Apple opted to launch the new iPad 2017 quietly instead of going big with the announcement. It was expected that a reveal of new products is happening, but fans were still shocked when an iPad Air 2 successor was unveiled via a press release. It has the same size as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but it is priced much lower. What’s the difference and which should you buy?
The New iPad Looks Pro, But That’s It
Although the iPad 2017 has some qualities of the Pro, it still does not hold a candle to the 2016 9.7-inch iPad. Even so, it looks much like its Pro counterpart. At first glance, the successor to the iPad Air 2 doesn’t look that different at all and can easily be mistaken for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.
— 9to5Mac (@9to5mac) March 22, 2017
There’s the home button, the 9.7-inch display and a camera at the front. On the sides are the usual buttons, and at the back are the camera and Apple logo. However, holding the new iPad will instantly reveal its secrets: it is 1.4mm thicker, per Trusted Reviews, which may be because of the bigger battery.
It is also heavier. While the Pro only weighs up to 444 grams, the new iPad is heavier at up to 478 grams. The difference is minimal but still noticeable.
Side by side, the two iPads’ screens also look very different from each other. The iPad Pro boasts of its True Tone display and anti-reflective coating, two major features that the new iPad doesn’t have. But in all fairness, the screen is brighter than the iPad Air 2.
The iPad Pro’s Specs Are Still Ahead
It’s understandable that Apple did not put the best specs into the new iPad 2017 as it intends to keep the price low. As Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, indicated, the goal is to make a tablet that is more affordable for consumers.
“iPad is the world’s most popular tablet. Customers love the large, 9.7-inch display for everything from watching TV and movies, to surfing the web, making FaceTime calls, and enjoying photos, and now it is even more affordable.”
Although it does not have top-of-the-line specs, it is still a good update to the outdated iPad Air 2. According to the press release, the 2017 variant has an A9 chip as opposed to the A9X processor of the Pro. Still, it is expected to perform well for its intended use.
The cameras also took a hit from Apple’s attempt at a more affordable iPad. Instead of a 12-megapixel rear camera, we get 8 megapixels. At the front, the new iPad 2017 only has a 1.2-megapixel snapper, a far cry from the Pro’s 5-megapixel selfie cam.
The most glaring difference, however, is that the iPad Pro has full support for the Apple Pencil whereas the new iPad hasn’t. That may be a deal-breaker for some, but for more casual users, the Pencil is not a necessity.
Is The New iPad 2017 Worth The Price?
— Forbes (@Forbes) March 21, 2017
To those who still have the old iPad and can’t afford the iPad Pro, the 2017 offering is a worthy upgrade. It’s not the right tablet for those looking for more power for heavier usage, but it’s alright for students or for casual users.
The new iPad 2017 only costs $329 (almost half the price of a Pro) with 32GB internal storage and Wi-Fi connectivity. The price tag can go up to $459 for the WiFi + Cellular model with the same memory.
Apple will start taking orders on March 24 and start delivering to customers and stores next week. Customers can choose from three color options: Silver, Gold, and Space Gray.
[Featured Image by Adam Berry/Getty Images for Apple]