Apple announces new $329 iPad with Apple Pencil support and A10 Fusion chipset


Apple has just introduced a new affordable iPad model, starting at $329. The new tablet comes to succeed the entry-level model which the company launched last year at the same price point. Aside from all the improvements under the hood, the biggest new feature is full support for Apple Pencil.

While it's undoubtedly a great iPad for consumers, this new model is especially geared towards the education environment: schools will be able to order it for $299 a piece. Also, the Apple Pencil, which continues to cost $99, will be sold at $89 to schools.


The IPS screen technology remains unchanged, with a 9.7" diagonal and super-high resolution (Retina) of 2048 x 1536 pixels. Unfortunately, aside from Pencil support, none of the more advanced features of the pricier iPads are available here, namely: Apple's antireflective coating, True Tone display, Wide-gamut color, and ProMotion (120 Hz response rate). However, the absence of these premium features will not stop this from being a great, spacious touchscreen for general use including reading, watching video, browsing the web, studying, using apps or playing games.


While last-year's budget iPad used the Apple A9 chipset, the new one upgrades that to the A10 Fusion, which is what powers the iPhone 7 generation. It's still an incredibly powerful quad-core processor that can go up to 2.3 GHz core clock speed. It also comes with great improvements to the graphics technology, which enables the new $329 iPad to be used with Augmented Reality applications.


For consumers and students alike, having a capable camera is always of great benefit, and while taking photos with a tablets continues to be that sweet, awkward activity, the new iPad's 8 MP main camera should be more than up to the task. It will also record 1080p HD video. On the front, there's a fun little 5 MP camera for selfies and video calls.


As mentioned, this new iPad is heavily geared towards school use, so many of the new features Apple has worked on have to do with education. We already mentioned that it can work with the $99 Apple Pencil, but the bigger surprise was the announcement of the officially supported Logitech Crayon pen, which will cost just $49. At that price, the Crayon loses the pressure sensitivity but retains all other features plus the ability to work with multiple iPads at the same time (useful for teachers). However, the sad news is the Logitech Crayon will only be sold to schools, and will probably never reach retail.

Aside from that, Apple has upgraded its iWork productivity applications: Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, so they can now support input from the Apple Pencil. The other enhancements really concern mostly the school environment, and include new class and schoolwork management tools for teachers and students alike. Perhaps best of all, students will be getting 200 GB of free iCloud storage, which is a massive, massive upgrade over the 5 GB free tier Apple is still offering its regular customers.

Price and release date

The new budget 9.7" iPad for schools is priced at $299, but consumers will be able to purchase it at the following prices:

You can order it today, and it will start shipping later this week in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the US.

Next to get the new tablet will be India, Russia, Thailand, Turkey and some other countries in April.

Finally, South Korea and the rest of the world should have access to it, beginning in May.

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