A brief first look at Apple's seventh-generation iPad

And farewell to the company's last 9.7-inch tablet.

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It didn't receive much lip service at today's keynote, but Apple has unveiled a new 10.2-inch iPad, the seventh generation in the company's long line of tablets. This also means Apple has axed the last 9.7-inch model, a size that once defined the iPad line. Like the device that it replaces, this new 10.2-inch tablet supports Apple Pencil input, though that writing implement continues to be sold separately.

Gallery: Apple iPad 7th Gen | 7 Photos

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This time, though, the entry-level iPad also gets Apple's Smart Connector, allowing you to snap on Apple's $159 keyboard folio, also sold separately. In my brief demo, I was most struck by how bright the screen is. At 500 nits it doesn't compare to a new flagship iPhone (one device announced today tops out at 1,200 nits), but I'm old enough to remember when 500 nits was the spec on high-end notebooks. This is a $329 tablet, cheaper than even most low-end laptops.

The new iPad is up for pre-order today, with shipments starting September 30th. As stated, it starts at $329, but if you want LTE too, then the base price goes up to $459. All told, built-in storage ranges from 32GB to 128GB.

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