Apple’s special event titles ‘Time Flies’ saw the launch of two new iPads this year. The original iPad reaches its 8th-generation while the new iPad Air gets a complete makeover along with the company’s new A14 Bionic chipset. The company also confirmed that the all-new iPadOS 14 will officially begin rolling out tomorrow for all users, which of course comes preloaded on these new tablets.
Now we are used to seeing Apple introduce its new and improved mobile chipsets on a new iPhone. However, it seems that the company isn’t entirely ready, hence we get an early look at the chipset on a new tablet. The iPad Air 2020 gains new abilities that now match up to the new iPad Pro 2020 models. It even takes design inspiration from the Pro model but in a variety of colours including Silver, Space Grey, Rose Gold, Green, and Sky Blue.
It comes with a similar size as the last-gen iPad Air, however, you now get a larger 10.9-inch display removing the physical Home button altogether. You still get Touch ID fingerprint scanning though as Apple has embedded one in the side-mounted flat power/standby button. There is a high-quality liquid retina display offering a resolution of 2360×1640 pixels along with support for P3 wide colour gamut and Apple’s True Tone colour adjustment.
Coming to the star feature, the new A14 Bionic chip, which is clearly going to make an appearance on the new iPhone 12. As usual, it is the most powerful chipset from Apple and is the first-ever chipset based on the 5nm manufacturing process. Apple has managed to fit 11.8 billion transistors on this chipset allowing for 40-percent improved CPU performance and 30-percent faster graphics compared to the previous generation. It includes a 16-core neural engine, along with a new CPU-based machine learning acceleration for 70 percent faster machine learning tasks.
Of course, there is support for the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil and the lightning port has been replacing by a USB Type-C port, as various rumours suggested. This means that it supports external USB devices and even a 4K display-out via the port. There are improved cameras as well including a 7-megapixel front camera with 1080p video recording and a 12-megapixel rear camera with focus pixels and 4K video recording. The tablet also supports Apple’s new Magic Keyboard that premiered with the 2020 iPad Pro as well as various third-party accessories.
Pricing starts at Rs 54,900 for the Wi-Fi only model and Rs 66,900 for the Wi-Fi + LTE model. The new iPad Air will be available in either 64GB and 256GB storage options. The Magic Keyboard and the Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad Air will be available for Rs 27,900 and Rs 15, 900, respectively. Smart Folios for the iPad Air will cost Rs 7,500 and will be available in black, white, deep navy, cyprus green, and pink citrus colours.
Apple also announced an update for its most affordable iPad offering. The 8th-gen iPad continues to look similar as the original iPad design. You get a 10.2-inch Retina display with a physical Home button and a new A12 Bionic processor. This chipset is said to be 40 percent faster than the previous generation. Apple believes that the new iPad can match the capabilities of most popular laptops and chromebooks thanks to its A12 Bionic chipset that brings Apple’s Neural Engine capabilities for machine learning at a fairly affordable iPad.
The new iPad comes with an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1.2-megapixel front camera and you continue to get Apple’s Lightning connector. There is also support for the 1st-gen Apple Pencil as well as keyboards from Apple and third-party vendors. The new 8th-gen iPad will be available at a starting price of Rs 29,900 and Rs 37,900 for the 32GB and 128GB Wi-Fi versions while the Wi-Fi + LTE variants will cost Rs 41,900 and 49,900 respectively.