The last few months has seen a slew of new Apple product announcements, from a brand new iPad Pro to an updated MacBook Pro, via the budget iPhone SE. And if new leaks are to be believed, it's the middle child of the iPad range that could be updated next – bringing it much more in line with the iPad Pro.
According to the Chinese website Macotakara, the new iPad Air will finally do away with the current Lightning port, replacing it with the USB-C port currently found in the iPad Pro. This would make it the first iPad outside of the Pro lineup to feature USB-C connectivity.
The iPad Air (opens in new tab) is already a great tablet for creatives (check out the best iPad apps for designers), but the addition of USB-C would offer much more versatility – allowing DSLR cameras or external storage to be connected without the need for extra dongles. This extra convenience, along with the Air's mid-range price, could be a game-changer for digital artists on the go.
Macotakara's report (opens in new tab) also supports recent rumours that the new iPad Air could feature an 11-inch display in a design based on the current iPad Pro. We'd love to see the Air borrow the pleasing edge-to-edge display of the newer iPad Pro – and an extra half-inch of screen can only be good news for digital artists.
The report also backs up rumours of a new iPad Mini with a slightly larger, 8.5-inch display. The iPad Mini will apparently, however, keep the current Lightning port, suggesting that Apple isn't quite ready to let go of Lightning altogether.
While Apple will no doubt want to keep some functionality exclusive to the 2020 iPad Pro, we'd love to see some Pro features brought to the Air, such as support for the Apple Pencil 2 and Magic Keyboard. By closing the gap between the iPad Air and the iPad Pro, the Air could well hit the sweet spot between functionality and price. And while Macotakara's report doesn't mention release dates, the iPad Air hasn't been refreshed since last March – so our fingers are crossed for an update in 2020.
Where to buy an iPad:
- Best Buy: (opens in new tab) iPads for up to $100 off, including deals on the Air and Pro
- Walmart: (opens in new tab) Hot iPad deals, including savings on the iPad Pro 12.9-inch
- Amazon.com: (opens in new tab) Deals on iPads, including the iPad 10.2-inch for under $400
- Amazon.co.uk: (opens in new tab) Money off iPads; save £56 on the iPad Pro 11-inch
- Currys: (opens in new tab) A range of iPad deals available, iPads start at £399