The fifth-generation iPad daddy has been updated, as expected, but what was not expected was a name change -- to iPad Air. Sticking to its 9.7-inch size, it's thinner -- 20 per cent thinner, with a 43 per cent thinner bezel. Lighter too, at 453 grams. Most importantly, it's running on the 64-bit A7 chip that we saw in the iPhone 5S.
It's the biggest update to the iPad's hardware we've seen so far, with that svelte new body bringing a flat-backed design similar to what we saw in the iPad Mini. Apple's calling it the lightest full-size tablet in the world, but really, who gets to define what a full-size is, huh?
Nonetheless, weighing just one pound (453 grams), that's a remarkable difference over the previous generation of the iPad, which weighed in at 652grams. That very same iPad had a 9.4mm waist, so shrinking it down to 7.5mm will be hugely noticeable.
Meanwhile, the 9.7-inch screen hasn't been updated at all, so expect the same 2,048 x 1,536 resolution to be eyed up when it goes on sale next month.
Apple is promising that A7 chip will bring 7x the speed in regards to performance, and 72x faster graphics performance (hello, iPad gamers -- this is your lucky day). As we reported when Apple announced the iPhone 5S, the A7 chip introduces support for 64-bit architecture -- which, even if Qualcomm calls a "gimmick", still future-proofs the chip for higher RAM devices, and will see improved battery life. You'll also get the iPhone 5S's M7 "motion coprocessor" chip, which eases accelerometer, gyroscope and compass data loads off the main A7 chip for improved efficiency.
Battery life is listed at 10 hours -- just shy of today's Nokia Lumia 2520, if their claims of 11 hours are to be believed.
The iPad iSight camera remains the same 5MP component capable of shooting 1080p video, with the same forward-facing camera as before at 720p resolution. There are also dual microphones added, which should be noticeable when making video calls.
Available in black, space grey, silver and white, from November the 1st. UK pricing, for Wi-Fi only models, starts at £399 for 16GB, rising to £479 for 32GB, £559 for 64GB and £639 for the 128GB version. For the cellular models, those prices jump up to £499, £579, £659 and £739 respectively.