Apple announces new 9.7-inch iPad with Pencil support at education event

new 9.7-inch iPad

At Lane Tech high school in Chicago, Illinois today, Apple announced a new education-focused iPad, along with new software designed with teachers and students in mind.

The new iPad measure in at 9.7-inches and notably includes Apple Pencil support, a feature typically kept exclusive to Apple’s iPad Pro line. While Apple uncharacteristically highlighted a third-party keyboard during the keynote, the new 9.7-inch iPad doesn’t feature the iPad Pro’s magnetic accessory port, which means it isn’t compatible with Apple’s smart keyboard.

“Education is a big part of who we are as a company,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook, kicking off the keynote presentation held in a high school auditorium.

Tim Cook at Apple's education event

Apple’s Greg Joswiak, the company’s vice president of product marketing, took to the stage to reveal the new, upgraded iPad.

Specs wise, the new iPad features an 8-megapixel that’s capable of shooting 1080p video, a 9.7-inch retina display, Touch ID, up to 10 hours of battery life, a built-in gyroscope/accelerometer, and Apple Pencil support. The new iPad weighs in at 0.45kg (1lb).

The company also claims that there are 200,000 education-focused apps currently in the App Store. Pages, Notes and Keynote, three of Apple’s key iPad apps, now support the Apple Pencil. Another new education focused feature called Smart Annotation, allows teachers and students to “write and add marks directly on the page itself.” Digital book creation, which Apple says is built directly into Pages, is coming to the iPad, too.

“More and more Apple Pencil Apps just keep coming,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of product marketing.

Apple's new iPad at the company's education event

The Apple Pencil won’t ship with the iPad, but the company did reveal new third-party options. Apple revealed that Logitech is working on its own stylus, dubbed ‘Crayon,’ for the iPad that’s priced at $49 USD. Apple is also boosting its free iCloud storage limit from 5GB to 200GB for students.

Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad is  priced at $429 CAD, with last year’s iteration coming in at $449. This means that the company’s new iPad is only $20 cheaper than last year’s model, though this new version does include a number of upgrades.