iPad Air: Apple's full-sized tablet now infused with iPad mini's design

3 pictures

Today Apple pulled back the curtain on the iPad Air, the new full-sized (9.7-in.) entry in ...

Today Apple pulled back the curtain on the iPad Air, the new full-sized (9.7-in.) entry in Apple's tablet lineup. View gallery (3 images)

It seems like just yesterday that Steve Jobs stood on the stage and revealed the iPad to an uncertain but eager audience. More than three and a half years later, the iPad is a household name all the world over, with a popularity that rivals the iPhone. Today Apple revealed the fifth iteration of the full-sized iPad, and it's the first to carry a major physical redesign ... and a new name.

Meet the iPad Air. If its design looks familiar, that's because its casing looks like a larger version of its smaller sibling, the iPad mini. It's the mini's narrower bezels and thinner build married to the larger model's 9.7-in. Retina Display. The iPad Air measures at just 7.5 mm (0.3 in.) thick, and weighs a mere 454 g (1 lb), 30 percent lighter than the previous iPad.

On the inside, the new iPad should be much faster than last year's 4th-gen iPad (Apple advertises 2x faster processing and graphics). The new model is powered by the new A7 system-on-a-chip, found in the iPhone 5s. It also adds the iPhone 5s' M7 motion coprocessor.

Despite slimming down, Apple advertises the same ten hour battery life from the previous full-sized iPad. The tablet also adds faster Wi-Fi (with support for multiple antennas), and more LTE bands in the cellular-data enabled model. It ships in silver/white and space gray/black color options.

The iPad Air launches next Friday, November 1, for the same price points as its predecessors: starting at US$500 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi only model, and moving up from there.

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