Apple unveils the thinnest, lightest and most powerful iPad ever

Yesterday, the tech powerhouse unveiled iPad Air, the 5th version of its flagship tablet device since it’s debut in April 2010. The updated product is 28 percent lighter and 20 percent thinner than the previous iPad with the same 9.7-inch Retina display. Along with the full-sized version of the tablet, Apple updated the iPad mini.

The new iPad Air is a more powerful, yet much lighter device than its predecessor, iPad4, launched a year ago—it weights just one pound. iPad Air and iPad mini with the Retina display feature the Apple-designed A7 chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture, the recently launched iOS 7, ultrafast wireless with faster built-in Wi-Fi as well as expanded LTE cellular connectivity. The iPad Air also got a narrower borders, so now the screen takes the most of the front surface.

The latest versions are also equipped with a next generation FaceTime HD camera that features improved backside illumination sensors, allowing users to make better photos and videos in low-light settings. The iSight camera with 5MP sensor and advanced optics enables users to take perfect photos and footage with the faster auto-focus, up to three times video zoom, five times still zoom, better dynamic range and automatic image and video stabilization.

Although this launch follows the September release of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C in colourful bodies, the manufacturer hasn’t introduced any revolutionary changes in terms of colour to the new iPads— they will be available in modest silver or space gray. Apple is also releasing new custom-made Smart Covers for the tablets— polyurethane pieces for iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display will be available for $39 (US) in blue, green, pink, yellow, black and red.

Photo: iPad Air and iPad mini 2 (click to enlarge)

The iPad Air will go on sale starting November 1 at a suggested retail price of $499 USD for the 16GB model, $599 USD for the 32GB model, $699 USD for the 64GB model and $799 USD for the 128GB model, while the Wi-Fi + Cellular will cost $130 more for each of the models. iPad mini with Retina display will arrive in the market later in November at $399 for the 16GB model, $499 for the 32GB model, $599 for the 64GB model and $699 for the 128GB model, while the Wi-Fi + Cellular models will be sold at the Wi-Fi version price + $130. The prices are true for the US market only and will vary in other markets.

Apple also rolled out some updates across the other ranges. It has refreshed its MacBook Prowith Retina display by equipping it with latest processors, faster graphics and giving it a longer battery life of up to eight hours. Plus, the company made its OS X Mavericks available for free from the Mac App Store and unveiled the all new Mac Pro.

On the same day, October 22, Nokia also released a set of totally new and updated products that included the brand’s first-ever Windows tablet, the Lumia 2520.