By Seung Lee
Apple Tuesday announced an iPad model priced as low as $299 aimed at students from elementary school to college. The new 9.7-inch iPads will be compatible with Apple Pencil stylus, include Apple’s second-latest processor chip and support for over 200,000 education apps, the company said Tuesday.
The iPad will be available starting Tuesday at $299 for schools and $329 for consumers. Students also will get a $10 discount for the Apple Pencil, which costs $89. The price will be the lowest for any iPad in the market.
The new iPad is a pushback to the growing presence of Google Chromebooks in classrooms across the country. Chromebooks, which can cost as little as $149 and support Google’s software services such as Google Docs and Drive, made up more than half of all computer shipments to K-12 classrooms in the United States in 2017, according to the data firm Futurebooks Consulting.
Apple’s vice president of product marketing, Greg Joswiak, said the new iPad with its A10 Fusion chip was “more powerful than most PC laptops and virtually every Chromebook.”
On Monday, Google announced its Chrome OS tablet, made by Acer. The tablet, like the new iPad, will sell for $329 for consumers.
Apple unconventionally chose to announce the new iPad outside of its headquarters in Cupertino and its past venues in San Jose and San Francisco, hosting the product event at Lane Tech High School in Chicago instead. Chicago’s public school district partnered with Apple last December to teach nearly 500,000 students how to code using Swift, Apple’s in-house coding language.
In addition to the new iPad, Apple announced educational apps that support augmented reality, a technology that overlays three-dimensional graphics on top of real-world viewing. One example displayed on stage was the Froggipedia app, which allows students to virtually dissect frogs using an Apple Pencil.
Apple also updated its iWork productivity apps such as Pages, Numbers, and Keynote to support Apple Pencil. Apple also announced it will upgrade its free iCloud offering from 5GB to 200GB for students and that there will be a $49 stylus from Logitech that will work with the new iPad.
This article was originally published by Mercury News.