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New iPad 2019: first impressions, new features and UK release date

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Seventh-generation tablet

Seventh-generation tablet packs bigger screen and Smart Keyboard support

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Friday, September 13, 2019 - 3:25pm

Apple’s new iPhone 11 range may have stolen the spotlight at the company’s product keynote but the new smartphone line-up was by no means the only big reveal.

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The California-based tech giant also unveiled a new, larger version of its iPad that will sit below the high-performance iPad Pro series and above the iPad Mini.

The seventh-generation tablet looks almost identical to the model it replaces, but there are some key differences - such as a revamped screen. 

Here’s the lowdown on Apple’s latest iPad, from the tech updates to delivery dates:

What’s new?

In terms of design, there’s little difference between the latest iPad and the previous model. Both tablets feature the same aluminium body and a front panel with two thick bezels at the top and bottom of the display.

But Apple has upped the new model’s screen size, from 9.7in to 10.2in. And the device is marginally larger too, at 9.8in by 6.8in compared with the old version’s 9.4in by 6.6in, reports Macworld

The resolution of the new display is also marginally higher: 2160x1620 as opposed to the previous 2048x1536, the tech site says. 

Although the tech company has moved over to button-free front panels with facial recognition security systems for most of its devices, the new iPad shuns face-scanning tech for the firm’s tried-and-tested Touch ID fingerprint reader. 

Apple has also retained the old iPad’s A10 Fusion mobile processor, rather than incorporating the iPhone 11’s new A13 chip, and kept the same 8-megapixel rear camera and 1.2-megapixel front-facing sensor, reports Pocket-lint

However, the iPad is now compatible with Apple’s Smart Keyboard, an accessory that could previously be used only with the iPad Air and the range-topping iPad Pro models. 

So what do the critics think?

Despite the many seeming similiarities with the old model, the latest iPad has proven popular with critics.

CNN is impressed with the new iPad’s performance, praising the tablet as “fast and fluid” despite its older A10 processor.

“It’s also running the latest in terms of software with full support iPadOS aka iOS 13, which means you can multitask, lock in the day view on the home screen, drag and drop and use the Files app,” the US broadcaster notes.

The iPad’s new 10.2in screen is “good to look at”, albeit not a game changer, while the added support for Apple’s Smart Keyboard and Pencil “will entice some to join the iPad community”, says TechRadar

The Verge is more lukewarm, arguing that “nothing about this design or spec sheet is ultra-cutting edge; it’s a bunch of Apple’s best stuff from years past in a familiar case with a slightly bigger screen”.

Given the tablet’s low price, “it’s hard to ask for more”, the tech site adds, “but that’s probably the point”.

UK pricing and release date

Prices start at £349 for a 32GB Wi-Fi-only model, while 128GB versions carry a £100 premium, reports TechRadar.

“Don’t forget peripherals either,” the tech site says. The optional Smart Keyboard costs £159 and the Apple Pencil stylus comes in at £89 (only the first-generation Apple Pencil, as opposed to the latest version, is compatible with the new tablet). 

Pre-orders for the new iPad are open, with deliveries due to kick off on 30 September.

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