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Apple Launches Budget 9.7-Inch iPad

As part of a refresh of its tablet lineup, Apple has launched an updated version of the 9.7-inch iPad at the cheapest price point yet.

Simply called ‘iPad’, the new tablet is powered by Apple’s A9 chip, which featured in the previous generation iPhone 6S and 6S Plus as well as the iPhone SE.

Set to replace the iPad Air 2, which is no longer listed on the Apple website, the new iPad features the same 8-megapixel rear-facing and 1.2-megapixel front-facing cameras. While the new iPad also features the same 2048×1536 resolution of the iPad Air 2, Apple said the retina display has been made brighter.

“New customers and anyone looking to upgrade will love this new iPad for use at home, in school, and for work, with its gorgeous Retina display, our powerful A9 chip, and access to the more than 1.3 million apps designed specifically for it,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing.

Despite promoting the new iPad as being the “most affordable” ever with prices starting at $469, Apple appears to have cut some corners to reach this price point.

Unlike the iPad Air 2 it replaced, or the iPad Pro and iPad Mini 4 that make up the rest Apple’s tablet range, the new iPad lacks a fully laminated display and antireflective coating according to Apple’s specs, potentially affecting its appearance and functionality especially under bright light.

The new 9.7-inch iPad will be available to order from March 24 from the Apple website, and will become available from telcos, Apple Authorised Resellers and Apple Stores from next week. The 32GB version with Wi-Fi connectivity is priced at RRP $469, and the 128GB is priced at RRP $599. LTE connectivity for either version is also available for an additional $200.

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