The base iPad will reportedly switch to USB-C this fall

You might also see a larger screen.

Nathan Ingraham/Engadget

Apple may finally give its starter iPad a much-needed technology upgrade. 9to5Mac sources claim Apple's next base tablet will switch from a Lightning port to USB-C upon launch sometime in the fall. Like most recent iPads, you could plug directly into monitors and other peripherals while improving the speed of wired data transfers.

There are also hints of a broader performance upgrade. The new entry iPad will supposedly include a larger screen with the same resolution found in the iPad Air. You wouldn't get the same image quality as the Air, but you wouldn't have to settle for a significantly smaller display just to save some money. Apple will also equip the iPad with the fourth-gen Air's A14 Bionic chip and introduce 5G support to cellular variants, according to the tipsters.

There's no mention of whether or not Apple will freshen the design of the iPad, including support for the Magic Keyboard or second-generation Pencil. It wouldn't be surprising if the slate received a makeover, however. The base iPad is the last model to stick to Lightning, a home button and other features that have been around for a decade or more. If the rumor is accurate, the new version would jump into the modern era while still giving buyers a reason to spend extra for the Air.