Apple unveils thinnest and lightest full-size iPad


Apple Inc on Tuesday offered free upgrades and unveiled thinner iPads and faster Mac computers ahead of a competitive holiday shopping season.

The iPad Air is 20 percent thinner than the fourth-generation iPad, at just under 0.3 inches thick, and it has a 43 percent narrower bezel when held in portrait mode. The iPad Air is also much lighter, weighing just 1 pound, compared to 1.4 pounds for the previous 9.7-inch iPad.

The iPad Air features the 64-bit A7 processor and M7 motion coprocessor found in the iPhone 5S, which Apple says is 8 times faster and has 72 times better graphics performance than the old processor. It also has a 5-megapixel iSight camera and FaceTime HD front-facing camera and 10 hour battery life. Apple says the iPad Air has twice the data transfer rate on Wi-Fi thanks to new MIMO  802.11n support, but it doesn't support 802.11ac.

iPad Air costs $499 for the 16 GB model with Wi-Fi, and $629 with 4G LTE, and as always, 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB of storage will be available in $100 increments. The iPad Air goes on sale November 1.

Apple also announced a new iPad Mini with a Retina display.

Now sporting a resolution of 2048 x 1536—the same as the larger iOS tablet—the new iPad mini's pixel density has drastically increased to about 325ppi from its predecessor's 163ppi. Pixels are tough to find and color reproduction was great when viewing photos and the colorful iOS 7 operating system.

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