Apple iPad Gets More Expensive, More Colorful; iPad Pro adds M2 and 5G

This fall’s iPads are launching a little later this year, and the cheapest one’s getting more expensive. Apple on Tuesday announced updates to its iPad and iPad Pro lineup, and the entry-level iPad has finally gotten a redesign with USB-C to match the rest of the lineup, but with a price hike to $449 and up. The new iPad also now comes in four colors, familiar-looking blue and silver, and also very bold yellow and pink versions. 

The iPad Pro, meanwhile, has gotten a spec bump to the company’s latest M2 processors. The iPad Pro lineup was last updated in spring 2021 with M1 processors and 5G support, while the entry-level iPad was updated last fall.

The 10th-gen entry-level iPad adds an A14 chip and USB-C, and arrives Oct. 26 — it can be preordered now. But it doesn’t work with the Pencil 2: Instead, it uses the Pencil 1 with a USB-C adapter. The entry model doesn’t have a Smart Connector, but it has a new optional Magic Keyboard Folio accessory with a kickstand that costs a steep $249. The price of the iPad’s also gone up: The entry-level Wi-Fi model costs $449 (£499, AU$749), and only comes with 64GB of storage; there’s a step-up 256GB model for $150 more that almost feels mandatory. 

The increased cost of the most affordable iPad isn’t a welcome change in a bad economy, but Apple is still selling last year’s entry iPad model (which starts at $329).

The new iPad Pro gets an M2 chip and a new hovering Pencil 2 feature that activates before the stylus touches the screen, and added millimeter wave 5G support in the cellular model. It’s available on the same day, Oct. 26. The 11-inch model with 128GB of storage starts at $799 (£899, AU$1,399), and the 12.9-inch starts at $1,099, but it costs an extra $200 to upgrade to the cellular model this time. (Storage tiers go from 128GB to 2TB.)

One of the best features on the new entry-level iPad looks to be a shifted front-facing camera. It’s now on the landscape side, where it should be, so video calls won’t seem off-center. The new iPad Pro, however, still has the front-facing camera in the portrait orientation. 

The iPad line had been expected to get upgrades, and the news matches expectations for the most part, even the camera aspect.

The 2022 iPad Air, released this past spring, also added an M1 processor. Apple is leaning on its M1 processors in iPadOS 16.1 by supporting external monitors with multitasking through a feature called Center Stage, but iPadOS 16.1 still hasn’t been released yet and has so far felt very buggy in its public beta.

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