Apple's redesigned entry-level iPad has an A14 chip and USB-C charging

There's also a landscape camera and a new keyboard add-on.


The rumors were true — Apple has unveiled a redesigned version of its entry-level iPad. The new model borrows the thin-bezel form factor of higher-end models, including the switch to USB-C, no headphone jack and a fingerprint reader built into the sleep/wake button. You can expect a familiar 10.9-inch display with a 2,360 x 1,640 resolution and True Tone color adjustment, albeit without lamination like on the Air. However, there's a twist for the 12MP ultra-wide front camera. This is the first iPad with a landscape-orientation selfie cam, making it far better for group chats or laptop-like use.

The tablet uses the same A14 Bionic chip as the original iPad Air, and supports modern networking like WiFi 6 and (on cellular models) 5G. You'll also find an updated 12MP rear camera. Unfortunately, this isn't an ideal slate for creatives on a budget. You're still limited to first-generation Pencil support, and you'll need to use the Pencil's included USB-C adapter (available for $9 if you already have a Pencil) to pair and charge the pen.

Apple iPad Magic Keyboard Folio

You'll at least have a slightly cheaper official option for turning the iPad into a notebook. A new $249 Magic Keyboard Folio (shown at middle) offers full-size keys (including function keys) and a trackpad like the pricier Magic Keyboard, just without the trick floating design. Instead, a built-in kickstand props up the tablet while you're working. The magnetic attachment makes it relatively easy to detach the iPad, and the Smart Connector spares you the charging and pairing hassles that sometimes come with these keyboards.

The new base iPad is available to order now and will reach stores October 26th. Be prepared for a price hike, however. The revamp starts at $449 for a 64GB WiFi model, and climbs to $599 for cellular. That's a significant jump, and Apple is keeping the last-generation iPad around for the same $329 as before. Think of this more as a discounted iPad Air for those who don't need either an M1 chip or second-gen Pencil support.

Don't worry about missing out on software features if you have an older model. After a slight delay, Apple is releasing iPadOS 16 on October 24th. You'll need at least a fifth-generation iPad or iPad mini, a third-gen iPad Air or any iPad Pro to use the new platform, which includes upgrades like Stage Manager multitasking.

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