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New iPad with optional Pencil: Everything Apple just announced

Apple's newest iPad keeps the same $329 price but boosts its specs and adds the Pencil as a $99 option. Here's everything we know so far.

The new iPad has the same 9.7-inch display as the 2017 version.
James Martin/CNET

Apple's "field trip" event at a Chicago's Lane Tech High School just wrapped up, and we've all learned an important lesson: the new iPad costs the same as the old one.

The company's least expensive tablet is now official, and the price is still $329 (£319 in the UK, and AU$469 in Australia). 

But it's now compatible with the Pencil -- Apple's stylus device that was formerly reserved for the iPad Pro. Apple touts the $99 (£89, AU$145) Pencil as a boon to educators and students alike, and crucially it's something that cheaper Chromebooks, which are more popular in schools than iPads, don't have. Unlike iPads, however, Chromebooks have physical keyboards.

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

9.7 inch iPad: Compared to the 2017 model, the new iPad's biggest improvement aside from Pencil support is speed. It uses Apple's A10 Fusion chip, making it more powerful than most laptops including Chromebook, albeit less powerful than the iPad Pro. The new iPad is also said to be optimized for augmented reality (AR). Apple claims a 10-hour battery life and faster (300 Mbps) LTE. The cameras, memory options and 9.7-inch Retina screen appear identical to the 2017 version.

The new iPad is available now in silver, gold or space gray.

Apple iPad prices (2018)

32GB Wi-Fi 128GB Wi-Fi 32GB LTE 128GB LTE
US $329 $429 $459 $559
UK £319 £409 £449 £539
Australia $469 $599 $669 $799

Logitech Crayon: Apple opened up the Pencil to third-party alternatives, and a half-price ($49) "crayon" by accessories maker Logitech is first on deck. 

More Apple announcements

In addition to new hardware, Apple also highlighted a bunch of software additions and enhancements aimed at education.

Now playing: Watch this: See how the Apple Pencil works with the new iPad

More reactions and analysis from CNET

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