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James Martin

New iPad and Pencil make an expensive team

The new $329 iPad looks all but identical to last year's model, but it adds an important Pro feature: Support for the Pencil stylus.

Meet the new iPad: It's a lot like the 2017 model, but with a key feature upgrade: Pencil support. Compatibly with Apple's stylus -- still $99 at retail and $89 for students -- was previously only available on iPad Pro models costing twice the price. 

The starting price of the new iPad is the same: $329 (£319 in the UK, AU$469 in Australia), with a $30 discount for schools, which is a bit better than last year. 

Last year's iPad felt like a remake of the iPad Air 2. But thanks to the addition of Pencil support, this feels more like my favorite and departed first-gen 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Watch the video below for my initial thoughts on using the new iPad with the Pencil.

Now playing: Watch this: New budget iPad: First hands-on

Other key points:

  • The new iPad moves to an A10 processor (same as iPhone 7), up from an A9
  • Unlike the Pro models, there is no Smart Connector for snap-on keyboards.
  • It's the same size as last year's iPad, so it should be compatible with all existing accessories for that model.