Shipping Day: 8 IPad Air Specs And Features

iPad Air Hits Shelves

The tablet innovator has re-invented its latest tablet again, or at least upgraded and morphed it a bit. Apple's fifth-generation iPad, unveiled at an Oct. 22 event in San Francisco, began shipping on Friday. Following are 8 key specs and features on Apple's newest edition to the iPad family, the iPad Air.


A full-sized tablet that only weighs 1 pound? That's the design feat Apple accomplished with the iPad Air. And it's thin too, measuring in at a depth of .29 inches. Apple claims its latest innovation is the lightest full-sized tablet on the market. In comparison, both Apple's iPad 2 and Lenovo's new Yoga Tablet 10 weigh in at 1.33 pounds, whereas the Samsung Galaxy note comes in at approximately 1.2 pounds.


The 9.7-inch retina display on the iPad Air is the same size as the previous iPad with retina and iPad 2 displays. However, the edges around the display shrunk, making the total width of the device 6.6 inches. Though the display remains the same size, it accounts for more surface area of the entire device than before. The retina display packs in 264 pixels per inch.


The iPad Air also sports Apple's own 64-bit, A7 chip and M7 motion coprocessor, first seen in the iPhone 5S. The A7 chip gives the Air twice the CPU and graphics performance power as was seen in the previous iPad with retina. Dividing duties between the processor and the M7 coprocessor also allows for greater battery life.


The iPad Air is loaded with a 5MP, rear-facing iSight camera as well as a front-facing, FaceTime HD camera. The FaceTime HD camera now has a backside illumination sensor to brighten up whatever appears in the frame. Since Apple is shipping all new iOS and Mavericks products with the iLife suite for free, users can amp up pictures and videos with iPhoto and iMovie at no extra cost.

Battery Life

Historically, 10 hours has been the standard battery life of an iPad, and 10 hours it has stayed. The device contains a built-in 32.4-watt-hours battery. Battery life is estimated based on mixed usage of Web browsing, listening to music and viewing video.


Wi-Fi performance also doubled in the iPad Air with two antennas and MIMO technology. In the best circumstances, the Air can achieve download speeds of 300 Mbps. The device has both Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity. Apple claims that by supporting more LTE bands, the device is "faster than broadband in some cases."


As with all of Apple's new mobile devices, the iPad Air runs on iOS 7. As of Oct. 22, all new devices shipped with iOS 7 or the Mavericks OS X operating system come loaded with the creatively-geared iLife suite as well as the productivity-geared iWork suite. Users are also able to seamlessly share projects and media from one device to another immediately through iCloud.

Price And Availability

Apple's iPad Air began shipping on Friday and is available in silver and space gray. The iPad Air with Wi-Fi-only capability comes in 16-, 32-, 64- and 128-GB options priced at $499, $599, $699 and $799 respectively. The iPad Air with Wi-Fi and cellular capability also comes in 16-, 32-, 64- and 128-GB options and is priced at $629, $729, $829 and $929 respectively.