Why the New 9.7-Inch iPad Might Jumpstart Becalmed Apple Tablet Sales

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Why the New 9.7-Inch iPad Might Jumpstart Becalmed Apple Tablet Sales

As anticipated, Apple on March 21 unveiled a new tablet it’s calling, simply, the iPad. The device is designed to replace the aging iPad Air 2 and comes with a 9.7-inch Retina display. While it doesn’t include significant design enhancements compared to its predecessor, it comes with several improved components, including a faster A9 processor and 10 hours of battery life, which should help it satisfy most consumer, education and enterprise buyers. However, the most surprising feature of this new iPad is its $329 price tag, which makes it the most affordable big-screen iPad Apple has ever offered. The new iPad, which also features Touch ID and LTE connectivity, isn’t necessarily a groundbreaking tablet achievement, but it’s an important upgrade that Apple believes could jump-start becalmed tablet sales.

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It’s an Upgraded iPad Air

The new Apple iPad is designed to replace Apple’s iPad Air 2. The device has the same design as its predecessor and can be used with older cases. But the iPad does not work with Apple Pencil, the company’s stylus.

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Apple Delivers Better Processing Power

Apple’s iPad ships with the 64-bit A9 processor, which the company says delivers outstanding performance for most uses. Users will be able to play “graphics-intensive games” or run two sophisticated apps simultaneously and not experience any slowdown, it says.

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The Display Matters Here

Apple’s iPad comes with a 9.7-inch Retina display featuring a 2,048-by-1,536-pixel resolution. The iPad Air 2 also came with the Retina display, but at a higher price. In fact, Apple noted that the iPad is Apple’s cheapest Retina-equipped slate.

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Apple Promises 10 Hours of Battery Life

Most major devices today are expected to have at least eight hours of battery life, and the iPad delivers. According to Apple, the iPad provides up to 10 hours of battery life during normal use.

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There's a WiFi and Cellular Connectivity Option

Apple is offering a WiFi-only base model iPad and a model that also connects to cellular networks. The WiFi-cellular model connects to all four major U.S. carriers.

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Touch ID Delivers Security

The iPad features Touch ID, which allows users to open their device with their fingerprints. The feature also validates online purchases made in the Safari browser and through the App Store.

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Cameras Get the Job Done

Like other tablets, the iPad doesn’t have groundbreaking cameras. The device ships with an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera that can also record video in 1080p HD. The front camera has 1.2 megapixels, which Apple says is perfect for FaceTime video calls.

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iOS 10 Supports Work 'Continuity' Feature

Apple’s iPad comes with iOS 10, which includes Apple Music and the App Store. It also has a feature called Continuity, which lets users work seamlessly across their iOS devices. Apple iOS is also enterprise-friendly, allowing companies to create software to customize the user experience.

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Portability Is Impressive

Apple has done a fine job of making the iPad portable. The device weighs just 1 pound and, at 9.4 inches, its height is manageable. It’s also surprisingly thin, at 0.29 inches.

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The New iPad Is Priced to Sell

Apple’s iPad will be available for preorder March 24 and reach store shelves the following week. The base WiFi-only model with 32GB of storage will retail for $329. Those wanting 128GB of storage will pay $429. The highest-end iPad, featuring 128GB of storage and cellular connectivity, will cost $559.

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