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The new iPad is the cheapest iPad to support the Smart Keyboard

Apple has been touting the iPad as the future of mobile computing for some time now, and the upcoming release of iPadOS on the 30th of September will bring more of a desktop feel to iPads, along with desktop-class browsing for Safari. But a large part of that is having a physical keyboard attached to the iPad, and Smart Keyboards from Apple (and select brands such as Logitech) require Apple’s Smart Connector on the iPad to work.

Of course, Bluetooth keyboards still work for all iPads, but those require separate charging—prior to this, only the iPad Air and iPad Pro models supported Smart Keyboards. Apple has just announced the 7th generation of the iPad, that now supports Smart Keyboards, which makes it the most affordable iPad to have the Smart Connector (the iPad Air retails at RM2,199 for the base model).

They’ve also packed the 7th-gen iPad with a larger 10.2″ display (up from 9.7″ from the 6th-gen iPad), although the new iPad still utilises the same A10 Fusion chip that its predecessor used. In fact, it’s very similar to the 9.7″ predecessor, and lacks the laminated display that the iPad Air and iPad Pro models have.

The Apple Pencil, supported on the previous iPad, is also supported with the 7th-gen iPad, although only the 1st-gen Apple Pencil is supported. And of course, you still use a Lightning connector to charge the iPad, and there is no Face ID—the design is still very much traditional, as far as the iPad is concerned.

The iPad 10.2″ will ship with iPad OS (which is available for newer iPads on September 30), which will bring a number of welcome changes to the iPad experience. Improved file management, for one, is certainly needed. A desktop that looks less like a blown-up iPhone home screen, too, is something that can’t come soon enough.

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And It’s clear that the introduction of the 7th-generation iPad is part of that line of thinking from Apple. A larger screen, Smart Keyboard support, at a comparatively low entry-point when it comes to price. Available in 32GB and 128GB storage configurations, the iPad will start at RM1,449 for the Wi-Fi model and RM1,999 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

iPad 32GB Wi-Fi – RM1,449

iPad 32GB LTE – RM1,999

iPad 128GB Wi-Fi – RM1,849

iPad 128GB LTE – RM2,399

The Smart Keyboard, on the other hand, is available for RM649, while all new iPads that are purchased starting today, will come with one year of Apple TV+ for free. This also applies to customers who buy iPhones from today.

To find out more, click here.