Today at an Apple event in San Francisco the new 5th generation iPad was revealed with the iPad Air. The new tablet resembles the iPad Mini with a narrower bezel and slim form factor. It is 20% thinner and 28% lighter than the 4th generation device issued last year.
The Apple iPad Air features a 9.7 inch display with a staggering resolution of 2048×1536. It has an upgraded 64 bit A7 processor and M7 motion coprocessor, which takes advantage of the new architecture we saw on the iPhone 5S. There is also a new lighting system that has been implemented to allow you to read in darker environments without it hurting your eyes.
The iPad Air weighs 1 pound, compared with 1.4 pounds for the previous version. Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller called the tablet a “screaming fast iPad.” He said it is eight times faster than the original iPad that came out in 2010.
The iPad Air will be available in silver and white and space grey and black color options starting at $499 in dozens of countries on November 1st. An LTE version will be available starting at $629. Apple is also keeping the geriatric iPad 2 in the lineup for $399. All of the new iPads will be shipping with iOS 7.
I think as an e-Reader the new Apple iPad Air will be very solid. It weighs less, so you can hold it with one hand for longer. Better resolution will insure that companies like Comixology will be able to deliver digital comics in HD and enhanced kids eBooks will see a significant upgrade.