March 19, 2019
Apple launches new iPad Air, gives iPad Mini a refresh one week before streaming event
Apple may be holding an event on March 25, but that doesn't mean the company has to wait until then to reveal new gadgets.
On Monday, the company quietly introduced a new iPad Air while giving the iPad Mini its long overdue refresh, adding two new devices that surely will be ready to watch whatever streaming service Apple is rumored to be prepping for next week.
Starting at $499, the new iPad Air adds a more powerful offering between last year's $329 iPad and the pricier, performance-focused Pros that start at $799 for an 11-inch model.
Replacing the older 10.5-inch Pro, the Air has Apple's latest A12 Bionic chip, a 10.5-inch Retina Display and keeps support for Apple's keyboard and Pencil accessories.
Unlike the Pro, the Air keeps older iPad features such as a Lightning port for charging, a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and home button as well as a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.
The new Air is Apple's first since 2014's iPad Air 2. The company stopped using the Air name in recent years, calling its tablets iPad or iPad Pro instead.
After years of waiting, a new Mini
After years of waiting, Apple has also finally updated its 7.9-inch iPad Mini line.
Starting at $399, the new Mini largely keeps the same design as 2015's iPad Mini 4, the new tablet packs an improved display and more modern specs.
Like the new Air, the Mini keeps the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and home button, headphone jack, stereo speakers and Lightning connector. New, however, are the more powerful A12 Bionic processor, improved Retina Display and support for the Apple Pencil.
It's not a major upgrade, to be sure, but for those who wanted a smaller Apple tablet, the refresh makes it a better purchase.
Both new tablets are available to buy today and ship next week, in either 64GB or 256GB varieties. Color offerings are silver, space gray or gold.
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