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iPad 9 (2021): Apple finally reveals its next entry level tablet

Apple has finally unveiled its latest Apple iPad 9, following weeks of speculation about whether it would make its debut at the firm’s 2021 live stream event.

The tablet was unveiled alongside the new iPad Mini 6, iPhone 13 and Apple Watch 7. It is being marketed as the best option for students and buyers on a budget.

Keep scrolling to find out everything about the iPad 3, including pricing, release dates and specs.

iPad 9 price and release date

The iPad 9 varies in price depending on what model you want, with storage and cellular connection being the main variables.

The lowest tier is the 64GB iPad, which sits at £319/$329. With cellular configuration, this jumps to £439/$459. The next option is the 256GB iPad, which starts at £459/$479 and then goes to £579/$609 when adding cellular.

You can order the iPad 9 now from the Apple website, with delivery starting on 24 September.

Design and specs

Despite calls for Apple to rethink the Apple iPad 9’s design to make it look a little more current, the tablet looks very similar to the iPad 8, with the only changes focussing on refinements to the device’s specs.

The tablet has been upgraded to use Apple’s A13 Bionic CPU. Apple claims this will let it offer “20%” faster performance than the iPad 8, which uses the A12 chip. The chip isn’t the latest in Apple’s arsenal, however, with the latest iPad Air running on the A14 and the firm having just unveiled the Apple A15 CPU with the iPhone 13.

iPad 9 A13

Outside of this, the biggest updates relate to its upgraded front camera. The front camera has been upgraded to feature a 12MP Ultrawide sensor, like the one seen on the iPad Pro. The camera supports Apple’s Centre Stage tech. This aims to improve video calling, to ensure you always stay in focus during video calls. The 10.2-inch Retina display will also feature Apple True Tone tech, to adjust the screen settings to look good in various lighting, specifically to remove blue hues in low light environments.

The iPad 9 will feature support for the same keyboard covers as the iPad 8. Disappointingly it will only support the first-generation Apple Pencil, which means you will need to charge the stylus using the tablet’s Lightning charge port. Like the iPad 8, there is no way to dock the stylus.

The only other detail Apple has confirmed is that the tablet will launch with iPadOS 15. Details about iPadOS were limited to those previously disclosed at Apple’s WWDC 2021 event in June. The operating system updates Apple’s tablet experience in a variety of ways, the biggest being Android like widgets and multi-app support.

iPad 9

A bit disappointing

The lack of design changes, including smaller bezels, will be a disappointment for iPad 8 owners. I’ve long wanted Apple to innovate its entry-level tablet’s design to make it look more modern.

The fact Apple hasn’t upgraded the device to use USB-C charging and support the second-generation Apple Pencil is a further annoyance. The second-generation system, seen on the iPad Air 4 and Pro, features a much more elegant magnetic docking and wireless charging system.

Even with these disappointments, I can still see the tablet being one of the best available for students on a budget and Apple fans on a budget looking for a mobile Netflix streaming station. Though personally, I think that’s as much to do with a lack of serious Android competition than good work by Apple.

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