First look: Apple's new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina displayApple released an all-new, completely redesigned iPad on Tuesday, dubbed the iPad Air, alongside the much-anticipated Retina iPad mini, which now features a pixel count identical to the full-size model.
Apple's new iPad Air. | Photos: Daniel Eran Dilger
Apple is now calling its flagship 9.7-inch iPad the "iPad Air," playing off the tablet's extremely thin-and-light form factor. With narrow side bezels and rounded edges, mirroring the looks of the iPad mini, the new iPad is 20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than its predecessor.
At just 7.5 millimeters thick and weighing in at one pound, Apple claims the iPad Air is the lightest full-size tablet in the world. Powering the iPad Air is the same A7 system-on-chip that debuted with the iPhone 5s, boasting a doubling in graphics and CPU performance over the last generation model. Like the 5s, the iPad Air also features Apple's new M7 motion coprocessor, which helps apps keep track of a user's movements.
Updated Smart Covers and Smart Cases were also introduced today, though not much has changed from previous versions aside from new colors.
The new Retina iPad mini carries over the same design as the first-generation model, but adds a high-resolution display that squeezes in the same number of pixels as the iPad Air, yielding an extremely high pixel density. Like the full-size iPad, the mini touts an A7 processor that boosts graphics by eight times compared to the original version.
Apple's iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display also received upgraded FaceTime HD cameras with backside illuminated sensors and larger pixels, much like the iPhone 5s. In front is a 5MP iSight camera for FaceTime calls.
The iPad Air will be available from Apple's Online Store and brick-and-mortar outlets on Nov. 1, while the Retina iPad mini is expected to launch later that month.