At today’s education event in Chicago, Apple announced an updated 9.7-inch iPad that supports Apple Pencil, which is one of the features that last year’s 9.7-inch iPad lacked. This updated iPad will take the place of the previous 9.7-inch iPad in Apple’s lineup, and features Apple’s A10 Fusion chip (a more powerful version of last year’s A9 chip), Touch ID, an HD front-facing camera, an 8-megapixel rear camera and 10 hours battery life. Neither comes with iPad Pro’s True Tone technology, which enables the screen to replicate the “paper white” of a notebook.
The new iPad will cost $329, the same as last year’s 9.7-inch iPad, but schools will be able to buy them for $299. Like before, Apple’s Pencil will be sold separately at $99 (customers) and $89 (schools). On the new iPad, the Apple Pencil will now be able to work on all of Apple’s iWork suite, including Pages for documents, Numbers for spreadsheets and Keynote for scribbling on presentation slides.
It’s no secret that Apple wants school systems and students to adopt this new iPad, and therefore retake the ground that it’s lost to Google’s Chromebooks. To help do this, Apple also announced that teachers will be able to create digital books on their Macs. There are a few AR and VR apps for students, too, like Froggipedia, which enables students to virtually dissect frogs on the new iPad using the Apple Pencil. Lastly, students now get 200GB of free iCloud storage, which is a huge bump from the previous 5GB of free storage.
Additionally, Apple revealed two iPad accessories that it’s collaborated with Logitech on. The first is another stylus device, called Crayon, which can do much of what the Apple Pencil can do yet costs only $49. The other accessory is a rugged keyboard case that costs $99.
The updated iPad is available today in Apple stores and on its website. You can get it in silver, space gray and gold (new!).
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