Cupertino, Calif.—In an unexpected addition to Apple’s iPhone event today, the company announced a new 7th-generation iPad. In recent years, the company has saved such announcements for a separate event later in the fall, but Apple instead debuted a new version of its entry-level tablet this morning.
This new model comes with a 10.2-inch 2160×1620 “Retina” display, up from the older model’s 9.7-inch panel, and an A10 Fusion chip. The latter is the same chip used for the existing 6th-gen iPad, and that chip was first introduced with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus—so don’t expect a significant performance upgrade. Still, it should provide enough power for the entertainment, Web browsing, and casual work that meets the needs of this iPad which is primarily aimed at.
The design is otherwise very similar to before—thicker bezels, home button, roughly one-pound weight, and all—and Apple still claims the tablet will get up to 10 hours of battery life. The device still comes with either 32GB or 128GB of storage—This new 7th-gen iPad looks a lot like the 9.7-inch iPad, with compatibility with keyboard covers and Apple Pencil – but with a slightly larger display. This device has an industrial design extremely similar to that of its predecessor, complete with a circular home button and Touch ID.
Naturally, the new iPad will come with Apple’s forthcoming iPadOS update, which will give the device a more robust multitasking system. It’ll be able to connect to thumb drives and SD cards, too, and it’ll work with Apple’s Smart Keyboard attachment and the first-gen model of the Apple Pencil stylus. Apple did not switch to a USB-C port here as it’s done with its higher-end iPad Pros, though that’s not surprising with a cheaper tablet like this—This newest iPad is not an “iPad Pro” and is not an “iPad Mini” – instead, it’s a larger version of the longest-running iPad line – the standard iPad. This version of the iPad may not be called iPad Pro.
The new 7th Gen iPad (with 10.2-inch display) works with a single back-facing camera. This camera is 8-megapixels and has NO LED flash. There’s a headphone jack at the top of this iPad. There’s a cellular-connected model as well as a Wi-fi-only model. The carrier version has the ability to connect with gigabit LTE.
The device will retain the $329 starting price of the previous 9.7-inch iPad and will begin shipping on September 30, with pre-orders available on Tuesday. Education customers will be able to get it at a slight discount of $299.