New iPad: everything you need to know

Basically it's cheaper, thicker and a bit more powerful

Update: The new iPad from Apple is out today. You'll be able to order from around the world by the end of the day, and we expect to see if appear on the Apple website at 8AM PT (11AM ET, 3PM GMT) .

Apple has launched its new iPad. There's no fancy name, or incremental number attached to this slate though. It's simply just 'iPad'.

The Cupertino firm is solidifying its simplistic naming regime - MacBook and MacBook Pro, and now iPad and iPad Pro.

This latest slate replaces the iPad Air 2, and slides in below the feature-packed iPad Pro 9.7 and iPad Pro 12.9 as a more affordable, large screen tablet.

Don't get too excited about this new iPad though, as it's very much an incremental upgrade over its predecessor.

New iPad release date

  • Order online from March 24 - that's today!
  • Only an hour to go until you can buy it on the Apple online Store

Apple has already filled its website with new iPad details, and that includes the dates of when you'll be able to order the slate.

The new iPad release date is set for 08.01 PT (11.01 ET, 15.01 GMT) on March 24, and while you'll be able to order your new tablet online from then it's not clear when it'll arrive on your doorstep and in stores. 

New iPad price

  • $329 (£339, AU$469) for 32GB/Wi-Fi
  • $559 (£559, AU$799) for 128GB/Wi-Fi+Cellular

There's some good news right here, as the new iPad is cheaper (yes, CHEAPER) than the iPad Air 2 it replaces.

New iPad prices start at $329 (£339, AU$469) for the 32GB, Wi-Fi only model and rise all the way to $559 (£559, AU$799) for the 128GB, Wi-Fi and cellular model.

The iPad Air 2 finished it days on the Apple Store at $399 (£379, AU$569) for 32GB/Wi-Fi and $629 (£589, AU$879) for 128GB/Wi-Fi+Cellular.

New iPad design

  • Thicker and heavier than Air 2
  • Same look and feel

Looks wise there's nothing different on the new iPad. It still sports Apple's premium metal body, home button with Touch ID, a large 9.7-inch display and slender frame.

It is, however, thicker than both the iPad Pro 9.7 and iPad Air 2 at 7.5mm, but it maintains the same height and width at  240 x 169.5mm.

There's also a little extra weight, but only by a few grams, with the new iPad coming in at 469g (1.03 pounds) for the Wi-Fi only tablet and 478g (1.05 pounds) with the cellular connectivity.

The headphone jack remains on the top of the new iPad, as does the Lightning connector and dual speakers on the base.

You can pick up the new iPad in three colors: silver, gold and space grey.

New iPad display

  • 9.7-inch Retina display
  • 2048 x 1536 resolution at 264 ppi

You'll get some serious deja vu here, as the new iPad packs a 9.7-inch Retina display with a 2048 x 1536 resolution at 264 ppi.

That means you'll get exactly the same on-screen experience as the iPad Air 2, and the specs also match that of the iPad Pro 9.7, although that does have a brighter, more colorful True Tone display panel.

New iPad power and interface

  • Apple A9 processor and M9 coprocessor
  • iOS 10 on board

Dive under the hood of the new iPad and you'll find an Apple A9 processor and M9 coprocessor - both improvements over the chips found in the Air 2, but not as high spec as the iPad Pro.

There's currently no word on RAM, but considering both the iPad Pro and Air 2 packed in 2GB it's safe to assume the new iPad has the same. In terms of storage options you get to choose from either 32GB or 128GB.

Meanwhile, on screen the new iPad runs iOS 10 - which will shock no one.

New iPad cameras

  • 8MP rear camera
  • 1.2MP front camera

No tablet should ever be used as a camera, but still manufacturers insist on slapping snappers onto their slates.

The new iPad is no different, with an 8MP rear camera and a 1.2MP FaceTime option up front - once again matching the setup on the iPad Air 2.

New iPad battery

  • Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‑Fi

Apple new reveals the size of the batteries it sticks inside its devices, and it's the same story here.

While the capacity will likely come out in the coming months, for now Apple says the new iPad will be able to manage 'up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‑Fi, watching video or listening to music' or 'up to 9 hours of surfing the web using a mobile data network' on a single charge.

You'll have to wait for our full new iPad review to find out if it can live up to the claim.