Apple Launches New 9.7-Inch iPad With Pencil Support

Apple is taking over the classroom.

When the iPad launched in 2010, schools across the country tried to incorporate the device into classes. It makes sense since it’s so versatile and portable. It’s also expensive, and in recent years, Google Chromebooks have become more common in schools. To take their place back in the classroom, Apple developed a new iPad that is great for students and everyone else.

Today’s Apple event focused on education and took place in the auditorium of Lane Tech College Prep located in Chicago. Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of product marketing, introduced the new iPad to those in attendance. The new tablet has a 9.7-inch retina display screen, A10 Fusion chip, 32GB of storage, 8MP rear camera, stereo speakers, HD FaceTime camera, TouchID, optional LTE and a 10-hour battery life. Schools can purchase the tablet for $299 while those out of school will have to pay $329.

New to this iPad is support for the Apple Pencil. The accessory paired exclusively with the iPad Pro when it was announced last year, but now it can work with newest iPad. Apple Pencil owners will also have more apps that use it including Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. A less-expensive option of the stylus from Logitech called the Crayon was shown, however, it will only be available for schools to purchase.

To power the new tablet, Apple added its A10 Fusion chip, the same processor as the iPad Pro. Customers can choose between the color mainstays of silver and space gray or get a little fancy with the new gold look. Those who want more storage space can select the 128GB version for a bit more money.

At a price point of $329, the new iPad is a hefty amount of tech for an affordable price, something not normally said about Apple products. It’s even cheaper than the iPad Mini 4, which still has a price tag of $399.

In the fight for the classroom with Google, Apple threw down the gauntlet by providing a powerful device with more features for not much more than the Chromebooks out on the market.

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