The new iPad is equipped with more capable specs and features to tackle the challenges of modern classrooms. Image: Apple

On Tuesday, Apple has introduced a lower cost iPad and cheaper MacBook models at their special education event. The unveiling took place at Chicago’s Lane Tech College Prep School, instead of the newly inaugurated Apple Park Campus in Cupertino. The event is Apple’s first launch event of 2018 with new hardware revealed to the world.

After a long time of silence on Apple’s iPad, the company is ready to get back on the tablet game to take on Google’s Chromebook and Microsoft. In 2013, half of the mobile devices that were used in U.S. classrooms were either iPads or MacBook laptops, but the popularity of the tablet went down and Apple slipped away from competition.

Nowadays, Google’s Chromebooks own nearly 60 percent of shipments into schools in the U.S., while iPad sales have just simply been decreasing over a 3-year timeframe. However, Apple is now focusing its iPad sales on classrooms, with the company announcing that it will be launching a cheaper line of iPad products.

Apple promised to deliver “creative new ideas for teachers and students,” all sponsored by a minimalist brush made logo that reads “let’s take a field trip.” Rumors suggested that Apple had a $259 price tag prepared for the new iPad. Bloomberg reported that these “low-cost” iPad devices will be announced alongside a new educational software.

New 9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil: specs, features, and price

Contrary to what most people speculated before the event, the new 9.7-inch iPad is quite capable for a device of its size and price tier. The updated version of the tablet features support for the Apple Pencil, and it was specially crafted to suit creative student needs.

The 9.7-inch Retina Display pairs nicely with the Apple Pencil, as it creates a digital canvas for young learners to express themselves like never before. Along with the new A10 Fusion chip, the iPad can now take classroom tasks beyond paper and into the AR world.

To top things off at Chicago, Apple also introduced the Everyone Can Create curriculum, an initiative made by teachers and education specialists with the iPad as the main tool for creativity in the classroom.

Apple will sell the new 32 GB iPad to the regular public for $329 if it only connects via Wi-Fi and $459 if it takes both wireless connections and cellular. The Apple Pencil sells separately for $99. For schools, there are special prices starting at $299 for the tablet and $89 for the stylus. There are also $39 smart covers in different colors, and all the products will hit stores later this week.

Source: Apple