New Apple iPad Thinner, Lighter But Still $499

ipad air

It’s thinner, lighter but still starts at $499. The new Apple iPad Air, the fifth generation of the iPad, isn’t noticeably different in specs, one reviewer says. Though Apple says a new company designed A7 processing chip makes this a more powerful device than its predecessor, the iPad 4.

Instead, its the compact design — just 7.5 millimeters thick and weighing only a pound — that gets much of the notice.

Apple is focusing on this customer experience idea too. In a statement from an official release announcing the new tablet, senior vice president of worldwide marketing Peter Schiller said:

iPad created an entirely new mobile computing experience, and the new iPad Air is another big leap ahead. It is so thin, light and powerful, once you hold one in your hand you will understand what a tremendous advancement this is.

The iPad Air features a 9.7-inch retina display, will come in silver or “space gray” and will be available starting November 1.

Here’s a quick hands on review of the device from Engadget:

Does Your Business Need an iPad?

Though die hard Apple fans will likely love the new device, businesses may not take to it so quickly.

After all, Apple has kept its price on the new iPad about the same as on previous models. Meanwhile, other tablet makers are offering a Windows operating system likely to be more popular with some small businesses — and at the same price or lower.

Image: Apple


Shawn Hessinger Shawn Hessinger is the Executive Editor for Small Business Trends and a professional journalist with more than 20 years experience in traditional and digital media for trade publications and news sites. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has served as a beat reporter, columnist, editorial writer, bureau chief and managing editor for the Berks Mont Newspapers.

11 Reactions
  1. I am pretty sure that there will be a good number of people who cannot wait to get their hands on this. iPad Air – the thinner version at the same price. I personally cannot wait for it’s release but I am somehow scared that a thinner iPad with a greater surface area has a greater risk of breaking in your bag.

  2. The compact design — just 7.5 millimeters thick and weighing only a pound, makes it easy to keep in your handbag which does not add too much space.

  3. First off, who’d have thought after lugging around huge laptops for years that we’d really need tablets (already light and small) to be even lighter and smaller.

    Secondly, Apple is very deliberate in their pricing. It took them YEARS to get an iPhone into the $99 realm and I don’t see them racing to be price competitive in the tablet space any time soon.

    • Hi Robert,
      I have little doubt they know what they’re doing as far as marketing the device. The question, from a small business’s perspective, is whether or not this is the tablet you need with so many other options out there now. Or whether there could be cheaper, better or just more suitable options that would work just as effectively.

  4. I would love to replace my laptop with a tablet but am overwhelmed with the choices. I love my iPhone and the iPad Air looks great but am a windows gal. Does there happen to be a site or a service where you can plug in all your requirements and a recommendation is made?

    • Hi Cindy,
      Well, I’m not sure if there is such a site, but, if not, it sounds like a great idea. 🙂 I think maybe one of the first questions to ask is whether a keyboard is an important feature (since you’re talking about replacing a laptop), or whether a touch screen will work just as well. And, if you prefer Windows, as we’ve said, there are more and more options available.

      • Shawn, I want a keyboard – touch screens just don’t work for business applications as far as I am concerned. I want something reasonably priced that acts like my laptop with the convenience of a tablet. Right now there are just too many choices with more on the horizon and I have no idea how to pick.

  5. Cindy,

    This is too long of an answer, but I wrote this for another client and I think you will find it useful in your process.

    First, here is a blog post I wrote: Four Considerations When Buying a Tablet (!Four-Considerations-When-Buying-a-Tablet/ciq7/1) It specifically addresses the keyboard issue.

    Second: One of my clients wanted a small, lightweight Ultrabook. Here is what we suggested. He wanted a VERY high end system, but there are excellent Ultrabooks to be had for less than $600.

    Here are my assumptions:
    I choose an 13.3 inch screen. This seemed the right balance between the travel/ portability and the work activity required.

    All systems are the latest 4th generation Intel processors. These are specifically engineered for longer battery life.

    All systems have a Solid State Hard drive. Like the little USB flash drives, there are no moving parts and they are super fast. This technology saves battery life, increases the performance of the system and mitigates hard disk errors. This is a must have.

    The two more expensive systems (Dell & Acer) are right at 3 lbs. So, carrying the machine won’t be a burden.

    All systems have a video out port (HDMI only) so they can be connected with a monitor.

    Write back if I can be of assistance. We are always happy to help.

    Jonathon Fishman
    Rimot Support

    [Edited by Editor]