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New iPad leak just revealed killer upgrade for early 2021

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A new entry-level iPad could be on its way in early 2021, with a cheaper price tag and the same fast A13 Bionic processor that powers the iPhone 11. 

At least that's according to Chinese tech site CNBeta, which claims to have information about an upcoming budget iPad. The new iPad, which will reportedly launch in the spring, looks set to replace the current 10.2-inch iPad, which is the cheapest tablet Apple offers and comes with the solid, if dated, A12 Bionic chip. 

It looks like the next standard iPad will be getting a decent performance upgrade. The A13 Bionic is the chip that powers the iPhone 11 and the latest iPhone SE. While it’s not as powerful as the iPhone 12’s 5nm A14 Bionic, it’s still one of the best mobile chipsets on the market right now, and a step up from the A12 Bionic.

CNBeta also said that the 9th-gen iPad will also have a 10.5-inch display, 4GB of RAM, a minimum of 64GB of storage space, and a starting price of just $299. 

For comparison. The 8th gen iPad, which arrived back in September, has a 10.2-inch display, the aforementioned A12 Bionic chipset, 3GB of RAM, and starts at 32GB of storage for $329. 

The new entry-level iPad is tipped to be thinner, lighter, and keep the Touch ID button. But there's no word on whether it will get an updated design. The 10.2-inch iPad has been using same bezel-heavy design for years, and is arguably due a refresh much like the new iPad Air 2020 received.

Nevertheless, the 9th-gen model looks set to offer a solid upgrade over its predecessor, and the $30 price cut is just the cherry on top.

The 2020 iPad only went on sale in mid-September, so a spring release window seems several months early for an upgrade. But anything could happen.

There are also rumors of an upgraded iPad Pro coming in early 2021, so it kind of makes sense to launch all the new iPads at once. And since the 9th-gen iPad is set to come with hardware that’s 18 plus months old, it’s not like it has the same production and development restrictions as, say, the iPhone 13.

Tom Pritchard

Tom covers a little bit of everything at Tom’s Guide, ranging from the latest electric cars all the way down to hot takes on why Christopher Nolan is wrong about everything. Appliances are also muscling their way into his routine, which is a pretty long way from his days as Editor at Gizmodo UK. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.