Enlarge / The new iPad takes some design cues from the 2019 iPad Air, but it makes some compromises to keep the price down. (credit: Samuel Axon)

The past year has seen Apple blazing a new trail for its iPad line of products, further distinguishing the tablets from their iPhone roots and seeking to establish them as real productivity and creativity devices.
iPadOS and the features and performance found in the latest iPad Air, iPad, and iPad Pro models have made the best case yet for the iPad as a device for content creatingónot just consumption. But the base iPad, priced at under $400, was until recently very much stuck in the old mode.
This year, Apple has updated that iPad to bring it closer to the rest of the lineup in terms of available features. In many ways, this is a minor update to last year's iPad, though. Most of the internals, including the cameras and the A10 chip, are the same. Performance is identical. Photo quality is identical. Battery life is close to identical. The main changes are in the design of the chassis, including the addition of Smart Keyboard support.

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