According to early fifth generation iPad rumors, the new tablet will be 25 percent lighter and 15 percent thinner. At this point, you have to wonder when we’re going to hit the functional limit of thinness and lightness, which I’m guessing might be scary for big tablet and big smartphone – they’re going to have to think of other selling points soon.
The rumor, published by MacRumors, says the new tablet will be between 7.5 mm and 8.0 mm thick, and could run on an A7X processor, one still made by Samsung, although Apple still plans to move manufacturing over to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company for their processors in the future. The report supposes that the tablet will see a fall release this year.
This begs the question of how advantageous tablets this thin are. I don’t doubt that many out there rightfully do want a lighter and thinner tablet, but it’s difficult to make things this thin and light without removing features. The battery will likely be thinner and of a smaller capacity, although Apple plans to make the new tablet more energy efficient to offset that.
The bigger problem is that we can pretty much assume that a device this thin is going to be virtually impossible to repair, reinforcing what is increasingly becoming a profoundly wasteful model – short-lived tablets that are replaced by brand new short-lived tablets. Unless Apple slips something really impressive into this new iPad, this sounds like a device that should probably be overlooked if you still have a working tablet. But, there’s lots of time between now and release date – we’ll see what happens.