We've been testing the new, $499 iPad Air for a little over a day now, and it'll be a while yet before we publish our full review. At this point, though, it's already clear that the new iPad Air sits in a sweet spot that a lot of people are going to find compelling. See, on the low end, there's the $329 iPad — it hasn't been touched this year (so far), and it's an excellent, basic tablet. On the high end, there's the iPad Pro, with its USB-C port and fancy new design (and its $800 price tag).
In our limited time together, the Air seems well-suited to living in that crucial middle ground. Its 10.5-inch display is noticeably better than the one in the less expensive iPad, with its wider color gamut and real-time True Tone color tuning. Sure, it doesn't have the super-smooth ProMotion technology that made the last 10.5-inch iPad so easy on the eyes, but Apple had to save money somewhere. And in terms of performance, it's basically a bigger version of this year's iPad mini, since they both share the same A12 Bionic chipset.
That's a very good thing, mind you: it means that both of this year's new iPads are just as snappy as the iPhone XS family, not to mention noticeably quicker than Apple's $329 tablet. Again, we haven't been testing the Air for very long, but so far, it has handle multitasking, light video editing and graphically complex games with aplomb.