Apple’s new iPad Air will be available to preorder today. The new tablet, announced at last month’s Apple event, has a similar design to the iPad Pro but a lower starting price of $599. Announcing the preorder details, Apple confirmed the new tablet will be available beginning October 23rd, the same day as the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro.
In addition to its small bezels and squared-off edges, the iPad Air shares other features of the iPad Pro. It uses USB-C rather than Lightning for charging and connectivity, and it also works with iPad Pro accessories like the $299 Magic Keyboard and new $129 Apple Pencil, which attaches magnetically to the side of the device. It’s also got a more modern Apple A14 Bionic processor, compared to the A12Z Bionic chip in this year’s iPad Pro, though the iPad Air has a six-core CPU rather than eight.
There are a couple of iPad Pro features that haven’t trickled down to the more affordable tablet, however. There’s no Face ID this time around; instead you get a Touch ID sensor built into the tablet’s side-mounted power button. The Air’s 10.9-inch 2360 x 1640 display is also a little smaller than the 11-inch iPad Pro’s, and doesn’t have its high 120Hz refresh rate. There’s also no LIDAR alongside the camera, a feature which can be useful for AR applications.
Unless you need those specific features, however, than the iPad Air has the potential to be a more affordable alternative. We look forward to putting it through its paces in our full review.