Apple has just introduced a new iPad at its education-focused event in Chicago. For the most part, the 9.7-inch tablet will look awfully familiar. All the goodness though points to Apple Pencil support and some beefed up internals. And oh, the price tag, especially if you’re in education.
The 2018 iPad will look and feel like the 2017 iPad. It has the same 9.7-inch IPS display (2048×1536 @ 264ppi) that now supports Apple Pencil. Same big bezels, too.
Under the hood, it gets the powerful A10 Fusion Chip with embedded M10 coprocessor and comes with 32GB and 128GB storage options.
You’ll find the familiar TouchID sensor built into the home button, built-in stereo speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack, power and volume buttons and nano-SIM tray (on cellular models).
Just as its predecessor, it will deliver up to 10 hours of battery life and runs iOS 11 out-of-the-box.
The inclusion of Apple Pencil support makes it resemble the iPad Pro to some extent, but there are clear omissions. For one, there is no Smart Keyboard connector so you’ll have to be happy with a third party Bluetooth keyboard. And the display does not have True Tone of the Pro.
Still, let’s not forget who this iPad is for: students and schools (and yes, general consumers). It retails at USD329/MYR1,449 but it’ll cost USD299/MYR1,153 for schools. More details about the 2018 iPad here.
The Apple Pencil is optional, of course, and will set you back another USD99/MYR382 (or USD89/MYR343 for schools). Alternatively, you could opt for Logitech’s new Crayon stylus, that’s priced at USD49/MYR189.
Traditionally strong in the education market, Apple has been battling Google and Microsoft for dominance in the classroom. Google’s Chromebooks are cheaper and now support styli, and Google is also starting to introduce Chrome OS tablets to schools.
The refreshed 2018 iPad is indeed cheaper than before, but still more expensive than Google’s offerings.
That’s of course just hardware.
Apple’s strength here is in the software. First there’s Smart Annotation which allows teachers to mark up reports in Pages.
In terms of apps, there are 200,000 apps made for education currently.
Just like with the iPad Pro, the iPad can multitask using multi-window (Slide Over and Split View). This I admit, is the best implementation of multi-window on any touch-based platform.
Apple also announced updates to iWork: Pages, Numbers, and Keynote now support the Apple Pencil.
The Cupertino tech giant also introduced Schoolwork, a platform for teachers to assign students’ work.
Augmented reality (AR) is also strong on the agenda as Apple highlighted some AR apps for the iPad including Froggipedia. The app allows students to dissect frogs using the Apple Pencil.
Apple is also boosting free iCloud storage from 5GB to 200GB for students. Sorry consumers, you’re still stuck with 5GB.
Pricing and availability
- 2018 iPad 32GB (Wi-Fi) – USD329/MYR1,449
- 2018 iPad 128GB (Wi-Fi) – USD429/MYR1,849
- 2018 iPad 32GB (Wi-Fi) – USD459/MYR1,999
- 2018 iPad 128GB (Wi-Fi + Cellular) – USD559/MYR2,399
- Apple Pencil – USD89/MYR419
- Smart Covers for iPad – USD39/MYR150
iPad is available to order today and starts delivering to customers and arriving in stores later this week in more than 25 countries and regions: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the US.India, Russia, Thailand, Turkey and other countries and regions will follow in April, with South Korea and other countries and regions following in May.