In Depth

New Apple iPad Air and iPad Mini 2019: prices, specs, colours and release date

Tech giant’s updated mid-range tablets get much-needed speed boost

Apple has surprised fans by releasing updated versions of its iPad Mini and iPad Air ahead of next week’s product keynote. 

The tech giant’s mid-range tablets have been “brought up to parity with the iPhone XS” with a new processor that should deliver a significant power boost over previous models, The Guardian says. 

The firm had been expected to announce the new devices at the keynote at its California headquarters on Monday 26 March. But following today’s launch, the event is now expected to focus on Apple’s rumoured video streaming service, which would take on the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s new iPads:

When do they come out?

Both models are available to order now, with deliveries kicking off next week. 

How much do they cost?

The iPad Mini with 64GB of storage kicks off at £399, rising to £549 for 256GB models. That makes the new Mini £80 more expensive than the entry-level 9.7in iPad.

Prices for the new iPad Air start at £479 for 64GB models and £629 for the 256GB version. 

Cellular models, which allow users to install a Sim card so that they can connect to the internet on a mobile network, carry a £120 premium over standard Wi-Fi models. 

What are the colour options?

As with the previous generation iPads, the new models can be specced in three colours: “Space Grey”, silver and gold. 

What’s new on the iPad Air?

One of the key changes is the screen size. Apple has upped the tablet’s display from 9.7in to 10.5in, though the new model retains the thick bezels and front-mounted fingerprint reader from the old version, says TechRadar

The new screen offers a resolution of 2224x1668 pixels, which is about the same as the entry-level iPad Pro. The display also features Apple’s True Tone tech, which adjusts the colour of the screen to suit surrounding light levels. 

Along with the larger screen, the tech company has given the new iPad Air its latest A12 Bionic chipset. This is the same processor that powers the iPhone XS range and is claimed to improve performance over the old tablet by 70%, says Engadget

Apple’s first-generation Pencil stylus is also compatible with the new device. However, the second-generation Pencil, which launched last year, is only compatible with the latest iPad Pros, notes The Verge.

What about the new iPad Mini?

Like its big brother, the iPad Mini gets the company’s A12 Bionic processor and support for the first-generation Pencil, The Guardian reports. 

The smaller tablet also features the iPad Air’s eight-megapixel rear camera and seven-megapixel front-facing lens. Both modes support Apple’s augmented reality (AR) features, which layer computer graphics over real-world images. 

The new Mini’s screen remains the same size as the old model, at 7.9in, but Apple has upped the display’s brightness by 25%.

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