Finally, after months of speculation, late last month, Apple revealed information about the fifth version of the iPad, which became available for purchase online and in stores on Nov. 1.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is its new name – iPad Air. It is thinner and lighter than previous versions, but also more powerful with a stronger processor. 

So, what does the new iPad have that the older versions don’t?

It’s Lighter 

The iPad Air gets its moniker from its weight, as it is almost lighter than air weighing at just one pound (the iPad 4 is 1.44 pounds). It’s also thinner, measuring just over a quarter of an inch (0.29) versus 0.37 of the last model. The iPad Air’s slimmer design allows users to hold the device with one hand more easily, and some tech outlets are calling it the “iPhone 5S of iPads.” 

It’s Faster 

The iPad Air features Apple’s fastest mobile processor to date, the A7. This powerful 64-bit processor makes this iPad eight times faster than the original iPad and promises to perform twice as fast as the iPad 4! It also comes with the M7 motion sensing chip from the iPhone 5.

It Has a Great Camera 

While you won’t be able to use the iPad Air as a spy camera, the photos you do take could be the best yet. This iPad has a 5-megapixel “iSight” camera that is promised to take improved low-light shots while the FaceTime HD camera offers up larger pixels for clearer-looking photos.

It Has Stellar Performance 

The iPad Air comes with a 32.4-watt-hour rechargeable lithium battery, which will offer up about 10 hours of play time before it needs to be recharged. Apple apps have been updated as well.

It’s Not Perfect

Like any new tech product, while the iPad Air boasts some shiny new bells and whistles in some areas, in others it leaves a few things to be desired. 

The popular tech website Cnet was just one of the media outlets that released a review noting some dissatisfaction with the new model. In a review released the same day as the announcement, Cnet stated, “Apple missed some opportunities to wow us with a tablet that could have perhaps had a larger screen with higher resolution, a higher-megapixel camera or laptop-like accessories. At the very least, this was Apple’s chance to recapture its spirit of innovation and give us something different, rather than what amounts to a polished iteration of what we already had.”

It’s Pricier

So, what is it this new gizmo going to cost you? The iPad Air starts at $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version and the cellular model is $629. Both come in two color combinations: Space Gray and black or silver and white.

The iPad totally replaces the iPad 4, but if it isn’t everything you hoped and dreamed it to be, you will still be able to purchase the iPad 2 for $399.

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