When Apple re-launched the iPad Air last year, it brought support lots of iPad Pro features for a lower price, including Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support as well as the A12 Bionic processor and a True Tone display. And now it looks like Apple’s mid-range tablet will be borrowing another feature from the flagship model.
According to Japanese rumor site Mac Otakara, the iPad Air update due later this year will introduce USB-C, replacing the Lightning port on another Apple device. That would leave the iPad mini and the entry-level iPad as the only non-iPhones to still use the proprietary port.
A USB-C port wouldn’t just be a more universal charging method. It would also allow for external display support, PC connection, and support for devices such as hubs, keyboards, and hard drives. You can also use the iPad Pro’s USB-C port to charge other devices.
The new iPad Air is also rumored to support mini-LED technology, which has reportedly been in development for a while but has yet to appear in any products. Mini LED would bring better brightness, higher contrast, and deeper blacks than traditional LCDs due to a larger array of lights. There are also rumors that the new model will feature a larger 10.8-inch screen, up from the current 10.5-inch model.
Apple has continued to blur the lines between its consumer and pro lines, focusing on high-end features and materials to separate the models. But even if it still has a home button, an 11-inch iPad Air with Magic Keyboard support, USB-C, and the same $499 price tag would be a compelling option for anyone looking to use their iPad as a work device, especially compared to the $799 11-inch iPad Pro.