Apple’s new thinner, lighter, faster iPad is now available for purchase. The iPad Air is on sale in the US for $499 and up, and as of November 1st it should be available in 42 countries around the globe.
Update: Make that $479 and up. That’s how much Walmart is charging.
The new tablet has a 9.7 inch, 2048 x 1536 pixel display, an Apple A7 processor, and a design that’s 20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than its predecessor. Weighing just about a pound, it’s the thinnest tablet with a large screen.
If you’re wondering how Apple slimmed down its tablets while delivering more power, the teardown professionals at iFixit have a few clues. They’ve ripped apart the tablet to see if it’s really what’s on the inside that counts.
As expected, they found Apple’s dual-core, 64-bit A7 processor, along with a few new bits such as the 32.9 Whr battery which is slimmer and less powerful than earlier iPad batteries — but still reportedly good for up to 10 hours of run time.
The 4G model of the tablet features a nano-SIM instead of a micro SIM card slot and sports 1GB of RAM, 16GB (or more) of storage, an Apple M7 motion co-processor, and the usual array of wireless, audio, and other chips.
Since iFixit is a shop that provides tools and tutorials for DIY repairs, they’re kind of obsessed with finding components that are difficult to remove or replace — and the verdict is that the iPad Air is clearly not designed to be fixed by non-professionals. Most Apple products aren’t, for that matter, but iFixit usually does a pretty good job of dissecting devices without causing damage — but they couldn’t even get the batteries out of the iPad Air without bending them.
Anyway, if you plan to use an iPad Air rather than rip it to shreds, you can now order one from the Apple Store, Walmart, or pick one in-store at Best Buy, or check out your other usual Apple suppliers.
If you’re looking for something even smaller, the new iPad mini With Retina display is expected to launch later this month for $399 and up.