Wednesday, March 20, 2019

iPad Air and iPad mini 2019


Apple today introduced the all-new iPad Air in an ultra-thin 10.5-inch design, offering the latest innovations including Apple Pencil support and high-end performance at a breakthrough price. With the A12 Bionic chip with Apple’s Neural Engine, the new iPad Air delivers a 70 percent boost in performance and twice the graphics capability, and the advanced Retina display with True Tone technology is nearly 20 percent larger with over half a million more pixels.

Apple today also introduced the new 7.9-inch iPad mini, a major upgrade for iPad mini fans who love a compact, ultra-portable design packed with the latest technology.

It’s good to see the iPad mini updated after all these years. The new models look good, although I was hoping to see a lower end model with a reduced price. The $310 A10-based iPad, though a better tablet, is still more than double the price of comparably sized Android tablets. And, I’m sure it would confuse things, but I personally would want one without pencil support because I know I won’t use it, and so I would prefer the more oleophobic screen.

Joe Rossignol:

The new iPad Air is a lower-cost replacement for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which was priced from $649 prior to being discontinued today.

Tim Hardwick:

Apple says that with the new A12 Bionic chip, the iPad mini now delivers three times the performance and nine times faster graphics. Meanwhile the advanced Retina display with True Tone technology and wide color support is 25 percent brighter and has the highest pixel density (3 million) of any iPad.

Elsewhere, an 8-megapixel rear camera brings improved low-light performance and HD video recording, while the front facing camera has been bumped up to 7 megapixels for better-quality selfies and FaceTime HD.

The new iPad also benefits from the same Wi-Fi performance and Gigabit‑class LTE that’s built into the latest iPad Pro models, and retains the headphone jack found in previous iPad mini models.

Marco Arment:

The iPad lineup makes far more sense now than when there was a $500 price gap in the middle of it, most but not all could use Pencils, the Mini was ancient, etc.

Now, they’re all Pencil-able, they’re all A12 except the cheapest model, and all prices and sizes are well-covered.

Michael Love:

Interesting strategy here - I think many/most of us were assuming they’d try to reach out to the low end, but instead they’re basically putting a 2018 CPU in a 2017 Pro, taking away 120 Hz, and charging the standard-for-many-years $499 for it.

Francisco Tolmasky:

It is so weird that the iPad Air and iPad mini only support the old Apple Pencil. The iPad mini was my favorite incarnation of the iPad line when it came out, and I was considering getting one again, but I have no interest in needing two different kinds of iPad pencil.

Apple keeps creating and extending these arbitrary transition periods. The old Apple Pencil should be in the past. Instead we have an entire other generation with it now. This sucks for developers too who have to continue designing for old technology. Same with lightning ports.

John Gruber:

The new iPad Air isn’t based on the old iPad Air — it’s an update to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. (It even works with the same cover and keyboard peripherals.) And the new Mini is really just a smaller version of the new iPad Air — they could have just called them both “iPad Air” and had one be mini-sized and one regular-sized, similar to how the two sizes of iPad Pro have the same product name. As far as I can see, there is no difference between the new iPad Air and iPad Mini other than size.


I am reliably informed, the inductive charging data port for connecting Pencil 2 on the latest iPad Pros is expensive enough to be prohibitive for the new Air and Mini.

Update (2019-03-21): Uluroo:

The five available iPads might seem confusing at first glance. The naming scheme doesn’t help keep things simple. Here’s how you should view iPad:

• iPad Pro, one product in two sizes
• iPad Air/mini, one product in two sizes
• iPad, there solely for its low price tag

John Gruber (Hacker News):

But it costs so much less than an iPad Pro. I think of the iPad Pros as the iPad Nexts, and these new iPad Air and iPad Mini models as the iPad Nows. A 64 GB 11-inch iPad Pro costs $800, the 64 GB new 10.5-inch Air costs $500, and the Mini is just $400. You even save on cellular models compared to the Pro — it costs $150 to add cellular to an iPad Pro, but only $130 to an iPad Air or Mini.


Really, in a lot of ways, the iPad Mini feels like the one true iPad, and the others are all just blown-up siblings that don’t quite know how to take advantage of their larger displays.


But here’s a really big pro in the iPad Mini’s column that I didn’t fully anticipate until diving in with it this week: it’s so much better for thumb-typing.

Colin Cornaby:

Has anyone commented yet on the lack of USB-C on the new iPads? Certainly is a bummer for those of us that like the idea of USB-C as a single connector, and it also blows a hole in the idea of a strong USB-C ecosystem for iPad.

Update (2019-03-26): Horace Dediu:

And now we see the iPad mini being re-launched with a huge spec bump. We should take the hint. The iPad mini is just charming. I have been trying it out for a few days and it has worked its way into my routine. I have an iPad Pro that I use on a desk to design presentations (and to deliver them). I use it with a keyboard for dealing with email on my lap or on a plane and take it instead of a laptop when going to meetings.

But the iPad mini worked its way to my nightstand. It the one I reach for when on a couch. It is like an iPhone but when you’re at home it’s better than the iPhone because you can linger on that new true tone screen. It works well one handed.


Fundamentally explaining mini is pointless. mini is something that is felt more than it is perceived.

Jason Snell:

The new iPad mini doesn’t need to be all things to all people. It doesn’t even need to be the cheapest iPad in the product line. It just needs to be small and light while still providing the power of a modern iPad, and it does that quite well.

Benjamin Mayo:

So the universal iPad stylus, the one that works across all iPad models, is the one not made by Apple

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

The iPad mini is an iPhone XR without Head Speaker and Larger Display. Touch ID instead of FaceID, and 4x4 Antenna with Gigabit LTE support instead of 2x2 with XR and maximum 600 Mbps.
And yet the iPad Mini Cellular model starts at $529.

That is a $220 difference to XR. They could have made a Smaller iPad Mini with head speaker, and I would still buy it at $529.

Something is wrong with the pricing model of this iPad.

Wait, so some iPads will be Lightning and some USB C? Really? If I could run my emulators on the iPad, I'd probably still buy one, iOS app store warts and all, but this is strange to me. Just make them all USB C already.

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