What can you say about the new iPad Air that every technology pundit on the planet hasn't already said? You doubtlessly know that the new Air is 20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than the fourth generation iPad -- with 43 percent narrower bezel borders.
Likewise, I'm sure you've heard that it only weighs a pound, yet has the same ultra-sharp, 9.7-inch Retina display and signature 10-hour battery life.
How did Apple accomplish this? By incorporating a super-powerful, energy-efficient Apple-designed A7 chip and 64-bit architecture. That's only the beginning, of course, but it's a helluva start. The new iPad's blazing performance is also helped by a M7 motion coprocessor that gathers data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass for even greater efficiency.
Also new is Multiple-In-Multiple-Out (MIMO) technology, bringing twice the Wi-Fi performance at a blazingly fast data rate up to 300 Mbps and expanded 4G LTE coverage to accommodate just about every carrier worldwide. The tablet's next generation FaceTime HD camera provides better low-light performance and scores of subtle enhancements.
Standard software includes the iLife suite of creative apps, including iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand, and the iWork suite of productivity apps, including Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. When you add over 475,000 apps available from the App Store, it's clear the iPad Air will pose a stiff challenge for the heap of Android- and Windows 8-powered tablets vying for holiday gift-giving dollars this year.
The iPad Air with Wi-Fi starts at $499 for the 16GB model. Add $100 for 32GB. Add another $100 for 64GB and another to 128GB, the max. Models with cellular plus Wi-Fi start at $629. Again, it's $100 per 32GB bump to get a 4G LTE iPad Air all the way to 128GB. Carriers include AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon.
New custom-designed polyurethane Smart Covers for iPad Air start at $39 and are available in a range of vibrant colors, including blue, green, pink, yellow, black and red. Smart Cases start at $79.
Yes, there's not much to add to what's already been said about the new iPad Air. Nevertheless, if you've been thinking about getting a tablet or your current iPad is older than last year's model, you owe it to yourself to go to a store and hold one in your hand. Odds are you'll tell the clerk to ring it up.
For more information, visit Apple.com/iPad.
Forward-thinking 5s and more affordable 5c widen iPhone's appeal
Apple refers to the new iPhone 5s as "the most forward-thinking iPhone yet," but what exactly does that mean? Well, for one, the device sports hardware that far exceeds what all but the most extreme currently-available apps need.
Techies call it "headroom." It's like the notion that human beings only use 10% of their brains. The new iPhone 5s has power to spare, which means it can handle just about any task without breaking a sweat.