Apple today squeezed in a surprise product announcement during its typical iPhone and Apple Watch-focused event: a new iPad. The device is a 10.2-inch variant of the company’s tablet, slotting in at the entry level as a replacement for the $329 9.7-inch iPad, as was previously rumored over the last few months. It’s officially the first seventh-generation iPad, Apple VP Greg “Joz” Joswiak said today onstage, and it’s available today starting at $329. Apple says education customers can purchase the device for $299.
We knew that there could be quite a few new iPad models coming this year, thanks to regulatory filings, analyst notes and news reports, and leaks dating back to as early as March of this year. But it was largely believed the tablet announcements would occur in the usual October time frame for Apple’s annual iPad event, as the company usually sticks to phones and smartwatches, as well as those devices’ software updates and accessories, during the big September one.
Not the case this time, it seems. The new seventh-generation iPad is compatible with the full-sized Smart Keyboard and the first-generation Apple Pencil, and it comes with the A10 Fusion chip. That processor is slightly less powerful than the A10X Fusion chip found in the second-generation iPad Pro, but still quite powerful for an entry-level tablet. Apple also says, for the first time, this iPad’s enclosure is made from 100 percent recycled aluminum.
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