Apple announces new iPad Air

Apple is unveiling a new iPad Air today that looks very similar to the company’s iPad Pro. It’s a significant design change from the current Air, which was brought back to life last year to sit in between the iPad and iPad Pro. Last year’s Air has thick top and bottom bezels and a button for Touch ID, but this new iPad Air has much thinner bezels all around the display.

Apple’s new iPad Air looks like a refresh of the iPad Pro design, and it will be available next month.

The 2020 model uses a slightly larger 10.9-inch display, which stretches almost from edge to edge across the iPad’s face that means only the basic iPad and iPad mini retain Apple’s classic tablet design. That screen is just a touch smaller than the screen on the 11-inch iPad Pro; we’re guessing Apple kept the same size enclosure with slightly bigger bezels on the new Air. The old-school Touch ID sensor has been excised, too, in favor of a new fingerprint sensor baked into the top button.

The iPad Air is the second iPad to use Apple’s second-generation Pencil, which is a huge update over the original. It snaps to the top of the Air magnetically to charge, just as it does on the iPad Pro. It has a single-lens camera, but Apple says it’s the same main camera as the one on the iPad Pro. That’s a 12-megapixel shooter with a f/1.8 aperture. The speakers have also been redesigned, and finally provide stereo audio when you watch in landscape mode.

For the first time, Apple is making the iPad Air in five different colors, including rose gold, blue and green alongside the traditional black and silver enclosures.

Throw in a A14 chipset the first time we’ve seen this processor a proper USB-C port, and a magnetic Smart Connector for magnetically attaching accessories (including the Magic Keyboard), and we’re left with tablet that packs some nearly Pro-level flexibility.

The new iPad Air starts at $599 with 64GB of storage, or $729 with 64GB of storage and LTE. You can bump the storage up to 256GB on either model for an additional $150. It’ll be available in October, but we don’t have a more concrete release date yet. It will come with iOS 14 installed.

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