New budget iPad 9 gets better video chat, doubles storage

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New budget iPad 9 gets better video chat, doubles storage
iPad 9 has twice the storage capacity for the same low price.
Photo: Apple

Apple caught many people by surprise by launching the iPad 9 on Tuesday. The budget tablet has twice the storage capacity of its predecessor and a faster processor, too. Plus, an upgraded front-facing camera makes this a better option for video conferencing.

The 2021 iPad will hit store shelves later in September.


iPad 9 is faster than ever

On the inside is an Apple A13 processor, an improvement over the A12 in its predecessor. Apple promises that brings 20% faster CPU and GPU performance.

The front-facing camera in the iPad 9 has been upgraded to 12MP. And its wide-angle lens allows the tablet to support Center Stage, which keeps the user centered in the video stream without the camera having to move. It’s a feature that jumps from the iPad Pro line.

Apple California Streaming event: The new iPad gains some of the iPad Pro's tricks.
The new iPad gains some of the iPad Pro’s tricks.
Photo: Apple

Much remains the same

The iPad 9 retains the 10.2-inch screen of its most recent predecessors. The basic iPad had a 9.7-inch display going back to its launch in 2010, but finally moved to a 10.2-inch screen in the iPad 7 back in 2019.

And many other familiar features remain, like a Lightning port and Home button. All other iPad models have switched to USB-C and edge-to-edge designs. That includes the new and improved iPad mini.

More storage but not more money

And the price for the iPad 9 stays at $329. But that price brings double the storage. The basic model now has 64GB of capacity.

It can be ordered now, and ships later this month. The 8th-generation iPad debuted in September 2020, so this follow-up comes exactly a year later.

An overview of the new features of the iPad 9.
Don’t miss a visual summary of the new features of the iPad 9.
Photo: Apple