The wait for the iPad 5 has been quite a long one, but it’s finally here as of October 22. If you’re confused about what the new iPad 5 brings to the table, then read our article to find out.
The iPad Air will become available in stores on November 1st. Until then its advised to not buy any iPad. If you buy the old iPad 4 today, you will be surprised to discover that it will drop $100-120 within the next month as the new iPad Air becomes available.
Size and Weight
Apple’s official name for the iPad 5 is the iPad Air. This isn’t just a coincidence. The iPad 5 is supposed to be as thin as air as you can possibly get in a modern device.
Compared to the iPad 4 (iPad Retina), the iPad Air has been reduced 24% in overall volume. Apple’s diagram above illustrates where all of these volume cuts have come from.
Whereas the old iPad 4 weighed 662 grams, the new iPad Air weights only 453 grams (about .99 lbs). The iPad 4 also had a thickness of 9.4mm while the new iPad air has a thickness of 7.4mm. It’s certainly insane to think that Apple didn’t just “take out” 24%” of volume from the iPad Air, but also doubled its processing power. You would expect either size or processing power as benefits of the new iPad, but to have both is really mind blowing.
Every year a new iPad comes out we all as consumers say “It can’t be made any better or smaller,” and with products such as the iPad Air, we’re proven wrong every new release.
The iPad Air does not have an improved battery life. Both the iPad 4 and new iPad Air have the same amount of battery life, 10 hours of normal usage.
Although the battery life of the iPad air has not been improved, the CPU has. The new A7 processor that the iPad Air ses is twice as fast as the Dual-core A6X processor in the iPad 4. This A7 processor also has a 64-bit architecture, making the iPad Air as powerful as a desktop or laptop computer.
The graphics processing of the iPad Air has also been drastically improved, but not enough benchmark tests have been completed on it yet to report meaningful specs.
M7 Motion Processing
The iPhone 5S and iPad Air both have a new coprocessor called the M7 processor. This coprocessor is dedicated to sensing basic motion associated with working out or walking. The M7 is designed to be used when exact tilt and space data is required for an app. Whereas the gyroscope takes up a lot of electricity to run, the M7 does not.
While using a workout app or a smart alarm app that monitors your sleep patterns, the M7 will easily give your battery a 60-100% boost. The M7 coprocessor also offloads accelerator and compass work, so that the iPad Air as a whole can be more efficient during motion intensive apps.
It is not yet clear how much RAM the new iPad Air has. If it is 1GB, then that means nothing has changed in terms of RAM when compared to the older iPad 4. However, if the RAM is 4GB as some other reports indicate, then the iPad 5 would have a huge performance boost.
No Fingerprint Scanner
Although a fingerprint scanner was included in the iPhone 5S, it was not included in the iPad Air. This either indicates that Apple is trickling its product features out slowly to keep people coming back to them in the future, or they just couldn’t afford adding a fingerprint scanner on top of the already over-the-line iPad Air.
It’s a bit depressing to see that the screen resolution or pixels per inch has not increased in the iPad Air. The iPad Air continues to have a pixel density of 264 pixels per inch, while competitors such as the Note 10.1 2014 model have 299 pixels per inch.
The bezel size around the screen has been reduced almost a quarter compared to the old iPad 4. Indeed, the smaller bezels look great, but it’s not quite an amazing improvement.
The cameras in the iPad Air have *not* been improved in any way. The specs pad of the iPad Air on Apple’s website doesn’t even mention if the HD Video Recording of the rear camera supports slo-motion videos as the iPhone 5S does.
It’s quite a disappointment for Apple not to improve their new iPad’s cameras. No improvement in the Retina display and no improvement in battery and no improvement in the cameras? What the heck is going on here? No fingerprint scanner either? What are consumers paying for then? 24% less volume?
The iPad 5 comes in the same colors that the iPhone 5S comes in: Space Gray and Silver.
The iPad Air 16GB model costs $499, the 32GB model costs $599, the 64GB model costs $699 and the 128 GB model costs $799. If you buy the old iPad 4 on Amazon or Ebay after November 1st (when the iPad Air will become available for purchase), you will get the iPad 4 16GB model for around $380-400, the 32GB model for $480-500, and so forth.
Depending on your preference, the extra
Apple claims they “thought” about what went into their iPad Air. I believe this claim, but I also believe that’s where putting things into the new iPad stopped at: mere thoughts. The Apple team may have thought up anything they wanted, but in the end they delivered a product that is thinner but not really any better.
The processing speed is twice as good as the iPad 4, yes, but that doesn’t mean much for the average angry bird player and YouTube surfer. Twice as fast of a processor doesn’t even mean much for a Real Racing or Asphalt 8 gamer. Even the most graphic intensive games today are easily handled by the iPad Retina and will be continued to be handled for the next couple of years.
You would expect a better camera, a fingerprint scanner, and many other improvements from the iPad Air. However, none of these things have been added to the new iPad. It might be a good idea because of this to wait for the next iPad to come out.
What You Should Do
The next iPad (coming out next year) will likely improve on everything the iPad Air didn’t improve on. It will also cost $500 for the 16GB model. Considering that it’s going to be twice as powerful and way better than the iPad Air, the wait is worth it.
If you already have an iPad 3 or 4 (or some other modern tablet) then it will be a good idea to wait for next year’s iPad. If you need a tablet for school or work right away and cannot wait, then the iPad 5 is probably worth getting. Even though it’s $100 more than the iPad 4, it’s worth getting. Considering that once you buy a tablet you’re not buying one for another 2-5 years, so you might as well spend $100 to get an iPad that is as updated as possible.
Image credit: All images from Apple’s website.