In addition to the obvious intention of surviving for a year or two more a product that would otherwise be on the way out, there is another motivation in Cupertino in the act of updating the iPad Air 2: making the options clearer of its line of tablets, with three subdivisions – Pro, “common” iPad and mini – that each bring its own advantages.
However, at this first moment, things just got even more confusing. Right now, we have two 9.7-inch iPads on sale, and many still haven’t fully understood the differences between them and the now-finished iPad Air 2. So, to make everything crystal clear, let’s do the following main distinctions between the three models.
New iPad vs. iPad Air 2
The new iPad is the model that replaces the iPad Air 2, so natural logic would lead to thinking that the new device is superior in everything compared to its predecessor, right? Well, this is a thought that you can get out of your head: in fact, the new iPad outperforms its ancestor in a series of points, but in others, it actually represents an involution – explained, of course, by price drop: if the iPad Air 2 started at $ 399, or $ 3,199, the new model starts at $ 329, or $ 2,499; in other words, Apple’s idea is to really make this line (and that of the iPad mini) the company’s low-cost options in terms of tablets.
So, let’s start with the disadvantages of the new iPad compared to the iPad Air 2. The probably most notable are the thickness and weight of the device, which rose from 6.1mm and 437/444 grams (Wi-Fi / Wi-Fi + Cellular , respectively) for 7.5mm and 469/478 grams – in effect, the new iPad is practically identical in terms of body and weight compared to the original iPad Air, from 2013. Another notable disadvantage has to do with the screen, which it is more laminated to glass and has lost the anti-reflective layer; in this case, however, we have the collateral advantage of the model having greater simplicity when it comes to repairs.
Some things remain the same on both models, such as the resolution and the type of screen (an LCD panel backlit by LEDs of 2048 × 1536 pixels remains) and the cameras (8 megapixels at the rear and 1.2 megapixels at the front) . Both tablets have 2GB of RAM, the same Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity specifications, identical speakers and the very same Touch ID integrated with the Home button. The battery, although it jumped from 27.62Wh to 32.9Wh, continues to provide the new iPad with the same usage time, according to Apple: 10 hours of internet browsing via Wi-Fi or 9 hours via cellular data.
The “non-improvement” in battery performance, even with its physical increase, is certainly due to the processor upgrade that the new iPad obtained in relation to its predecessor: the tablet is now equipped with a dual-core A9 processor running at 1.85GHz, versus the three-core A8 running at 1.5GHz on the iPad Air 2. To get an idea of the difference between the two, just compare the performance of an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 6s – and, if you’ve never did this, you may know that we are talking about a very welcome leap.
New iPad vs. 9.7-inch iPad Pro
Here, the fight is much more disadvantageous for our newest friend, which, by the way, is really understandable: the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, among all Apple tablets, is the one with the most complete list of specifications and updated, even surpassing its big brother – comparing the list of both, I was shocked by the number of points the 12.9-inch model loses to its smaller equivalent.
The new iPad is, of course, cheaper than the iPad Pro of the same size, which starts at $ 599 or $ 4,999. But its processor is inferior (A9, compared to the A9X of the iPad Pro), the screen is inferior (the resolution is the same, but the Pro has a laminated panel, anti-reflective layer, wide range of colors [P3] and technology True Tone), the cameras are lower (the Pro has 12 megapixels at the rear, with 4K footage, and 5 megapixels at the front), the speakers are lower (there are four on the Pro and only two on the iPad) and the Pro is even more thin and light, having a body similar to the late iPad Air 2. In addition, the new iPad is not compatible with Apple Pencil or Smart Keyboard and does not have the pins of the Smart Connector.
Should I invest in the new iPad?
It depends, of course, on the iPad you have at home. If your current tablet is an iPad Air 2 or even the original iPad Air, I would say that the new iPad does not have enough news to recommend the upgrade.
If your model is older than the two I mentioned, however, the update starts to make more sense, in addition to being inviting in a number of ways: the new iPad is (in theory) fast, relatively thin and light (it will compare with the original iPad for you to see) and has the lowest price in Apple’s history in terms of 9.7-inch tablets. If your intentions with the tablet are modest, it is an absolutely recommended purchase – now, if you have bigger aspirations, it might be better to jump to the iPad Pro or, better yet, wait for a certain 10.5-inch model.
9.7 ″ iPad
Cash price: from R $ 2,249.10Installed price: up to 12x R $ 208.25Colors: space gray, silver or goldCapabilities: 32 GB or 128 GBLaunch: March 2017