Apple Releases 10.2-inch iPad (7th Generation) a Week Early

The powers that be at Apple appear to be really eager to get its latest tablet in your hands. Earlier this week (on Sept. 24), the company began shipping the new 10.2-inch iPad (the 7th Generation iPad), nearly a week ahead of the announced Sept. 30 launch date.

Yes, even though Amazon is still listing the new iPad as "not yet released" and as a pre-order, it's now listed as shipping from and available at our local Apple Stores in NYC, including the newly re-opened Apple Fifth Avenue store) where it costs $329 (or $299 for educators).

The iPad's new operating system, iPadOS, also came out earlier than anticipated, that same day (Sept. 24). It features a much improved homescreen and new multitasking tricks. Check out my full review of iPadOS to see why I think it's the biggest update to Apple's slate in years.

The big new feature of this iPad is that Apple's given its cheapest slate a bigger screen, increasing the panel by half an inch diagonally, from 9.7 inches to 10.2 inches. Oh, and if you splurge a little more, this iPad finally supports Apple's easy-to-connect $159 Smart Keyboard cover.

MORE: I Used a Mouse with iPadOS: Here's How It Works

Otherwise, it's pretty similar to the 2018 iPad, with the same A10 Fusion CPU, top and bottom bezels that are chunkier than the iPad Pro's and a Lightning connector (alas poor USB-C, we know it well).

Also, just like it's doing with new iPhone sales, Apple's throwing in a free year of its Apple TV Plus service. 

Of course, we're excited to get it into the Laptop Mag testing labs to see how well it holds up to our testing, especially the Laptop Mag battery test.