Apple’s iPad Air 2 was announced back in 2014 which makes this tablet nearly three years old. Therefore, it’s about time the world received an update in this department. Hence, Apple has announced a new 9.7-inch iPad taking the Air 2’s place that costs just $329 and is simply named ‘iPad.’
Apple today updated its most popular-sized iPad, featuring a brighter 9.7-inch Retina display and best-in-class performance at its most affordable price ever, starting at $329 (US). Designed for unmatched portability and ease of use, along with incredible performance and all-day battery life, iPad is the world’s most popular tablet and the primary computing device for millions of customers around the world. Through the more than 1.3 million apps designed specifically for iPad, customers can do even more, from learning to code with Swift Playgrounds and reading books on the large screen to boosting productivity through Microsoft Office and using multitasking features like Split Screen.
Apple’s new iPad features a 9.7-inch display which the company says is more colorful and brighter this time around. It features a resolution of 2048×1536 pixels which, if you do the math, makes out to a 264 ppi. Inside, Apple’s A9 processor sits which is the same chipset found in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. There’s also an embedded M9 motion co-processor for better efficiency and speed while performing heavy tasks.
As for storage, Apple offers two tiers for the new iPad: 32GB and 128GB. With the 32GB, you’ll only have Wi-Fi connectivity. With the 128GB option, Apple will give you the option to pop in a SIM card and gain cellular connectivity. 10 hours of battery life for each is said to be included, but only real world use will determine if this is accurate.
Other specs include an 8MP rear camera and 1.2MP FaceTime camera, a fingerprint sensor on the home button, Bluetooth 4.2, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Every basic function you’d expect to have in an iPad is pretty much here, so this may make for a great tablet if you don’t wanna go all-in on Apple’s Pro line.
So what are the caveats of buying a $329 9.7-inch iPad? For one, this model’s thicker than the Air 2 at 7.5mm over 6.1mm. Luckily, the weight is still pretty low at just 1.03lbs. However, you can’t opt to get the iPad in Rose Gold like the Pro models. Instead, you’re stuck with Space Gray, Silver, and standard Gold. I’m not sure how much of a problem this will be for consumers, but if you’re trying to finish that Rose Gold collection, this iPad isn’t for you.
Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, had the following to say regarding the new iPad.
“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 Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “New customers and anyone looking to upgrade will love this new iPad for use at home, in school, and for work, with its gorgeous Retina display, our powerful A9 chip, and access to the more than 1.3 million apps designed specifically for it.”
Apple’s iPad will go on sale Friday, March 24th on Apple.com and select Apple retailers. It’ll cost $329 for the 32GB/Wi-Fi only model, while 128GB of storage and cellular connectivity will run you $459. Apple is now also offering the iPad mini 4 exclusively in 128GB of storage for $399 with Wi-Fi and $529 with cellular. We still have yet to hear anything regarding Apple’s mysterious 10.5-inch bezel-free iPad so stay tuned.