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Apple's new $329 iPad with Pencil support takes on Chromebooks

At its education event in Chicago, Apple shows off a new iPad to help it get ahead in the classroom.
It's back to school for Apple with a brand-new iPad.
Apple on Tuesday unveiled a new version of its iOS-powered tablet at its education event in Chicago, which it hosted at the Lane Tech College Prep High School. The school is the largest public high school in Chicago.
"Macs and iPads are used throughout schools by students for everything from music to language arts and even advanced robotics," Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the event.
Apple called the 9.7-inch tablet "our most affordable iPad." The addition to the iPad line-up, which includes the top-end iPad Pro and the smaller iPad Mini 4, starts at $299 for schools and $329 for consumers (£319 in the UK, AU$469 in Australia) for the 32GB model. The new iPad is available for order starting Tuesday, and you can expect shipping to start this week. The current cheapest iPad is also $329.
The new iPad is Apple's answer to Google-powered Chromebooks, which have become the go-to gadgets for teachers in classrooms. Apple devices used to fill up schools across the country, but they've since slipped as Chromebooks rose in popularity.
The new iPad will take advantage of Apple's Pencil stylus, which costs an additional $99. 
"The new 9.7-inch iPad takes everything people love about our most popular iPad and makes it even better," said Greg Joswiak, an Apple marketing executive.
It has an 8-megapixel camera and 10 hours of battery life and weighs just 1 pound (469 grams), Apple said. It uses an A10 Fusion chip and supports 300 Mbps LTE connectivity. The A10 Fusion chip means that the iPad is more powerful than most laptops and essentially every Chromebook. 
The iPad's Retina screen will also open up augmented-reality possibilities for students, like virtually dissecting a frog.
The iPad mimics features already available on the iPad Pro, like tilt and pressure, as well as a high-resolution touch system, which allows for quick responses. The Apple Pencil will also have its own set of apps available, the most popular ones being Pages and Keynote.
The Pencil will allow users to add smart annotations to Pages, which means students and teachers can add marks to the Pages document directly.
Apple also increased the iCloud storage space for schools from 5 gigabytes to 200 GB, and it unveiled a School Manager program, as well as making the Classroom app available for the Mac. 
If you find the $99 Apple Pencil to be too expensive, Logitech offers a $49 alternative aimed at kids, called the Crayon.  

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