iPad Air versus the 4th-generation iPad: how the two compare [Video]

The star of Apple’s event was clearly the iPad Air. The tablet has a new look, but how different is it really compared to its predecessor, the fourth-generation iPad?

Thanks to a lighter, thinner design, new and faster processing chip, and extra goodies Apple is throwing in, the new iPad Air is different enough that it will probably entice many to upgrade while fending off competition by Google, Samsung, Microsoft and others.

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Here’s how it breaks down:


The iPad Air will go on sale Nov. 1 at the same price that the fourth-generation iPad was sold for. That means you can get a 16 GB Wi-Fi-only model for $499 or a 16 GB LTE model for $629. The most expensive iPad Air is the 128 GB LTE model, which costs $929.


Apple has stopped selling the fourth-generation iPad, so the only way to get it directly from the company is by buying a refurbished model. Those range from $379 to $789. Users can also check Ebay or Craiglist for used models.


The iPad Air has a new shell, but its screen is the same as its predecessor’s. Both feature a 9.7-inch Retina display with 2,048 by 1,536 pixel resolutions and 264 pixel densities.

Weight and Size

The biggest differences between the iPad Air and the fourth-generation iPad come in the shape, size and weight of their shells.

The late 2012 iPad weighs about 1.44 pounds and is 0.37 inches thick. The new iPad Air weighs exactly 1 pound and is 0.29 inches thick.

The iPad Air also features a new design that’s essentially the same as that of the iPad mini. That means that the borders on its size are narrower than before -- 43% narrower to be exact.


The other major difference between the two Apple tablets is found with their processors. The iPad Air has been outfitted with Apple’s 64-bit A7 chip, which was introduced last month during the announcement of the iPhone 5s.

The A7 is the successor to the A6X chip, which is what was used on the fourth-generation iPad.


Just like every iPad that has ever been released (full size and mini), Apple promises the iPad Air can deliver 10 hours of battery life.


Apple also left the cameras on the iPad Air largely the same as those on the fourth-generation iPad. Both have 1.2-megapixel front cameras that shoot 720p HD video as well as 5-megapixel rear cameras with 1080p HD video.


The iPad Air now features a design like the iPad mini, and just like the iPad mini it has now been fitted with dual speakers located on either side of its lightning connector. The fourth-generation iPad has one speaker.

LTE compatibility

If you’re a T-Mobile user, you’ll be happy to hear that you can buy an LTE version of the iPad Air that will work with your carrier. The fourth-generation iPad could not be purchased pre-loaded with a T-Mobile SIM card.


Users who buy the iPad Air will also get to download Apple’s iLife and iWork apps for free. That includes Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iPhoto and iMovie.

These Apple apps don’t come included with the fourth-generation iPad.


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