Technology

Newest iPad And iPad Mini Bring More Pro Features For Same Low Cost

Read more at www.forbes.com

With the iPad Pro getting massive, game-changing upgrades this past Spring—complete with new displays and an M1 chipset—many wondered whether Apple would treat its smaller, older iPads to similar makeovers. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait too long. At long last, Apple today announced availability of two new iPad devices. We’re due upgrades for not just the base iPad model, but also for the iPad Mini.

Neither device can match wits with the iPad Pro, but Apple has narrowed the gap with a feature set that’s increasingly similar, including faster processors, beefier cameras, Apple Pencil support and more. And all of this comes in at the same approachable sticker prices these particular models have become known for.

You can read on for more about the latest iPads, but if you’re interested in all the other announcements coming out of Cupertino today, check back for the latest on iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, plus everything that’s new with the latest Apple Watch Series 7.

What’s New on the Newest iPad

Starting at $329, the standard 10.2-inch iPad continues its design traditions on the outside, making way for those upgrading within the same family to use the same accessories they’ve accumulated, known and loved over the years. Beyond that, the new support for Apple Pencil (first generation) and Smart Keyboard make it a far more flexible device for those with artistic or productivity needs.

The iPad gets a sizable under-hood upgrade with the A13 Bionic chip, which is a little dated compared to Apple’s latest silicon, but still represents a 20% improvement in speed over the last generation. It should handle almost anything the iPad experience offers, including all the advanced games and apps now available in the App Store.

You’ll also enjoy a new 12MP ultrawide front-facing camera sensor that supports Center Stage. With it, you’ll be able to record video or carry out FaceTime calls with the ability to keep yourself within the frame should you need to stretch your legs. And while the display technology doesn’t change a ton here, iPad owners will now have access to True Tone for the first time, giving you accurate colors that adjust dynamically based on ambient light conditions.

Shipping with iPad OS 15, the iPad now includes double the storage capacity at its base $329 cost, bringing your total minimum overhead to 64GB. You’ll be able to snag one in either Space Gray or Silver, with first orders being collected today, September 14. Look for yours to arrive on September 24 if you decide to order one. You can add cellular data over gigabit LTE to your configuration for $130 more.

What’s New on the Newest iPad Mini

The iPad Mini also got some major love this go around, with a complete redesign underscoring a long list of changes to look forward to. The most noticeable change will be its added screen real estate and rounded bezels ala the iPad Pro family. The result is a bigger, 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display (also now with True Tone, wide color gamut and 500-nit brightness) that doesn’t compromise Mini’s petite stature. One compromise Apple had to make, however, was removing the home button, but between iPadOS 15’s gestures and Touch ID now being built into the side-mounted power button, you won’t be missing any functionality.

The newest A15 chip inside the latest model easily trumps the A12 Bionic from the previous generation, with a 40% bump in CPU and 80% improvement in GPU performance. The chip should have enough power to handle most graphically rich games with ease, not to mention all the other powerful apps available. Beyond raw power, it also now uses that power more smartly with a new onboard neural engine, giving it on-device computational power dedicated to AI-driven applications. That means you’ll be able to use, say, a real-time translation app with no internet connection, and it should increase the overall speed of executing any machine learning tasks.

One of the most popular additions to the iPad Mini will be USB-C connectivity for data and charging, not just because it further buries proprietary practices, but also because it enables instant access to a wide world of accessories you can hook up to your tablet. Plus, data transfers will be much faster with up to 10 times more speed compared to the previous generation’s Lightning connector. And circling back to those accessories, the iPad Mini now supports the second-generation Apple Pencil, complete with a magnetic charging bay at the top of the device to keep it powered up and ready to go whenever you need.

Like the iPad, the Mini will also receive new 12MP cameras on the front and rear, the former now supporting the subject-tracking Center Stage feature, and the latter adding the A15 Bionic’s smooth image signal processing, allowing you to shoot improved photos with high dynamic range. Those cameras will record 4K video too, which is neat for those fringe scenarios where you’ll actually want to use a big slab for such a task. It also gets stereo speakers in landscape mode, making this a potential primary device for video calling your family and friends, and makes it much more appetizing as a multimedia device when headphones or external speakers are unavailable.

The iPad Mini now starts at $499, which is a fair price for something that’s looking, sounding and performing more like an iPad Air with each iteration. Available in both Wi-Fi only and Cellular with 5G varieties (that one increases your starting total to $649), you’ll be able to snap one up in four different colors—Purple, Pink, Starlight and Space Gray—and you can stake your claim immediately as pre-orders start right now.

Both the newest iPad and the iPad Mini are shipping Friday, September 24. 

Read more at www.forbes.com

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