Today at its 'Time Flies' event, Apple announced its redesigned fourth-generation iPad Air and major performance updates to its entry-level 8th generation model.
The new tablet, which starts at $599, comes with several notable updates including the use of a brand new chip called the A14 Bionic which, according to Apple, "challenges the laws of physics."
The chip delivers 2x the performance of its predecessor and is the first to use a 5-nanometer chip design technology. That means the A14 Bionic is able to cram 11.8 billion transistors into one chip.
Those improvements increase performance to the tune of 11 trillion operations per second and deliver energy savings while allowing for significant improvements in machine learning — Apple says ML is 10x greater than previous iterations.
Outside of the major performance boost — the flagship feature is arguably a new Touch ID, which is now embedded in the power button — a first on any Apple devices. Does this hint at Touch ID returning on the iPhone 12? Sadly, there's no Face ID on the iPad Air 4.
Apple says that the newest sensor is the smallest Touch ID of its kind. It's integrated into the top button of the iPad Air and delivers comparable performance to previous versions.
Touch ID's inclusion also makes way for a thinner bezel and larger, 10.9-inch screen which uses a Liquid Retina display that Apple said packs 3.8 million pixels.
The screen also boasts full lamination, P3 wide color support, Apple's adaptive collor adjustment, True Tone, and an anti-reflective coating.
In the front, the iPad Air uses a 7MP FaceTime HD camera, and now has the same 12MP rear camera used in Apple's iPad Pro which allows for higher resolution photos and 4K video.
And last but not least, Apple introduced USB-C to the iPad Air (along with the latest iPad Pro) which will support 20W charging and 5Gbps data transfers.
The iPad Air 4 will be available starting next month in five color variations including silver, space gray, rose gold, green, and sky blue.
For iPad hopefuls — looking to spend a little less money, Apple also rolled out major updates to its most popular 8th generation iPad with the addition of its A12 Bionic chip which delivers significant performance enhancements.
The A12 represents a 40 percent speed improvement on the 8th generations CPU and a 2x jump in graphics performance.
Apple's 8th gen iPad also represents a pretty significant cost savings over the newest iPad Air with a fairly affordable $329 price tag. The device is set to go on sale this Friday.