8 KEY FEA­TURES OF IPAD AIR

Weigh­ing just un­der one pound, iPad Air is also the slimmest tablet and packs a punch with its pro­cess­ing power and in­no­va­tive fea­tures

CRN - - TECH FOCUS - LISA BARRY

The tablet in­no­va­tor has re-in­vented its lat­est tablet again, or at least up­graded and mor­phed it a bit. Ap­ple’s fifth-gen­er­a­tion iPad, un­veiled last month be­gan ship­ping world­wide start­ing Novem­ber. Fol­low­ing are 8 key specs and fea­tures of Ap­ple’s new­est edi­tion to the iPad fam­ily, the iPad Air.

De­sign

A full-sized tablet that only weighs 1 pound? That’s the de­sign feat Ap­ple ac­com­plished with the iPad Air. And it is thin too, mea­sur­ing in at a depth of .29 inches.

Ap­ple claims its lat­est in­no­va­tion is the light­est full­sized tablet on the mar­ket. In com­par­i­son, both Ap­ple’s iPad 2 and Len­ovo’s new Yoga Tablet 10 weigh in at 1.33 pounds, whereas the Sam­sung Galaxy note comes in at ap­prox­i­mately 1.2 pounds.

Dis­play

The 9.7-inch retina dis­play on the iPad Air is the same size as the pre­vi­ous iPad with retina and iPad 2 dis­plays. How­ever, the edges around the dis­play shrunk, mak­ing the to­tal width of the de­vice 6.6 inches.

Though the dis­play re­mains the same size, it ac­counts for more sur­face area of the en­tire de­vice than be­fore. The retina dis­play packs in 264 pix­els per inch.

Chip

The iPad Air also sports Ap­ple’s own 64 bit, A7 chip and M7 mo­tion co-pro­ces­sor, first seen in the iPhone 5S. The A7 chip gives the Air twice the CPU and graph­ics per­for­mance power as was seen in the pre­vi­ous iPad with retina.

Di­vid­ing du­ties be­tween the pro­ces­sor and the M7 co­pro­ces­sor also al­lows for greater bat­tery life.

Cam­era

The iPad Air is loaded with a 5 MP, rear-fac­ing iSight cam­era as well as a front-fac­ing, FaceTime HD cam­era. The FaceTime HD cam­era now has a back­side il­lu­mi­na­tion sen­sor to brighten up what­ever ap­pears in the frame.

Since Ap­ple is ship­ping all new iOS and Mav­er­icks prod­ucts with the iLife suite for free, users can amp up pic­tures and videos with iPhoto and iMovie at no ex­tra cost.

Ap­ple claims its iPad Air is the light­est full­sized tablet. But its iPad 2, Len­ovo’s Yoga Tablet 10 and Sam­sung Galaxy note weigh in at 1.33 and 1.2 pounds re­spec­tively

Bat­tery

His­tor­i­cally, 10 hours has been the stan­dard bat­tery life of an iPad, and 10 hours it has stayed. The de­vice con­tains a built-in 32.4 watt-hours bat­tery.

Bat­tery life is es­ti­mated based on mixed us­age of Web brows­ing, lis­ten­ing to mu­sic and view­ing video.

Con­nec­tiv­ity

Wi-Fi per­for­mance also dou­bled in the iPad Air with two an­ten­nas and MIMO tech­nol­ogy. In the best cir­cum­stances, the Air can achieve down­load speeds of 300 Mbps. The de­vice has both Wi-Fi and cel­lu­lar con­nec­tiv­ity.

Ap­ple claims that by sup­port­ing more LTE bands, the de­vice is faster than broad­band in some cases.

Apps

As with all of Ap­ple’s new mo­bile de­vices, the iPad Air runs on iOS 7. All new de­vices shipped with iOS 7 or the Mav­er­icks OS X op­er­at­ing sys­tem come loaded with the cre­atively-geared iLife suite as well as the pro­duc­tiv­ity-geared iWork suite.

Users are also able to seam­lessly share projects and me­dia from one de­vice to an­other through iCloud.

Price and avail­abil­ity

Ap­ple’s iPad Air be­gan ship­ping on Fri­day and is avail­able in sil­ver and space gray. The iPad Air with Wi-Fi-only ca­pa­bil­ity comes in 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB op­tions priced at $499, $599, $699 and $799 re­spec­tively.

The iPad Air with Wi-Fi and cel­lu­lar ca­pa­bil­ity also comes in 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB op­tions and is priced at $629, $729, $829 and $929 re­spec­tively.

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