Here’s something we’ve never really touched based on since its announcement in September, the Apple iPad Air. It’s worth mentioning that at first glance you could mistake the new iPad Air 4 for the iPad Pro.
Certainly, it’s borrowing that model’s crisp edged styling – something Apple is also expected to do for the iPhone 12 later this year – but with five different, more eye-catching colours. They’re silver, space grey, rose gold, green, and sky blue – all of which are headed our way.
This new iPad has a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina screen, larger than the old Air but in the same overall tablet footprint. That runs about 2360 x 1640 resolution. Since there’s now no room for a home button and its integrated fingerprint sensor, Apple has moved Touch ID to the power button on the top edge. That, apparently, according to the company, is its smallest authentication sensor ever, and taps into a new, faster Secure Enclave for speedier recognitions.
Also inside is the new Apple A14 Bionic processor, built on 5nm processes.
Unexpectedly, although a welcome change, there’s now a USB-C port on the bottom, rather than Lightning, again following the iPad Pro. That’s good for 10x the bandwidth, Apple promises, and can also drive up to a 4K external display.
There are stereo speakers, and WiFi 6 is standard. Versions of the iPad Air with LTE will also be offered, with up to 10x faster data rates thanks to a new modem. For the front, there’s a 7-megapixel FaceTime HD camera. That has an f/2.2 aperture lens, Smart HDR support, and promises better low-light performance than on the old Air. It also captures video at up to 1080p 60fps.
The rear camera, meanwhile, is borrowed from the iPhone 11. It clocks in at 12-megapixels, with f/1.8 aperture and improved video stabilization. It can shoot 4K 60fps footage, or alternatively 240 fps slo-mo video.
There’s support for the same Apple Pencil as on the iPad Pro, and you’ll be able to charge it in the same way, with the stylus magnetically-clinging to the side of the new iPad Air. Apple has also made it compatible with the same Smart Keyboard cover as its more expensive tablet.
For the good stuff, Apple says the new iPad Air pre-orders will begin from today, priced from R12 499 for the WiFi-only versions, and from R14 999 for the WiFi + LTE versions. It’ll come in 64GB and 256GB storage options. The Apple Pencil 2nd Generation is R2999, while the Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad Air is available for R3499.
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