New iPad Air and iPad Mini Released

Mar 18, 2019 - 10 Comments

New iPad Air and iPad mini

Apple has released two new hardware updates to the iPad lineup; a new iPad Air 10.5″ model, and an updated iPad mini 7.9″ model.

The new iPad models will be appealing to many users for differing reasons, as the iPad Air 10.5″ is a step closer to an iPad Pro in many ways, while the iPad mini 7.9″ is the smallest and most portable iPad.

Both the new iPad Air 10.5″ and iPad mini 7.9″ feature an A12 CPU, Touch ID, support for the 1st generation Apple Pencil (but not the new 2nd generation Apple Pencil), a laminated display, and start at 64GB storage capacities with a maximum of 256GB storage available for each. Each model can also be purchased with optional LTE cellular connectivity for an added cost.

The new iPad Air 10.5″ starts at $499, while the iPad mini 7.9″ starts at $399. Both models are available for order now on Apple.com and now on Amazon.com and will ship towards the end of the month.

iPad mini with Apple Pencil

The iPad 9.7″ did not get an update, nor did the iPad Pro 12.9″ or iPad Pro 11″ models.

With the addition of the new iPad Air (3rd generation) and iPad mini (5th generation), this means that Apple is now selling five different screen size iPads, including the iPad Pro 12.9″ model, iPad Pro 11″ model, the iPad Air 10.5″ model, the iPad 9.7″ model, and the iPad mini 7.9″ model, with each iPad size also coming in three different color options, possible LTE cellular connectivity, multiple storage capacity configurations, and at different price points. For consumers looking to differentiate one model from another, the official iPad comparison tool on apple.com can help.

iPad spec comparison

Regardless of what iPad you go for, if you want an Apple Pencil to go along with it then be sure you get the proper Apple Pencil for the specific iPad model. This is important, because the older 1st generation Apple Pencil works with the new iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad, and older iPad Pro, but does not work on the new iPad Pro (2018), whereas the new 2nd generation Apple Pencil does not work on the new iPad Air, iPad, iPad mini, or older iPad Pro models, while it does work on the new iPad Pro (2018). Basically you want the older Apple Pencil for the new iPad models unless the iPad is a new iPad Pro, in which case you want the new Apple Pencil for the new iPad Pro only.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in News

10 Comments

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  1. no way says:

    Thanks Apple, I literally bought a brand new iPad Mini two weeks ago, just outside the return policy of 15 days.

    • Figaro says:

      Don’t fret…I’m using an obsolete iPad as a cheese tray.
      Thanks, Apple.

    • Louie says:

      That was your mistake, not greedy Apple’s. The rumors were out there for several months that Apple was planning to update the mini. You should have waited a couple of weeks longer.

  2. Armando Sanchez says:

    I would have bought a new updated 9.7″ iPad for $250-$300 if it had Pencil 2 support but that’s about it, I hope they update that soon.

    Why they do a Pencil 1 and Pencil 2 is all confusion to me, standardize and simplify!

    • Louie says:

      Well the pencil 1 needs to be available to existing owners of the 6th gen iPad and the first iPad Pro generations. As to why they made new iPads with support for pencil 1, Apple never immediately brings the latest design to the middle or lower tier iPads. Look how long it took them to come up with a non-flagship 10.5″ iPad (roughly two years), which is still in the middle tier and not the lower tier where they still have last year’s $329 iPad-Air-1-style 6th gen iPad.

    • Di Keller says:

      Yeah, what happened to “just works “

    • Katbel says:

      I agree! I own a Pencil 1 and wouldn’t ever buy a 2 and was very surprised that mine wasn’t compatible before. They should have made all iPads compatible with both, instead they are doing this, that’s pretty insane to understand but good for older users. 🙄

      • Louie says:

        They can’t make all iPads compatible with the 2nd gen pencil because that requires significant hardware design changes, and greedy Apple never makes such changes to the middle or low tier models; hardware updates are only for the flagship models. Not to mention that existing iPad users couldn’t update their hardware be compatible with the gen 2 pencil either. Likewise, the newest models couldn’t be made compatible with the 1st gen pencil because they no longer have a lightning port, plus those users wouldn’t be interested in the 1st gen pencil. They’d likely prefer to simply buy the 2nd gen pencil.

    • Jamal Blakk says:

      I would assume it’s because those cheaper iPads don’t support the wireless charging required for the Apple Pencil 2.

  3. Paul says:

    These should be great iPads for many people.

    Now if you want my personal opinion (and I’m sure you don’t but I will share it anyway), the standard iPad remains arguably the best deal in the iPad lineup given that it’s very capable and routinely discounted on Amazon to $250 for the iPad 32GB model in any color, down from the $329 retail price.

    Amazon often discounts iPad models and other Apple hardware too, and if you’re in the market it’s certainly worth checking their prices.

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