9.7 inch iPad (2018) review: Affordable iPad with worthwhile upgrades

Apple’s iPad lineup has not seen a major change recently, which leaves users questioning the company’s ability to release an innovative tablet. We are expecting something new from Apple this year to refresh its iPad lineup.

At this year’s education event, the Cupertino company officially unveiled a new 9.7 inch iPad following months of endless rumors. Basically, the new 9.7 inch iPad replaces the last year’s model, meaning that it belongs to the mid-range segment.

The 9.7 inch iPad offers affordable price tag that starts at around $416. According to Apple, the company is offering discounts for school buyers this year in an attempt to expand Apple’s devices in US-based schools. With a new price tag, the new iPad will compete with Chromebooks laptop in the US.

Apple’s new iPad has its upper hand over its rivals, thanks to its smooth performance and Apple Pencil support. In the section below, we will help you discover how.

  1. Price and release date

According to Apple, the company has begun shipping the iPad 9.7in (2018) to authorized resellers and its own physical stores worldwide. For those who have pre-ordered the device, they can get the device at local retail stores or wait until delivery arrives.

When it comes pricing, the new 9.7 inch iPad is not a cheap tablet on the market, but it’s more affordable than other iPad models. If you are planning to grab the new iPad, then you are looking at around $329 in the US and £319 in the UK.

With a $329 price tag, you will get the device with 32GB of internal storage, while the model with cellular connectivity will cost $100 dollars to your bill.

  1. Apple Pencil support

Apple Pencil is one of the highlights of iPad Pro lineup, allowing users to take notes, mark up emails or sketch ideas. This year, Apple is officially expanding Apple Pencil support for its standard iPads following months of endless rumors and speculation.

Apple Pencil support will help Apple boost iPad sales performance this year and target mostly students and schools. However, Apple Pencil will not be included with purchase of 9.7 inch iPad, meaning that you need to buy it separately. Apple says that the new Apple Pencil will cost $99 in the US or even less if you are school buyers.

In short, Apple Pencil is a great addition to Apple’s standard iPad lineup, offering a new way to interact with apps. However, if you are looking for an advanced tool to take notes at work, Apple Pencil is not that kind of tool.

  1. Chip

The new iPad is powered by Apple’s A10 Fusion chip, the same one that fuels the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, thus offering much-improved performance and more power efficiency. The powerful chip is coupled with 2 GB of RAM, offering enough power to handle multi-tasking.

During our test, the 9.7 inch iPad ran smoothly with up to 10 apps running. Most of apps and games won’t re-load after switching between apps. However, we noticed some slowdown with rendering photos or videos, mainly due to limited RAM size.

If you are looking for an iPad that can handle more demanding work, the iPad Pro with 4GB of RAM and more power, should be a better choice.

  1. Design

The new iPad retains Apple’s standard iPad design, with rounded corners and metal back. The home button sits at the base of the device. The button includes Touch ID integration, allowing users to unlock their device and authenticate their iTunes purchases.

The thickness of 7.5 mm offers a comfortable hands-on experience for prolonged use. The Wi-Fi version weighs 469 grams, while the LTE-enabled version weighs 478 grams.

There is not much to tell about the design. We are expecting that the new iPad Pro will come with a refreshed design with small bezels this year. Let’s wait and see.

  1. Screen

The 9.7 inch iPad maintains the same screen technology we have already seen in the current iPad modes. This means that we still have a screen resolution of 1536 x 2048 pixels, which offers a 260ppi pixel density for bright and sharp picture quality.

However, the new iPad lacks of HDR support, which is now exclusive to the iPad Pro lineup. Tech experts say that Apple removes HDR support from its standard iPad to keep the costs down. The 9.7 inch iPad was previously rumored to come with True Tone display, like in the iPad Pro. But it was nowhere to be found at launch.

  1. Education

The new 9.7 inch iPad marks Apple’s huge focus on education. The Cupertino company introduced a lot of education software initiatives at its March event in Chicago. Apple claims that there are 20,000 apps on the App Store for education and students.

Besides, teachers can get course materials and view students’ progress, all made possible by iTunes U and Schoolwork. According to Apple, students can view ancient events in AR using a handful of history apps. Besides, there are some apps that help you test your painting skills or play with web coding.

  1. Battery life

Apple’s iPad lineup is pretty reliable when it comes to battery life. According to Apple, the new 9.7 inch iPad can last 3-4 days between charges, mainly thanks to its more efficient chip and optimized software.

During our test, the new iPad offered 10 hours battery life for extended use for web browsing and watching video. However, we noticed a quick battery drop when we ran YouTube videos at Full HD.

  1. Camera

There is not much to tell about the camera. The new iPad features the same 8MP shooter on the back, offering enough options to play with your photos, like panorama, timelapse video, and hi-res movies. However, the low-light capability is poor when compared to Android-based tablets on the market.

There is a 1.2 MP shooter on the front, allowing you to quickly capture selfies. Lack of portrait mode is not surprising given that the device belongs to the mid-range segment.

Also read: Mackeeper Review 2018 – Is MacKeeper Really A Scam?

What do you think of Apple’s new iPad? Let us know in the comments below.

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About John Smith

1 thought on “9.7 inch iPad (2018) review: Affordable iPad with worthwhile upgrades”

  1. One of the strengths of the iPad product line is its flexibility when it comes to user input. You can tap on screen, dictate by voice, or connect a keyboard and type away.


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