefit from the Air's new 16-core Neural Engine.
The new iPad Air's screen also boasts support for the DCI-P3 wide-gamut color space and Apple's True Tone color technology; an optional function that can alter your display's white balance in real-time based on ambient lighting conditions. Ideally, this should lead to a more vibrant and accurate image no matter what your environment is like.
Notably, if you decide to snag a cellular version of the iPad Air, you'll be pleased to hear that the latest model has 5G connectivity, as well as Wi-Fi 6 and eSIMs. For direct device-to-device connections, Apple promises USB-C port speeds "up to 2x" faster than the last-gen Air model, allowing for data transfers "up to 10Gbps."
For any shutterbugs and camera enthusiasts out there, Apple has included a 12MP front camera, capable of document scanning, 4K video capture, and Center Stage-powered video conferencing.
Pre-orders for the new iPad Air start at 5AM PST on March 11, with deliveries scheduled to begin a week later on March 18. The base iPad Air model will run you $599 and comes with standard Wi-Fi connectivity and 64GB of onboard storage. Upgrading the storage to 256GB increases the final cost to $749, and slapping on Cellular support boosts it further to $899.