Brian also just finished up some hands on with the iPad Air. Check out the video below for his impressions and a comparison to the new mini.

We just played with the iPad Air, which is much thinner and lighter than the previous generation iPad. In the hands, it's shocking how much of a difference the change in profile makes, analogous somewhat to the way moving from the iPhone 4 or 4S to 5 felt. The chamfered edge and narrower profile makes it easier to grip the iPad Air in the hands, and there's still enough bezel around as well, though it is smaller. 

The iPad Air feels a lot more like a larger iPad mini than it does a newer generation of the previous iPad. The iPad Air includes the same Apple A7 SoC as the iPhone 5s and also includes the M7 sensor fusion hub. 

Gallery: iPad Air

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  • darkich - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    It's the same chip but certainly clocked higher than in the iPhone, both the CPU and GPU
  • Aenean144 - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    They could:

    1. double the clock rate
    2. double the GPU units
    3. increase GPU units by 1.5 and increase the clock by 1.3x.

    Doubling the clock rate seems an expensive proposition in terms of power consumption, so, I think it is 2 or 3. Wait and see.
  • BulkSlash - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    I'm curious to know if there will be a clock speed/GPU difference between the Air and mini. The mini is $100 less yet seems to have an identical spec to the Air.

    I would think the mini would be more expensive given that the pixel density of the mini's screen is higher and that it will probably have a CPU speed binned for power efficiency for the mini's smaller battery. What does the Air have that the mini doesn't?
  • tipoo - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    This is also what I was wondering about, it can't be double the GPU performance of both the A6 and A6X like Apple said at varying times. I wonder if it's still double the iPhone A7 GPU performance then.
  • Aenean144 - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    The plots or charts Schiller had only plotted iPad performance. iPad Air was 2x the performance over the iPad 4 in both CPU and GPU.
  • Krysto - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    Why didn't they name it A7X like before, though? I think at best they raised the clock rate for both tablets, since they have the same resolution, but they may have also kept them the same, and are keeping A7X or A8 for another spring release or "something" (iPad Pro laptop?)
  • jerrylzy - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    If there is a change in gpu, Apple will definately rename it to A7X just like before. I think the chip is the same as the a7 on the 5S but is clocked much higher. AFAIK, the G6430 gpu on the 5S is clocked at a very low frequency and has already matched up the 554MP4 on the iPad 4. Apple just need to clock it higher, of course, at the expense of heat & power consumption.
  • ScooterComputer - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    RAM, 'nuff said. The iPad 2 had 512MB of RAM. The original iPad had 256MB and that was CLEARLY too little (can't even run iOS 6). That gives us a baseline of 256MB of "free" RAM being the entry-level "sweet spot" for usage. When the iPad 3 came out with 1GB of RAM, it was discovered that the increased video buffer (4x bigger than that on the iPad 2) ate up the additional RAM, and the iPad 3/4 was left with LESS available RAM than the iPad 2 (for those keeping track, we're now less than 256MB free). 640bit computing uses an approximately 20% larger RAM footprint than 32bit. That means that the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina are looking to be working with less than 200MB of "free" RAM, almost 60MB less than the iPad 2. Yet iOS 7 and these new, great apps (GarageBand, iMovie) seem to be much BIGGER than their ancestors. –is– the question. If these new models ship with 1GB, users should understand they're just about in iPad 1 territory. Ask an iPad 1 user how that's working out.
  • teryan2006 - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    Where did you find the "64bit computing uses approximately 20% larger RAM footprint than 32bit" stats? Does it already account for the memory saving by the compiler using tagged pointers in 64bit binaries?
  • krumme - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    Man you are so cute

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