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Apple 10.2-inch iPad updated with A13 chip, 64GB storage, 12-megapixel front camera, starts at $329

Apple's most popular iPad is now even more ready for work and play.

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The new 10.2-inch iPad gets a new processor.

Apple/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET
This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple.

Apple announced the latest version of its 10.2-inch iPad on Tuesday as part of its fall iPhone launch event. For 2020, Apple put a faster A12 bionic chip in the 10.2-inch iPad, giving it a performance boost over the previous iPad model. Now the newest entry-level iPad will feature an A13 Bionic chip. 

"It makes this iPad up to three times faster than the bestselling Chromebook and up to six times faster than the bestselling Android tablet," said Melody Kuna, senior manager for iPad product design, during the announcement.

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The A13 chip gives this iPad an upgraded image signal processor for improved photos and video from the rear camera. But, because this model is regularly used for learning, Apple improved the front-facing camera resolution to 12 megapixels with an ultrawide-angle lens. The new iPad will also support Apple's Center Stage app for video calls.

The new iPad is still built around a 10.2-inch Retina display but now features TrueTone to adjust the display's color temperature and brightness to match your lighting. It will ship running on iPadOS 15.

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Apple/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

The new 10.2-inch iPad will start at $329 (£319, AU$499) with 64GB of storage -- twice the amount of the 2020 base model. Like its predecessor, the new iPad will support the first-gen Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. Schools will be able to get the updated iPad for $299 and an LTE version will be available as well. Available colors are space gray and silver. 

The updated iPad is expected to be available starting next week.

While the iPad isn't nearly as popular as Apple's iPhone, it's become a more critical part of Apple's lineup during the pandemic, with millions of customers upgrading their devices for work-from-home and remote learning setups. Showing that increased demand, Apple posted dramatic growth for its tablet business, jumping nearly 40% so far this year. The PC market has experienced a similar boost, seemingly only limited by worldwide chip shortages that have slowed manufacturing of everything from video game consoles to Ford trucks.