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Apple Unveils New Lower-Cost 9.7” iPad with Apple Pencil Support

Apple Unveils New Lower-Cost 9.7” iPad with Apple Pencil Support

By Simon Hung

Apple held a low-key event today in Chicago, inviting press to “take a field trip” with them as they unveiled some new products and services with a focus on education. The event was not broadcast live to the public and the most notable announcement was the introduction of a new lower-cost 9.7” iPad with Apple Pencil support -- a feature previously only available on the higher-end iPad Pro.

The education-focused Apple event highlighted the use of iPads in classrooms.

The new iPad starts at $399.00 for education shoppers or $429.00 for general consumers -- a $20.00 lower starting price than the previous-generation 9.7” iPad. It's available in three colours (gold, silver or space grey), with 32GB or 128GB of storage in Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + Cellular variants. The new iPad is available to order now and we’ve listed the education pricing for each model below.

On the inside, the new iPad contains a faster A10 Fusion processor, the same processor found in iPhone 7/7 Plus, but otherwise includes identical specs as the previous-generation, including the same 9.7” Retina Display, 8MP rear camera, 1.2MP front camera, Touch ID and 32.4-watt-hour battery with 10 hours of battery life.

Apple Pencil was previously only supported on iPad Pro, which starts at $869.00.

The Apple Pencil is sold separately ($115.00 for education shoppers or $129.00 for general consumers), with Apple noting that the accessory will be a useful tool for students and teachers to take notes or mark assignments. A new $49.00 USD accessory from Logitech was also announced called the Logitech Crayon, which serves as a more affordable stylus for students and educators.

Other highlights from the keynote include real-world stories from teachers emphasizing the growing emergence of technology in classrooms, particularly with Apple devices; updates to the iWork suite of productivity apps to include support for Apple Pencil; a new Schoolwork app for teachers to create assignments and track student progress; and the news that teachers and students with a Managed Apple ID will now receive 200GB of free iCloud storage instead of the previous limit of 5GB.

39 Comments

    • Image

      https://www.macrumors.com/2018/03/16/ap ... 7-chicago/
      9.7-inch iPad for $259: Taiwanese websites DigiTimes and the Economic Daily News reported that Apple is considering releasing a cheaper 9.7-inch iPad for $259—perhaps this will be education pricing. The current 9.7-inch iPad was released in March 2017 for $329.
      MacBook Air for $799 to $899: KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple will launch a more affordable MacBook Air in the second quarter of 2018. The estimated $799-$899 price range comes from WitsView researcher Yubin Qiu. The current MacBook Air starts at $999.
      AirPower charging mat: A trio of reports claim Apple will launch AirPower in March. The mat can inductively charge multiple Apple devices at once, including the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and Apple Watch Series 3. It will also be able to charge AirPods placed in an optional charging case.
      Wild card — a second-generation iPhone SE: Rumors have been swirling about an iPhone SE refresh, with speculated features ranging from a larger 4.2-inch display to an iPhone X-like design, but Kuo recently cast doubt on the device launching in the first half of 2018.
      A new Apple Pencil: The artwork for Apple's invite appears to be inspired by the Apple Pencil, so perhaps we'll see an updated version of the drawing tool or support for the 9.7-inch iPad.
      iOS 11.3 availability with ClassKit
    • Report Post
    • Apple March 27 Chicago event: as it happened
      https://www.techradar.com/news/apple-launch-2018

      Image
      10.25: Holy crap, it's going to have 10-hour battery life, TouchID, the A10 Fusion chip, LTE... this is powerful. There can't be a price drop, surely?
      10.29: You can now dissect a frog digitally - got to hand it to Apple, that's the kind of app that's really gonna resonate in the media. Saving the frog from a stereotype.

      It'll cost the same $329USD for consumers, and $299USD for the educators. It'll be available to buy today, so no wait on this.
    • Report Post
    • Height: 240 mm (9.4 inches)
      Width: 169.5 mm (6.6 inches)
      Depth: 7.5 mm (0.29 inch)
      Weight: 469 grams (1.03 pounds)

      Those are the exact same specs as the 2017 iPad. I guess they couldn't stuff all that into the shell of my 2014 iPad Air 2:

      Height: 240 mm (9.4 inches)
      Width: 169.5 mm (6.6 inches)
      Depth: 6.1 mm (0.24 inch)
      Weight: 437 grams (0.963 pounds)

      That probably means it's a similar lower end screen to the iPad 2017, but that's OK because the screen is still very decent and it now supports Pencil. BTW, I was expecting a new Pencil, but that doesn't seem to have happened. Logitech announced a crayon stylus though.
    • Report Post
    • It's an issue for buying cases if they keep changing the size slightly, so it's good if the dimensions are exactly the same as the iPad 2017. That model already needed a whole new line of cases, not only because of the size, but because they made the sleep cover trigger work only if the case also activated the magnetic attachment on the spine.
    • Report Post
    • I think these prices are for existing ipad
    • Report Post
    • sirisak wrote:
      Mar 27th, 2018 12:45 pm
      I think these prices are for existing ipad
      Yes for the 2017 iPad AND the new 2018 iPad. So there is no reason to pay full retail for a 2017 iPad now.
    • Report Post
    • looks like you can't even buy the 2017 iPad on the apple site anymore
    • Report Post
    • fancy title "lower priced", it is just another refresh to the 2017 ipad, what other improvement is there besides the pencil support?

      so which is better? this or the chrome book tablet 10 from acer? and what is a chrome book? is this supposed to be an android replacement?


      The Acer Chromebook Tab 10
      D651N
      Display Diagonal 9.7"
      Resolution 2048×1536
      PD 264 PPI
      SoC Rockchip OP1
      2 × ARM Cortex-A72
      4 × ARM Cortex-A53
      RAM 4 GB
      Storage 32 GB
      Wi-Fi 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi module
      Bluetooth BT 4.1
      USB 1 × USB Type-C (5 Gbps) for data, charging, display output
      Other I/O 2 MP webcam, 5MP rear camera,
      TRRS connector for audio, speakers, microphone
      Dimensions (H × W × D) 238.2 mm × 172.2 mm × 9.98 mm
      9.38" × 6.78" × 0.39"
      Weight 550 grams / 1.21 pounds
      Battery Life 9 hours (34 Wh)
      Price North America: $329
      EMEA: €329
    • Report Post
    • divx wrote:
      Mar 27th, 2018 1:28 pm
      fancy title "lower priced", it is just another refresh to the 2017 ipad, what other improvement is there besides the pencil support?
      Much faster SoC.
    • Report Post
    • EugW wrote:
      Mar 27th, 2018 1:36 pm
      Much faster SoC.
      full hardware spec comparison?
    • Report Post
    • divx wrote:
      Mar 27th, 2018 1:38 pm
      full hardware spec comparison?
      A9 vs A10 Fusion
      Dunno about memory but probably both 2 GB.

      Besides Pencil/Crayon support, everything else identical.
    • Report Post
    • Happy to have gotten in on the Walmart ipad sale after this announcement.
    • Report Post
    • Glad I bought a release 2014 iPad Air 2 and then another iPad Air 2 in 2015 for $100 off. I suspect these will last me until at least 2021.

      Interestingly, the 2015 one was discounted by Best Buy in the summer probably because Best Buy brass were thinking Apple might update the iPad in the fall of 2015, but Apple never did. Apple waited all the way until 2017 before replacing the iPad Air 2, yet replaced it with one that was heavier and which had an inferior screen.
    • Report Post
    • interesting fact is that 200GB of cloud space....not sure if that is available only with this 2018 ipad?
    • Report Post
    • sirisak wrote:
      Mar 27th, 2018 3:45 pm
      interesting fact is that 200GB of cloud space....not sure if that is available only with this 2018 ipad?
      Only for education I believe.
    • Report Post
    • Apple must be nuts thinking people will actually buy this...the iPad Pro 9.7 beats this in almost single category aside from a slightly slower processor, but it comes with Truetone, a better camera, etc. IMO, better off buying that if you can get your hands on it compared to this.
    • Report Post
    • Apple must be nuts thinking people will actually buy this...the iPad Pro 9.7 beats this in almost single category aside from a slightly slower processor, but it comes with Truetone, a better camera, etc. IMO, better off buying that if you can get your hands on it compared to this.
    • Report Post
    • globalize9 wrote:
      Mar 27th, 2018 4:27 pm
      Apple must be nuts thinking people will actually buy this...the iPad Pro 9.7 beats this in almost single category aside from a slightly slower processor, but it comes with Truetone, a better camera, etc. IMO, better off buying that if you can get your hands on it compared to this.
      Sorry, you are wrong. The 2018 ipad is 40% cheaper than the refurbished 2016 ipad pro. 20% faster as well. Better camera on an ipad? who cares. truetone is minor. Have you considered your opinion is in the minority? With the introduction of the 2017 low price ipad , sales have jumped.
    • Report Post
    • hugh_da_man wrote:
      Mar 27th, 2018 2:09 pm
      Happy to have gotten in on the Walmart ipad sale after this announcement.
      why are you happy? Apple has refurb 2017 ipads for 319 on their website now. The speed jump and pencil support on the 2018 is well worth the extra 60$ you saved.
    • Report Post
    • bkushner wrote:
      Mar 27th, 2018 4:49 pm
      Sorry, you are wrong. The 2018 ipad is 40% cheaper than the refurbished 2016 ipad pro. 20% faster as well. Better camera on an ipad? who cares. truetone is minor. Have you considered your opinion is in the minority? With the introduction of the 2017 low price ipad , sales have jumped.
      Agreed. Given the choice, it'd be a no-brainer for me. I'd get the iPad 2018 9.7" over the iPad Pro 9.7" any day of the week, considering that the iPad 2018 is almost $200 less.

      IMO, the iPad Pro 9.7" was lame even at launch in 2016. No Pro iPad should have ever been released with just 2 GB RAM IMO, esp. considering the cheaper iPad Air 2 was launched in 2014 with the same 2 GB RAM.
      bkushner wrote:
      Mar 27th, 2018 4:52 pm
      why are you happy? Apple has refurb 2017 ipads for 319 on their website now. The speed jump and pencil support on the 2018 is well worth the extra 60$ you saved.
      If I were buying today, it would be the iPad 2018, but I think it makes a lot of sense for some to save $110 and get the iPad 2017 if they don't need or want Pencil/Crayon support. I didn't think that Wal-Mart $368 deal for the iPad 2017 was a great one though, considering that there was a good chance the iPad was going to get updated relatively soon.

      Mind you, it can be a crap shoot. I got my second iPad Air 2 in 2015 for $100 off probably because Best Buy thought a new model was coming. That new model never came... until 2 years later, or three years after the original release.
    • Report Post
    • bkushner wrote:
      Mar 27th, 2018 4:52 pm
      why are you happy? Apple has refurb 2017 ipads for 319 on their website now. The speed jump and pencil support on the 2018 is well worth the extra 60$ you saved.
      I'd feel bad giving a refurb as a gift as my last refurb ipad died at about a year and a half. For people buying them for themselves the refurbs are a good deal for sure.

      For me, it's worth saving the $60 as the speed bump and pencil support are nice but the 2017 ipad was good enough speed wise for the person I was buying it for and pencil support isn't needed (Steve Jobs said your finger is your pencil anyways). I was afraid they'd release a 2018 ipad with a significantly better screen and that didn't happen so I'm happy with the price and the features getting it from Walmart two weeks ago.
    • Report Post
    • EugW wrote:
      Mar 27th, 2018 1:44 pm
      A9 vs A10 Fusion
      Dunno about memory but probably both 2 GB.

      Besides Pencil/Crayon support, everything else identical.
      only 2gb? the air 2 had 2gb and that was 4 years ago.
    • Report Post
    • divx wrote:
      Mar 27th, 2018 6:49 pm
      only 2gb? the air 2 had 2gb and that was 4 years ago.
      Yes, lame, but nonetheless that is what I'm guessing for the iPad 2018. The iPad Pro 9.7" came with 2 GB with 2 GB in 2016. Furthermore, the iPhone 8 in 2017 only came with 2 GB RAM.

      Unfortunately, Apple tends to be stingy with RAM, and the iPad 2018 is an entry level model, so most guesses are that it has 2 GB. I'd love to be wrong on this, but I suspect I am right.

      And yeah, I bought an Air 2 four years ago with 2 GB RAM. I won't get a new iPad until it gets 4 GB.
    • Report Post
    • Is the display laminated?
    • Report Post
    • Pen is the most important part.
    • Report Post
    • bkushner wrote:
      Mar 27th, 2018 4:49 pm
      Sorry, you are wrong. The 2018 ipad is 40% cheaper than the refurbished 2016 ipad pro. 20% faster as well. Better camera on an ipad? who cares. truetone is minor. Have you considered your opinion is in the minority? With the introduction of the 2017 low price ipad , sales have jumped.
      Do the comparison...screen ain't laminated on the 2018 "new" ones. Once you have them side by side, those "minor" things become a major eye sore.

      I was under the impression that newer is better until I laid them out side by side:
      - laminated display help with anti reflection, significantly
      - if you read a lot at night or general use your iPad in uneven lightnings, true tone goes a long way

      Those 2 alone made me pick the 9.7 pro over this new one.
    • Report Post
    • Redsanta wrote:
      Mar 27th, 2018 7:38 pm
      Is the display laminated?
      nope, that's why I am saying Apple is ripping people off with this "education" iPad made out of recycled 2 yrs old material
    • Report Post
    • Just like last year, I think this is a good buy only if you have older than an Air 2. The Air 2 is fast enough with a better screen, and the 2017 iPad is practically the same except for the chip.

      Moreover, the pencil is expensive and won't be as precise as on a Pro with a laminated screen. If comparing with the 9.7" Pro, still superior to the 2018 iPad. Roughly same speed, better screen, speakers, camera, keyboard connector.
    • Report Post
    • Angultra wrote:
      Mar 27th, 2018 11:46 pm
      Just like last year, I think this is a good buy only if you have older than an Air 2. The Air 2 is fast enough with a better screen, and the 2017 iPad is practically the same except for the chip.

      Moreover, the pencil is expensive and won't be as precise as on a Pro with a laminated screen. If comparing with the 9.7" Pro, still superior to the 2018 iPad. Roughly same speed, better screen, speakers, camera, keyboard connector.
      Crayon is half the price of Pencil. If half decent, it would be a good value for students taking notes and drawing simple things. They don’t need a pro sketching tool.
    • Report Post
  • Gee
    • I bought the iPad 2017 and hate the screen. If the new one has the same screen, it’s a deal breaker for me

      I’m going to wait for the refresh of the Pro.
    • Report Post
    • Yep, still 2 GB.

      https://www.imore.com/ipad-6#geekbench

      It's also a bit slower than the iPhone 7.

      Image
      Gee wrote:
      Mar 28th, 2018 11:06 am
      I bought the iPad 2017 and hate the screen. If the new one has the same screen, it’s a deal breaker for me

      I’m going to wait for the refresh of the Pro.
      I'd say you're in the minority, but there's no denying the iPad Pro has a better screen. The iPad Pro with 4 GB and faster CPU (when it gets refreshed) will last longer too.
    • Report Post
  • Gee
    • EugW wrote:
      Mar 28th, 2018 11:14 am
      I'd say you're in the minority, but there's no denying the iPad Pro has a better screen. The iPad Pro with 4 GB and faster CPU (when it gets refreshed) will last longer too.
      Definitely in the minority. I currently have a several iPads including Air 2 and the iPad Pro 9.7 with the Apple Pencil and keyboard. They all get used except for the iPad 2017. Because of the screen.
    • Report Post
    • Gee wrote:
      Mar 28th, 2018 11:28 am
      Definitely in the minority. I currently have a several iPads including Air 2 and the iPad Pro 9.7 with the Apple Pencil and keyboard. They all get used except for the iPad 2017. Because of the screen.
      Why not the 10.5 pro? That has 4gbs
    • Report Post