Apple lifted the lid on the much-rumoured iPad Air at its ‘Time Flies’ event in September, and it’s a big change compared to last year’s model. It features a complete redesign, bringing it in-line with the iPad Pro aesthetic, and it shares a few similarities in the display department too. There’s also the new A14 Bionic chipset to get excited about.
While the entry-level iPad 10.2in is now available to buy, the same can’t be said about the iPad Air – just yet, anyway. Here’s all you need to know about where to pre-order the iPad Air 2020.
When will the new iPad Air be available?
While Apple revealed release dates for just about every product announced at its September 2020 event, the same can’t be said about the new iPad Air.
Apple only confirmed that the redesigned iPad Air would be released “next month” suggesting it’ll make an appearance at some point in October 2020 – possibly alongside the next-gen iPhone 12 range, also tipped to be released in October.
It’s worth noting that US retailer Adorama’s iPad Air listing suggests it’ll be shipping from 30 September, but with just days to go and no word from Apple, that’s looking unlikely.
How much is the new iPad Air?
In a move that some certainly won’t appreciate, Apple has decided that the redesign of the tablet means a noticeable bump in price. Despite last year’s iPad Air starting at £319/$329, this year’s model is set to be available from £579/$599:
iPad Air 2020 (64GB, Wi-Fi): £579/$599
iPad Air 2020 (256GB, Wi-Fi): £729/$749
iPad Air 2020 (64GB, Wi-Fi & Cellular): £709/$729
iPad Air 2020 (256GB, Wi-Fi & Cellular): £859/$879
Where to pre-order the iPad Air
With the iPad Air not being released until an unnamed date in October, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the iPad Air isn’t available to pre-order anywhere just yet – although that should change within the next couple of weeks.
Once the iPad Air does go up for pre-order, it’ll be available primarily from Apple in the UK and US, but as with other product launches, it’ll be available via third-party retailers too. While not confirmed just yet, based on previous launches, we expect the iPad Air to be available at the following UK retailers at launch:
Meanwhile, those in the US should head to:
We’ll update this section with more information once Apple kicks off pre-orders of the next-gen iPad Air, so check back frequently for the latest details.
What’s new with the iPad Air (2020)?
This is the key question, especially considering the £260/$270 price hike of the base model of iPad Air with the release of this year’s model.
The good news is that there’s some justification for the rise in price – it’s essentially a complete redesign of the iPad Air range, bringing it closer visually to the iPad Pro (and expected iPhone 12) design. It sports a larger 10.9in display, up from 10.5in of the previous model, but the bigger improvement is in the bezel department. Like Apple’s Pro iPad, the iPad Air features significantly reduced bezels, and the Home button has been moved too.
While it used to sit below the display, Apple has moved it to the top-right of the tablet this time around. It’s slimmer than the standard Home button but features the same Touch ID tech. It’s the first time Apple has included a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on any of its products, but it has admittedly been a feature on Android smartphones and tablets for quite a few years now.
That said, it shouldn’t come as a shock that despite featuring the same bezels as the iPad Pro, the iPad Air doesn’t feature Face ID – Apple has to keep some features exclusive to the high-end model, after all. It’s also a standard 60Hz display, not the 120Hz ProMotion display of the Pro line.
Interestingly, the iPad Air is the first Apple product to feature the new 5nm A14 Bionic chipset, something that in previous years would’ve debuted on the iPhone range before coming to other products. Of course, with the iPhone delay, Apple had no choice but to reveal the new processor as part of the iPad Air range. Don’t get confused though; despite the A14 Bionic branding, the A12X chipset of the iPad Pro range is still more capable with more CPU and GPU cores as its disposal.
Elsewhere, the iPad Air features the same main camera as the iPad Pro, a 12Mp f/1.8 sensor, but no LIDAR or ultra-wide cameras. There’s also a shift from Lightning to USB-C for charging and connectivity, and there’s also a bunch of new colours available, including green and blue options alongside the standard Silver, Space Grey and Rose Gold colour options.
For more on Apple’s latest iPad, take a look at the latest iPad Air (2020) news.