After a year, Apple finally updates their 9.7-inch iPad. The tech giant based in Cupertino, California unveiled the new 9.7-inch iPad during their Education event in Chicago, Illinois, featuring support for Apple Pencil and lower price tag.
Changes to the iPad is not drastic. It’s still based on the outgoing 9.7-inch iPad which is also based on the original iPad Air. The new iPad is now targeted at the education sector aiming to provide better learning experience for students, so the highly rumoured lower price tag is real, but also packs a punch.
On the front, the 9.7-inch Retina Display remains, with a resolution of 2048 X 1536 in a 4:3 ratio form factor, along with the home button at the bottom with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor built-in. The big news about this new iPad is the support for Apple Pencil – Apple’s infamous stylus for on-screen drawing. First introduced for the iPad Pro, Apple realises that the Apple Pencil is also famous among students, therefore bringing it down to the iPad as well. The Apple Pencil itself didn’t receive any changes, so all the great features that makes Apple Pencil lovable remains.
Apple also updates the internals of the new iPad. An A10 Fusion chip is now present on the iPad with a M10 coprocessor, which is an update from the previous A9 processor. The newer, more powerful processor should improve overall performance, especially on Augmented Reality tasks and multi-tasking. Apple doesn’t talk about the RAM that the new iPad packs, so we’d assume that it remains the same as before. As for battery life, Apple claims that the usual 10-hour battery life on a single charge remains on the iPad.
As a device aimed at education sector, Apple also updates their iWork suite, which includes Pages, Numbers and Keynote. These apps now has better support for Apple Pencil, which allows users to write, draw and sketch easily. They now also include the ability for multiple student logins on a single iPad, as well as allowing educators distributing textbooks on the iPad.
As usual, Apple offers the iPad in different flavours and colours. You can still pick your iPad with our without LTE connection. The base storage option is 32GB, while the only alternative is 128GB. The price is down too, with the base model starting at RM1449, and will work its way up to RM2399. The optional Apple Pencil will still costs a whopping RM419. There’s still no ETA on when the iPad will actually be available in our market yet.