New iPad Air and iPad Mini 5 unveiled: Apple draws on the past for new models

Image Credit: Apple (Image credit: Apple)

Apple has just unveiled its new iPad Air and iPad Mini models, and it looks like the latter is the product we've seen rumored for years: the iPad Mini 5.

Both have similar spec and features, which isn't something we've always seen on the smallest tablet in Apple's range. There are a few core differences between the two products though.

The new iPad Air features a 10.5-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2224 x 1668, which equals around 264 pixels per inch.

The new iPad Mini has a 7.9-inch display with a resolution of 2048 x 1536. That equals 326 pixels per inch, and the company has also included Apple Pencil support - this is on both models, but the first time it's come to the small screen.

Be warned; these models only support the original Apple Pencil and won't be compatible with last year's stylus that came with wireless charging - which is understandable when you see the rounded edges.

Both tablets come in either 64GB or 256GB models, and your color choices are silver, space gray or gold.

The new iPad Air. Image Credit: Apple

The new iPad Air. Image Credit: Apple (Image credit: Apple)

The A12 Bionic chipset is powering these iPads, and that's the tech that debuted in the iPhone XS range late last year. That should offer some impressive performance, but we won't know that for certain until our full review.

Both tablets also feature the same camera setup, so you'll have an 8MP snapper on the rear with an f/2.4 aperture. The front camera on both is 7MP.

We don't yet know how big the batteries will be in either model, but the company claims both tablets will last for up to 10 hours of "surfing the web on Wi‑Fi, watching video, or listening to music".

Breath of fresh air

Unlike the latest iPad Pro line up, these new tablets come with Touch ID fingerprint sensors, meaning no Face ID support. There's a 3.5mm headphone jack on both for your wired headphones.

Apple has also stuck with a Lightning cable connector for charging and data transfer, rather than USB-C like it offers on the latest iPad Pro range.

If you're looking for a tablet that's compatible with Apple's smart keyboard, you'll have to go for the iPad Air over the iPad Mini as only the larger model supports that accessory.

How much will you be spending on these new tablets? If you want the 64GB Wi-Fi only model of the iPad Air will cost you $499 / £479 / AU$779 / AED 1,999. Those who want 256GB of storage and a cellular connection will be spending $779 / £749 / AU$1199 / AED 3,129.

The iPad Mini is quite a bit less with prices that start at $399 / £399 / AU$599 / AED 1,599. The top-end model isn't cheap though at $679 / £669 / AU$1019 / AED 2,729.

You can pre-order both the iPad Mini and iPad Air online now, and the company has said its new tablets will be available at some point "next week" - meaning from 25 March.

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.