Apple quietly refreshes iPad Air and iPad Mini with A12 Bionic processor

DPennington

TS Addict

Apple today refreshed the iPad Mini and reintroduced the iPad Air, giving both a much more powerful A12 Bionic processor. The A12 is the same chip found in the latest iPhones, and means that both tablets are significantly more powerful than their predecessors.

The Mini starts at $399 and packs a 7.9 inch, 2048 x 1536 screen, and up to 256 GB of storage. The A12 means the Mini has support for the Apple Pencil. Before this release, the last iPad Mini, the fourth-generation version, had been on shelves since 2015. The new processor is almost three times as fast in Geekbench as the A8 found in that device.

The iPad Air had been missing from Apple's lineup since 2014, when the iPad Air 2 was released. The new Air, which starts at $499, sports a 10.5 inch, 2224 x 1668 display, an 8MP camera, support for the Pencil, and up to 256 GB of storage.

Both the Air and the Mini are available with cellular and Wi-Fi, or just Wi-Fi, and come in silver, space gray, or gold.

The benefits of the A12 chip, per Apple, include better machine learning, improved support for augmented reality apps, and more realistic 3D graphics.

No luck on a USB-C port, however, as the Mini and Air are still using Apple's proprietary Lightning port.

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"No luck on a USB-C port, however, as the Mini and Air are still using Apple's proprietary Lightning port."

Apple isn't gonna give up Lightning for a long time to come. And why should they? It's extra revenue and it differentiates their product. The last thing they want is people using these cheap, $5 off the shelf USBC chargers which possibly could damage their pinouts.

The iPad continues to be the preferred tablet as more and more people have moved away from tablets in favor of large smartphones with huge battery capacities.

As most people won't be shooting 4K video with iPad, 256GB seems to be more than enough storage, but I feel that iPhones need to have 128GB as a base now with 256, 512 and 1TB optional.
 
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DPennington

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"No luck on a USB-C port, however, as the Mini and Air are still using Apple's proprietary Lightning port."

Apple isn't gonna give up Lightning for a long time to come. And why should they? It's extra revenue and it differentiates their product. The last thing they want is people using these cheap, $5 off the shelf USBC chargers which possibly could damage their pinouts.

The iPad continues to be the preferred tablet as more and more people have moved away from tablets in favor of large smartphones with huge battery capacities.

As most people won't be shooting 4K video with iPad, 256GB seems to be more than enough storage, but I feel that iPhones need to have 128GB as a base now with 256, 512 and 1TB optional.
It's no surprise that Apple would stick to a proprietary charger for the reasons you mentioned. The iPad Pro has the Type-C port, which maybe may have indicated a new trend from Apple but no such luck.
 
The USB-C port is probably only for their OS convergence devices. They clearly want the iPad Pro and the MacBook to blur the lines between tablet and laptop, iOS and macOS.

"real" Macs: Thunderbolt 3
convergence devices: USB-C
portable consumption devices: Lightning
 
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funglebuddy

TS Enthusiast
I would prefer them to release a more tablet like OSX experience with the next ipad pro generations. Not that I dont love iOS but I think its time for a change something major that can put apple back on top.
 

CrisisDog

TS Booster
I would prefer them to release a more tablet like OSX experience with the next ipad pro generations. Not that I dont love iOS but I think its time for a change something major that can put apple back on top.
Good luck with that. Apple has code in place to allow iOS apps to run on macOS, and rumour has it that an ARM iMac is in the works. More revenue for Apple as they want to dump Intel in favor of their own ARM implementation.