Apple has given its iPad range a major upgrade with the unveiling of the new iPad Air that the firm said was lighter, thinner and faster than all its predecessors. The tablet was the second major upgrade to its portfolio alongside the iPad Mini 2 with Retina display.
The iPad Air features a 43 percent smaller bezel to help shrink the tablet's footprint down while keeping its 9.7in screen size. Apple claims it is 20 percent thinner than its last generation iPad 4, measuring 7.5mm thick and weighs 180g lighter than the iPad 4 at 450g.
The iPad Air's Retina display remains the same size, measuring 9.7in with a 2048x1536 pixel resolution, but the other improvements are the first major design overhaul since the iPad 2 was released in March 2011.
On the inside, the iPad Air features the 64bit A7 processor as seen in the new iPhone 5S as well as an M7 motion coprocessor, which Apple says is eight times faster and has 72 times better graphics performance than the old iPad processor.
"Professional applications that do demanding tasks will now open up to two times faster," said marketing vice president Phil Schiller during a keynote of the product unveiling.
The iPad Air alongside the iPad Mini 2 with Retina display
The iPad Air also boasts a five megapixel "iSight" camera, a 1080p HD video camera and dual mics and has twice the data transfer rate on Wi-Fi thanks to new MIMO 802.11n WiFi support.
Apple claims a 10 hour battery life for the iPad Air. It will arrive in silver, white, grey and black in the UK on 1 November, with the WiFi only version costing £399 for 16GB of storage, £479 for the 32GB model, £559 for the 64GB model and £639 for the 128GB model.
The 3G model will also be available starting 1 November for a price tag of £499 for the 16GB model, £579 for the 32GB model, £659 for the 64GB model and £739 for the 128GB model.
Apple said the iPad Air will replace all previous models of the iPad apart from the iPad 2, which will be now available at £329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and £429 for the 16GB Wi-Fi and 3G model. All of the new iPads will be shipping with iOS 7.
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