Apple has refreshed its entry-level iPad with a bigger screen. The announcement was made as part of the annual September launch event, where the company also unveiled the next iPhone model. Entitled “California Streaming”, Apple used the keynote presentation to reveal that it had boosted the screen size on the iPad to 10.5-inches and doubled the amount of storage found in the base model. But best of all, Apple has dropped the price from £329 on the previous model, down to £319.
During the same keynote presentation, which was streamed from Apple’s headquarters in California, the US company announced an all-new iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro with re-engineered cameras and more battery life, a redesigned iPad mini, and a refreshed Apple Watch Series 7 with a bigger screen and automatic fall detection when biking. Apple also used its annual September event to confirm when existing iPhone owners will be able to upgrade to iOS 15, bringing dozens of exciting new features for free.
To increase the screen size from the 10.2-inch display found on the previous model without increasing the physical footprint of the tablet, Apple trimmed the borders around the screen. However, that doesn’t mean you should expect to see the same all-screen design found on the likes of the latest iPad Air and iPad Pro models.
Instead, the bezels around the screen are a little thinner. The new £319 iPad still sports borders that are chunky enough to house a Home Button, complete with Touch ID fingerprint scanner to unlock the device and authenticate online payments via Apple Pay.
Apple has used the same hardware design twice before, starting with the second-generation iPad Pro back in June 2017. When the iPad Pro transitioned to an all-screen design with Face ID facial recognition, the 10.5-inch form-factor was used for the third-generation iPad Air. Now that the latter has also been upgraded to an all-screen design with an 11-inch screen, Apple is dusting off the 10.5-inch case design once again for its most affordable tablet.
A new, upgraded ambient light sensor enables True Tone on the 10.5-inch display, which adjusts screen content to the colour temperature of a room. If you’ve used a recent iPhone or MacBook model, you’ll be accustomed to this functionality.
Inside, the new iPad is powered by A13 Bionic – replacing the A12 found inside its predecessor. Apple says to expect performance to be around 20 percent faster than its predecessor. Not only that, but Apple says the new 10.5-inch iPad is around 3x faster than the best-selling Chromebook, which have become a favourite in education, and up to 6x faster than the best-selling Android tablet, based on Apple’s estimates. . The A13 Bionic has an improved Image Signal Processor, or ISP, which will boost photos from the rear-facing camera.
A new 12MP front-facing camera has been fitted to the iPad. Apple is bringing Centre Stage, a feature that was debuted with the all-new iPad Pro last year, to the iPad. This uses AI to automatically focus on the subject of the video call, so the camera will appear to follow you as you move around within the viewfinder.
When others join in, the camera detects them too, and smoothly zooms out to include them in the conversation. Center Stage makes video calls more natural in FaceTime as well as third-party video-calling apps, like Facebook Messenger, Zoom, and more.
As you’d expect, the latest iPad arrives with the latest version of iPadOS out of the box. iPadOS 15 brings a number of useful new features, including the ability to place rich widgets anywhere on the homescreen to break up the grid of apps.
“iPad has never been more essential for working, learning, and communicating, and we’re excited to bring one of the biggest updates ever to our most popular iPad,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With the powerful A13 Bionic, more engaging video calls with Center Stage, and double the storage, the new iPad delivers advanced capabilities, versatility, and simplicity at an incredible value.”