GADGET DESIGNER Apple has announced its thinnest, lightest and most powerful full-sized iPad yet, the iPad Air, bringing a new name to the market in a more compact form.
The iPad Air features a 43 percent smaller bezel to help shrink the tablet's footprint while keeping its 9.7in screen size. The new iPad is also 20 percent thinner than the last generation iPad 4, which the Air will replace when it becomes available on 1 November.
Here's a specifications rundown of the new iPad Air versus Apple's previous flagship tablet, the iPad 4, which should give you a good idea of how the Cupertino company has improved its flagship tablet since the launch of the iPad 4 in October last year.
iPad Air: 240x169.5x7.5mm, weighing 478g
iPad 4: 241.2x185.7x9.4mm, weighing 662g
Featuring a 7.5mm thick aluminium chassis and feather-light 478g weight, the iPad Air shaves almost 2mm off the thickness of the iPad 4 while weighing 184g lighter. The great thing about the iPad Air is that Apple has shrunk the bezel by 33 percent when compared to the iPad 4, so the screen can remain the same size in a smaller, more compact case.
iPad Air: 9.7in, Retina Display with 2048x1536 resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi)
iPad 4: Same as above
There's not much to say about the displays. Both the iPad Air and the iPad 4 have exactly the same quality Retina display measuring 9.7in with 2048x1536 resolution. Still, it's hard to complain, as Apple's Retina display remains among the best in the tablet market.
As mentioned above, the main difference between the iPad 4 and the iPad Air is that you can enjoy the latter in a smaller frame. The iPad Air delivers the first major design overhaul since the iPad 2 was released in March 2011.
iPad Air: iOS 7
iPad 4: iOS 6, upgradeable to iOS 7
The iPad Air features Apple's latest iOS 7 mobile operating system (OS), which was released on 18 September. Check out our iOS 7 review if you haven't already. However, this is rather an unfair comparison, as the iPad 4 launched with iOS 6 but is also upgradable to iOS 7 through a softweare upgrade.
In both tablets iOS 7 is a big change on Apple's iOS 6 mobile operating system, with its redesign and 'flat' look bringing a whole new feel to the devices. This was Apple's first major iOS upgrade since the first iPhone was announced, and was much needed.
Chief among the improvements found in iOS 7 are a new Quick Settings menu accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, a redesigned camera interface, a new look to email and a completely revamped lock screen. However, there are many complaints and criticisms around the smaller fonts, white backgrounds and missing features like universal search.
Next: Processor, cameras, battery, pricing and storage.