Surprise! Okay, maybe not really a surprise but last night Apple revealed that they have updated their most popular iPad, the 9.7-inch, with upgraded sensors and support for the Apple Pencil. That means your current iPad is, sadly, old news! Fortunately, you can get your hands on the new iPad very soon - like, today soon, in fact!
But first: How does it stack up with its predecessor?
The New iPad 9.7-inch is basically the same as the old iPad 9.7-inch, but with a fresh lick of paint and some slight tinkering to the specs under the hood. Like most iPad iterations, it'd be a struggle to differentiate it from iPad v.2017 on aesthetics alone, but when you look inside, there are two clear differences that should help the New iPad perform better, for longer (granted Apple don't slow it down in a years time). The first is the updated sensors on the display which allow for Apple Pencil support. The second is the upgraded A10 Fusion chip, the same kind of chip you'd find in the iPhone 7.
Other than that, there's not much else to see here. Apple unveiled the device at an education-centric event in Chicago overnight and clearly positioned the device as one that schools and educators could use to improve the experience of sitting in a classroom. Apple's official release also touted "enhanced cameras and advanced sensors, including a gyroscope and accelerometer" that are "designed to support the next generation of AR apps."
Here's a look at the chief specifications:
|iPad (2017)||iPad (2018)|
|OS||iOS 10.3||iOS 11|
|Dimensions||240 x 169.5 x 7.5mm||240 x 169.5 x 7.5mm|
|Weight||469g (Wi-Fi), 478g (Cellular)||469g (Wi-Fi), 478g (Cellular)|
|CPU||Apple A9, M9 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture||Apple A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture|
|Display||9.7-inch Retina HD Display||9.7-inch Retina HD Display|
|Resolution||2048 x 1536 pixels (264 ppi)||2048 x 1536 pixels (264 ppi)|
|Apple Pencil Support||No||Yes|
|Camera||8 MP (f/2.4, 31mm, 1.12 µm), 1.2 MP (f/2.2, 31mm)||8 MP (f/2.4, 31mm, 1.12 µm), 1.2 MP (f/2.2, 31mm)|
|Colours||Silver, Gold, Space Grey||Silver, Gold, Space Grey|
New iPad 9.7-inch Availability
According to Apple, the New iPad is available to order today and starts delivering to customers and arriving in stores later this week. That means you should start seeing it drop at the Apple store and places like JB Hi-Fi by - we assume - the weekend. Currently, listings have not been updated and still show the old model.
New iPad 9.7-inch Pricing
2018's 9.7-inch iPad is going to set you back $469 for the 32GB Wi-Fi model. Currently, the 2017 model retails at $449 for the same specifications - so the $20 bump for a couple of extra features isn't unreasonable. However, that doesn't include the Apple Pencil. That retails for an additional $145. As one of the chief reasons for upgrading right now, that will sting the pocket a bit more, especially if you're already running one of last year's models.
Schools will be able to grab it for a little cheaper however, with the base model starting at $439 and the Apple Pencil starting at $129.
What do you think? Worth upgrading or designed predominantly with educators and classrooms in mind?