Apple recently updated the 9.7-inch iPad back at the end of March 2017. This wasn’t a revamping of the entire line just an updated iPad Air 2. Apple dropped the Air in its name. It’s simply called iPad. What is really amazing is the price – starting at $329.
This new iPad replaces the iPad Air 2, which was released back in October of 2014. The new lower price also places it as the entry-level iPad. Yes, you read that right. This new 9.7-inch iPad is now cheaper than the iPad Mini 4. Well, that’s not quite right. The Mini 4 is still in the iPad lineup, but only in one storage size – 128GB. The $329 iPad has 32GB of storage. For $100 more you can get it with 128GB of storage.
This new iPad model, of course Apple calls it just iPad, uses the faster A9 processor. It also has a slightly improved Retina type display running at 2048 by 1536 pixels. This works out to be about 264 PPI (pixels-per-inch). There is also an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1.2-megapixel front camera.
Apple has also included all the current amenities. Ports include a headphone jack and a Lightning port. There is also a touch ID sensor that allows you to unlock the iPad but also use Apple Pay. Wireless connectivity includes wireless 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2.
The iPad Pro models do add a few features that may entice some users. The Apple Pencil is the most prominent. The Pro also has a much nicer display, 4K video recording and Live Picture support, Smart Connector (for keyboards and other peripherals), LTE Advanced, True Tone flash, and four speakers.
While these features place the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, or its bigger brother, at a different level than the new iPad. The new iPad is priced $270 cheaper than the entry-level iPad Pro. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro starts at $599 and the 12.1-inch Pro starts at $799. A decked out iPad Pro with cellular data, an Apple keyboard and Apple pencil can get you up well over $1000. Now we’re getting into MacBook pricing.
The thing I am asking those who have an iPad that came out before the first iPad Air is, ‘What are you waiting for!?’ If you mainly use your iPad for casual gaming, web surfing, social media, emails, and such, then at $329 you can’t go wrong. Sure you might be able to get a cheaper tablet that runs that “A” operating system. But if you have an older iPad that needs replacing or you own an iPhone, then you are already in the Apple domain. All your Apps, movies, and music you have purchased will move right into a new iPad.
If you think your iPad’s display is great, then you don’t need a Pro. If you don’t have a need for a graphics-tablet type pen, then you don’t need a Pro. If you don’t need a keyboard, or would only use it every blue moon, then you don’t need a Pro. If you have a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th generation iPad, you need this new iPad.