After unveiling the latest iPhone SE, Apple took the wraps off the new iPad Air, which looks nearly identical to its predecessor. The major change here is the M1 chip that’s powering the tablet. And yes, it’s the same chip that’s powering the iPad Pro and the M1 Macs.
The fifth-generation iPad Air is a 10.9-inch mid-range tablet starting at $599, but the addition of the M1 chip promises a significant performance boost over the previous iPad Air.
The 8-core CPU delivers up to 60 percent faster performance, and the 8-core GPU delivers up to 2x faster graphics performance compared to the previous iPad Air.
The iPad Air 5 also supports optional 5G connectivity for faster internet speeds. Another notable improvement comes to the front-facing camera. The 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera now supports Apple’s Center Stage feature, meaning the front camera will focus on your face even when you’re moving during FaceTime calls.
Also, it’s fully compatible with all existing accessories like the Magic Keyboard and the Smart Keyboard Folio, thanks to its unchanged design form.
The iPad Air is available in space gray, starlight, pink, purple, and a new blue color. It comes in 64GB and 256GB storage configurations, with an option for cellular connectivity. Pre-orders begin this Friday, and shipping starts on March 18.