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(Pocket-lint) - Apple has quietly introduced a new iPad model to its online store, alongside a new (Product)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The new iPad, simply called iPad, replaces the Air 2 and retains the 9.7-inch screen.

But rather than just change the name, Apple has made some updates under the hood, namely replacing the A8X processor of the Air 2 with a new 64-bit A9 chip. The new chip means the new iPad is capable of delivering faster processing speeds and increased graphics performance over its Air 2 predecessor.


The Retina display is claimed to have had a bump in brightness, too, and it will come preinstalled with iOS 10. Elsewhere it's business as usual, Touch ID, 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, slim aluminium body in Space Grey, Gold and Silver finishes and up to 10 hour battery life.

It's essentially the same tablet as before, with a few minor upgrades, but that's no bad thing when the iPad Air 2 was one of the best tablets on the market, even when it was approaching three years old.

But the good news is, even with those updates, Apple has brought the price of the iPad down by £40 to a rather reasonable £339 for the 32GB Wi-Fi only model and £469 for the Wi-Fi and 4G LTE model. The only other storage option is 128GB and that can be yours for £429 or £559 depending on your connectivity choice.

There's no sign of a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro model just yet, but rumours are still suggesting we'll see this new model sometime in the next few months. The same analysts have correctly predicted an affordable 9.7-inch iPad, so our fingers are crossed the iPad Pro rumour is true as well.

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You'll be able to order the new iPad from 3pm on the 24 March.

Writing by Max Langridge.