Apple announced the updated eighth-generation 10.2-inch entry-level iPad for $ 329

Apple has announced the eighth-generation version of its basic iPad: an update to its entry-level 10.2-inch tablet that rapidly upgrades the processor to the A12 chipset (last seen in 2019 iPad Air and iPad Mini models ), While still retaining the same $ 329 price point. Education customers will also be able to get the new iPad for a discounted $ 299.

The A12 chip brings Apple’s “neural engine” processing capabilities to its entry-level iPad, with twice the promise of graphics performance for the first time. Apple says the new model will still fit existing cases, including its keyboard case and those made by Logitech. It will still work with the first-gen Apple Pencil like the previous model.

The new iPad will also run iPadOS 14 and offer new software, which Apple showed for an upcoming software update, including handwritten text input such as the new Apple Pencil feature.

Unfortunately, it appears that Apple is still sticking with its proprietary Lightning port on the updated iPad instead of the USB-C port, which is used by Apple’s laptop, the iPad Pro, and the just-announced iPad Air. It also has a standard Touch ID home button, which is rare on Apple’s product lineup.

Apple announced the seventh-gen iPad last fall, expanding the 9.7-inch display into a 10.2-inch panel that had been a staple of the company’s lineup for years. This year’s update is less dramatic than that, although the additional processing power seems like a welcome addition.

The new iPad will be available in Space Gray, Silver and Gold colors in both 32GB and 128GB configurations. An LTE configuration will also be available (starting at $ 459). Limitations for the new eighth-generation iPad begin today, prior to the September 18 release.