What are the differences between the i
Pad Air 2 và the i
Pad 2017, và is it worth making the upgrade? Our comparison đánh giá weighs up the options


At a Glance

Our Verdict

The i
Pad 2017 is an unexpectedly cheap offering, but one that is also generally low-specced & has a design that’s mostly lifted from a sản phẩm that’s two và a half years old, and in some cases from one that’s three và a half years old. It’s all rather odd.While much of its giải pháp công nghệ feels out of date, however, one key spec, the processor, does not, and the A9 chip helped the i
Pad 2017 lớn produce consistently decent results in our benchmarking tests – not Pro-fast, but considerably faster than the Air 2. And that 8,827 m
Ah unit gave it impressive scores in our battery tests.That lovely big battery, of course, is the most likely reason for the i
Pad’s weight gain. And we’re less bothered by that than by the unlaminated screen. An i
Pad lives and dies by its screen, which should look and feel great. This one looks great but feels a bit cheap.Then again, by i
Pad standards the new model really is cheap – £339 feels lượt thích a bit of a bargain. If you’ve got an Air 2 and have been putting off an upgrade, this might be the model to convince you: you’ll get a better battery & processor, và longer-term i
OS updates to lớn look forward to. Just make sure you try out the screen before laying down any cash, because we’re not keen on the way it feels, and it’s without doubt a step back from the one you’ll be used to.

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Near the over of March 2017, và with no fanfare at all, hãng apple announced the launch of its newest i
Pad. Replacing the i
Pad Air 2, this latest tablet is simply called i
Pad, although for the sake of clarity we will refer khổng lồ it as the i
Pad 2017 throughout this article.

The big questions are these: what are the differences between the i
Pad Air 2 và the i
Pad 2017, và is it worth making the upgrade? In this article we compare Apple’s 2014 and 2017 i
Pads, và help you decide whether the spec bumps, design changes and new features are enough khổng lồ justify the price. Read next: i
Pad buying guide 2017


Pad 2017…


…and the i
Pad Air 2

Except for a couple ofrather surprising things. The i
Pad 2017 is actually thicker & heavier than its three-year-old predecessor. You have khổng lồ go back to 2013’s i
Pad Air 1, in fact, khổng lồ find a model with the same dimensions.

Pad 2017: 240mm x 169.5mm x 7.5mm; 469g/478g (Wi-Fi/cellular)i
Pad Air 2:240mm x 169.5mm x 6.1mm; 437g/444g(Wi-Fi/cellular)

The other main difference between the i
Pad 2017 and the Air 2 concerns the screen.


In a bit of a backwards step, the new i
Pad comes with theunlaminated, ‘air-gapped’ screen last seen on the i
Pad Air 1. Here’s what we said about that feature in our đánh giá several years ago:

“When you tap or press the Pad Air 1’s> screen, it definitely seems to ‘flex’ more than the screens on the i
Pad 3 & i
Pad 4. The result is that the screen feels light và plasticky, rather than the solid glass feeling on the older devices… We were keen, when the Air 2 came out, lớn see if this issue had been tackled. And sure enough, the more compressed design of the Air 2 – in which the elements of the display have been by necessity squeezed closer together, và air pockets removed – results in a screen that is firmer khổng lồ the touch.”

Well, that step forward made by the Air 2 in 2014, we are sorry to lớn report, has now been reversed. The i
Pad 2017, for reasons known only to Apple, has an unlaminated screen with an air gap under the display. You’ll find that it yields the tiniest fraction when you press down: not much by any means, but enough lớn notice.

It’s still a decent screen – bright, sharp and colourful – but we wish it was laminated.


Colour options

Like the i
Pad Air 2, the i
Pad 2017 comes in three colours: silver, gold & Space Grey. Neither device has been offered in Rose Gold. Read next: i
Pad 2017 vs i
Pad mini 4

New features

Features-wise, the i
Pad 2017 is barely any different from the Air 2, gaining none of the upgrades brought in withthe 9.7-inch i
Pad Pro. It has cảm biến ID và Apple Pay, & 4G mạng internet connectivity; the usual stuff.

The new i
Pad 2017 is not compatible with either the táo apple Pencil or the Smart Keyboard that i
Pad Pro users get to lớn use – in fact it hasn’t got a Smart Connector. It also doesn’t get the Retina Flash và True Tone camera features of the i
Pad Pro, something which will turn up again in the specs section.


Let’s look under the hoods và compare the two device’s tech specs.


Pad 2017: A9 cpu with 64-bit architecture; Embedded M9 coprocessori
Pad Air 2: A8X chip with 64?bit architecture; M8 motion coprocessor

The i
Pad 2017 comes with an A9 chip. On paper this ought khổng lồ be only slightly slower than the A9X in the high-end Pro models và significantly faster than the A8X in the Air 2. Let’s look at some benchmark scores.

Geekbench 4 CPU test: i
Pad 2017 vs i
Pad Air 2Create bar charts
GFXBench Metal test: i
Pad 2017 vs i
Pad Air 2Create bar charts
Stream 1.1: i
Pad 2017 vs i
Pad Air 2Create bar charts


Pad 2017: 2GB RAMi
Pad Air 2: 2GB RAM

Storage options

The i
Pad 2017 is available with 32GB or 128GB of storage.

Pad Air 2: 32GB or 128GB


Pad 20179.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology2048×1536-pixel resolution at 264 ppi
Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coatingi
Pad Air 29.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology2048×1536-pixel resolution at 264 ppi
Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating

Front-facing camera

Pad 20171.2-megapixel photosƒ/2.2 aperture720p HD video recordingi
Pad Air 21.2MP photosƒ/2.2 aperture720p HD đoạn phim recording

Rear-facing camera

Pad 20178-megapixel camera
Panorama (up to 43 megapixels)HDR for photos
Exposure control
Burst mode
Tap to lớn focus
Timer modeƒ/2.4 aperturei
Pad Air 28MP i
Sight camera
Panorama (up khổng lồ 43MP)Auto HDR for photos
Exposure control
Burst mode
Tap to focus
Timer modeƒ/2.4 aperture


Apple claims the i
Pad 2017 has a 10-hour battery life when using Wi-Fi and 9 hours when browsing over a cellular connection.

These are standard figures that the company gives for all of its current tablets, but we were hopeful that it might prove a conservative estimate; after all, the device’s battery has an impressive (for Apple) capacity of 8,827 m
Ah. That compares to lớn 7,340 m
Ah on the Air 2, and may explain the device being (comparatively!) thick và heavy.

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Here’s how things turned out in practice – or in the Geek
Bench 3 battery test, at any rate.


Pad 2017: 240 mm x 169.5 milimet x 7.5 mm. 478g (cellular) or 469g (Wi-Fi)i
Pad Air 2: 240 milimet x 169.5 milimet x 6.1 mm. 444g (cellular) or 437g (Wi-Fi)

UK price

Here is how much each model of the i
Pad 2017 costs in the UK:

Pad 2017 (32GB, Wi-Fi only): £339i
Pad 2017 (128GB, Wi-Fi only): £429i
Pad 2017 (32GB, Wi-Fi + cellular): £469i
Pad 2017 (128GB, Wi-Fi + cellular): £559

It’s £40 cheaper than the i
Pad Air 2, which started at £379 for 32GB và Wi-Fi.

You can buy the i
Pad 2017 here; the i
Pad Air 2 is still available second-hand, or through education resellers.

apple has a new i
Pad in town và it’s the most affordable ‘full size’ tablet the company has ever produced. Unfortunately it also resides in one of Apple’s most confusing sản phẩm families making it harder than it should be khổng lồ understand which model of i
Pad is best for you.

So let’s break down what the tablet táo bị cắn simply named ‘i
Pad’ brings khổng lồ the table and how it compares to lớn both the range it replaces (the i
Pad Air) & its smaller (i
Pad Mini) & more expensive (i
Pad Pro) stablemates…

Size - Familiar, But Fatter

The most obvious point of comparison for the new i
Pad is the i
Pad Air 2 which is being discontinued with the launch of the new 9.7-inch ‘i

Pad 9.7 (2017): 240 x 169.5 x 7.5 milimet (9.45 x 6.67 x 0.30 in) and 469 / 478g (1.03 / 1.05lbs) for cellular/non-cellular i
Pad Air 2, i
Pad Pro 9.7: 240 x 169.5 x 6.1mm (9.4 x 6.6 x 0.24 inches) & 444 / 437g (0.98 / 0.96lbs) for cellular/non-cellular i
Pad Pro 12.9: 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9mm (12 x 8.86 x 0.27 inches) & 713 / 729g (1.57 / 1.59lbs) for cellular/non-cellular i
Pad mini 4: 203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1 mm (8 x 5.3 x 0.24 inches) & 298.8 / 304g (0.65 / 0.67lbs) for cellular/non-cellular

Perhaps the most surprising stat here is that the i
Pad (2017) is notably wider và heavier than the 2014-released i
Pad Air 2 and (2016) i
Pad Pro 9.7 which is disappointing. Táo khuyết gave no reason for this và there is no obvious explanation (at least until someone is able to crack xuất hiện the new mã sản phẩm and see if any specific components have changed).

Aside from the weight gain, the new i
Pad looks almost identical to the i
Pad Air 2 & i
Pad Pro 9.7. Cảnh báo that lượt thích the i
Pad Air 2, the new i
Pad has dual external speakers rather than the powerful quad arrangement seen in the i
Pad Pro models.

Displays - Sharp, Bright, Reflective

Moving onto the display you’ll notice that at first glance all 9.7-inch models look identical:

Pad 9.7 (2017), i
Pad Air 2, i
Pad Pro 9.7: 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED‑backlit Multi‑Touch display, 2732‑by‑2048 resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi), oleophobic coating i
Pad Pro 12.9: 12.9‑inch (diagonal) LED‑backlit Multi‑Touch display, 2732‑by‑2048 resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi), oleophobic coating i
Pad Mini 4: 7.9‑inch (diagonal) LED‑backlit Multi‑Touch display, 2048‑by‑1536 resolution at 326 pixels per inch (ppi), oleophobic coating

That said, the new i
Pad does feature a downgrade compared to lớn all other i
Pad models: táo bị cắn has removed the anti-reflective display coating. This will be annoying if you regularly work under bright lights or outdoors và for some that will make it a khuyến mãi breaker.

Less surprisingly, the new i
Pad also misses out on True Tone display seen in the premium i
Pad Pros. True tone measures the white balance of the display so that colours look correct no matter the lighting environment. Given the new i
Pad is budget friendly (more later) I’d argue this is a less significant omission than anti-reflective coating & Apple does say it has increased contrast and colour compared lớn the older i
Pad Air 2.

Separately it is worth noting that 3 chiều Touch, the pressure sensitive screen technology seen on flagship i
Phones, is still absent from all i
Pad models. Though I’d expect the next generation of i
Pad Pro models to showroom this if hãng apple wants khổng lồ warm the lukewarm response touch 3d has had so far.

Performance - A Speedy Step Back In Time

The next place you’ll find some cost cutting in the new i
Pad is its horsepower:

Pad 9.7 (2017): táo bị cắn A9 with dual-core 1.84 GHz (Twister) CPU and Power
VR GT7600 (six-core) GPU, 2GB of RAM i
Pad Air 2: táo khuyết A8X with Triple-core 1.5 GHz Typhoon CPU & Power
VR GXA6850 (octa-core graphics) CPU, 2GB of RAM i
Pad Pro 9.7: hãng apple A9X with dual-core 2.16 GHz (Twister) CPU & Power
VR Series 7 (12-core) GPU, 2GB of RAM i
Pad Pro 12.9: táo A9X with dual-core 2.26 GHz (Twister) CPU and Power
VR Series 7 (12-core) GPU, 4GB of RAM i
Pad mini 4: A8 second-generation chip with 64-bit architecture, CPU: 1.3x faster, Graphics: 1.6x faster compared to A7, M8 motion coprocessor

While the new i
Pad moves a generation on from the ageing (2014) A8 và A8X chipsets found in the i
Pad Mini 4 và i
Pad Air 2 respectively, táo bị cắn dở has still fitted it with a chipset from 2015. The A9 is found inside the i
Phone 6S và i
Phone 6S Plus và the new i
Pad has a significantly higher native resolution to lớn drive than either of these smartphones.

I suspect hãng apple found itself in a dilemma here. It couldn’t fit a newer processor in the i
Pad 9.7 given it has yet to update the 2015 A9X inside the significantly more expensive i
Pad Pros. As such while the A9 remains a speedy chip, the i
Pad 9.7 is not a mã sản phẩm power users should buy.

Cameras - Functional Rear, Flimsy Front

Apple has something of a split personality when its comes to camera technology. The company is determined lớn push its i
Phones to their very peak (even if the Google px and Galaxy S7 recently stole their thunder), but i
Pads are always fitted with much older camera modules and this remains the case with the i
Pad 9.7:

Pad 9.7 (2017), i
Pad Air 2, i
Pad Mini 4 và i
Pad Pro 12.9 - rear: 8MP, ƒ/2.4 aperture, 1080p video, no OIS. Front: 1.2MP, f2.2 aperture, 720p video, no OIS i
Pad Pro 9.7 - rear: 12MP, ƒ/2.2 aperture, 4K đoạn phim recording, no OIS. Front: 5MP, ƒ/2.2 aperture, 1080p video recording, no OIS

Yes, the 2017 i
Pad 9.7, năm trước i
Pad Air 2 and năm ngoái i
Pad Mini 4 and i
Pad Pro 12.9 all use the same optics which come from the 2013 i
Phone 5S. This means no 4K đoạn phim recording, no optical image stabilisation (OIS) and the front 1.2MP camera is really only good for basic video clip conversations. These are not selfie friendly i

The good news is the rear camera is still a fairly competent snapper in good light, but four years remains a long time to lớn recycle camera technology & I can’t help but feel táo bị cắn should have given us something newer here. Again the fact the premium i
Pad Pro 12.9 uses this công nghệ probably stopped táo from upgrading the new i

The standout shooter in the i
Pad range is the năm nhâm thìn i
Pad Pro 9.7 which has front và rear modules taken from the i
Phone 6S. This still doesn’t bring OIS but it does deliver significantly better photos, especially from the front camera. But be careful because i
Pad Pros are due an nâng cấp soon.

Battery Life - 10s All Round

One of the great strengths of the i
Pad range is its stamina and while that hasn’t changed in many years, the i
Pad 9.7 keeps its end up by also toting a familiar 10 hour battery life (9 hours using cellular).

There are no other flourishes lượt thích fast charging (though an i
Pad charger will increase the speed an i
Phone charges) or wireless charging, but the aim of an i
Pad is you shouldn’t need khổng lồ charge it often in any case.

Capacity & Price - Good và Bad News

If you’ve been reading this article & wondering why the i
Pad 9.7 has a number of compromises, then here is the answer: it’s the cheapest i
Pad in the range:

The i
Pad Air 2 is not featured because apple has ended the Air range with the launch of the new i
Pad. But you can find some decent second hand bargains around if that’s the model you want.

Ultimately ending the Air simplifies Apple’s branding to lớn i
Pad, i
Pad Mini và i
Pad Pro and I suspect the Mini range could also be on the chopping block as it hasn’t featured any significant upgrades since the i
Pad Mini 2 in 2013. ‘i
Pad’ & ‘i
Pad Pro’ lines would give Apple’s tablets a clarity they have lacked for a long time.

The other option to lớn consider is whether you want a Wi
FI-only or Cellular model. Personally I’m happy tethering tablets and laptops to smartphone as it saves the complication of multiple carrier contracts, you’ll get a lighter i
Pad và the $130 you save can be put towards upgrading your phone’s data allowance.

Early Verdict

Simply put: the new i
Pad 9.7 is not the most exciting tablet táo has ever released. It’s essentially a cheaper, (surprisingly) fatter version of the i
Pad Air 2 with a slightly faster chipset & no anti-reflective screen coating. But the i
Pad 9.7 is cheap.

Furthermore it is the only i
Pad I would consider buying at this time. Táo is likely khổng lồ upgrade the i
Pad Pro 9.7 & i
Pad Pro 12.9 in the very near future & the i
Pad Mini range looks set to lớn be retired alongside the i
Pad Air when this happens.

If you’re in the market for a productivity machine then a budget Windows or Chrome OS laptop (you’ll get better performance from the latter at this price point) is the way to lớn go. But if you have your heart set on an affordable tablet then I’d strongly suggest you save up for the new i
Pad 9.7 rather than an apk tablet where app tư vấn remains disappointingly thin on the ground.

Ultimately the i
Pad 9.7 may not be an exciting tablet but it’s solid, well priced và will get the job done.


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I am an experienced freelance technology journalist. I have written for Wired, The Next Web, Trusted
Reviews, The Guardian and the đài truyền hình bbc in addition to lớn I began in b2b print journalism covering tech companies at the height of the dot com boom and switched khổng lồ covering consumer công nghệ as the i
Pod began to take off. A career highlight for me was being a founding thành viên of Trusted
Reviews. It started in 2003 và we were repeatedly told websites could not compete with print! Within four years we were purchased by IPC truyền thông media (Time Warner"s publishing division) khổng lồ become its flagship tech title. What fascinates me are the machinations of technology"s biggest companies. Got a pitch, tip or leak? tương tác me on my professional Facebook page. I don"t bite.

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