Leather Smart Cover makes a comeback with new iPads

All-new iPad Air and iPad mini deliver dramatic power and capability

Apple finally releases updated iPad Mini, but comes with the same-old boring design

The new iPad mini retains the same form factor as the previous generation but features a number of improvements under the hood.

The release of new hardware this week further suggests that the March 25 event will focus on the launch of Apple's Netflix-like streaming service.

Apple today rolled out new iPad models, including a refresh for the iPad mini which was last updated three and a half years ago.

Apple has updated its long-in-the-tooth but popular smallest tablet, the iPad Mini, and the larger iPad Air.

The new iPads were announced this morning via a press release, following the usual early morning Apple Store downtime that often precedes a new product unveiling.

Surprise! Apple just revealed that the beloved iPad Mini got a major upgrade, and it's a total game changer for users eager for faster performance, clearer cameras, and the chance to use Apple pencils.

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The iPad Air has a Lightning connector rather than the iPad Pro's USB-C, and - cue trumpets - there's a headphone jack. Its Apple Pencil support is also limited to the first-generation Pencil; you can not use the improved second-generation Pencil with the iPad Air. The new iPad mini starts at $399 (£399 in the UK) for the WiFi model while adding cellular will cost $529 (£519). However, the iPad Air doesn't have the Pro's ProMotion technology that reduces the frame rate when the full 120Hz isn't necessary, extending the battery life. Note that both the tablets support only the old Apple Pencil and not the new one.

Apple's update to the iPad Mini is similar, packing that same A12 Bionic chip and Pencil support in the 7.9-inch design that has been dying for an update.

The new iPad Air starts at $779 for the 64GB Wi-Fi option and $979 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular. This way, the Pencil can charge without having to stick out of your iPad mini.

Apple used to demand that an Apple Pencil be purchased at the same time as an iPad in order to allow the accessory to qualify for AppleCare+ protection. That screen size is larger than the 9.7-inch, $329 (10,400 baht) model designed for education that Apple launched a year ago.

Both the devices feature the same Wi-Fi and Gigabit-class LTE connectivity specifications that is seen on the iPad Pro models. However, the other two 2018 iPhone models - iPhone XS and XS Max - come in Gold, Space Grey and Silver options only.

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