Apple Launches Refreshed iPad Mini And 10.5-inch iPad Air With Apple Pencil Support

We’ve been hearing rumors of new iPad models incoming from Apple, and today with little fanfare the company has unveiled two new product updates. The first is a [internal] hardware refresh of the long-in-the-tooth iPad mini, while the second is an all-new 10.5-inch iPad Air.

ipad mini

The iPad mini is getting a significant processor upgrade, going from the A8 in the previous-generation model to the latest A12 Bionic (used in the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR). Standard storage comes in at 64GB, and the out-the-door price for a base system is $399. If you want to double your storage to 128GB, you’ll have to fork over an additional $150. As before, you have the option to add 4G LTE cellular connectivity, which will tack on another $130 to your costs.

In addition to the processor upgrade and storage shuffling, the display on the iPad mini remains at 7.9-inches and you’ll still finder rather thick bezels at the top and bottom. Apple is also still using the Touch ID fingerprint sensor rather than adopting Face ID as seen on the latest iPhones and iPad Pro models. And given that Apple has not opted for a design refresh this time around, there’s a Lightning port at the bottom of the device instead of USB-C (like the iPad Pro). However, the new iPad mini has been given support for the Apple Pencil, albeit the first-generation device.

ipad air
Apple's 10.5-inch iPad Air

A refresh iPad mini isn’t the only new tablet from Apple, however. The company has also brought back the iPad Air, which now has a larger 10.5-inch display (up from 9.7-inches on the old iPad Air 2). The iPad Air is powered by the A12 Bionic processor and supports the first-generation Apple Pencil. It starts at $499 for the Wi-Fi model (64GB), or $629 for the LTE variant. One added perk is that the enlarged iPad Air now supports the Smart Keyboard, which is available for an additional $159.

Both the new iPad mini and 10.5-inch iPad Air will be available starting later this month.