Apple rarely holds back when it comes to its events, and its first live-streamed event of the year did not disappoint. It had sent out invites for today’s Peak Performance event earlier, and speculations rose regarding what we could expect from the Cupertino-headquartered tech giant. So, without further ado, let’s dive into it, shall we?

Undoubtedly, most eyes will be on the iPhone SE 3, which is an affordable iPhone with 5G support and A15 bionic. The iPhone maker, however, also unveiled the fifth generation of the iPad Air, powered by the powerful M1 silicon. This was due for an upgrade, especially since it has not received any since 2020. The current one retains much of the same design from its 2020 iteration, but also comes with several mouth-watering features. According to Apple, it is two times faster than any popular Windows 10 laptop in its price range and is extremely suitable for Machine Learning tasks.

Coming in multiple color options – space grey, starlight, pink, purple, and blue – the fifth generation of the iPad Air has flat edges and thin bezels. It also comes with support for 5G – which is something more and more upcoming phones are taking into account – and the M1 chip with an 8-core GPU. With the M1 chipset, a 16-core neural engine comes to the iPad Air as well.

It comes with a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina Display, anti-reflective coating, and 500 nits of brightness.

“Whether it’s a college student taking elaborate notes, a content creator working on their latest project, or a gamer playing graphics-intensive titles, users love iPad Air for its amazing performance and versatility in such a portable design,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With the breakthrough M1 chip, Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage, and ultra-fast 5G, iPad Air is now more powerful, more capable, and simply more fun than ever.”

Additionally, it comes with support for Apple Pencil 2, Smart Keyboard, Touch ID, and Center Stage for the 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera. You may remember that the chip in the iPad mini is limited to sub-6GHz 5G networks and not the fastest mmWave 5G networks, and this may be present in the latest generation of the iPad Air as well.

The device starts at $599 for the 64GB model, going all the way upto 256GB, in Wi-Fi and cellular models. You can pre-order from Friday, and shipping starts from March 18. It comes with stereo speakers in landscape mode, a USB Type-C port for up to 5Gbps data transfer as well. Going forward, all iPad models will have CenterStage.