Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched a new tablet computer today. The new device, which Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has dubbed the iPad Air, is going to replace the iPad 4 as the premium tablet device from Apple. The company has made some notable upgrades to the tablet computer, but consumers are wondering what the real difference between the devices is.


The iPad 4 was released just a year ago, but it’s been almost completely usurped by the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad Air. The new device is much more powerful than its predecessor, and it’s thinner and lighter to boot. Apple has increased efficiency to allow a longer battery life on a smaller battery, and that’s just the beginning of the differences between the devices.

iPad 4 vs iPad Air

The iPad Air is 7.5 millimeters wide, while the iPad 4 was 9.4 millimeters. The iPad Air weighs just one pound, and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) calls it the lightest full-sized tablet out there. The iPad 4 weighs what now seems like a beefy 1.4 pounds. The iPad Air is a little bit shorter than the iPad 4, coming in at 9.4 inches against its 9.5 inches.

In terms of dimensions, it’s the width that makes the difference. The iPad 4 was 7.31 inches wide, while the iPad Air is just 6.6 inches across. The big changes are, as always, on the inside. The A7 processor is 64 bit, while the iPad 4 came with the A6X dual core processor. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) says the processor is up to 8 times faster than its predecessor.

The iPad Air has the same screen and the same battery life as the iPad 4, despite being about 20 percent thinner. The price of the device is the same, meaning that consumers get a much better product for the same amount of money.

iPad Air problems

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) released a great device today, but the Cupertino company certainly missed a few notes. The iPad Air is not completely equipped for business. The company offers iWork free with the tablet, but that software package does not really compete with Microsoft Office in terms of brand recognition and functionality.

The iPad Air is probably the best tablet out there, but that doesn’t mean it’s enough to save the company’s tablet business. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is catching up, and with its advantage in enterprise, it may usurp the company’s position at the head of the tablet market.