Apple Adds A12 Processor to New iPad Air and Mini

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple quietly refreshed the iPad Air and iPad Mini lines today, significantly boosting their power with its A12 Bionic processors. Those are the same 7-nanometer processors in the company's iPhone XR, XS and XS Max, making both of the new tablets significantly more powerful than their predecessors.

The new iPad Air, which had disappeared from Apple's lineup for a bit, starts at $499 with a 10.5-inch, 2224 x 1668 display, Apple Pencil support, 8 MP camera, up to 256 GB of storage and a choice between Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity.

The Mini, which begins at $399, has a 7.9-inch, 2048 x 1536 screen, brings Apple Pencil support and has the same storage and cellular options. 
Apple claims the A12 Bionic chip with a Neural Engine will allow for machine learning, better AR apps and more realistic 3D games.

With the addition of these two devices, Apple's entire iPad lineup now has support for its Apple Pencil stylus, which starts at $99 for the first-generation model. Both of these also have Touch ID. Both devices come in silver, space gray and gold.

Apple's most powerful processor, the A12X Bionic, is still only found in the iPad Pro, which comes in 11 and 12.9-inch sizes with up to 1 TB of storage, as well as Face ID. That model also uses a USB Type-C port, but the new Air and mini are sticking solely to Apple's proprietary lightning port. 

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon