IPad Air 2019 replaces 2017 iPad Pro 10.5, not $329 iPad

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Apple released a new iPad Air and updated its iPad Mini today (March 18), but once again failed to deliver its long-delayed AirPower wireless charger. However, the Cupertino-based tech giant might focus the event on its services AND an upgraded - or even a completely new - piece of hardware.

The 10.5-inch iPad Air includes the A12 Bionic chip with Apple's Neural Engine, a Retina display with True Tone, and Apple Pencil support.

Both new models are available to pre-order from Apple today and will begin arriving from next week.

Overall Apple sales of iPads have fallen like their iPhones to the point that Apple stopped reporting iPad, iPhone, and Mac unit sales previous year. Also, the polyurethane Smart Covers will be available at Rs 3500 for iPad mini and Rs 3700 for iPad Air.

The design of the iPad Air is more in keeping with older iPad models than the latest iPad Pro. The iPad Mini 2019 costs $399 for the 64GB Wi-Fi-only version while the Wi-Fi + Cellular model costs $529.

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The chip inside the iPad Air is the A12 Bionic, as found in the iPhone XS and XR phones. This way, the Pencil can charge without having to stick out of your iPad mini. However, the revived iPad Air is an entirely different beast, sitting halfway between the old one and the more aspirational iPad Pro models. That's why the company let the world know about its new iPads in a press release.

No luck on a USB-C port, however, as the Mini and Air are still using Apple's proprietary Lightning port.

For those with an iPad mini 4, you'll likely notice quite a big difference in performance if you upgrade to the mini 5, along with a more capable front camera, Apple Pencil support and the option of more storage.

The machine which is the closest to iPad's original form factor, essentially steps into the gap left by the deletion of the 10.5 inch iPad Pro. The new iPad Air has launched, with the tagline "Power isn't just for the pros".

Fashionistas who don't mind the non-upgradable storage can select Silver, Space Grey or Gold finishes. The Smart Keyboard for the 10.5-inch iPad Air is priced at Rs 13,900 with layouts for over 30 languages, including simplified Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. Apple is, however, a little less breathless in its declarations of performance prowess, claiming a 70 per cent boost in performance and twice the graphics capability.

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