Apple recently replaced the iPad Air 2 with a cheaper 9.7-inch iPad. Without a doubt this device will be of great interest to those looking to pick up a new device in the coming months. You must be curious to find out the difference between these two iPads. So, Let's compare the entry-level iPad with the high-end iPad Pro 9.7. To see how the new iPad compares to the device it replaced read on.
Design & build quality
The new iPad 9.7 looks just like any other iPad. Height and width are identical. In fact the chassis is pretty much lifted from the iPad Air 1. But the more expensive model is both slimmer and lighter.
iPad 2017: 240mm x 169.5mm x 7.5mm; 469g/478g
iPad Pro: 240mm x 169.5mm x 6.1mm; 437/444g
The new model still has Apple's familiar aluminum unibody design. The Pro has support for the Apple Pencil, something the 2017 model can't match. The Pro and 2017 models are available in Silver, Space Grey, and Gold, with the Pro also offering a Rose Gold edition. Both have Touch ID and Apple Pay which is good.
The iPad 2017 has a standard 9.7-inch display, 2048 x 1536 resolution, and 264 PPI. Fortunately there's no compromise in pixels for the cheaper new model, with the same "Retina" resolution. Apple sticks with IPS panels in all its mobile devices. The panel on the Pro is fully laminated and includes an anti-reflective coating - just like the iPad mini 4.
ThePro is more powerful device, the iPad 2017 is actually a solid performer thanks to Apple's choice of fitting it with an A9 processor. Not being the A9X variant of the A9, though, it's probably not going to benchmark quite as fast as the Pro.
We won't know the RAM situation in the new iPad until we run some benchmarks. In Geekbench 3 the Pro scored 3076, while the 2017 achieved 2359. Both units feature 2GB of RAM. Bottom line is that the Pro is a fast iPad, and the 2017 is a very competent device.
The iPad Pro has better cameras. The 2017 iPad as it comes fitted with an 8-megapixel, f/2.4 aperture main camera with 1080p HD video capabilities. But the Pro boasts a 12-megapixel f/2.2 main unit with a wider colour gamut, focus pixels, True Tone flash, Auto HDR, 4K video recording with superior stabilisation, and advanced levels of Slo-Mo. The front facing cameras with the Pro 5-megapixel unit, while the iPad 2017 1.2 megapixel.
Apple rates the same 10 hours of web-surfing, video or music-listening for both models. Nine hours if you're using a mobile network.
Release Date and Pricing
While it's now a year old, it doesn't look like the iPad Pro 9.7 is ready to be replaced by a successor just yet. If you can live with a Bluetooth keyboard instead of an Apple-connected one, then the $329 iPad may be all you need.
The whole range looks like this;
iPad 2017: 32GB (£339), 128GB (£429), 32GB+Cellular (£469), and 128GB+Cellular (£559).
iPad Pro 9.7: 32GB (£549), 128GB (£639), 256GB (£729), 32GB+Cellular (£669), 128GB+Cellular (£759), and 256GB+Cellular (£849).