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A fully redesigned iPad Air and an upgraded 10.2-inch iPad are among the latest line-up of Apple products announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2020.
The iPad Air 4 is set to deliver some of the popular features of the Pro at a more affordable price point, while the 10.2-inch iPad offers improved specs on the previous model.
Here’s a snapshot of the new iPads launched at WWDC on September 15.
This year marked a significant anniversary for Apple’s iPad, with CEO Tim Cook noting it had been 10 years since the tech-co shipped their first iPad device.
In the decade since, over 500 million iPads have been sold globally, while more and more customers are now discovering iPad for the very first time.
“In fact, more than half of our iPad customers are buying their very first iPad,” Mr Cook reflected, noting iPad had been ranked number one in customer satisfaction for 10 straight years.
This year, he said its influence had been critical in a Covid-19 landscape. He noted the device had helped students with remote working, facilitated working from home, aided doctors providing remote healthcare, and also helped families stay connected.
“Our users are doing more than ever with iPad, so we continue to push iPad forward,” Mr Cook said.
This year’s iPad Air offers some of the biggest upgrades including a full redesign. It features an all-new thin and light enclosure that takes many of its cues from the Pro.
At 10.9 inches, the screen offers a Liquid Retina display with resolution of 2360 by 1640, resulting in 3.8 million pixels for crisp text and images.
The screen also features full lamination, True Tone and an anti-reflective coating. The new screen takes up the entire real estate of the iPad, so this year’s device required a new home for TouchID, and Apple has now incorporated it into the power button.
Under the hood of the Air 4 is an “incredibly powerful” new A14 bionic chip to support performance. It features industry-leading five nanometer process technology that incorporates 11.8 billion transistors into the chip, allowing the Air 4 to deliver new features, increased power efficiency, and greater performance.
The upshot is a 40 per cent faster CPU compared to the previous iPad Air and a 30 per cent increase in graphics speed. The Neural Engine for machine learning is also incorporated into the chipset and for the first time is supported by machine learning accelerators that elevate tasks like photo editing, gaming and more to a new level of performance.
In a welcome addition, this generation of the iPad Air also features USB-C which allows further devices, like external cameras, monitors, or storage to connect directly to the device
The cameras also borrow heavily from the Pro with a 7MP Facetime HD camera on the front and a 12MP camera that can also capture 4K video on the rear.
The speakers have also been reconfigured for more impressive sound in stereo, audio or landscape mode.
The Air works with a range of accessories including the new Magic Keyboard and the Apple Pencil which attaches magnetically to the side for charging and storage.
The iPad Air 4 is available from October, comes in five colours including Rose Gold, Green, and Sky Blue, and is priced from US$599.
Measuring 10.2-inches, this year’s base model iPad is set to offer a range of improvements, particularly in terms of power and performance.
Inside is the A12 bionic processor, which is described as a powerhouse that delivers a 40 per cent faster central processing unit than is found in the iPad 2019 and also doubles the speed of the graphics.
Apple notes this improves uses like working with high resolution graphics, and gaming.
New to the base model iPad is the Neural Engine for machine learning, which is capable of handling up to 5 trillion operations per second.
The device works with Apple’s smart keyboard and Logitech keyboards, along with the Apple Pencil. It continues to feature a FaceTime HD camera along with 8MP rear camera.
The new iPad 8th generation retails from US$329 and hits the shelves on September 18.
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