The 16GB iPad Air from Apple features an even thinner design than its predecessor. Dropping almost a quarter of the volume of the previous generation iPad, the iPad Air is just 7.5mm thin and weighs just 1 pound (1.05 pounds with cellular). Overall, the iPad Air is 28% lighter, 20% thinner and 24% less volume than the previous iPad. The iPad Air may be thinner and lighter, but it's still durable and solid. That's because it still has an aluminum unibody design.
Apple introduces the 64-bit architecture to the iPad Air, which allows for more robust and powerful apps. Utilizing the A7 chip, the iPad Air runs apps faster and more efficiently than its predecessor. In fact, the A7 chip runs twice as fast as the A6X chip of the previous generation iPad. Also, the A7 chip supports OpenGL ES version 3.0 so the iPad Air can enable detailed graphics and visual effects once only possible on desktop computers and game consoles.
The A7 chip is accompanied by the M7 coprocessor, which measures the motion of the iPad Air. By pulling data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass, it lightens the load of the A7 chip. This frees up the A7 chip to focus on processing multiple tasks and maintaining fast performance. Even though the iPad Air is 20 percent thinner and more powerful, it still manages to maintain its 10-hour battery life. That's because the A7 chip isn't just more powerful, it's also more efficient.
The iPad Air also gives twice the Wi-Fi performance, thanks to dual antennas with MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) technology. With dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, the iPad Air can reach download speeds of up to 300 Mbps, which is double the data rate of the previous-generation iPad.
The 9.7" Retina Display makes its return on the iPad Air, maintaining its enormous 2048 x 1536 native resolution. At 264 pixels per inch, the Retina Display can show up to 3.1 million colors at a time. The Retina Display is also a capacitive touchscreen so you'll be able to utilize all the multi-touch gestures of iOS.
The iPad Air comes with iOS. Apple refined the typography, redrew every icon around a new grid system, and added a precise color palette for a minimalist design. iOS also introduces features, such as the Control Center. The Control Center can be accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen and grants you access to the most common setting options, such as Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Airplay and even a flashlight. iOS also introduces iTunes Radio (only available in the United States), a music streaming service from Apple. You can build your own stations and listen to your favorite songs. You can also view the history of everything you've heard and added to your Wish List and then download them off iTunes.
With iCloud, you can sync your iPad Air to your other iOS devices and Mac computers. Push photos, download apps and continue from where you left off in iBooks with iCloud. iCloud also offers cloud storage so you can back up your contacts, photos and important documents to Apple's cloud servers. You can restore your iPad Air to a previous state using iCloud.