Apple showed off a new iPad tablet on Tuesday during an event at its Cupertino, Calif. headquarters at which it also unveiled new iPhones. The new base-model iPad has several software and hardware tweaks compared to the previous version, and a few things that haven’t changed much at all.
What’s new in the iPad?
A 10.2-Inch Retina Display
That’s significantly bigger than the 9.7-inch display on the 2018 basic model. Apple says the new display has 3.5 million pixels.
Apple’s Smart Connector provides connectivity and power for accessories, primarily keyboards. Unlike Bluetooth-connected keyboards, Apple’s various ‘Smart Keyboards’ don’t rely on their own batteries or require a pairing process. The Smart Connector has previously been limited to the more expensive iPad Pro and iPad Air models.
A flexible keyboard
The new iPad operating system, iPadOS 13, has an improved one-handed typing option. The onscreen keyboard pops up at the bottom edge of the screen, and can be repositioned wherever it’s needed on the screen. That seems genuinely useful, especially as the iPad gets a bit bigger. The feature is similar to new options in iOS 13 for iPhone, and both updates arrive September 19.
100% Recycled Aluminum Casing
Apple is on a quest for sustainability. Last year, it announced that iPad Pro enclosures (and some other products) would be made from 100% recycled aluminum. This year that will extend to the base model, as well.
What hasn’t changed (significantly)
A10 Fusion Processor
The same processor as last year’s 9.7-inch model.
Apple Pencil Support
The Apple Pencil is a $99 accessory that allows users to digitally draw on the screen. It was also an option on last year’s model.
There had been rumors that the fingerprint-reading Touch ID tech wouldn’t be available in Apple devices, possibly entirely replaced by Face ID. As it turns out, you’ll still be able to secure both your iPhone and iPad with your fingerprint—for now.
The new iPad is available for preorder directly from Apple for $329 (or $299 for educational customers), and will ship on Sept. 30. That’s the same price as last year’s 9.7-inch model— so you’re getting more for your money.
Apple didn’t have anything to say today about other iPad models, such as the iPad Pro, iPad Mini, or iPad Air. There are expected to be several variants of the current iPad generation, but more information about those isn’t expected from Apple until October.
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