iPad Air release date, price and specs

Apple today confirmed the release of the new iPad Air and iPad mini at a launch event held in San Francisco's Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts.

The new iPad, dubbed the iPad Air, it is just under 2mm (20 per cent) thinner than the previous iPad, features a 9.7in Retina display and weighs 1lb (453g).

"That makes it the lightest full size tablet in the world," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, during a lively keynote.

The tablet also features a 64-bit architecture with 1 billion transistors, and the same A7 chip featured in the flagship iPhone 5s.

Schiller claimed the device is eight times faster than the original iPad with 72 times faster graphics, and there is a two-fold increase in rendering and App loading time from the iPad 4. The iPad Air also sports MIMO technology, which provides faster WiFi, and expanded LTE (4G) support.

Furthermore the iPad Air also features up to 10 hours of battery life.

The device will be shipping 1 November around the world with a starting price of $499 for the 16GB version.

The new iPad mini, named simply iPad mini with Retina Display, features Retina display technology, an A7 chip, which increases the CPU speed 400 per cent and makes graphics 8 times faster. It also features a 5MP camera, comes in silver, white, space grey and black and will be available later in November, priced at $399.

Schiller also unveiled a new range of MacBook Pros, which at 1.52kg for the 13in version are lighter and thinner (1.8cm) than their predecessors.

They both feature up to eight hours of battery life, the Intel Haswell chip and Intel Iris Pro graphics, as well as flash storage, 802.11ac WiFi and six Thunderbolt 2 port.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro will cost from $1,299 - $200 less than its predecessor. The 15-inch version starts from $1,999, down from $2,199.

Craig Federighi, senior vice President of software engineering at Apple, demoed the company's latest operating system, Mac OS X Mavericks during the keynote. He claimed Apple's 13-inch MacBook Air gets up to an hour longer battery life for web browsing if Mavericks is installed.

The new OS also features better graphics performance, according to Federighi, and notifications and shared links have also been enhanced. There is also greater interoperability between apps such as maps and calendar.

Furthermore Mavericks will be the lowest price OS yet from Apple the company is giving it away free.

Turn to the next page to find out what our predictions for the announcements were and be sure to let us know what you think of the announcements in the comments box below.

Jane McCallion
Deputy Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.