Today, without any keynote fanfare, Apple announced a new 9.7-inch iPad that boasts a Retina display and a low starting price of $329. Apple is calling it, simply, iPad. The new model effectively kills off the mid-range iPad Air 2, which Apple is no longer selling, and looks very similar to the higher-end 9.7-inch iPad Pro ($599+) — but there are major differences. The new iPad comes with Apple’s A9 chip (not the Pro’s more powerful A9X) and isn’t compatible with Apple Pencil. It also has a lesser camera (8MP vs. the Pro’s 12MP) that can’t capture 4K video.
The new iPad is Apple’s bet that the everyday consumer — i.e., not necessarily non-creative professionals — just wants a cheaper iPad to watch their shows and browse the web. It has virtually the same 9.7-inch Retina display (2048 x 1536) as its more expensive sibling. (Although the iPad doesn’t comes with the Pro’s True Tone technology, so it can’t replicate the “paper white” of a notebook.) If you weren’t planning on drawing with the Apple Pencil, or using power programs like Photoshop, the new iPad is for you.
The iPad comes in wi-fi and LTE models, with 32GB or 128GB of internal storage. It is available in silver, gold and space gray colorways.
In other Apple news, the company announced a special edition iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus that’ll come in red.