Apple Announces Its 'Most Affordable iPad Ever'

Apple geeks, rejoice. The tech giant has just announced a new iPad, hailing it as its "most affordable iPad ever."

The newest incarnation of the tablet integrates with Apple Pencil (becoming the first iPad that isn't a "Pro" to do so) and will be available for $329 to consumers and $299 for school in the U.S.

While Apple is calling it the "most affordable" iPad, the $329 price tag puts it at the same price point as the previous cheapest iPad released last year.

But with Apple's blazing fast A10 Fusion chip, 32 GB of storage, up to 10 hours of battery life and an 8-megapixel camera that shoots 1080p HD video, the new iPad boasts a whole lot of bang for its buck.

Fans of the FaceTime feature will be excited to know the new iPad features a FaceTime HD camera, and Touch ID is making its way from iPhones to iPads — which should clue you in on the fact that the iPad still has a home button, unlike the iPhone X.

A 32GB version with built-in LTE cellular will put you out $459, plus the still-extra cost of $99 more for Apple Pencil ($89 for schools).

"The iPad is a magical sheet of glass that can be anything we want it to be," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of product marketing.

"This new 9.7-inch iPad takes everything people love about our most popular iPad and makes it even better for inspiring creativity and learning," he added. "Our most popular and affordable iPad now includes support for Apple Pencil, bringing the advanced capabilities of one of our most creative tools to even more users."

Schools that adopt iPads will also receive a nice bump up in iCloud storage: 200GB (they previously received a mere 5GB). There's also a new "shared iPad" feature that lets multiple students use a single iPad.

The tablet has almost 200,000 apps made for education, including popular ones like The Apple Classroom App, Apple School Manager, and Schoolwork — all designed to help teachers set digital assignments, mark work online and track students' progress.

With the Apple Classroom App, teachers can maintain access over virtually every aspect of the student's participation; teachers can remotely control students' devices, see what they're doing on the iPad and even display a student's screen on an AppleTV.

Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a brief talk about the importance of education.

"We've always believed that people with passion can change the world," he began, saying that was "on display" during the marches against gun violence all over the country on Saturday.

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"We are deeply inspired by the courage of students using their voices to bring about change in America," he said. "We've never stopped working on' tools for educators."

Photo credit: YouTube / Apple