Apple's new iPad is fine, but it's no Chromebook killer

Apple introduced a new 9.7 inch iPad at an education-themed event in Chicago Tuesday.

Here's everything you need to know about the event, which starts at 4pm Tuesday BST (4am Wednesday NZT) at the Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago. It held an event at a public high school in Chicago to unveil the new tablet, expected to take on Google's Chrome OS in a battle over the education market. You can order it starting today and the shipping will begin from this week itself in the US. "We don't think today's announcements change that dynamic".

None of Apple's spokespersons said anything about how much system memory was present in the new iPad, but we imagine it's the same 2 GB as the last model.

Apple will not be streaming the Field Trip event live, but will apparently make a recording of the presentation available after it ends. Classroom for Mac Classroom, a powerful teaching assistant that helps teachers manage student iPads and guide students through lessons, keep them on track and share work, is now coming to the Mac.

A new free app "Schoolwork" lets teachers distribute handouts, make assignments, assign specific activities within apps, check on students' progress.

Logitech also took the opportunity to unveil a $49 alternative to the $99 Apple Pencil called the Crayon, and an education-focused keyboard attachment as well. Adding LTE bumps the price up to $459, while a 128GB model costs $429 with Wi-Fi and $559 with LTE.For context, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro starts at $649.

iPads were fleetingly a hot tool for tech-infused education, but Google's Chromebooks are proving popular with low prices, built-in keyboards and handy tools for school administrators. Apple meanwhile commands less than 19 percent of the education market.

So what can you expect to get your hands on today?

During Apple's March 27 event, it was always evident that a new iPad was going to replace the previous-generation 9.7-inch one and here we have it.

iOS 11.3 also features a ClassKit "framework" to help developers build educational apps that teachers can use with the Classroom app. Apple's four software platforms - iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS - provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud.

So what might new iPads look like?

While it would be foolish to accept or write off any of these notions (knowing Apple), the one thing everyone seems relatively sure of is the launch of an affordable iPad with support for Apple Pencil (something which has so been exclusive to the iPad Pro).

  • Arturo Norris