The new iPad Air goes all-screen, adds Magic Keyboard support

Enlarge (credit: Apple)

Apple announced a new CPU today for the eighth-generation iPad, the A12 Bionic. The A12 Bionic, featured in the base iPad model, offers a 40 percent faster CPU and 20 percent faster GPU than seventh-generation iPads, and Apple says that also means the A12 is twice as fast as the top-selling Windows laptop, three times faster than the top-selling Android tablet, and six times faster than the leading Chromebook.

iPad Air

Just as many analysts and leakers predicted, Apple introduced an iPad Air during its “Time Flies” livestream event today. The new iPad Air comes about a year and a half after the last refresh, but it does more than the previous update did: it overhauls the overall design of the device. The iPad Air will be available in October, starting at $599. It comes in five colors: silver, space gray, rose gold, green, and sky blue.

Taking cues from the more expensive iPad Pro, the iPad Air now has drastically reduced bezels, no home button, and rounded screen edges. It does not, however, have the front-facing TrueDepth sensor array that the iPad Pro uses for Face ID authentication. Rather, it introduces something new to Apple devices—albeit not new to consumer mobile devices in general. Apple designed a new version of touch ID, integrated into the top button (which does not appear visually different). Underneath the button is a laser-cut sapphire lens and custom sensor for reading users’ fingerprints.

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