Apple revives the iPad Mini and iPad Air with new models

James Marshall
March 19, 2019

Apple has tinkered with its iPad line, resurrecting the Air and administering a bit of mouth-to-mouth to the Mini as the company battles tottering sales.

A left-to-right size comparison of the iPad Air, iPad, and iPad mini. And support for Pencil is nice if you're into that sort of thing.

In comparison, the iPad Mini represents quite a saving.

In addition to the two new tablets, Apple also announced that iWork for iOS will get an update next week.

AppleCare+ for iPad covers hardware damage to your iPad, the battery, the AirPort, included USB cable and power adapter, the battery, and the Apple Pencil. Both the devices will be available in Silver, Space Grey and Gold colour options along with separate Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular connectivity options.

Apple's update to the iPad Mini is similar, packing that same A12 Bionic chip and Pencil support in the 7.9-inch design that has been dying for an update.

Both devices retain a single 8MP rear camera and 7MP front-facing snapper for FaceTime and shooting selfies.

Apple's new iPad Air, meanwhile, looks like a repurposed 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro model when it comes to design.

All-new iPad Air and iPad mini deliver dramatic power and capability
Apple finally updates the iPad Mini and iPad Air after 3.5 years

That's key: the new iPad is around 33% cheaper but is far more powerful.

What's the same between the iPad mini 4 and the iPad mini 5?

The iPad Air is baffling to me.

Apple has expanded its tablet portfolio with new iPads.

Most damning, though, was how stale the iPad mini's specifications had become. Apple's iPad comparison site doesn't really help, particularly when differentiating the iPad and iPad Air. With the plan, you get 24/7 support from Apple experts and most issues are usually resolved in a single call.

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. At 10.5 inches, it's bigger than the iPad and just a tad smaller than the 11-inch iPad Pro. On the other hand, the 64GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model costs $629 while the 256GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model costs $779. And then. nothing. Microsoft canned its Windows RT-based Surface Mini tablet around the same time and many wondered if Apple's shrunken iPad would suffer the same fate as its larger siblings continued to receive upgrades. Each one is compatible with the first generation Apple Pen, though not the latest second gen models, unfortunately.

The 2019 iPad Air also comes with Apple's latest A12 Bionic silicon.

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