It’s Lighter! Faster! Thinner! Apple Introduces The New ‘iPad Air’

October 23, 2013  |  

Apple CEO Tim Cook holding a new iPad. Getty Images

The new iPad tablet is more powerful than ever, but has feather-like characteristics. So, Apple fittingly unveiled their newest gadget as he “iPad Air.”

The iPad Air will still have the 9.7-inch screen, but it is 20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than its predecessor. The new one-pound tablet will also be a whopping 72 times faster than the current fourth-generation iPad, according to CNN. “What’s inside is just as amazing as what’s outside,” said Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller. “Inside is the brand new Apple A7 chip that we just launched with the iPhone 5S and it’s blown everything away in performance!”

The iPad Air also features an improved high-definition FaceTime camera with larger pixels, dual microphones, 1080p HD video, five megapixel iSight Camera, improved backside illumination — and still delivers 10-hour battery life that Apple users love (especially on long trips). Apple’s new tablet can be purchased in silver, white, space gray, and black and will set you back at least $499 with 16GB and WiFi. Total aside but kind of hilarious, Twitter is in an uproar because, unlike the lates iPhone models, the iPad Air doesn’t come in gold. “Way to blow it, Apple,” tweeted @Drewmck.

If you’re interested in Apple’s laptops, the multi-billion dollar corporation is also introducing the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. With the purchase, consumers get iWork and iLife already built-in. The laptops are said to have “better graphics, longer battery life, faster flash storage and next-generation Wi-Fi,” CNN reveals. If you’re not in the market for a brand new computer — you will have to drop more than $1,000 to get one — you can get the new OS X Mavericks operating system for free. Downloading will commence on Tuesday.

But Apple isn’t the only device-maker that’s released new gadgets for the holiday season. Microsoft launched its Surface 2 ($449) and Surface Pro ($899) tablets on Tuesday. Apple, which once monopolized the tablet market and would never have faced another tech company’s launch on the same day a few years ago, is being greeted with some stiff competition. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, took a jab at Microsoft’s moves to compete against Apple: “They’re confused. […] Now they’re trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs.” Oh snap! But yeah, the Surface Pro is a laptop/tablet hybrid of sorts.

The tablet rivalry, between Amazon offering the Kindle Fire HDX (which is cheaper at $229) and Microsoft’s Surface Pro is making it harder for Apple to stand out against its challengers. Which is probably why, according to NBC, Apple decided to go for the name-change. “Tablets are a maturing market; there’s not much competitors can do to differentiate at this point,” Sarah Rotman Epps, a senior analyst at Forrester Research told NBC. “Replacement sales are growing much, much faster than new sales worldwide. You’re competing for customers you already have.”

At the end of the day, it all boils down to what’s more captivating to the consumer’s eye: redesign and new name, a cheap gizmo, or a business-oriented gadget.

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