Without any fanfare or huge Apple Event, Apple has quietly replaced the iPad Air 2 with an even more affordable and faster replacement, but dropped the numbering. Known simply as the iPad, this is the cheapest full size (9.7-inch) tablet from Apple.
iPad Air 2 Successor Now Cheaper and More Powerful – Great new for Schools and Colleges
The move to drop the numbering of the iPad Air 2 to simply iPad may be the trend moving forward. It certainly means the end of line for iPad Air, released in October 2014. Apple is not going to bring back any old tablet so it made sense to simplify the naming and move on to differentiate between a standard iPad (what used to be iPad Air) and the more advanced iPad Pro line.
This is reminiscent of the time when the iPad Air was introduced along side the standard iPad 4; only now, we have iPad and iPad Pro. Still spotting the same tough, sleek and ultra slim body, the new iPad now comes with 32GB storage with 128GB as the next option up. It still keeps the WiFi and WiFi+Cellular options and upgraded the processor to use the 64-bit A9 chip.
Adopting the new processor A9 processor, replacing the A8X on the iPad Air 2, brings it closer to the iPad Pro models. iPad Pro spots the more powerful A9X. The A9 processor was first introduced in the iPhone 6S back in 2015. Still a very capable processor, together with that super crisp Retina 9.7-inch display, 10 hours battery life and cheaper price tag we expect this to be the tablet of choice for education.
As for the iPad mini, which before this was the most affordable tablet from Apple, has had some changes to the line-up. The cheap iPad mini 2 has been removed from the Apple Store. The iPad mini 4 also has the entry level 32GB storage model removed leaving only the more expensive 128GB edition. While it is still cheaper than compared to the new iPad 128GB, it certainly is not the most affordable hence making the iPad 2017 the ‘go-to’ Apple tablet for education.
Alongside these changes to the line of iPads, the portfolio of iPads consists of iPad mini 4, iPad (2017), iPad Pro 9.7-inch and iPad Pro 12.9-inch, Apple has also introduced a new red iPhone 7 and a video editing app called Clips.
What You Need to Know about the new iPad 2017
So what has changed apart from the processor and storage options between the iPad 2017 and iPad Air 2 here is a quick summary:
- The new iPad uses A9 processor while iPad Air 2 uses A8X
- The new iPad starts with 32GB storage with 128GB as option; iPad Air 2 has 16/32/64 and 128GB storage options
- The new iPad has the same foot print 240mm x 169.5mm as the iPad Air 2 but is slightly thicker at 7.5mm vs 6.1mm. That’s 1.4mm thicker.
- The new iPad weights more at 469 grams (WiFi) and 478 grams (WiFi + Cellular), that’s 32 grams and 34 grams more compare to its iPad Air 2 counterpart
- The new iPad kept the Home/Touch ID fingerprint scanner, stereo speakers, Lightning connector and buttons
- The new iPad has the same 9.7-inch LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS packing 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution at 264ppi
- The new iPad has the same 8MP f/2.4 main camera and 1.2MP f/2.2 FaceTime HD Camera.
- The new iPad has the same dual band WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac but now comes with Bluetooth 4.2, the iPad Air 2 has Bluetooth 4.0
- The new iPad spots the same 10 hours battery life between charge with 32.4-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery
- The new iPad has the same Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor built into the home button
- The new iPad has all the sensors and location tracking services as the iPad Air 2
- The new iPad is also available in Space Gray, Silver and Gold.
While we enjoy faster and better performance from the more powerful processor, the new iPad 2017 comes with a thickness and weigh penalty, not that many potential buyers especially in the education sector would mind given its cheaper price tag and bigger starting storage.