Apple has unveiled its next-generation 9.7-inch thinner and lighter tablet called the iPad Air.
It looks very similar to the iPad mini, more like a “blown up” version of it, with an full 1080p HD screen resolution of 2048×1536. It’s 7.5mm thin, and weighs 1 pound. That’s 0.09 pounds lighter than the 10.1-inch Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z. Apple also announced (no surprise here) an iPad Mini with Retina display, while the first-gen will remain in production at a reduced price.
The iPad Air is powered a 64-bit A7 chip, and an M7 motion coprocessor (Apple says it’s 8x faster and 72x better graphics than the old processor), a 5-megapixel iSight camera, a FaceTime HD camera, and will come in WiFi and WiFi+4G variants.
Apple made a bunch of other announcements, like the new Mac OS X Mavericks (10.9) operating system will be free (!). Previous OS X Mountain Lion and OS X Lion cost $19.99 and $29.99 respectively. OS X Mavericks is available as an immediate download from the Mac App Store.
The iWork (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) and iLife (iMovie, iPhoto and GarageBand) suite of apps are also free. Refreshed hardware includes thinner and lighter Macbook Pros with Retina display and the Mac Pro.
Apple’s current tablet line-up looks likes this:
iPad Mini – $299
iPad Mini with Retina display – $399
iPad 2 – $399
iPad Air with Retina display – $499
The iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display will go on sale in selected countries (including China on launch day), on 1 November, excluding South Africa.