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Apple 9.7-inch iPad (2018) vs iPad (2017): Here's what has changed?

Apple's new 9.7-inch iPad is not vastly different from its predecessor, but its real USP is the Apple Pencil support.

  • Published: March 28, 2018 4:42 PM IST
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At its education event in Chicago yesterday, Apple announced a new 9.7-inch iPad aimed at students and educators. With the new 9.7-inch iPad, Apple is chasing Google and Microsoft’s dominance in the education market.

According to research, Google has a market share of around 66 percent in the K-12 education market in the US, and its Chromebooks powered by G Suite and Google Classroom apps have changed the way students work on their skills and teachers distribute assignments to them. The tablet is also a stark reminder to how Apple led by Tim Cook is giving in to market demands as opposed to one led by Steve Jobs, which used to create new segments by introducing new product categories.

The new iPad announced yesterday is the cheapest iPad yet from the Cupertino-based technology giant, and it comes at a time when tablet sales have dwindled off from their peak. Like last year’s 9.7-inch iPad, it is priced at $299 for students and $329 for regular customers. While Apple has not changed the price technically, it has added support for Apple Pencil, which turns the regular iPad into an powerful creation tool and latest hardware. Here is what has changed between the 9.7-inch iPad (2018) and the 9.7-inch iPad (2017):

Apple 9.7-inch iPad (2018) vs iPad (2017): Design and Display

“The new 9.7-inch iPad takes everything people love about our most popular iPad and make it even better for inspiring creativity and learning” Apple’s Greg Joswiak said introducing the new iPad. The new iPad seems similar to last year’s model in terms of design. It is still a rectangular device that seems like a blown up iPhone in the design department.

It features a 9.7-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2048×1536 pixels like the outgoing model, but Apple has added sub-pixel precision to the display on new iPad. This will enable ultra low latency, Apple Pencil support and tilt and pressure sensing. The new iPad also comes with fingerprint oleophobic coating on the display, and is built from a single piece of aluminum.

Apple 9.7-inch iPad (2018) vs iPad (2017): Specifications

The new iPad model is powered by Apple’s A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture, the same processor powering iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The processor comes embedded with M10 Motion co-processor, and it is a major upgrade over A9 chipset found on last year’s 9.7-inch iPad.

The 9.7-inch iPad (2018) comes with 32GB or 128GB storage option and consumers can buy it in Wi-Fi only variant or Wi-Fi + Cellular option. The new iPad retains the same 8-megapixel rear camera seen on last year’s model with f/2.4 aperture, exposure control, autofocus but now also supports Live Photos. The main camera can record 1080p HD video recording and slow-motion videos at 120fps in addition to time-lapse with stabilization. There is also a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD camera with f/2.2 aperture and retina flash for selfies and video conferencing.

Apple 9.7-inch iPad (2018) vs iPad (2017): Software

The new iPad comes with latest iOS 11 update ,but what makes it stand apart from its sibling from 2017 is the native support for classroom ready apps. Apple is selling the new iPad as the tablet conceived with classroom first thinking.

It comes with updated iWork suite of apps, namely Pages, Numbers and Keynote. On the new 9.7-inch iPad, these apps will ship with Apple Pencil support so users can take notes, do smart annotation in pages and boost their spreadsheets with drawings and charts. These apps will be standard whether you are a student or not.

In the US, teachers will be further able to control iPad of their students via Apple Classroom app and read via digital books. Another major addition is the native support for augmented reality applications powered by ARKit and ability for students to build new AR applications using Swift Playgrounds app on iPad.

Apple 9.7-inch iPad (2018) vs iPad (2017): Price and availability

Apple has priced the new 9.7-inch iPad at a starting price of $299 for students and $329 for regular customers. In India, the new 9.7-inch iPad will retail at Rs 28,000 for the 32GB Wi-Fi only model, and Rs 38,600 for the 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model. The new iPad is cheaper than the outgoing model which started at Rs 28,900 for the Wi-Fi only model, and Rs 39,900 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

Apple Pencil, the creativity tool, will be available separately for Rs 7,600. In addition, Apple has also announced partnership with Logitech to sell $49 crayon and $39 smart covers for iPad. In India, these smart covers will be priced at Rs 3,400, and will be available in charcoal grey, midnight blue, (RED), white and pink sand colors. The iPad will be available in silver, gold and space grey colors in April.

  • Published Date: March 28, 2018 4:42 PM IST