Apple supersizes iPad Air with 13-inch model


The 2024 iPad Air lineup comes in two new colors, blue and purple, in addition to silver and space gray.
The 2024 iPad Air lineup comes in two new colors, blue and purple, in addition to silver and space gray.
Photo: Apple

Apple Let Loose Event: Apple gave the iPad Air a significant size increase at its “Let Loose” event Tuesday. You can get the new 2024 model with a 13-inch display in addition to the familiar smaller size, now 11 inches instead of 10.9. But no matter the size, the tablet runs an Apple M2 processor and features a front-facing Ultra Wide 12MP camera on the landscape edge and beefed-up speakers.

“Inspired by iPad Pro, where about half the users choose a larger screen, we created a 13-inch model of the new iPad Air, as well,” said Melody Kuna, Apple’s director of iPad Product Design. “[It] has 30% more screen real estate than the 11-inch Air.”

Apple adds 12.9-inch iPad Air and other upgrades

Released at Apple’s “Let Loose” event, these are the first new versions of iPad Air in two years. Version 5 was unveiled at Apple’s March 2022 event. It was the first with an M1 processor.

Despite the multi-year wait, this isn’t a tablet that needs frequent updates so it can stay at the cutting-edge of technology. The iPad Air line is made up of mid-range models, cheaper than iPad Pro but with more features than the budget iPad.

“The larger display gives users more space to express their ideas in apps like Freeform, or to see more participants in a video call on Zoom,” Kuna said. “It also provides more space to view multiple apps using Split View in iPadOS. And both displays have the same advanced features. So all your content looks absolutely gorgeous.”

11-inch and 13-inch iPad Air models become even more useful

2024 iPad Air specs sheet
The new iPad Air comes in a new 13-inch screen size and brings enhanced performance.
Image: Apple

As a mid-range model, iPad Air never offered a screen as large as the biggest iPad Pro. That changed Tuesday. The first 13-inch version joins an 11-inch one in Apple’s lineup.

At the heart of the tablet is an Apple M2 processor, which Apple said is 50% faster than the M1 chip in the 2022 iPad Air and three times faster than iPad Air with the A14 Bionic chip. The new iPad Air increases CPU and GPU speeds and boosts the Neural Engine significantly, Apple said.

Front facing Ultra Wide camera and improved speakers

Additional updates include a front-facing landscape camera with Center Stage to keep everyone in the shot.

“So it’s perfect for connecting with friends and family over FaceTime,” Kuna said. “Or joining a video conference while using a keyboard.”

iPad Air’s 12MP Wide back camera captures high-resolution photos and detailed 4K video with support for 240-fps slo-mo, Apple said.

The new Air also features “landscape stereo speakers with Spatial Audio, so it sounds great,” Kuna added.

The new Air models support Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil models, as well, including the new Apple Pencil Pro.

“Under the hood, the new Air supports Apple Pencil hover for greater precision, letting you preview your mark before you make it,” Kuna noted.

Apple also noted it sped up Wi-Fi speeds with Wi-Fi 6E in the new models. Cellular versions pack 5G networking.

What’s not changing

2024 M2 iPad Air in blue
The new iPad Air models work with the new Apple Pencil Pro (or the less expensive USB-C Apple Pencil) and Magic Keyboard.
Photo: Apple

While the 13-inch iPad Air expanded the options for consumers, it’s not accompanied by a complete redesign. The tablets look much like their predecessors with flat edges and a nearly edge-to-edge screen.

The 2024 models do not use Face ID. Instead, a Touch ID fingerprint scanner is built into the power button on the right edge.

The tablet includes a USB-C port for power and accessories, not a Lightning port. It allows it to use many peripherals designed for Mac, like external hard drives and displays.

Order 2024 iPad Air now

The new iPad Air models are available in space gray and starlight, in addition to new purple and blue finishes. You can choose storage capacities of 128GB (double the starting storage of the M1 iPad Air), 256GB, 512GB or 1TB. The tablets come with Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi and Cellular connectivity options. Each tablet comes with a USB-C charging cable and a 20-watt USB-C power adapter.

There’s no delay between today’s announcement and the 2024 iPad Air going on sale: the tablet is available for pre-order now. It will reach customers next week, Apple said.

The new 11-inch model starts at $599 and the new 13-inch base model starts at $799.

Where to buy: Apple

And don’t miss the new 2024 iPad Apple just launched. It’s the first iPadOS model with a gorgeous OLED display.

Source: Apple

Cult of Mac writer Ed Hardy contributed to this report.


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