Apple introduces iPad Air tablet, other upcoming products

Among the announcements Apple made today in San Francisco is the introduction of a new iPad model called the iPad Air. The iPad Air inherits its surname from the lightweight MacBook Air, and at only 1-pound will weigh a third of a pound less than the iPad 2. The iPad Air will feature a 9.7-inch Retina Display at 2048-by-1536 resolution (264 PPI), A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion coprocessor, and faster 802.11n Wi-Fi support with MIMO. In terms of configurations, the tablet will be available with Space Gray or Silver finish, in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB models.

The iPad Air will be available to order on November 1, starting at $499 for the 16GB model (Wi-Fi only), or $629 (Wi-Fi & Cellular). Total take-home prices range from $499 up to $929 depending on configuration. For cellular coverage, the new model will be supported by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

Apple also introduced the new operating system Mavericks, which to everyone’s surprise is free to download. The event also announced pricing for the new Mac Pro, starting at a whopping $2,999 (although it will support 4k playback on multiple screens). New MacBook Pro Retina laptops in 13-inch and 15-inch models will run for 9 hours on one battery charge. And, as expected Apple will sell an iPad mini with Retina display in late November. The mini tablet will start at $399.

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