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Tested: the Apple iPad (2017)

by PhilippeDid you know...31/05/2017

Tested: the Apple iPad (2017)
It’s been a while since Apple launched a new iPad. The new model, simply called “iPad”, is the successor to the iPad Air 2, which came out in October 2014.

Apple hasn’t added any serious technical novelties this time. The idea is simply to make an affordable tablet available to an even bigger target audience.

Design

The new iPad looks very much like its predecessor, the iPad Air 2, except the chassis is a little thicker: from 6.1 to 7.5 mm. Other than that, they’re hard to tell apart.

The screen still measures 9.7 inches diagonally and at the bottom is a home button with an in-built fingerprint scanner. You can use this for quickly unlocking the tablet or logging into certain apps.

Finally, right at the bottom you’ll find Apple’s famous Lightning connector for charging the tablet or connecting it to a computer. The iPad is available in gray, silver and gold.

Screen

At first glance, the new iPad screen looks the same, yet this is the part that has undergone most changes. As mentioned above, the dimensions haven’t changed, and neither has the resolution: that remains an impressive 2,048 by 1,536 pixels.

In contrast to that of the Air 2, this screen is not laminated, nor does it have an anti-reflective coating. That makes it a bit thicker, but also a little more difficult to read if you have to work outside in bright sunlight. There are two major advantages to this: these screens are cheaper to produce, which means the price is lower. And they are also easier and cheaper to repair if they get cracked. Only the glass plate has to be replaced, not the expensive LCD (liquid crystal display).

Camera

Most people don’t buy a tablet primarily for taking photos, but this iPad isn’t too bad in that area. It has two cameras: one rear-facing with 8 megapixel resolution, which you can also use to record HD videos; and a 1.2 megapixel front-facing selfie camera.

The picture quality of the sensor may not be comparable to the very best mobile phone cameras currently on the market, for example, the new Huawei or the LG G6, but it’s more than adequate for the occasional snapshot or film clip for your website or social media. 

Battery

The greater thickness of the new iPad compared to its predecessor is not just the result of Apple using a different sort of screen. We suspect that the longer-life battery may also be the reason.

This has gone from 27.3 to 32.9 Wh (or from 7,340 mAh to 8,827 mAh). Officially, Apple still indicates a user time of “ten hours”, like the Air 1 and Air 2, but this iPad now has a significant amount of extra capacity.

Multimedia and games

The new iPad is powered by Apple’s own A9 chip, which is also used in the iPhone 6S. It’s not the most powerful piece of silicon that the Californian company is using at this moment (that’s the A9X chip in the iPhone 7), but you won’t be too disappointed by the speed.

The new iPad has no problem with big apps and 3D games and you're unlikely to experience video-stuttering or freezing when swiping. The chip is assisted by two gigabytes of RAM memory.

The storage capacity of the iPad is now 32 or 128 GB. Free tip of the day: if your budget allows, go for the version with the biggest storage capacity. People are increasingly using tablets for their apps, music, films and photos, and you can’t expand this iPad with external memory cards. 

In Short…

If you’ve recently bought an iPad Air or Air 2, then don’t rush out and upgrade to this new model. But if you’ve not got a tablet or you’re still using an old-generation iPad, then this model deserves a place on your short list. Especially because it's fairly affordable, both for an Apple and in comparison to the older versions.

Apple iPad 2017

If you’ve not got a tablet or you’re still using an old-generation iPad, then this model deserves a place on your short list.

8/10

Pros:
  • Good price-quality ratio
  • Longer battery life
  • Decent camera
  • Perfect first-time tablet
Cons:
  • Screen without anti-reflection coating
  • No slot for external memory cards

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