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.

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Expertise VR and AR, gaming, metaverse technologies, wearable tech, tablets Credentials
  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein
James Martin

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.

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.

See the new iPad from every angle

See all photos