After much anticipation, Apple on Tuesday finally unveiled what it has in store with its new iPad. The iPad is one of the most iconic Apple gadgets on the market and everyone was excited to see what changes Apple would make.
Given that it was set to be unveiled during an event called "Let's Take a Field Trip" hosted at the Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago, most thought it would likely have a heavy emphasis on education. Turns out, most predictions were right. (But wrong about a new iPad Pro. It was a no-show.)
However, the new iPad isn't just for students and teachers, of course, so while many of the changes will impact them, others are set to be enjoyed by everyone. So, is it worth it? There are five things that really stand out.
1. Price is still so 2017
2017's $329 price cut was definitely the shot in the arm that Apple needed to slightly revitalize the declining iPad tablet. With competition from cheaper gadgets from Amazon and other Android-based tablets, the price drop was a must for Apple.
If there's one thing Apple should've done this year, especially with its ambition of grabbing a portion of the education market, is to bring the iPad's price even lower. The rumored $259 base price point would have been perfect.
Unfortunately, that didn't happen and the entry-level 9,7-inch iPad is still stuck with its 2017 $329 price. Although schools and other educational institutions can get it for a slightly lower price of $299, a $259 price point across the board would've been the slam dunk the iPad deserves this year.
2. Works with the Apple Pencil like it's an iPad Pro Jr.
The Apple Pencil (aka the iPad stylus) used to be exclusive to the much more expensive iPad Pro. It was aimed primarily at graphics professionals, artists, and digital doodlers.
Well, not anymore. The new entry-level iPad now supports the Apple Pencil, as well, and the market for the stylus just significantly widened. Will this cannibalize iPad Pro sales? Time will tell.
Pricing is still a limiting factor for the Apple Pencil's mainstream appeal, though. At $99, it's still too expensive for most people, more so for students and schools.
I wish Apple just bundled both iPad and Apple Pencil for $349. That would've been THE killer combo.
3. Cheaper "Crayon"
If you think the Apple Pencil is expensive, you'll be glad to know that there's a cheaper alternative from hardware company Logitech.
It's called the Crayon and at $50, it is half the Apple Pencil's price. Logitech stated although the Crayon is shorter, it still carries the same precision, low latency and tilt functions of the Apple Pencil. This means it will be just as useful when you're sketching, writing and painting on an iPad.
4. iWork apps get Pencil upgrades
If there's something the Apple iPad has that its nearest competitor, the Google Chromebook, doesn't, it's this - Apple's very own iWork and iLife suite of apps. In fact, this might prove to be the biggest factor why schools will opt for an iPad instead of any other gadget.
Simply put, Apple's very own creativity and productivity apps (Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, GarageBand, etc.) are excellent and they are specifically optimized to work with the iPad - a marriage between software and hardware, so to speak.
With the announcement of the Pencil-enabled iPad, all of these apps will be updated with Pencil support, allowing users to annotate documents with handwritten notes and doodles in Pages and Keynote, for example. The possibilities are exciting!
5. Upgraded processor
As usual, this year's iPad comes with an upgraded processor. In place of last year's A9 chip, the latest iPad rocks an A10 Fusion chip, the same chip that powers the iPhone 7. (Sorry, no iPhone 8/X A11 Fusion chip for the iPad, yet.)
Why just the A10 Fusion chip? It's probably the minimum chip required to run the Pencil enabled and augmented reality apps smoothly while still keeping the price relatively down.
iOS 11.3 will bring these new essential features
Another no-show was the unveiling and release of iOS 11.3. Don't worry, we still have the juicy details about the upcoming major iOS update. Click here for the details.