Apple introduces majorly improved entry-level iPad with a bigger price tag

Apple introduces majorly improved entry-level iPad with a bigger price tag
Apple today announced a new entry-level iPad with an overhauled design, improved specs, and a bigger price tag. The device was introduced alongside a couple of other products without much fanfare.

Bigger display and a new design

The 2021 iPad has a 10.2 inches screen and the model that Apple has revealed today comes with a bigger 10.9 inches Liquid Retina display with a resolution of 2360x1640 pixels. 

The device has also embraced a flat-edged design, ditching its curved corners to better align with the iPad mini, Air, and Pro. The inner camera is now in the landscape orientation for a better video calling experience.

The Touch ID fingerprint scanner has been relocated from the bottom bezel to the power button, which gives the slate a more refined look and also increases the screen-to-body ratio. 

10th generation iPad gets a two-year-old chip but is still 5x faster than the best Android slate

The 10.9-inch iPad is fueled by the two-year-old but nonetheless powerful 5nm A14 Bionic chip, which Apple claims should result in a 20 percent improvement in CPU performance and 10 percent improvement in graphics when compared to the 2021 model that has the 7nm A13 Bionic under the hood.

Instead of comparing the new basic iPad with the latest iPad Pro which was also announced today and has been equipped with the insanely powerful M2 chip, Apple has pitted the 10.9-inch iPad against Android slates, asserting that it's five times faster than the best-selling Android tablet. The company is probably throwing shade at Samsung, which is the second largest tablet vendor after Apple and makes the best Android slates.

The proprietary Lightning port has been replaced with a USB-C connector, meaning the device will be compatible with a wider range of accessories and also support faster charging speeds and better data transfer speeds. 

The new model also offers faster wireless connectivity, thanks to the newer Wi-Fi 6 standard which makes connections 30 percent faster.

The front-facing camera is still a 12MP ultrawide unit with a 122-degree field of view but the 8MP rear camera of the previous model has been swapped out for a new 12MP sensor.

And, of course, Apple's new operating system version for the iPad, iPadOS 16, also brings new features such as unsending or editing messages, a new productivity app called Freeform, and iCloud Shared Photo Library.

10.9-inch 2022 iPad price and availability

The 10.9-inch iPad will be available in blue, pink, yellow, and silver hues. Wi-Fi models start at $449, which is an increase of $120 over the 2021 model. Pre-orders are now open and the tablet will be released on October 26.

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Apple has also introduced a new Magic Keyboard Folio made specifically for the new iPad which only comes in white and costs $249. The 1st generation Apple Pencil is still supported. The company will continue to sell the 9th generation iPad for $329.

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