Apple made a couple of changes a few weeks ago to their iPad lineup. If you missed that announcement, we wouldn’t be too surprised as there wasn’t much fanfare and there were definitely no snaking queues outside Apple authorised resellers.
In summary, Apple dropped the iPad mini 2 and upgraded the iPad Air 2. Apple increased the storage for the iPad mini 4 to 128GB and made that the only storage capacity for the smaller screen tablet. The new tablet now goes for S$719. As for the 2017 iPad, Apple removed the “Air” from iPad Air and the 9.7-inch iPads are now simply called the iPad. Look-wise, there are no major changes and the new 9.7-inch iPad runs on the faster A9 chip. As for the price, the iPad starts at S$489 for the WIFI model.
So, when looking for an iPad to replace our first gen iPad mini, we decided to place our faith on the new iPad instead of the iPad mini. The main reason of course, is the under S$500 price point. This makes the new iPad very attractive for us and makes the iPad mini with 128GB storage option just feels like a rip-off. Here are some other reasons that make the new iPad a clear winner.
The 2,048 x 1,536 resolution Retina display looks amazing. The colours on the screen are bright and sharp and the colour saturation is very ‘Apple-ish’. While some people might be disappointed with the lack of a fully laminated display that makes everything look flatter, we have no issues with the slight increase in bulk or 1.4mm thicker to be exact.
More power than iPad Air 2
Performance-wise, the new iPad is more powerful running the A9 chip and the M9 motion co-processor. Beyond those upgrades, the new iPad spots the same Lightning port, Touch ID fingerprint sensor, 8-megapixel back camera, same 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD camera, and same dual stereo speakers setup as the iPad Air 2.
We are not huge fans of shooting photos with our iPads so the camera specifications matter less for us but the bump up in speed made us very happy. Videos, graphic intensive games and multitasking are now very smooth and we didn’t experience any freeze frames or lags.
Amazing battery life
Even though Apple said all their tablets have a battery life of 10 hours, we hardly hit that mark with the iPad mini, even when it was new. But the 2017 iPad is a totally different story. We basically did everything with it, streaming videos, writing on GrateNews, browsing the internet, without heading for a power refill. We didn’t even have to change any settings except keeping it at 50% brightness.
Who should buy?
iPads are really hardy. Over the years, since the first iPad (which we still own), even though we bought more iPads that we should, they seemed to last forever. One thing for sure is that we are getting more and more impatient. We want something to work and we want it instantly. We are also more comfortable with multi-tasking, switching from one app to another with increased dexterity.
The 2017 iPad offers us that comfort. And with an attractive price of $489, for the basic 32 Gb, WiFi only model, we are more than sold. For those who owns an iPad Pro, you can pretty much ignore this article, but for those like us who owns inaugural models of iPads and iPad mini, this is a major leap to one the most advanced tablets in the world at a steal. We are never ever going back.