It’s a good time to be in the market for a new iPad.
Two new iPads were a main focus of Apple’s Sept. 15 event, introducing a next-gen iPad Air and 10.2-inch iPad — still just called “iPad.” Both arrive at super decent starting price points ($599 and $329, respectively), despite some incredible spec upgrades compared to their older siblings. Apple keeps making better iPads but the prices don’t hike with them. We’ll take it.
The 10.2-inch model, which debuted as the cheap, education-tailored iPad in 2017, can get lost in the shuffle of liquid retina displays, blistering-fast bionic chips, and reports of mini-LED displays on the next iPad Pro. Was it the most exciting announcement at the Sept. 15 event? Probably not. But it is the perfect iPad to be released at a time when millions of students are learning from home. It’s already Apple’s most affordable iPad, but for a limited time, you can score it for less than $300: Both Amazon and Walmart have slashed $30 off the 32GB 10.2-inch iPad that just came out, bringing the price down to $299. (The same model is $329 on Apple’s site.)
iPadOS 14, which was also unveiled at the event, lets 10.2-inch iPad owners take advantage of Scribble: a feature that converts handwritten notes into text and an incredible sidekick for students compiling a study guide or sharing notes with friends. Smart Selection is a similar AI feature on the device that can detect handwritten notes from drawings. (The iPad ships already updated to iPadOS 14.) Of course, this means that the iPad is compatible with the first-gen Apple Pencil as well as Apple’s Smart Keyboard.
Under the hood, the new 10.2-inch iPad runs on an A12 Bionic chip (the same one that powered the 2019 iPad Air and Mini), making it 40 percent faster (including graphics with double the speed) than the previous version.