First look: Apple's new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Apple released an all-new, completely redesigned iPad on Tuesday, dubbed the iPad Air, alongside the much-anticipated Retina iPad mini, which now features a pixel count identical to the full-size model.

iPad Air
Apple's new iPad Air. | Photos: Daniel Eran Dilger


Apple is now calling its flagship 9.7-inch iPad the "iPad Air," playing off the tablet's extremely thin-and-light form factor. With narrow side bezels and rounded edges, mirroring the looks of the iPad mini, the new iPad is 20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than its predecessor.

iPad Air


At just 7.5 millimeters thick and weighing in at one pound, Apple claims the iPad Air is the lightest full-size tablet in the world. Powering the iPad Air is the same A7 system-on-chip that debuted with the iPhone 5s, boasting a doubling in graphics and CPU performance over the last generation model. Like the 5s, the iPad Air also features Apple's new M7 motion coprocessor, which helps apps keep track of a user's movements.

iPad Air


Updated Smart Covers and Smart Cases were also introduced today, though not much has changed from previous versions aside from new colors.

iPad


The new Retina iPad mini carries over the same design as the first-generation model, but adds a high-resolution display that squeezes in the same number of pixels as the iPad Air, yielding an extremely high pixel density. Like the full-size iPad, the mini touts an A7 processor that boosts graphics by eight times compared to the original version.

Apple's iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display also received upgraded FaceTime HD cameras with backside illuminated sensors and larger pixels, much like the iPhone 5s. In front is a 5MP iSight camera for FaceTime calls.

iPad


The iPad Air will be available from Apple's Online Store and brick-and-mortar outlets on Nov. 1, while the Retina iPad mini is expected to launch later that month.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 83
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,484member

    The new naming convention sets us up for a 12-inch? "iPad Pro" next year.

  • Reply 2 of 83
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,221member
    I like the fact there are no compromise for the mini, even if that came with a bigger price. I am sure Apple will take care of the low end later on, maybe with mini's with plastic shells next year.

    The only thing I was hoping is they would reduce old mini's a bit more, to $250. On the other hand they are protecting there margins across all devices. On the plus side, it doesnt matter what device you buy, Apple will have good margins on all.

    I dont see how they will sell ipad 2 at $400 when the retina mini with an A7 sells for the same price. The mini is such a better device for the same price.
  • Reply 3 of 83
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    In front is a 5MP iSight camera for FaceTime calls.

    1.2MP for FaceTime- 5MP for back.

     
    Powering the tablet is the A7 system-on-chip that debuted with the iPhone 5s, boasting a doubling in graphics and CPU performance over the last generation model. Like the 5s, the iPad Air also features the M7 motion coprocessor.


     

    The Mini also has the M7- not just the Air

  • Reply 4 of 83
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,221member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

     

    The new naming convention sets us up for a 12-inch? "iPad Pro" next year.


     

    I was thinking that too has soon has I heard the new name... ipad pro will come later on

  • Reply 5 of 83
    hydrhydr Posts: 146member
    Big apple fan here. Slightly disappointed today, I think Apple really has to up their game a bit. Clearly these devices are meant to improve margins, not advance much technically. Not even Touch ID in the iPads.

    The Apple I knew would have surprised us tonight. I feel slightly bored instead.

    And I own both Apple shares, and consider myself a huge fan of the company. I just wish they would step on it a bit more.
  • Reply 6 of 83
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    herbapou wrote: »
    I like the fact there are no compromise for the mini, even if that came with a bigger price.
    I am sure Apple will take care of the low end later on, maybe with mini's with plastic shells next year.
    p
    Yes I'm very happy Apple decided to give the full size and mini the same specs. I'll take a price increase over no retina or older tech.
  • Reply 7 of 83
    jason98jason98 Posts: 763member
    I find it strange that they claim that A7 has double GPU performance compared to A6X.

    It is known that A6X (76.8 GFLOPS) has roughly double GPU performance over A6
    A7 was also claimed to have double GPU performance over A6.

    This makes A7 GPU roughly equal to A6X GPU.
  • Reply 8 of 83
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,221member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    p

    Yes I'm very happy Apple decided to give the full size and mini the same specs. I'll take a price increase over no retina or older tech.

     

    Maybe they could have done the mini w/retina and a A6 for $329. But retina + A7 is worth a price hike imo. The mini gets one hell of an upgrade from the old version.  

  • Reply 9 of 83
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    hydr wrote: »
    Big apple fan here. Slightly disappointed today, I think Apple really has to up their game a bit. Clearly these devices are meant to improve margins, not advance much technically. Not even Touch ID in the iPads.

    The Apple I knew would have surprised us tonight. I feel slightly bored instead.

    And I own both Apple shares, and consider myself a huge fan of the company. I just wish they would step on it a bit more.
    What surprised between the 3 and 3GS? Was iPad 2 a major revolution over iPad 1? It's quite possible there's no touch id in the iPad because of supply constraints. Heck it still takes 2-3 weeks or longer to get an iPhone. I'm sure from Apple's perspective getting 64-bit in a device where the weight and thickness was reduced an still get 10 battery life is a big deal. Might not be revolutionary but I know I'm looking forward to my 1 pound iPad. :)
  • Reply 10 of 83
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

     

     

    Maybe they could have done the mini w/retina and a A6 for $329. But retina + A7 is worth a price hike imo. The mini gets one hell of an upgrade from the old version.  


    I agree with you and Rogi completely (what's new?)

    I said this in another thread:

     

    We went from an iPad 2 A5 --> iPad 3 A5 Retina --> iPad 4 A6 Retina --> iPad Air A7 Retina- all at $499

    So we're essentially jumping from an iPad 2 specs to a iPad Air specs- bypassing the iPad 3 and 4.  This is unprecedented- and $70 is a worthy upgrade from what we were getting last week at $329.

  • Reply 11 of 83

    Interesting how the new form factor creates an optical illusion making the iPad look 16:9 if you looks quickly at the third picture from the top. 

  • Reply 12 of 83

    Interesting that some of us are disappointed by the absence of TouchID (counting myself). Interesting that something we survived without and barely knew about 2 months ago is something we feel we can't live without.

  • Reply 13 of 83
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,221member
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by jason98 View Post



    I find it strange that they claim that A7 has double GPU performance compared to A6X.



    It is known that A6X (76.8 GFLOPS) has roughly double GPU performance over A6

    A7 was also claimed to have double GPU performance over A6.



    This makes A7 GPU roughly equal to A6X GPU.

     

    I saw a benchmark with the A7 and the A6X with offscreen 1080p test of 3Dmarks.  The A7 was 30% faster.  I could imagine that with 64 bits games, the A7 could be 100% faster.

     

    Here is the CPU benchmark

    http://browser.primatelabs.com/ios-benchmarks

     

    This is not the GPU test I saw but its good anyway: compare the offscreen blue bars

  • Reply 14 of 83
    I can't wait until my 6 grand comes in cause I'm buying the 32 gig mini with retina and the goddamn iPad air with 128 memory. I don't care . You live once.
  • Reply 15 of 83
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    herbapou wrote: »
    Maybe they could have done the mini w/retina and a A6 for $329. But retina + A7 is worth a price hike imo. The mini gets one hell of an upgrade from the old version.  
    Yep I was one who argued the mini shouldn't be gimped. I'm glad Apple didn't do it. Of course in an ideal world it would have been awesome to get a retina mini at the same price as the non retina, but giving it the same specs as the full size iPad helps.
  • Reply 16 of 83
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    My advice - buy a WIFI only as the carriers will burn out your SIM card if inactive for awhile and render it useless unless you buy a new card with a plan. My Verizon iPad has been downgraded by Verizon by their new SIM card destruction policy.
  • Reply 17 of 83
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    iPad 2 for the same 399 it's been selling at for a year now? That's ridiculous. It'll keep the margins up for eBay sellers though, so I guess there is a silver lining.
  • Reply 18 of 83
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,652member

    Next up... Samsung's Galaxy "Air" line... by end of next week.

  • Reply 19 of 83
    I own an iPad 3 and planned to buy the iPad 5. I am disappointed in the changes, but I have committed to sell the 3 so its' to late to change my mind. Otherwise, I would wait for the next version.
  • Reply 20 of 83
    These new iPads are incredible. Just wondering where Apple goes form here with them. Making them much lighter or smaller would almost make them feel flimsy. They're pretty much at the perfect size and weight.

    Also, the internals are just incredible. I don't really see much of a point in upgrading the processor or RAM.

    Any ideas on where Apple could go?
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