While Apple isn’t changing up the formula too much, the new iPad is getting flatter sides, a faster A13 Bionic processor, and an improved front-facing camera. All told, Apple is claiming the new standard iPad offers 20% faster CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance than the previous model. And when compared to top-selling Chromebooks, Apple says the new iPad is a whopping three times faster.
Combined with updates to iPadOS 15 (which will be available for download sometime next week), the iPad is also getting some new software features including Center Stage, which uses the iPad’s new 12-MP front-facing camera with a wider 122-degree field of view to deliver improved image quality for selfies and video calls, along with a new UI and menu for enhanced multitasking, improved app organization, and an updated home screen layout.
Of course, by not rocking the boat too much, the refreshed iPad still works with all of your existing iPad accessories including the first-gen Apple Pencil and first-gen Smart Keyboard, so you should be able to carry over your existing accessories without much hassle. Critically, the updated iPad still has a dedicated TouchID button at the bottom of its 10.2-inch display, the latter of which now supports Apple’s True Tone feature that allows the screen to automatically adjust its white balance to best suit your current surroundings.
But perhaps most importantly, the refreshed iPad will retain the same starting price of $329 as the previous model, except now you get 64GB of base storage (up from 32GB). Pre-orders for the new iPad go live today (available in both silver and space gray), and devices start shipping out for real next week.