New 9.7-Inch iPad Hands-On: 'Very Familiar' Update Benefits From Apple Pencil Support and A10 Fusion Chip

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Following the announcement and launch of Apple's new 9.7-inch iPad, a few websites have gotten hands-on time with the tablet and shared their thoughts online this afternoon. The initial consensus appears to be that while the iPad isn't very surprising in terms of form factor and features, it's a solid entry-level model that benefits from added Apple Pencil support.

Engadget said the new iPad is "as fluid and fast as the iPad Pro," which it described as an "impressive feat." The site said the iPad has a great screen, although it isn't as sharp as the iPad Pro's display. Engadget also pointed out the air gap between the display and cover glass on the new tablet, and its lack of the higher-end iPad Pro's True Tone color correction feature and 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate.

Image via Engadget

Following today's education-focused presentation in Chicago, we got a chance to pick up the new tablet for ourselves and, well, it's just about the same as last year's model. That's not a bad thing -- it still feels as solid and well-built as ever. The biggest change is Apple Pencil support, and after a brief test it feels almost as fluid and fast as the iPad Pro, which is an impressive feat.
The Verge began its hands-on coverage by stating the new iPad is "very familiar," with all of the expected screen size, bezels, Touch ID sensor, button placement, and cameras users have come to expect from Apple's tablet line. The Verge said the display was "vibrant and responsive," and the site got to mess around with an AR demo, which was "as good as any AR demo" it has seen.

Image via The Verge


The Verge also pointed out that Apple's demo area was not really "focused on the hardware," but instead software demos that showed real-world use in the classroom, with Tim Cook walking around and discussing the new announcement with reporters.
We just spent some time with Apple's new $329 iPad, announced here in Chicago at its education event. It's... an iPad. Holding and using an iPad, it feels very much like an iPad! The air gap on the screen is the same as before -- large by iPad Pro standards, but only iPad Pro people will really turn their nose up at it. Same goes for the screen overall, which doesn't have all the True Tone magic of the Pro, but is nevertheless vibrant and responsive.

I checked out a quick demo of an AR classroom app and was as good as any AR demo I've seen. Not knock-your-socks-off good, but it didn't lag and the baby elephant stayed put right on the table where it was placed. Obviously we'll need to spend more time to say for sure, but the A10 Fusion processor certainly seems up to most tasks.
Besides the new iPad, Apple today announced that its Classroom app will be coming to Mac this June, revealed a new "Schoolwork" app, showed off iWork updates for iOS, and more. New accessories and devices have also emerged on Apple.com following the Field Trip keynote, including standalone Space Gray color options for the Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2.

Article Link: New 9.7-Inch iPad Hands-On: 'Very Familiar' Update Benefits From Apple Pencil Support and A10 Fusion Chip
 
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roncron

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2011
641
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Seems like this new budget iPad with Apple Pencil support and A10 processor will cannibalize sales of iPad Pros. Sure, the Pro has a better display and a few other advantages, but the features and usability gap between the budget iPad and the Pro have just shrunk substantially, while the price gap has not.

Hopefully (for Apple's sake) a new iPad Pro will be introduced in June that will have enough new features to justify the price differential between it and this new Apple Pencil supporting budget iPad.
 

Glmnet1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2017
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I bought it right away. I was waiting for a refreshed budget iPad for a few months now and the Pencil support is just an added bonus for me. I'm not yet sure if I'll order the Apple Pencil or wait for the Logitech Crayon.
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Hopefully (for Apple's sake) a new iPad Pro will be introduced in June that will have enough new features to justify the price differential between it and this new Apple Pencil supporting budget iPad.
Probably bezel less design and FaceID this summer. That along with the smart keyboard, fully laminated display and better specs will make it worth the price difference for some.
 

Doomtomb

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2011
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Austin, TX
" Holding and using an iPad, it feels very much like an iPad!"

an iPad feels and uses like an iPad??? some quality journalism right there Verge
Im not sure you got it.
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Seems like this new budget iPad with Apple Pencil support and A10 processor will cannibalize sales of iPad Pros. Sure, the Pro has a better display and a few other advantages, but the features and usability gap between the budget iPad and the Pro have just shrunk substantially, while the price gap has not.

Hopefully (for Apple's sake) a new iPad Pro will be introduced in June that will have enough new features to justify the price differential between it and this new Apple Pencil supporting budget iPad.
Isnt that a good thing? I mean that the budget iPad is relatively affordable and doesnt cut many corners.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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If it had a smart connector I would have bought one ASAP, surprised it doesn’t with it being education focused. Kids aren’t going to be doing all their homework in pencil.
I don’t blame Apple reserving the smart connector for the iPad Pro. Also including a smart connector, likely would have increased the cost and changed the casing for this new iPad, which they likely were able to reuse the same aluminum casing from 2017 9.7 iPad. Its about being cost prohibitive at a lower price point for the educational sector.
 

techwhiz

macrumors 65816
Feb 22, 2010
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Northern Ca.
iPad 9.7 with pencil support.
I have a Pr0 9.7 and the specs are very very different.
2 speakers vs 4.
1080 vs 4k video
8M pixel vs 12M Pixel
Display Not Laminated vs Laminated.

Better off finding an old stock 9.7.
I think the prices will be coming down.
I got my Pro 9.7 last year for $429 because Best Buy had a one day sale.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,003
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I really hope the new iPad has 3GB RAM. The discontinued budget iPad only had 2GB and that’s not enough for modern games, AR and 4K video.
I doubt this new iPad has 3 GB of RAM. It’s not really marketed for AR capabilities and 4K video. It’s more for in the classroom. The A10 Fusion will be a decent performance boost.
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This seriously needed a “review”? It’s just last year’s iPad with an A10 processor.
You missed the fact that also includes Apple Pencil support.
 

chabig

macrumors 604
Sep 6, 2002
6,903
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The lack of laminated screen will make the pencil feel considerably more disconnected than the Pro.

Also, lack of keyboard connector, external display support, mouse support, proper multi-tasking, etc make it less than ideal for students.
Mouse support?
 
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Westside guy

macrumors 603
Oct 15, 2003
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I don't know if this is enough knock Google off its lead in the education market, but this seems like a smart move on Apple's part - they're taking Jobs' old advice regarding cannibalization to heart.

Incidentally, I could swear at least one person here on MacRumors told us that "TouchID was dead" and we'd never see another device with it? :D
 
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macmanmass

macrumors member
Jun 16, 2009
78
165
Its a 2012 iPad with a speed bump and Apple Pencil feature turned on. Way to innovate Apple. It's official these guys have nothing new they're just rebranding the same old stuff and calling it new. Ugh somebody get this goof Tim away from the helm, he's sinking this ship!
 
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