Apple launches surprise all-new iPad Air and iPad mini

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As previously rumoured, the new iPad mini also gets support for the first-generation Apple Pencil, but not Apple's Smart Keyboard.

The announcements Monday come a week before the company rolls out a media and entertainment bundle created to compete with Netflix Inc.

Today sees Apple unveil two updates to its iPad line in the form of a new 10.5-inch iPad Air, and a 7.9-inch iPad mini that comes with support for Apple Pencil.

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

Both new iPads also keep the home button with Touch ID fingerprint reader, eschewing Apple's newer Face ID face recognition system and swipe gestures, and the same basic design with large bezels at the top and bottom of the screen.

The new iPad Air has a brand new 10.5-inch Retina display with a 4:3 aspect ratio.

Staying connected is now easier and faster with iPad mini and iPad Air, featuring the same great Wi-Fi performance and Gigabit-class LTE connectivity built into the most advanced iPad Pro models. Both are available in silver, space gray, and gold starting today.

The new iPad mini still has the same 7.9-inch form factor
The new iPad mini still has the same 7.9-inch form

In a flawless world, if you answered "no" to that question and your iPad uses Touch ID rather than Face ID, then you should need the 1st gen Apple Pencil.

The launch of the new tablets comes before Apple's media event next Monday in Cupertino, California, where the company is expected to unveil a series of new subscription services including TV streaming.

Similar updates were made to produce the new 7.9-inch iPad mini.

No luck on a USB-C port, however, as the Mini and Air are still using Apple's proprietary Lightning port. While that's not quite the brand new A12X chip found in Apple's new iPad Pro models, it is a fairly new processor as its the same one being used in Apple's iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

Of course, this doesn't include the extras you'd need to make the most of your device. A report by 9to5 Mac, quoting a tweet from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, claimed that Apple would launch new iPads and iMacs. According to IDC, the iPad held a leading 27% of the market in the third quarter. But that was before the recent fade of iPhone sales, whose unit shipments are no longer disclosed in quarterly earnings reports. Apple Pencil is also included in the plan and you will have to pay a fee of $29 for each incident.

The new iPad duo is available online right now in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, UK and US.

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