Apple today announced a new CPU for the 8th generation iPad, the A12 Bionic. The A12 Bionic, which is included in the base iPad model, offers a 40% faster CPU and 20% faster GPU than 7th generation iPads. It's also twice as fast as the best-selling Windows notebook, three times faster than the best-selling Android tablet, and six times faster than the leading Chromebook, according to Apple.
Enlarge /. The new iPad Air starts at $ 599 and will be available in October 2020.
As many analysts and leaks have predicted, Apple presented an iPad Air today at its "Time Flies" live stream event. The new iPad Air arrives about a year and a half after the last update, but it does more than the previous update: it reworks the overall design of the device. The iPad Air will be available in October starting at $ 599.
Based on the more expensive iPad Pro, the iPad Air now has a drastically reduced frame, no home button and rounded screen edges. However, it doesn't have the front-facing TrueDepth sensor array that the iPad Pro uses for Face ID authentication. Rather, something new is being introduced to Apple devices – albeit not generally new for mobile devices. The new iPad Air features the long-rumored on-screen fingerprint reader that has been speculated for a number of years that it would find its way into lower-priced iOS and iPadOS devices like the iPhone SE.
Apple has developed a new version of touch ID that is built into the top button (which looks no different). Below the button is a laser cut sapphire lens and a custom sensor for reading users' fingerprints.
The iPad Air receives the new A14 Bionic CPU, which is based on 5 nm process technology. It is a 6-core CPU with 4 high-performance cores and two more efficient cores with lower power consumption for simpler background tasks. The A14 Bionic offers a 30% GPU performance improvement over previous generations, and according to Apple, it offers twice the graphics performance of typical laptops.
It also features a 16-core machine learning performance neural engine, which can include many features for graphic editors, voice assistants, and more, as well as a new DJ application that allows "air scratching" gestures over the iPad are.
Enlarge /. The camera of the new iPad Air is 12 MP and offers 4K video with improved stabilization.
The iPad Air will also have a USB-C port that can be used to connect to devices such as external cameras, and a 60% faster LTE modem. The camera has been updated to 12 MP with 4K video and improved video stabilization. The speaker system has also been redesigned, with stereo transmission in landscape format.
In terms of design, the iPad Air now has a port compatible with the Magic Keyboard peripheral that the company introduced for the iPad Pro a few months ago. This peripheral features a trackpad (trackpad support was added to iPadOS last year) and roughly the same type of keyboard as Apple's desktop keyboard of the same name.
This story evolves. Look back or follow our live blog for more information as soon as these are announced.