Right now, Google and its army of Chromebooks is winning the hardware game in U.S. schools. Its market share hovers around 60 percent, thanks in large part to its Education software platform and the availability of cheap hardware. That hasn’t stopped the competition from trying to catch up, however. Last year, Microsoft boosted its initiative with cheaper laptops, a student-specific version of Windows, and a push toward Mixed Reality in classrooms. Now, it’s Apple’s turn to crank up the volume on its educational efforts.
Tuesday's Apple event in Chicago revolved around the updated iPad. The sixth-generation device looks a lot like a 9.7-inch iPad Pro from 2016. It has a A10 Fusion processor, a 10-hour battery display, and the typical suite of cameras. The big news, however, is its $299 price tag (for students, that is—the rest of us pay $329). The device is now the cheapest iPad in the lineup that’s compatible with the Apple Pencil stylus.
Apple also gave a shout out to peripheral company Logitech, which is making a $99 keyboard case for the new iPad, as well as a $49 Crayon stylus meant to offer a cheaper alternative to the $99 Pencil (schools get a $10 discount, for a total cost of $89). It seems like a real missed opportunity to call it the Number 2 Pencil.
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