I know what we are all thinking hurtling through 2019. We need more iPads, right? Anyone? Tim Apple? Well my friends, good news. Apple pulled a Lazarus with the iPad Mini and is launching a new iPad Air. With Apple Pencil support.

And it’s here where we all perked up with interest. Apple Pencil support and sub-$500 tablets? Hell yeah. Wait, what’s the catch? The new iPads will not support the new Apple Pencil. We are stuck with the old pencil. Now that’s a switch. It’s supposed to be the new gadget doesn’t fit the old charger. Bill Burr breaks it down perfectly:

Comedy gold and true. Apple’s latest iPads are not supporting the most recent Apple Pencil. You have to step up to the iPad Pro and throw down $800+ for the ability to buy the second generation pencil. For $129.  

Unfortunately, there wasn’t an event for the devices, so we are left without a Sir Jony Ive voiceover. It’s not needed because there’s nothing groundbreaking here.

Apple iPad Air

The new iPad Air is intriguing thanks to it starting at $499 and including the A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine. It sports a 10.5-inch Retina display with support for the Smart Keyboard and first-generation Apple Pencil.

On the display front, Apple puts all the latest tech it has to offer. The iPad Air will feature True Tone, anti-reflective coating and a P3 wide color gamut.

It wouldn’t be Apple without a couple of cameras. The rear camera is an 8MP, while the front-facing camera for FaceTime hits 7MP. Nothing here which will have you lining up to buy one, but all serviceable for the price.

The Apple iPad Air’s position in the company’s oddly massive iPad lineup is its price. You get close to pro-level features without breaking the bank. The flipside is the damn pencil. Seriously Apple. They cost extra on the iPad Pros. Lacking support for the second generation Apple Pencil is destined to confuse customers.

iPad Mini Returns

Here’s one out of left field. Most thought the iPad Mini was heading for the dustbin of history. Instead, Apple took the new iPad Air and shoved it into a form-factor featuring a 7.9-inch display.

Apple launches new iPad Mini

Literally, all the specs above are the same for the Mini. Minus the screen size. It also suffers the same fate as the Air with support for only the first generation Apple Pencil. The Mini is destined to become a niche product thanks to its $399 starting price. Especially when the iPhone Xs Max has a 6.5-inch screen, and we all need a phone. Do we need an iPad Mini?

It’s intriguing for camera drone enthusiasts. Bigger screen and we don’t have to worry about a phone call coming in at the worst possible moment.

Wrapping Apple’s New iPads

There wasn’t an event because these are press release products. Both sit in the middle of Apple’s tablet lineup, and it’s a safe assumption Apple didn’t want a bunch of tech press noting the glaring lack of support for Apple’s latest hardware accessory.

Apple cleared the deck of announcements before its March 25 event when it will announce its streaming service to compete against Netflix and Amazon Video.

Gear. TV. Movies. Lifestyle. Photography. Yeah, I’m the type who sees a shiny object and is immediately captivated. Wait... There’s another. You can reach me at marcus@newsledge.com

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