- No 3D Touch or Apple Pencil support
- Air gap between display and glass
- Sound through speakers is off-center
When Apple released the iPad in 2010, almost everyone wanted one for its large screen and faster processing power. However, as the years passed the tablet market slowly shrunk as phone screens became larger.
But Apple hasn’t given up on tablets.
The iPad Pro offered even more screen space, higher specs and touch sensitivity that rivals drawing tablet. Unfortunately, the price tag scared off regular users.
That’s why Apple has unveiled the 9.7-inch iPad, an affordable tablet that has some of the bells and whistles of the pro at a more reasonable cost.
Does it cut costs without sacrificing the high-end Apple experience? Reviews are rolling in! Let’s see what they’re saying.
Perhaps the most important aspect of a tablet is the screen. Measuring in at 9.7-inches, this tablet’s screen definitely offers much more screen real estate than even the largest phones. It offers the same 1536 x 2048 resolution as previous generations, providing what experts call “pinpoint sharpness” and the LED backlight offers 500 nits of brightness.
Unfortunately, the screen is not fully laminated. Reviewers noticed a small gap between the glass and the screen. Many described this as a step backwards as it leads to less vibrant colors and lower contrast. Still, other reviews considered the screen to be vibrant enough as it displays close to 100% of the standard RGB space.
Aside from the more muted colors, many also discovered the air gap produced a hollow sound and feeling when tapping on the screen, making the tablet feel cheap. It also contributes to the slightly thicker size of the tablet measuring in at 0.29 inches.
If you’re looking to use the tablet for work or drawing, you might be disappointed. The iPad 9.7-inch does not support 3D touch or Apple Pencil.
Like the display, the iPad 9.7-inch performance is good, but not the best in the lineup. It’s armed with a 1.84 GHz dual-core Apple processor and 2GB of RAM.
Unsurprisingly, critics describe daily use as smooth and note that the tablet is powerful enough to handle split screen multitasking with ease. While not as snappy as more premium tablets, Pocket Lint states, “...it gets everything done with no hiccups and no drama. For an everyday tablet, that’s all you can ask for, and all you really need.”
To keep it running Apple included a 8,827 mAh battery. Reviewers found the battery lasted through two to three days of mixed use.
As with other tablets, the latest Apple features a rear facing 8MP camera and 1.2MP selfie cam. While not up to the same standards as the iPhone, the camera surprised critics as it took better pictures than the iPad Air 2 complete with low noise, attractive color reproduction and fast shutter speed.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment for reviewers were the speakers. Unlike the Pro, the iPad 9.7-inch only has two speakers along the bottom of the tablet. With that said, reviewer found them loud enough to hear music or shows in a moderately noisy environment. Though, due to the positioning, they did notice the sounds were off-center.
While reviewers wouldn’t call the iPad 9.7-inch innovative, they do consider it a very reliable and solid choice for people looking to upgrade tablets older than the iPad Air 2. Pocket-Lint states, “This iPad is easy to recommend to anyone.” Macworld adds, “It’s everything great about the iPad at a lower cost to entry than ever…”