Apple on Tuesday at its education-focused event in Chicago launched a new entry-level 9.7-inch iPad, what is being called the iPad (2018). Priced the same as the previous budget model, it also supports the Apple Pencil with the same tilt and pressure sensing technology as the iPad Pro. So students are likely to get the best stylus experience and can make full use of apps that utilize it.
On the software side, Apple has announced new versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote that support Apple Pencil. With the new apps, users can add drawings to reports in Pages or Keynote, or in reports created in Numbers. New features in the apps will also allow teachers and students to collaborate on documents and markup specific portions of the documents for further comments. Apple says teachers will be able to create books for the classroom through the new tools. All three iWork apps are loaded on the new iPads for free.
Apple updated GarageBand and Clips apps which have proven to be popular among students. The former gets a special sound pack for kids, with animal sounds, while Clips will get kid-focused filters and posters.
The new iPad is priced starting at $299 (roughly Rs. 19,400) for schools, and $329 (roughly Rs. 21,300) for consumers. This gives it the same price as the previous 9.7-inch iPad, which had the same reduced pricing for schools as well. In India, pricing is very similar to the last generation. The 32GB iPad (2018) Wi-Fi model has been priced at Rs. 28,000, while the 32GB iPad (2018) Wi-Fi + Cellular model has been priced at Rs. 38,600. The Apple Pencil will be available for purchase separately at Rs. 7,600. Smart covers for the iPad are priced at Rs. 3,400.
As for availability, the iPad (2018) is available for order from today, March 27 and will hit stores later this week in more than 25 countries, namely, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK, and the US. India, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, and other countries and regions will follow in April, with South Korea and other countries and regions following in May.
The iPad (2018) is essentially the same as the iPad (2017), which was launched almost exactly a year ago. The biggest difference is that it runs on the Apple A10 Fusion SoC – a significant upgrade over the Apple A9 SoC. To refresh other specifications, the iPad (2018) has a 9.7-inch Retina (2048×1536 pixels) IPS display with a pixel density of 264ppi and as we mentioned, support for the Apple Pencil is the addition on the display front. As before, RAM and battery specifications have not been detailed by Apple.
The iPad (2018) bears an 8-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.4 aperture and a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD camera with an f/2.2 aperture on the front. Connectivity options include 4G LTE (on the Wi-Fi + Cellular model), Wi-Fi 802.11ac (dual-band, 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth v4.2, and A-GPS (on the Wi-Fi + Cellular model). Sensors on board include the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the Home Button, apart from an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, barometer, digital compass, and a 3-axis gyroscope.