Apple Preps Entry-Level iPad With A13 Bionic, Larger Display, And Lower Price

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Apple is reportedly preparing to launch another entry in its popular iPad family of tablets. The next device to get refreshed will be the entry-level iPad, which will allegedly once again see its display size increased.

According to the report from CnBeta, the new 9th generation iPad will increase its display size to 10.5 inches, and it will incorporate the A13 Bionic processor that was first introduced last year with the iPhone 11 family of smartphones. It's also reported that there will be 4GB of RAM onboard. The current 8th generation iPad has a 10.2-inch display and uses the A12 Bionic SoC paired with 3GB of RAM. 

Although these upgrades sound nice, we've got some bad news for you when it comes to biometric authentication. While the 4th generation iPad Air made the well-liked move of ditching the Touch ID-enabled Home button for Touch ID embedded in the power button, the new iPad is not expected to make that change. Instead, it will retain the old school Home button, which will necessitate the inclusion of the thick bezels that have defined the entry-level iPad form-factor for years.

Another disappointment is that the 9th generation iPad will continue to use a Lightning port, even though the iPad Pro and iPad Air have both switched over to USB-C. The fact that Apple continues to have such a fractured lineup when it comes to Lightning versus USB-C connectivity is puzzling to say the least. 

On the plus side, the new iPad is said to be 0.07 pounds lighter than its predecessor while coming in at 1.4mm thinner. It's also alleged that the starting price of the new iPad will fall from $329 to $299, while doubling the base storage from 32GB to 64GB.

If those last points are accurate, the complaints about the Home button and bezels might not be that loud this time around. It would also provide some separation (in pricing and features) between the entry-level iPad and the iPad Air, which starts at $599.