Apple has today introduced a new 9.7-inch iPad at its education event in Chicago. The new tablet is largely designed for schools and supports the Apple Pencil. In addition to that, the company announced a handful of updates for its productivity suite.
The new iPad weighs only a single pound and features a familiar set of hardware including the A10 Fusion chip, a Retina display, 8-megapixel rear camera which can record 1080p videos, LTE compatibility, and a promise of 10-hour battery life. There’s TouchID as well and an HD FaceTime selfie camera.
Apple’s documentation app, Pages is now compatible with “Smart Annotation” too which essentially lets users scribble over a file and under sentences with the stylus. Teachers can also stitch digital books together with iBooks Author.
There are a couple of new accessories, one of which is a $49 stylus from Logitech called “Crayon”. Logitech also has a new rugged keyboard case, although the company didn’t reveal pricing details for that.
There are three color options — silver, space gray, and gold. The new 9.7-inch iPad is available starting today at a price of $329 for regular customers and $299 for schools. Students will also get 200GB of iCloud storage instead of 5GB. Unfortunately, both the stylus and keyboard are sold separately. In India, it will cost Rs 28,000 for the 32GB Wi-Fi variant and Rs 38,600 if you want cellular support as well. It is now available through Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers.
Apple seems to have failed to perceive the reason why its position in the education market took a hit. Chromebooks primarily soared thanks to their affordable price and ease of use. Acer yesterday unveiled a $329 Chrome OS tablet, although that includes the stylus at least. There is a range of other cheaper Chromebooks available out there as well. Lenovo, at MWC, introduced one which was capable of taking input from any pencil, not just a special stylus. Among these, Apple’s announcement comes as rather impractical and out of touch.