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New iPad Air could be late and expensive — but you should still be excited

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The wait for the long-overdue iPad Air 4 could be extended into the first quarter of 2021. A new rumor suggests Apple's mid-range tablet is behind schedule and, when it does arrive, will cost more than its predecessor.

Leaker @komiya_ki predicts that Apple will release the fourth-gen model of the iPad Air in March 2021. Previous rumors claimed the tablet would be released by the end of this year so it sounds like Apple is facing delays. 

Before you get too worried, this particular leaker doesn't have a lengthy resume so you should take these claims with a grain of salt until we get more firm information. That being said, Komiya says the next iPad Air will adopt the iPad Pro design and feature an 11-inch Liquid Retina display, a USB Type-C port, quad speakers and Face ID for facial recognition login. 

Under the hood is an A14X SoC, a version of the processor that will power the iPhone 12. The tablet will come with either 128GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage. One difference between the iPad Air and iPad Pro is that the former will have only one camera instead of the dual setup on the Pro. 

iPad Air price

According to the leak, the iPad Air will start at $649. That is significantly more than the $499 starting price of the third-generation iPad Air. 

It's not all bad news. If these predictions hold true than the iPad Air could deliver a similar experience as the current 11-inch iPad Pro but for $150 less. If the entry-level iPad gets the upgrades it's expected to receive then it would fill the hole left by the iPad Air.

iPad Air accessories

Another boost that could come to the iPad Air is compatibility with the Magic Keyboard, Apple's full-sized detachable backlit keyboard. I had a lot of good things to say about the first-gen Magic Keyboard, although there is plenty of room for improvement. 

The biggest problem is the price. At $299, it's the most expensive detachable keyboard around, and even costs more than the priciest gaming keyboards. Apple will need to find a way to keep the price down if it wants the iPad Air to continue to be a cheaper alternative to the iPad Pro.

Along with the Magic Keyboard, the iPad Air Gen 3 should have support for the Apple Pencil 2 and the Smart Keyboard Folio.