Apple announces new iPad Air and iPad mini with Apple Pencil support

Apple's updated iPad Air

Save Save Apple's updated iPad Air Credit Apple

The new iPad mini is heavier by a gram - 300.5gms vs 299gms - but that's a difference most people are likely never going to notice.

It may be a good time to start looking for bargains on the 2017 Pro.

Apple Pencil opens up new creativity and productivity possibilities for iPad mini and iPad Air users, from drawing and writing down thoughts to marking up documents and retouching photos.

The iPad Mini starts at £399/$399 for the wi-fi only model and £519/$529 for cellular, and upgrading from the default 64GB to 256GB will again set you back £150/$150. In just using the same manufacturing techniques it's developed already, the cost of production is reduced and means less wastage too, as it can maintain numerous same parts.

The new iPad Air will cost $499 and sport a screen that measures 10.5 inches diagonally.

The Smart Keyboard is an extra $159 / £159 / AU$235, and the Pencil an extra $99 / £89 / AU$145.

Apple announces new iPad Air and iPad mini with Apple Pencil support

At times, it felt like Apple had given up completely on the iPad mini. Those are the same 7-nanometer processors in the company's iPhone XR, XS and XS Max, making both of the new tablets significantly more powerful than their predecessors. There's a premium over, say, a Kindle Oasis, yes, but the functionality is far greater too. If you choose to have your iPad mini order mailed to you, you're at the whim of your local UPS or FedEx drivers. The latest generation model now comes with the A12 Bionic chip. Both the tablets support Apple pencil. Before now the iPad mini hadn't been updated since 2015, and with the increasing popularity of larger iPhones, many suspected the device simply didn't have a big enough market to merit future updates.

Previously, if you needed more than what the entry-level iPad offered, but not quite so much as the iPad Pro delivers, you were left in a quandary. Some reports also suggest that Apple may introduce new updates to its iPad and iMac line-up. Now, though, Apple has filled that middle zone with two strong options. The new iPad mini, meanwhile, keeps the smaller footprint that makes it so popular in certain quarters, but brings the specifications up to date. Chief culprit there is the Apple Pencil.

Along with the all-new iPad Air, Apple finally announced the updated iPad Mini.

Crucially, it's been given a huge price drop as well - meaning Apple has essentially just slashed the price of one of its Pro models and found a way to make it a "headline" iPad sale for the next couple of years at least.

Instead, the 2nd gen model still only works with the iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation) and the iPad Pro 11-inch.

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