Faster, Lighter and Thinner iPad Air Hits the Market

Apple announced the newest iPad model, dubbed the iPad Air, last week at a conference in San Francisco. The product promises to deliver the same content from previous hardware, but will now be thinner, faster and lighter.

Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, talked about iPad Air at the conference last week and how it will revolutionize iPads as we know them.

"iPad created an entirely new mobile computing experience, and the new iPad Air is another big leap ahead," he said. "It is so thin, light and powerful, once you hold one in your hand you will understand what a tremendous advancement this is."

While the size of the screen itself remains the same at 9.7 inches, the design of the hardware is significantly different. The model is reportedly 7.5 mm thin, which is 20 percent thinner than the previous iPad model, and has a 43 percent thinner bezel. The device is incredibly light as well, only weighing one pound. This makes it 30 percent lighter than the previous model.

The iPad Air also uses the same 64-bit processor A7 chip found within the new iPhone models. The A7's implementation in the new iPad Air will double the iPad's performance, feature advanced graphics, improve the camera and maintain a 10-hour battery life. The iPad Air has the new iPhone's M7 co-processor as well, which helps its new motion features that collect data for its accelerometer, gyroscope and compass. The M7 co-processor will mostly be used for fitness and map applications.

"This is probably our biggest leap forward in a full-sized iPad," Schiller said.

The new iPad Air runs on iOS7, and will come out in silver, white, grey and black. It will be available on Nov. 1, and will cost $499.

Apple also announced a few other notable things at the press conference on Tuesday. One such announcement was the iPad Mini 2, which now features Retina display. It features some of the same technology as the iPad Air, which includes the A7 chip, the M7 co-processor and 10 hour battery life. It's also a lot faster and processes graphics eight times faster. It will cost $399 and will be available in black and white sometime in late November.

One of the other big announcements from Apple was the addition of a new 13-inch and 15-inch Macbook Pro. While this isn't a complete reinvention like the new iPad Air, Schiller explains how these new models improved over the previous Macbook Pros.

"We've made the world's best pro notebook even better by adding more performance and even longer battery life," said Schiller. "MacBook Pro with Retina display continues to redefine the pro notebook."

The new 13-inch Macbook is less than 3.5 pounds, is 71 inches thin and has nine hours of battery life. The specs of the 15-inch Macbook Pro were not revealed during the press conference.

The final big announcement was the launch of the new operating system, OS X Mavericks, for Apple computers as old as models from 2007. Not only is this new operating system more efficient and strengthens battery life, but anyone can download it now for free.

"We want every Mac user to experience the latest features, the most advanced technologies and the strongest security," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, at the conference last week. "We believe the best way to do this is to begin a new era of personal computing software where OS upgrades are free."