Apple is bringing back the iPad Air today with a bigger model. Alongside a new iPad mini, Apple is launching a 10.5-inch version of the iPad Air with support for the original Apple Pencil (not the modern second-generation Apple Pencil). This new model will be powered by Apple’s A12 Bionic chip, and it will slot into the iPad lineup between the larger iPad and iPad Pro models. Apple is making the iPad Air available starting at $499 for the Wi-Fi model and $629 for the Wi-Fi and cellular version.
Apple originally replaced its iPad Air 2 with a device simply called the iPad nearly two years ago, but the company has bumped the screen size from 9.7 inches to 10.5 inches for this new model. The move to support the older generation of Apple Pencil ($99) seems particularly odd, but it does mean every iPad that Apple now sells includes stylus support. Apple’s updated iPad Air will also support the company’s Smart Keyboard, which is available separately for $159.
Apple hasn’t picked its latest A12X processor for the iPad Air that it uses in the iPad Pro, but it will instead use the A12. Apple is positioning this as bringing “more of our most powerful technologies to more people than ever” by offering a bigger iPad that’s not quite at the “Pro” level but still more powerful than the smaller 9.7-inch iPad. This iPad Air also has a similar design and display bezels to the smaller iPad, rather than the narrow bezels found on Apple’s latest iPad Pro. Apple is also using its Lightning connector and Touch ID system for the iPad Air instead of the USB-C port or Face ID like the iPad Pro models have.
Apple’s new 10.5-inch iPad Air will be available to order online today from $499, and it will be in stores next week.