Over recent days I’ve started seeing early talk of new iPads expected this late this year and in early 2015. Apple Insider has a report up, citing an analyst (Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI) with a respectable track record on these sort of subjects, that talks about some expected features for new iPads that are now on the horizon.
The highlights so far, at least for the next-gen iPad Air, seem to be:
— A new A8 mobile processor
— A Touch ID sensor as the new iPhone 5s has
— An 8 megapixel rear-facing camera
The Apple online store currently has iPad Air refurbished models available at nearly $100 off. Here’s the details:
— The iPad Air 16GB WiFi refurbished model is available at $419 – $80 less than the new price.
— The iPad Air 32GB WiFi refurb model is an even better deal. It’s priced at $509, which is $90 less than the new price.
— There are also 64GB and 128GB iPad Air models shown on the refurbished page – at over $100 off their new prices – but those are both listed as out of stock right now.
Apple’s refurbished iPads come with the same 1 year warranty as a new iPad, and with a new battery and outer shell and all the same accessories as new models. I’ve bought refurbished mobile devices from Apple in the past and had just as good an experience as with brand new products.
If you’re after a good price on a very nearly new iPad Air, it’s well worth taking a look at the Apple refurbished pages for them.
I’m not that frequent a user of iPad keyboard cases, but I have to say this one looks great. It’s called the VersaKeyboard and it’s touted as ‘the first disappearing iPad keyboard’.
If it’s even near as good as the promo video then it’s going to be a heck of a good iPad keyboard case. I’m also optimistic about it because it’s from Moshi, makers of one of my all-time favorite and most heavily used iPad cases – the VersaCover.
Here’s a few of the key features of the VersaKeyboard:
- Detachable Bluetooth keyboard with 130 hours of battery life and LED power indicator.
- Folding VersaCover doubles as a stand in portrait and landscape modes.
- Ultra-thin and lightweight design at 13.4 ounces (380 grams).
- Durable polycarbonate shell includes convenient keyboard slot.
- Support for iPad auto-wake and sleep functionality.
It’s compatible with the iPad Air (I hope we’ll see one for the Retina iPad mini soon) and priced at $100.
You can see more detail and place an order at the VersaKeyboard product page at Moshi.
I’ve spent 6 days with the iPad Air now, after braving the non-line and getting home with one by around 8:30 AM on launch day. I already have some strong feelings about the iPad Air and some quick first impressions to share.
And here they are, in no particular order:
Living Up to the New Name
The iPad Air does a great job of living up to the ‘Air’ portion of its name. Just as advertised, it’s far lighter and slimmer than the previous iPads. Even knowing how much lighter and slimmer it was going to be following Apple’s unveiling event, it’s still surprising how well they managed this transformation. It really feels like a whole different class of iPad, and I love the slimmer bezels.
I like the Space Gray back of the iPad Air – I think it’s as handsome as the Slate back on the iPad mini.
Target is offering a trade-in program that will give you at least $200 for any iPad – including the original iPad.
The Target trade-in deal started on November 3 and will run until November 9. It’s simple to do as well, as MacRumors outlines:
Step 1: Find your local Target mobility store by clicking here and selecting “Target Mobility.”
Step 2: Bring your iPad to your local mobility store and visit the mobility kiosk in the electronics department to complete the trade.
Step 3: Payment will be issued in the form of a Target Trade-In Gift Card and is redeemable in any Target store.
The offer is good for any iPad that meets two main conditions: It must be a ‘working’ iPad (able to power on) and have no scratches on the display screen.
With the iPad Air ‘entry-level’ 16GB WiFi only model priced at $479 at Target, if you do the trade-in you could grab one for as little as $279.
You can check out all the details at the Target trade-in program page. If you’re looking for a great deal on the new iPad Air, this may be one of the best options out there.
I posted about the highlights of the full tech specs for the iPad Air a couple of days back. There are some very impressive specs – none more so than the powerful new 64-bit A7 chip. I also mentioned at that time that the one important spec detail we didn’t yet know, and that Apple is never very forthcoming on, was RAM.
Now thanks to the lovely and talented folks at iFixit, we have a complete teardown – or thorough dissection – of the iPad air. And it reveals the, very disappointing, amount of RAM for the iPad Air: just 1GB.
– 1GB of Elpida DDR3 SDRAM is found within the device but is now housed on one chip, compared to the two Elpida chips that housed the RAM on the fourth-generation iPad.
I just don’t see how 1GB of RAM for the iPad Air can be viewed as anything other than very unimpressive – especially now with iOS 7 offering real multitasking and a 64-bit chip which should bring more and more powerful apps to the iPad.
This could be the one spec that drags down performance on the iPad Air, and presumably on the Retina iPad mini too – since it’s just about a certainty that the smaller iPad won’t have more RAM than its bigger sibling.
Heck, there are numerous smartphones these days that have 2GB of RAM, and phablet devices that have 3GB. I’ve always been one to say that it is never all about specs when it comes to iDevices, but this is one occasion where a spec seems like it may leave the new generation of iPads noticeably underpowered.
What do you all think? Will other specs make up for the low amount of RAM on the new iPads?
I picked up a new iPad Air this morning, after a surprising non-line sort of affair at my local Apple store.
I’ve only just got home with it a couple hours ago and I always like to setup as a new iPad, rather than restoring from a backup, with a brand new iPad – so I’ve got a lot of setup and apps installing to do.
I’m also quite sleep deprived at this stage, so I won’t share any impressions on the iPad Air just yet – other than to say it certainly lives up to the lighter and slimmer billing.
Looks like I didn’t get the memo in time. The one informing me that nobody lines up for the iPad anymore.
Well, to be fair, some folks still do – but judging by my friendly local Apple Store at a mall near my house the numbers are much, much lower than for any other iPad launch. How much lower? Well, on every previous launch day I’ve got out to the parking lot of this same mall at somewhere around 3:30 to 4:00 in the morning – and have been at least among the first 25 in line (sometimes within the first 10). But by store opening time at 8AM the line easily stretched into the hundreds for the first few launches.
Today at 8AM there were 16 of us in line for the iPad Air. You can see this poor excuse for a line in my photo above.
In less than 24 hours sales of the new iPad Air will kick off. It’s a significantly lighter and slimmer version of the iPad – nearly 1/3 lighter than the previous generation with reduced bezels and a distinct ‘minified’ feel to it.
Here are some of the highlights of the iPad Air’s technical specs:
Finish: As you can see above you can choose from Space Gray or Silver.
Connectivity: There are WiFi only and WiFi + Cellular models. The +Cellular models are $130 more than the WiFi only models. With the cellular models there is support for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile.
Storage Capacity: There are 16, 32, 64, and 128GB models – starting at $499 for the WiFi only 16GB and going up to $929 for the 128GB WiFi + Cellular model.
Chip: The iPad Air has Apple’s impressive new A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and a dedicated M7 motion co-processor
Display: a 9.7 inch Retina display with resolution of 2048X1536
OK, apologies for probably my cheesiest post title ever here, but this is the $64,000 question this month for a lot of iPad users and soon-to-be iPad users – which one to get. It’s a lot tougher choice this year with the new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display both due out this month.
Last year, when the original iPad mini was released, there were much more clear differences between the standard (big) iPad and the iPad mini. The iPad offered its stunning retina display that you couldn’t help but fall in love at first sight with – the iPad mini didn’t. The iPad had the bigger screen and was a more powerful device – a more viable laptop replacement for at least some users.
The iPad mini stood out for its wonderful lightness and smaller form factor. It was the smaller tablet that made me realize I love smaller tablets. The lightness and form factor and ease of holding the iPad mini for long stretches more than made up for its lack of Retina display for me – though like so many others I couldn’t wait to see the retina display in a future generation of the mini.
It looks like personal pickup for the iPad Air may be an option when sales of the new iPad go live on November 1 – at least according to reports MacRumors and others are hearing.
Personal pickup means you can place an order for the iPad Air and then pick it up at a local Apple store, even on the same day if you get you order in on time.
The iPad Air will be available to buy at 12:01 AM Pacific time this Friday, November 1 at Apple’s online store. If I lived in the Pacific time zone I would probably be banging the heck out of the F5 key on my keyboard late Thursday night trying to get an early order in with personal pickup. Since I’m in the Central time zone that strategy doesn’t work well for me. It would mean being up at 2:00AM trying to be fast enough to get an order in – and, given the troubles many people had in past years with Apple’s servers being overwhelmed at times like this, there would still be a good chance that I wouldn’t get an order placed.
So I’d rather just go with my standard iPad Acquisition Process – aka go stand in line in the wee hours of Friday morning at my friendly local Apple Store.
That’s my plan – what’s yours for iPad Air launch day?