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Apple iPad 9.7 review

8.9/10 AVG.
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Apple iPad 9.7
Apple iPad 9.7
Apple iPad 9.7
Apple iPad 9.7

Informr score
The Apple iPad 9.7 currently has an Informr score of 8.9 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 33 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Mid-range price
  • Impressive photo quality (for a tablet)
  • Long battery life
  • Smooth performance

What's bad

  • 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, “ 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…”

Operating system
Operating system
1.85 GHz
1.85 GHz
Screen Size
Screen Size
8+ MP, f/2.4
8+ MP, f/2.4
32 WHr

What the Critics Are Saying...

What Hi-Fi
What Hi-Fi

This iPad is lovely to use, its improved picture is perfect for watching TV shows and films on the go, and it continues to give you that elegant and intuitive tablet experience we’ve come to expect from Apple.

- What Hi-Fi
The Wirecutter
The Wirecutter

The standard iPad is powerful and easy to use, and it features a large, high-quality screen, solid build quality, and a huge app library.

- Dan Frakes, Nick Guy, The Wirecutter
India Today
India Today

Overall, the 2017 iPad is a very solid tablet that ticks all the right boxes. It has a nice and crisp Retina display, solid build quality, the iconic iPad Air 1 design and truly superb battery life. In fact, it is one of the few devices whose battery life outstrips the manufacturers estimates.

- Shobhit Varma, India Today

The iPad 9.7-inch is the perfect mix of features and price. It doesn’t offer up anything new, and I think the iPad Air 2 is still the better tablet, but for everyone else looking for a reliable device then this ticks all the boxes.

- Max Parker, TrustedReviews

The question about the iPad has never been whether it was good, but whether it was worth it. Even now, seven years on, I can’t think of a single thing the iPad does that I couldn’t do on my phone. But I’d rather do lots of them on my iPad. Sometimes it’s the screen size, some...

- David Pierce, Wired

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Screen Size

The Apple iPad 9.7's screen size is 9.7 inches with 1536 x 2048 pixels resolution.

1.85 GHz

There is a Apple A9 Dual core 1.85 GHz processor (CPU).


The tablet runs on the iOS 10 (Update Available: iPadOS 14.3) operating system (OS).

8+ MP
You can take photos with the phone's onboard 8+ MP, f/2.4 camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.
32/128 GB

Internal memory is 32/128 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.


The tablet is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 32 WHr battery. Apple's performance ratings are 10 hours Wi-Fi surfing.

iPad 9.7 Specs

Release Date March 24, 2017
Regions Available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Operating System iOS 10 (Update Available: iPadOS 14.3)

Compare iOS Smartphones

Processor Apple A9 Dual core 1.85 GHz
Internal Storage 32/128 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible No
SAR Body: 1.18 W/kg
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Data Cable
Mobile / Cellular Data
No (Option available)
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
USB Lightning
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Memory Expansion Slot No
Main Camera
Resolution / Aperture
8+ Megapixels, f/2.4
Additional Main Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Multi-shot, Panorama, HDR, Exposure control, Slow motion recording (HD 120fps), Time lapse
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution / Aperture
1+ Megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Face detection, Multi-shot, Self-timer, HDR
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1536 x 2048 pixels
Pixel density 264 pixels
Size 9.7 inches
Sensors Ambient Light, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating Yes
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Power & Battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 32 WHr
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time Unknown
Video Playback Time Up to 10 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to 10 hours
Internet Use (Cellular) Unknown
Standby Time Unknown
Mixed Usage
Physical Characteristics
Material Plastic
Colors Silver, Gold, Space Gray
Dimensions [H x W x D] 23.9 x 16.8 x 0.7 cm (9.4 x 6.6 x 0.3 in)
Weight 469
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
External Speakers Yes
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech Yes
Screen Reader Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Additional Information Other Names (AKA): Apple iPad 5th Generation, iPad 2017 (9.7-inch)

Apple iPad 9.7 Manual (HTML)
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