During its traditionally iPhone and Apple Watch focused event, Apple surprised the public with the reveal of a new entry-level iPad. The new tablet, which is available today, boasts a bigger 10.2-inch screen than its predecessor but will retail for the same $329 price.
That Apple would be announcing a new iPad had been known for quite a while. A series of regulatory filings, as well as some leaks had hinted at such. However, Apple usually announces new iPad models in October, so the reveal of the new entry-level iPad at the September event was quite surprising.
Apple stated that the new 10.2-inch entry-level iPad was the first seventh generation iPad. Aside from the bigger screen Apple also confirmed that it would be running on its new iPad OS. Originally announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last June, iPad OS puts greater emphasis on multitasking. While it’s still based on the same iOS operating system used on the iPhone, it comes with a host of new features to better allow users to shuffle between multiple apps.
With the increase in size, the new entry-level iPad is now compatible with Apple’s full-sized Smart Keyboard. The tablet also supports the first-generation Apple Pencil. As for what’s inside, the new entry-level iPad runs on the A10 Fusion system on a chip. This chip is a scaled down version of the A10X Fusion first seen on the second-generation iPad Pro. Apple first used the A10 on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus which is released back in 2016. This should give prospective buyers a hint as to how the entry-level tablet is expected to perform.
Finally, Apple announced that the enclosure for new entry-level iPad would be made from 100% recycled aluminum. Apple started doing this with its Macintosh line of computers last year. With this in mind, its great to see it extend this bit of corporate responsibility to the new tablet as well.