Apple unveils new iPad, updates Mini ahead of video streaming launch

Tuesday, 19 Mar, 2019

I've been using the latest 11-inch iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil 2 since its release and it's a great device but too large for my needs.

With little fanfare, Apple today announced major (and, dare I say, long overdue) updates to the iPad Mini and the iPad Air.

All of these new cases are available to order on Apple.ca and will be available to buy in Apple Stores soon.

The launch of the new tablets comes before Apple's media event next Monday in Cupertino, California, where the company is expected to unveil a series of new subscription services including TV streaming.

And then there's the iPad mini.

The Mini, which begins at $399, has a 7.9-inch, 2048 x 1536 screen, brings Apple Pencil support and has the same storage and cellular options.

In the year ended September 2018, Apple made about $19 billion in revenue from iPad sales, a very small portion compared with the almost $167 billion it generated from the sale of iPhones.

Apple unveils new iPad, updates Mini ahead of video streaming launch
Apple unveils new iPad, updates Mini ahead of video streaming launch

No luck on a USB-C port, however, as the Mini and Air are still using Apple's proprietary Lightning port. The new Smart Keyboard for iPad Air will be available for $159.

The new iPad Air comes equipped with Apple's latest A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine, which offers a 70 percent boost in performance and twice the graphics capability over the previous silicon. But the big-ticket change is support for the Apple Pencil.

The iPad Air is a brand new device that serves as a sort of mid-tier iPad, landing in both power and price point in-between the entry-level iPad and the high-end iPad Pro models.

The iPad Air has a 10.5-inches display and features a thinner design. Unlike the Pro, however, it only has two speakers instead for four, and its display has a lower refresh rate. The cellular iPad mini costs $529 (16,700 baht), while the cellular iPad Air costs $629 (19,900 baht). The display has also been updated with a 25 percent increase in brightness, along with the same True Tone technology and wide color support of the new iPad Air. Both the device come with similar front and back cameras which is capable of recording 1080p videos.

Another update to this iPad Air is its A12 Bionic processor.

Apple launched a second-generation Apple Pencil alongside the new iPad Pro models in 2018. And of course, the support for a Smart Keyboard - unlike the iPad's Bluetooth keyboard support alone - gives those wanting to ditch their Windows or macOS laptop another option versus a Chromebook.

Starting next week, they will also be available in China (Wi-Fi models only), Macau (Wi-Fi models only) and Mexico, Colombia, Greece, India, Israel, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand (Wi-Fi models only) and Turkey.