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Apple refreshes iPad range: iPad 2 ditched, iPad 4 with Retina now entry-level tablet at £329

Apple has rejigged its iPad line-up and as previous rumours indicated, Cupertino has dropped the iPad 2, replacing the aged veteran with the fourth-generation iPad as the entry-level tablet.

The fourth-gen iPad boasts a 9.7in Retina Display and A6X chip, and will now be priced at £329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, and £429 for the Wi-Fi and cellular slate. The Retina Display has a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536, and the tablet also benefits from a 5-megapixel iSight camera (capable of 1080p video).

Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of Worldwide Marketing, commented: “Now for £329 customers can get iPad with a stunning 9.7in Retina display, fast A6X chip, and 5MP iSight camera, offering a dramatic upgrade in power, performance and value compared to the iPad 2 it replaces. The iPad line sets the gold-standard in mobile computing and all iPads have access to the largest and best ecosystem of more than 500,000 iPad optimised apps from the App Store.”

As we’ve previously commented, it’s about time the iPad 2 got the boot, as in this day and age of high-res tablets, its 1024 x 768 screen was a veritable dinosaur of a display. We couldn’t believe it when Apple kept the iPad 2 on priced at £329, only £70 less than the super-slim iPad Air with its many, many extra bells and whistles.

The fourth-gen iPad is a far better fit at this £329 price point – although perhaps the only weak point now is that it makes the Retina version of the iPad mini a slightly shakier looking value proposition at £319 (we always thought Apple was wrong to hike the price up a bit with the introduction of the refreshed mini last autumn).

Anyhow, you can get your cheaper full-size Retina iPad now at the Apple store, in either black or white – and of course it’s also worth remembering that the iLife and iWork suites are now bundled free on new iPads.