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Apple launches new 9.7-inch iPad and special edition iPhone

New iPad has better specs and lower price than the iPad Air 2

Apple launches new 9.7-inch iPad and special edition iPhone

Apple has today updated its iPad line, leaving behind the ‘Air’ branding and also introducing a unique, special edition iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Without kicking up much fuss beforehand, Apple has updated its website to announce a new iPad line, plus special edition iPhone 7 models and an update to the iPhone SE.

See below for more on the new Apple arrivals.

Best Buy tablets – sharp displays and impressive battery life

The new iPad – faster processor, lower price

Today, Apple unveiled the new 9.7-inch iPad with Retina display. It has a Touch ID fingerprint sensor for added security, weighs in at 469g (slightly heavier than the 437g iPad Air 2) and is powered by Apple’s A9 chip, which means it should cope well with multitasking and resource-intensive apps. It follows in the footsteps of the iPad Air 2, which is no longer listed on Apple’s site.

This iPad has iOS 10 pre-installed, which has a redesigned lock screen and smarter, expandable notifications that provide more information at a glance. Improvements to Siri mean that the voice assistant now supports third-party apps such as WhatsApp and Uber. There are two cameras on board – an 8Mp 1080p camera on the back, and a 1.2Mp front-facing FaceTime HD snapper.

With these changes to the iPad family in place, there are now four key models to choose from if you’re set on an Apple tablet. There’s the

The new iPad has the same screen size as the 9.7-inch Pro. But the pricier Pro offers support for the Apple Pencil (stylus) and Smart Keyboard (not included in the price). It also has a faster A9X chip and can handle 4K video recording.

As soon as it arrives, we’ll be sending Apple’s latest iPad off to our test lab. We’ve rigorously tested plenty of tablets before it, including the iPad Pro 9.7, iPad mini 4 and iPad Air 2.

To see our full range of tested tablets, head to our tablet reviews page.

How much is the new iPad?

Prices start at £339 for the latest member of the iPad family. This will get you the 32GB model with wi-fi only (no cellular 3G/4G). Upgrading to the 32GB cellular model will set you back £469. If you’ve got a little more money to spend, the 128GB wi-fi model costs £429, while the 128GB cellular iPad is £559.

Considering the price of the old iPad Air 2 (£349 for 16GB, wi-fi only), you’ll get more bang for your buck with this new iPad. This latest model has a faster chip (compared to the Air 2’s A8X) plus more storage space, and it’s even a tad cheaper than its predecessor.

The new iPad is available to order from Friday, 24 March. If you’d rather try it out before splashing your cash, the new models will arrive in UK stores shortly.

If you’re a buyer on a budget, our advice guide on the best tablets under £200 can lend a helping hand when it comes to iPad alternatives.

Limited edition iPhone and new iPhone SE models also unveiled

Apple’s iPad isn’t the only gadget that has been added to the tech giant’s website today. We’ve also seen a special edition version of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Apple has teamed up with Product Red to launch the red edition mobiles, which have 128GB and 256GB of internal storage.

The 128GB 4.7-inch iPhone 7 is £699 Sim-free, while the 256GB version is a hefty £799. The iPhone 7 Plus is £819 for the Sim-free 128GB model. If you want even more storage, the 256GB phone costs £919. Part of each purchase towards a Product Red iPhone goes to charity.

Finally, there has been a minor update to the iPhone SE range. Previously, you could pick up the phone with 16GB or 64GB of storage. That has now been raised to 32GB (£379) and 128GB (£479).

To see how Apple’s iPhone range scores in our lab, head over to our smartphone reviews page.

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