Published: Tue, March 19, 2019
Tech | By Constance Martin

Apple refreshes iPad lineup, with larger entry-level model

Apple refreshes iPad lineup, with larger entry-level model

Both new iPads will be available in India from next week.

The new iPads were announced this morning via a press release, following the usual early morning Apple Store downtime that often precedes a new product unveiling. At the one extreme, the iPad offers the most affordable option, from $329. The 10.5-inch iPad Air starts at $499 for the Wi-Fi model and $629 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular version. While thin and light (1 pound, 6.1 millimeters thick), the new Air looks more like the previous model than the iPad Pros released a year ago, and the device has kept the standard 3.5mm analog headphone port instead of going USB-C.

Apple claims the A12 Bionic chip with a Neural Engine will allow for machine learning, better AR apps and more realistic 3D games.

In comparison, the iPad Mini represents quite a saving.

The Mini starts at $399 and packs a 7.9 inch, 2048 x 1536 screen, and up to 256 GB of storage.

Still, that price difference is huge, and there are those who really don't want - or need - everything an iPhone can do.

Apple could position the cheaper device as a hub for the new services and as a way to use the company's latest software. You can have a WiFi + Cellular configuration, too, and there's now Apple Pencil support.

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And then there's the iPad mini. Now, though, Apple has filled that middle zone with two strong options. The new iPad mini, meanwhile, keeps the smaller footprint that makes it so popular in certain quarters, but brings the specifications up to date.

If there's a fly in Apple's ointment here, it's around the iPad accessories.

So with the iPad Air, you're now getting nearly everything the impressive iPad Pro 10.5 offered for a lot less - and if you need the raw power as well as a top-end screen then the higher-end iPad Pro range still exists for you to sample. This display is also laminated and supports True Tone and wide color. The updated display now supports the Apple Pencil as well, giving more users the opportunity to draw, sketch, and take notes on an iPad.

Apple's product page for the Apple Pencil does include a "Find the right Apple Pencil for your iPad" section, but it can be a bit awkward to follow if you're not sure what generation iPad you have, but we're pretty sure we can make it a bit easier to sort out.

The new iPad mini is available with 64GB or 256GB of storage and Wi-Fi-only or Wi-Fi + Cellular variants.

The retailer is now offering $400 off the 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro from mid-2017. You get dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, Gigabit-class LTE, and Global Positioning System.

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