Today is the launch date for the iPad Air, the fifth version of Apple's full-size tablet. It can be ordered online or at a variety of retail stores.
[click to view image]Unlike all its predecessors, Apple did not take pre-orders for this model. This means that those who want this device delivered to their home or office can't get one until Monday.
However, the iPad Air is available in stores, where it can be picked up today. This includes Apple's own brick-and-mortar locations, as well as places like Best Buy and Wal-Mart. In addition, those who want the LTE-enabled version can go to a retail store operated by their carrier.
Apple iPad Air Overview
This model is a bit smaller and lighter than its predecessors, and includes a much faster processor.
Much of its size reduction comes from reducing the width of the casing on either side of the display. This won't affect the screen however: this is still 9.7-inches and 2048 x 1536 (QXGA). Given its new name, it's no surprise the thickness and weight has been trimmed too, down to 7.5 mm and 1 pound.
One of the most important changes is its 64-bit Apple A7 processor. Benchmark tests have shown that this chip has twice the CPU and graphics performance of its predecessor. The increase is even greater when compared to the chip in the iPad 3.
Those who buy this device will get free copies of the Apple iWork suite (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) as well as the company's iLife Suite (iPhoto, iMovie, and Rock Band).
Like its predecessor, a Wi-Fi-only version with 16GB of built-in storage is $500, a 32GB one is $600, a 64GB one is $700, and a 128GB is $800.
There are versions of each of these that can connect to 4G LTE networks. Adding this feature will increase the price by $130