Apple unveils new education-focused iPad in Chicago

Apple invited journalists to an event in Chicago to show off its latest education-related technologies, one of which is a new iPad that replaces the 2017-vintage suffix-less model. The new version of the popular tablet has one of the fruit-flavored company's A10 Fusion SoCs and a 9.7" display.

The company was a bit light on hard numbers, but we expect the refreshed iPad's Retina display has the same 2048x1536 resolution as the old model (and Acer's just-announced Chromebook Tab 10). We do know the screen will accept input from Apple's Pencil, which has a tilt sensor to go along with its pressure sensitivity. The iPad does not have the Smart Keyboard connector found on Apple's work-focused iPad Pros. Bluetooth keyboards should continue to work as well as they ever have, though.

None of Apple's spokespersons said anything about how much system memory was present in the new iPad, but we imagine it's the same 2 GB as the last model. The A10 Fusion SoC is also found in Apple's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, though clock speeds could be higher in the substantially-larger iPad chassis.

The new iPad has an 8-megapixel world-facing camera and an "HD" user-facing camera for use with FaceTime. The home button still works as a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and the new model has GPS receiver and a compass. Apple claims the new machine can last ten hours between appointments with a charger. LTE connectivity with maximum supported speeds up to 300 Mbps is optional.

New versions of Pages and Keynote will work with the Apple Pencil. Along with Numbers, the apps comprise the iWork set that will be installed from the factory. Apple will also bump students and teachers' iCloud accounts to 200 GB for free.

Consumers can pre-order the new iPad starting today for $329 with 32 GB of storage, the same price as the previous iteration. The LTE model with 32 GB of storage costs $459. Available finishes include silver, dark gray, and a new gold color. Schools can buy the base model for a reduced $299, higher than the $259 price point some expected. Apple expects shipments to start later this week. Logitech also showed off its Crayon, a cheaper stylus that will work with the new iPad, as well as a rugged keyboard-and-case combo unit. Logitech's Crayon comes in at $49, about half the price of the $99 Apple Pencil.

Tip: You can use the A/Z keys to walk threads.
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