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Apple iPad WiFi + Cellular (32GB)


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Apple iPad WiFi + Cellular (128GB)


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Apple iPad WiFi (128GB)


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So Apple have introduced yet another new tablet. That’s right, the iPad Air 2 has been replaced. There’s a new Apple iPad in town and it goes by several names. Is it mini, is it skinny, is it er, tinny? No. Apple have gone back to basics by introducing the *d..d..d..daaa* ‘iPad’… 2017 or (depending who you ask) the ‘iPad 9.7’. Erm, sound familiar? It should. Before there was the iPad Air, Mini or Pro there was simply – iPad.

 

What’s All the Fuss About?

If you go by lineage, this is technically the iPad (5th Gen.) Confused? Don’t be. This 5th Generation iPad is actually (just like its namesake) remarkably incomplex and not all that dissimilar to the Air 2. Some could argue that this is in fact the Apple iPad Air 3. But of course the big question on everyone’s lips is, ‘is it better?’. Simple answer, yes. But is it good enough?… Wellllll… that’s a tricky one to answer.

Let’s break the population down into two categories:

People Without An iPad…

Not to be confused with the iPad Pro 9.7, this is a middle of the range tablet. If you’re new to Apple the new 2017 iPad couldn’t be more perfect. With a pretty decent 9.7 inch screen and weighing just over 1lb, this is a really good mid-sized tablet that’s more portable and convenient than the larger 12.9 iPad Pro, more cost effective than the smaller 9.7 iPad Pro, but more usable for first-timers than the tiny iPad Mini 4 (which is a mere 7.9-inches). It certainly doesn’t do anything fancy, but it includes all the important features of the original iPad line. It’s got an OK-ish 8 megapixel camera, and most importantly it’s actually got a surprisingly affordable price tag (albeit more expensive than the Air 2 which it replaces). In a nutshell, it’s brighter, faster and newer than the Air 2 and iPad Mini 4.

People With An iPad…

Don’t be jumping up and down in your seat just yet. If you’ve already got an iPad Pro (12.9 or 9.7), the Air 2 or even an iPad Mini 4, and your device still works well, then you might be disappointed with the new 2017 offering. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s certainly nothing wrong with Apple’s latest offering, but it doesn’t really seem like this iPad has been designed as an upgrade (it’s basically the Air 2’s brighter but chubbier twin). In fact, compared to the other models on the market, it’s actually pretty basic (and not just in name). When you look at the iPad (5th Gen) in comparison with the iPad Pro and the Mini, you’ll find it’s lacking some of the more advanced features. And if it weren’t for the weight gain (this new iPad is thicker) and the lack of a fully laminated screen with anti-reflective coating (the display doesn’t look as seamless) you’d be hard pressed to see much of a difference between this and the (now discontinued) Air 2. At least looks wise.

 

Why Go 5th Gen?

On the surface, it does seem like the iPad (5th Gen) doesn’t really have anything that makes it stand out among the other offerings, or anything that makes it unique. You’ve really gotta dig for it, but there is something that the iPad (2017) has that nothing else does – an A9 chip (the Air 2 had an A8X).

Okay, Okay, so the Pro has the super powerful A9X (which is 1.9 times faster than the rather outdated A8 on the iPad Mini 4), but really the A9 is quite good (you don’t have to be a maths wizz to figure out 9 is greater than 8). No, it’s not as fast as the A9X, but considering this is designed to be a very basic, very cost effective model, I’m mildly impressed. I’m nodding-my-head, raising-my-eyebrows level of impressed!

 

The Elephant in the Room…

Overall I really can’t actively complain about the iPad (2017) – it’s an iPad through and through. A basic one, yes, but an iPad nonetheless, and certainly for the low price tag (for an Apple product anyway) it’s an excellent buy. But although you won’t find me complaining, I do think it’s important to address the big fat elephant in the room – the very noticeable lack of features which I think (and you may well disagree!) should be standard in this particular period of the digital age. Personally, I like basic, but come on Apple, it’s 2017 and I honestly find it hard to believe that this new version isn’t Apple Pencil compatible, doesn’t include a smart connector, and still only has two embedded speakers when we know full well that you can manage 4 on the 9.7-inch Pro!

 

Any Good?

Well, yes! It is an iPad after all (if that’s what you want that’s what you’ll get). If you look at it in terms of a tablet PC, then this gadget really is the bee’s knees. If you look at it in terms of an Apple product, I have to admit that it can’t live up to the likes of the iPad Pro, but then it was never designed to do so. This isn’t an upgrade; it’s an old device given a refreshing new makeover which is going to really appeal to some people, and really annoy a few others. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that the 4th gen was way overdue for an update, and that’s exactly what this is.

  • Available in three finishes (Silver, Gold and Space Grey), you’d be hard-pressed to spot the difference between this iPad (2017) and the Air 2.
  • If it weren’t for the weight gain of course – this new iPad is 7.5mm thin.
  • And the visible gap between the display and the glass – this iPad doesn’t sport the anti-reflective coating and fully laminated display.
  • It does however have a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating.
  • It’s brighter too, with a 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display and IPS technology at 2048×1536-pixel resolution (264 ppi).
  • Don’t let the name fool you. It may look the same, but this iPad has a much faster 64-bit A9 chip and M9 co-processor compared to the A8 on Air 2 and Mini 4.
  • But you still get that same 10 hour battery life.
  • As well as the same great 8MP Camera which can record 1080p Video plus a 1.2MP HD FaceTime Camera.

What’s in the Box

  • Apple iPad (2017)
  • Lightning to USB Cable
  • USB Power Adapter

Apple iPad (2017)
The iPad Air 2 has been replaced. There's a new Apple iPad in town and it goes by several names. 9.7-inch iPad, iPad (5th Gen.), iPad 2017 - whatever you want to call it, this is a solid tablet.
Design85%
Usability90%
Battery Life89%
Display97%
Sound Quality74%
87%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (2 Votes)
93%