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In case you missed it, Apple announced a new entry-level iPad earlier this week. Starting price: $329, same as the previous-generation model. But here's a rare and welcome surprise: If you preorder that new iPad at Walmart, you can save $30. It's available in your choice of silver or space-gray, and you can expect it to arrive in about 10 days.
That's not a huge discount, but it's something. And the value is even greater when you consider that this model comes with 64GB of storage, while its predecessor offered just 32GB for the same price.
Meanwhile, the new iPad is also faster (thanks to an upgraded processor) and equipped with a greatly improved front camera, the better to participate in video calls. That camera, coupled with Apple's Center Stage feature, automatically keeps the focus on the subject (you) as you move around — and it'll even widen out if someone else enters the frame.
Not much else has changed. The iPad still relies on Apple's Lightning connector (rather than USB-C, which higher-end models and the new iPad Mini have embraced). It still employs a home button with Touch ID and still has a fairly chunky bezel along the top and bottom edges.
Looking for a less-expensive option? I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the Amazon Fire HD 10, which was also refreshed this year and offers a few key advantages. The first is price: It starts at $150 for the 32GB model and $190 for 64GB. But it has a microSD expansion slot, meaning you can add lots more storage for cheap. (Example: Here's a 64GB microSD card for just $11.)
The second is also price: Amazon regularly discounts the Fire HD 10 (and other tablets). Just a couple weeks ago, for example, it was on sale for $100 — and I guarantee you it'll hit that price again in the near future. (The holidays are a-coming, after all.)
The Fire HD 10 employs USB-C, offers hands-free Alexa voice controls, works with countless accessories (including keyboards) and promises up to 12 hours of operation on a charge (versus the iPad's 10 hours).
Make no mistake, I'm a big fan of the iPad, and at $299 it's a solid deal if you are as well. I just want you to know there's a considerably cheaper option that will let you do nearly all the same tablet tasks.
What do you think? Share your tablet talk-back in the comments section below!
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