Its M1 chip is identical to that found in Apple’s iPad Pro and MacBook models

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Photo: Apple – It’s been two years, and the new iPad Air is even more of a threat to the long-running iPad Pro. Again, Apple has offered a number of compelling reasons to buy the iPad Air over the company’s more expensive iPad Pro models. If your parents can’t live without a home button, Apple’s cheapest iPad is still your best bet. However, the 5th-generation iPad Air, which was unveiled Tuesday, will have the powerful M1 CPU, which is also featured in the company’s laptops.

It will still cost $600 when pre-orders begin on Friday and delivery is planned on March 18, even with the M1 boost. While it’s now more simpler to choose between the iPad Pro and the less expensive iPad Air, it’s also more difficult to decide which color to choose since the new iPad Air comes in a variety of colors.

A complete redesign of the iPad Air made the tablet resemble the iPad Pro, with a flat-edged design that allowed for accessory support like Apple’s second-generation Apple Pencil, but the $600 price tag still made the iPad Air feel like you were paying for a tablet rather than an all-in-one laptop replacement. A14 bionic processor, which has since been superseded by the A15 in Apple’s latest iPhones, powered the iPad that was released in 2013. Rather than reusing the A15 processor seen in earlier iPad generations, Apple is now putting it in the smaller iPad Air and other laptops and desktops, including Apple’s 24-inch iMac, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and other 13-inch MacBook Air models. Apple promises a 60% boost in performance over the previous iPad Air generation, as well as double the graphics capability.

The front-facing camera on the new iPad Air has been upgraded with a new 12MP sensor (up from 7MP) and an ultra-wide lens that brings the iPad OS Center Stage function to the tablet. When a video chat is taking place, FaceTime uses Center Stage to guarantee that the topic is always appropriately framed.

Photo: Apple

Additionally, the new iPad Air has a faster USB-C connector for copying data from an external drive or card reader, making it even more of a mobile workhorse than the previous iPad Air. iPad Air 2 is still compatible with Apple Pencil 2 and the company’s keyboard accessories, including a newer version.