There’s a new iPad in town. Apple held its Education event on March 27 where the Cupertino-based tech giant announced a new 9.7-inch iPad with a Retina display and all-day battery life. The new iPad comes in an aluminium shell and features Apple’s A10 Fusion Chip which also powers the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus. The processor from Apple is built on a 64-bit architecture and 16nm process technology. It’s a quad-core processor but only two of them are high-performance cores, reaching a clock speed of 2.34GHz.
Since the new iPad is aimed at classrooms and students, it comes with support for Apple Pencil, which was first introduced with the iPad Pro. Sensors can measure both pressure and tilt and the iPad also features palm rejection technology that makes it possible to rest your hand on the screen while you use Apple Pencil. At the event, Apple demoed some Pencil specific apps such as Smart Annotation, which allows teachers to markup reports and Froggipedia, which lets students virtually frog in AR using the pencil. Apple also announced updates to its iWork suite of apps including Pages, Keynote and Numbers. The new update will allow users to add drawings and annotations to Keynote, Numbers and Pages by just writing on the documents with the Apple Pencil. The Apple Pencil will not ship with the iPad though and will need to be bought seperately at Rs 7,600.
In the camera department, the 2018 iPad features an 8MP rear shooter alongside a 1.2MP HD FaceTime camera at the front. Apple says that both cameras are optimised to provide “exceptional” low-light performance and the primary cam can be used to record 1080p HD videos as well as 720p slow-motion videos. Apple is trying to promote learning through Augmented Reality and the new iPad features a gyroscope and accelerometer for motion tracking to support the next generation of AR apps.
In terms of connectivity options, the new iPad will be available in two variants - Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + Cellular. Apple claims that the device features “ultrafast wireless that can deliver two times faster cellular data connections.” The new iPad also features an Apple SIM with which customers can connect to wireless data plans right from their device when traveling in more than 180 countries and regions. Not all carriers support Apple SIM though and the service is not available in China.
For its software skills, the 2018 iPad will ship with iOS 11 onboard. iOS 11 on iPad brings enhanced multitasking, a customisable dock and seamless integration with Apple Pencil, ARKit.
Apple’s software experience also extends to education apps. At the event, Apple also introduced a new app called Schoolwork. The Schoolwork app allows teachers to create assignments and keep track of student progress. The app has a Handouts feature which can be used to create and send assignments with almost any type of content, from web links to PDFs and documents. Teachers can also assign specific activity within an app and direct their students to the specific point within the app.
Teachers will also be able to use Macs to create digital books for their classrooms. The Mac version of the app will be available in beta starting in June.
Further, Apple announced that students and teachers with a Managed Apple ID will get access to 200GB of iCloud storage.
Pricing and Availability
The new iPad is available through Apple authorised sellers at Rs 28,000 for the 32GB with Wi-Fi model and Rs 38,600 for the 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model. As we already told you, the Apple Pencil has to be purchased separately for Rs 7,600 and smart covers can also be purchased for Rs 3,400. The new iPad will be available in silver, space gray and a new gold finish, while the Smart Covers are available in charcoal grey, midnight blue, red, white and pink sand colour options.
Apple will start selling the new iPad in 25 countries starting this week. However, the device will be available in India, Russia, Thailand, Turkey and other countries and regions in April.