Apple quietly released a new iPad early this month. It’s not the iPad Air 3 or iPad Pro 2. It is just called the iPad.
What that branding tells you is that it doesn’t feature any trademark features. It just features all the things you’ve come to expect from an iPad over the years. It has a premium aluminum and glass build that’s not too thick nor too thin, though it is a little bit thicker than the iPad Air 2. There’s no radical new design change at all. It still features a 9.7-inch display with those quarter to half inch bezels around it.
The display itself is where Apple cut the most corners when you compare this iPad to Apple’s higher brand iPad Pro. It doesn’t feature a white color or True Tone display, let alone, a fully laminated or anti-reflective coating. It just features a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating and a 2048x1536 resolution. For the average consumer who might not be as picky as a tech geek or for those who are conscious about the cost savings, I think the display is more than good enough. It still gets very bright and offers a fairly dense pixel per inch index.
The iPad does feature Touch ID that is built into the physical home button and it’s a fairly secure way to lock your device and keep it nice and secure. But I found it to be a little bit slower to unlock the actual device than on my iPhone 7 for example
iOS runs very well on this device. It features the most up to date version of iOS 10 and has support for multitasking. Therefore, you can run two applications at the same time to increase your productivity. The only major limitation I found in my testing was the fact that not every iPhone application will work with the iPad. If you’re thinking about buying an iPad, I would definitely make sure to double check that your most used apps are compatible with the iPad before you buy it. Instagram, for example, still doesn’t have an iPad app.
Even though the 2017 iPad model is cheaper than the iPad Air 2, it features a faster A9 chip with an embedded M9 motion co-processor. And with the well-optimized operating system, I actually found the iPad to keep up with whatever I threw at it with very little stuttering, lag or performance issues in general.
There is an 8-megapixel camera that is significantly worse than the camera found in the iPad Pro. If you plan on using the camera a lot, that could be a deal breaker but just know that regardless of whether you have the iPad Pro or 2017 iPad, the camera in your smartphone will likely be more capable and less wielding than the iPad’s camera. Side note: if you’re going to take pictures with your iPad, make sure to do it in private.
Battery life is excellent. I used this tablet lightly for the past two weeks and I never had to charge it. Standby time is fantastic. Apple says you should be able to get 10 hours of battery life on Wi-Fi and I would have to agree with that claim.
The speakers also aren’t as good as the iPad Pro’s speakers. There are two stereo speakers located at the bottom. They get fairly loud and sound decent. We do have a 3.5mm headphone jack though so you can attach external speakers or wired headphones, which is nice. Who knows, this might be the last iPad to feature a 3.5mm headphone jack.
So if you’re in the market for an iPad, whether it be for work, school, or play, I highly recommend the 2017 iPad. It doesn’t feature all the bells and whistles that the Pro models feature. But it has all the essential features that make an iPad an iPad. Best of all, it’s actually very affordable for an Apple product starting at $329 for the 32GB variant. It’s $100 extra for the 128GB variant and $130 extra for the LTE version. For comparison, the iPad Air 2 starts at $400 and Samsung’s flagship Tab S3, which is recently announced and released, starts at $600.