That new entry level $329 iPad sounded really cool when Apple announced it Tuesday.
It has a super-fast processing chip and is substantially faster than a Windows laptop, an Android tablet or a Google Chromebook.
That’s at least what Apple told us in its virtual presentation.
And as a pandemic-era tool for working or learning from home, it sounds like a relative bargain. Until you tally up the shopping cart.
Somehow $329 grows to $956, before tax, once you add in extra storage, cellular connectivity, Apple Care and accessories like the Apple Pencil and a keyboard.
And if you think that’s a lot, can we interest you in the step-up model, the new iPad Air, with a larger screen, even faster processing chip, edge-to-edge display and the return of Touch ID?
That model starts at $599 – $100 more than the previous edition. But once we’re through loading it with add-ons, we get to $879 for the extra storage and cellular connectivity and a final tally of $1,376 pretax with the addition of Apple Care, the Pencil and a keyboard.
Remember that the 10.9-inch iPad Air isn’t even the most expensive iPad model. That would be the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which starts at $799 but ends up, when fully loaded, at $2,256.
This, of course, comes from a company that turned heads when it introduced an updated computer in 2019, the Mac Pro, which, when loaded, would set you back only $60,000 or so. That also sold a “Pro Stand” for the companion monitor for just $999.
But let’s return to the new products announced Tuesday.
Apple won some kudos for introducing an economy-priced new Apple Watch, the SE, using the same name as the lowest priced $399 iPhone. The Watch starts at $279, compared to $399 for the new Series 6.
But those are just starting prices.
If you want to use the SE with cellular connectivity to be able to respond to texts and emails, answer phone calls, or share with the family in the new “Family Setup” plan, the Watch grows to $329 for the 40mm version watch face or $359 for 44mm face. And don’t forget to add $10 monthly for cell service.
The Series 6 Watch itself starts at $399 but grows to $529 with cellular service and the larger watch face. Finally, If you’re a fashion plate and want the finest edition of the Series 6, get ready to spend at least $1,499 before tax for the Hermes fashion models.
But have no fear, Apple does have some consumer bargains in there as well.
It also introduced a new subscription bundle, Apple One, which offers discounts to consumers who agree to pay for multiple subscription services, including Music, TV+, News+ and Arcade.
The pricing is confusing: $14.99 for a limited group of services or $29.99 for everything. Apple says you’ll save $6 on the entry-level offering, which offers Music ($9.99), TV+ ($4.99), Arcade ($4.99) and the $1 offering of 50 GB of iCloud. The “Premier” offering adds the new Fitness+ ($9.99), News+ ($9.99) and 2 TB of iCloud ($9.99). Savings: $25.
But did you really want even more subscription services to keep track of?
Follow USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter