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Apple launches new, cheaper iPad: What’s new?

The new iPad features better performance and Apple Pencil support, but are you better off with an alternative?

A new, cheaper iPad is here, but is it worth getting excited about, or is Apple behind the times?

Apple has launched a new version of its 9.7-inch iPad tablet, reducing the price by £10 and adding support for the Pencil stylus. Apple’s announcement focused on the educational possibilities of the new device, but what about the rest of us?

The biggest improvement here over the old model is a much faster processor. Gone is the old A9, and in its place is the A10 Fusion. Apple is promising 40% better performance from the new iPad versus the old model, which is a big step up. The A10 Fusion is the same processor found in the iPhone 7, and is not the very latest Apple processor; that crown is still held by the A11 Bionic, found in the latest iPhone 8 and iPhone X

An iPad with Apple Pencil support

Beyond better performance, the other big development is support for the Apple Pencil. Regarded as one of the best styluses on the market, the Pencil was previously only supported by the very expensive iPad Pro models. Now it works with cheaper models, non-professionals can start playing around with sketching and making notes on their new iPads.

The Pencil still costs £89, however, and isn’t included. Apple also announced a new, cheaper stylus from Logitech called the Crayon, but this colourful stylus is not available to the general public and can only be bought by schools.

Shopping around for the very best? Check out our guide to the Top 5 tablets.

iPad alternatives from Which?

If the iPad hasn’t lived up to your expectations, there are plenty of alternatives.

Which? tests dozens of tablets every year and has found multiple Best Buy models at a fraction of the cost of Apple’s iPads. In fact, one of our most recent Best Buy models comes in at a little over £200, giving you most of the iPad experience but without the price premium.

Browse all our Best Buy tablets, or if you’re shopping for a bargain, our guide to the Top 5 best cheap tablets has models starting at just £50.

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