Apple has revamped its iPad lineup, replacing the iPad Air 2 with a new tablet dubbed simply the iPad. This latest model in the iconic tablet range delivers improved processing power, all day battery life, and perhaps most importantly it does so at the cheapest entry level price yet. The cheapest model costs $329 / £339 and comes with 32GB of built-in storage. Only yesterday, to get a full sized iPad, you would have had to fork out $399 / £379 for an iPad Air 2.
"iPad is the world’s most popular tablet. Customers love the large, 9.7-inch display for everything from watching TV and movies, to surfing the web, making FaceTime calls, and enjoying photos, and now it is even more affordable," said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, at the product announcement. Schiller went on to highlight some advantages over the iPad Air 2 such as the use of Apple's more powerful A9 SoC, an improved minimum storage threshold of 32GB, a brighter Retina screen, and of course the reduced pricing.
Perhaps one of the ways Apple reduced the price of the latest iPad is by equipping a cheaper Retina screen - this one doesn't seem to use the anti-reflective laminated screen technology which features on every other model in the range. Screen lamination reduces the gap between the pixels and the glass touch surface of the tablet.
The standard specifications of the new iPad include:
- 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
- 2048x1536-pixel resolution at 264 ppi
- Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
- A9 chip with 64-bit architecture plus embedded M9 coprocessor
- 32GB or 128GB of storage
- 8-megapixel ƒ/2.4 rear camera, 1.2-megapixel f/2.2 FaceTime HD camera
- Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac); dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz); HT80 with MIMO
- Bluetooth 4.2 technology
- Cellular model: UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (800, 1900 MHz), LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 38, 39, 40, 41), includes Apple SIM but can use other nano-SIM cards
- Lightning connector
- Built-in 32.4-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery for up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‑Fi, watching video or listening to music
- Built in stereo speakers
- Buttons: Home button / Touch ID sensor, on/off sleep/wake, volume up/down
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- Digital compass and other sensors
- iOS 10
- 240mm x 169.5mm x 7.5mm and 470g
If you are interested in the new iPad it will become available to order from Friday, with deliveries starting the following week. As mentioned in the intro, the entry level Wi-Fi model costs $329 / £339. Opting for 128GB of storage ups the price to $429 / £429. For cellular connectivity capability add $120 / £130 to those prices.
Other new Apple products
As well as the new iPad, Apple announced;
- The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in RED, with charity donations to the Global Fund’s fight against AIDS and HIV,
- An iPhone SE storage bump: 16GB and 64GB models will be phased out in favour of 32GB and 128GB models,
- The iPad mini 2 is no more, and the iPad mini 4 (with 2 year old A8 SoC) seems more expensive than ever, starting from $399 / £419,
- There's a new iOS video editing app called Clips,
- And several new Apple Watch straps have been released from Apple, Nike, and Hermes.