In lieu of any iPhone news, we got a whole lot of detail about Apple’s new Watch Series 6 and then these: a couple of updated iPads from Cupertino. There’s nothing especially groundbreaking, if you want to get technical… and, then again, Apple’s also got some genuinely interesting tech news. But it boils down to “iPad go faster now” if you like to keep things simple.
I’ll take an 8th, please
Apple’s most basic iPad just got a little more complicated. The 8th-generation iPad will land with a new A12 Bionic processor, bringing its Neural Engine to the range for the first time. Which, honestly, is the biggest update about the slate. The processor is 40% faster than the 7th-gen tablet and doubles up on its graphics processing power compared to last year.
It’ll support the Apple Pencil (first-gen), the Smart Keyboard and other third-party keyboards. It remains Apple’s most affordable tablet, launching in the States from 18 September. International pre-orders are immediate, and we’ll let you as soon as local info is available.
Getting some Air
But the headliner for Apple’s iPad er… slate is the iPad Air, which are now certainly a colourful lot. There are three new shades to choose from — a Rose Gold, a Green and then Sky Blue. Which should go well with the new Apple Watch Series 6 colours.
Looks like they’ve taken a few curves off, enlarged the edges a little, and generally made the Air look a lot more like the iPad Pro lineup. Apple’s promising to live up to the Air name, however. Bezels have been narrowed, there’s a 10.9in Liquid Retina (2,360 x 1,640) display and TouchID has been included. On the top of the frame, though, rather than below the screen.
There’s a new chip at the heart of this iPad Air, Apple’s A14 Bionic. This one’s being made using a 5nm process, which means 11.8 billion transistors in a six-core processor. Apple’s enabling machine-learning and Neural Engine functions here, which should make the Air smarter and more powerful than ever. But there are also more mundane (but still welcome) considerations.
Like the inclusion of USB-C charging, at bloody last. Also stereo audio, support for the Apple Pencil and Magic keyboard and the new iOS 14 (which launches tomorrow)m preinstalled. It’ll drop in the States at the beginning of October, starting at $600 (R9,900) — as ever, don’t expect it to cost that when it launches here at home.