Apple finally outs an Air 2 heir, a new 9.7" iPad priced at $329


No matter how you slice it, Apple's iPad Air line was getting a bit long in the tooth, as the last non-Pro iPad, the Apple iPad Air 2, came as far back as October 2014. While it has certainly become clear by now that people don't upgrade their tablets as often as their phones, two and a half years is a reasonable pause before the next iteration. Surely enough, Apple just got to the airwaves to announce a new and improved regular iPad, like we expected for this week

There was speculation for a brand new 10.5" Pro entrant with skimmed bezels, but that may be happening at a later date, and a dedicated event, while Apple only issued a press release a few minutes ago for a new 9.7-incher and larger starting storage for the iPad mini line.

To wit, the new iPad 9.7" is a bit thicker and heavier than the Air 2, but comes powered by Apple's A9 chipset, which is an upgrade in horse power and frugality, a new Touch ID home key, and at a much lower starting price than the $499 we had until now. It will be available to order as soon as this coming Friday, too. The new iPad 9.7" (yep, that's how Apple refers to it) comes with a brighter 9.7-inch Retina Display of the same 2048 x 1536 pixels resolution as before. 

The iPad comes in silver, gold and space gray and starts at $329 (US) for the 32GB with Wi-Fi model and $459 (US) for the 32GB Wi-Fi + cellular model, and will hit Apple.com and Apple Stores for buying on March 24. A Benjamin more gets you the 128 GB models, too, any takers?

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43 Comments

1. donrox

Posts: 201; Member since: Jul 18, 2014

Recycle

4. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Let me get the butthurt report form.

7. donrox

Posts: 201; Member since: Jul 18, 2014

stating a fact. no "butt hurting" involved

24. Mxyzptlk unregistered

And you don't think Android OEMs don't recycle? Look at how recycled the Galaxy phones are. Don't be a hypocrite.

28. Podrick

Posts: 1284; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

So he should write about Android devices on Apple article? Haha, you get butthurt whenever someone talk bad about Apple and make no sense.

42. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Who asked you? You're the captain of butthurt.

14. Ronan

Posts: 51; Member since: Mar 21, 2017

You should sign it first before anyone else does, don't worry, I'll throw in a free bottle of cream too.....

25. Mxyzptlk unregistered

No thanks, I'll let you use it instead.

2. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

A9 processor! WTF apple, this is barely an upgrade from the tri core A8x of my air 2.

3. Saioofi

Posts: 336; Member since: May 23, 2014

You people are really hard to please... look at the price of this tablet and compare it to the prices of higher end iPads mainly the iPad Pro lineup

5. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Pay no attention to him. The Air 2 was future proof. This is a win.

6. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

They are "enthusiasts". Unless it's twenty bucks, or comes with a flying carpet, its overpriced to them.

8. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

I understand the processor given the price. But I'm not asking for this price and A10x, I'm fine with higher price if the upgrade is worth it. The air 2 wasn't much more expensive than this anyway. It cost $400 for a future proof processor. The iPad pro line is overpriced due to the screen, not due to processors. Given how laggy my air 2 is, I sure won't be buying this with 1.5 year old processor.

15. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I can understand it being worse than the 9.7 Pro But it's also worse than the Air 2 in several areas - No laminated display - No antireflective coating - It's as thick as the iPad Air 1, thicker than Air 2 The A9's GPU is actually decently faster than the A8X's Which should help with the lag issues (for now at least) https://gfxbench.com/result.jsp?benchmark=gfx40&test=754&text-filter=&order=median&ff-lmobile=true&ff-smobile=true&os-iOS_gl=true&os-iOS_metal=true&os-OS_X_metal=true&os-Windows_dx=true&os-Windows_gl=true&pu-dGPU=true&pu-iGPU=true&pu-GPU=true&arch-ARM=true&base=device

26. bucky

Posts: 3776; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

you have lag issues on the air 2? I cant believe how fast mines been for so long. I have no reason to upgrade for a while yet.

18. AmashAziz

Posts: 2898; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

You know the A9 is much more powerful than A8X, right?

23. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I don't think he's educated enough to understand that.

32. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

That's not the point. Previous iPad airs always had better processors than the iPhone counterpart. iPad air 2 literally destroyed the A8 in iPhone 6 for less price. And no, A9 is not much more powerful than A8X. In multi-core benchmarks, they trade blows. The A9 wins by 25% in single core though, which is still not 'much more'.

36. Macready

Posts: 1817; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Oh, to be clear, I agree on all the above accounts, but to me the screen change is an even larger blow. It's a let down in the SoC department compared to previous Air releases and a step back regarding the screen.

35. Macready

Posts: 1817; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Not really, the GPU is practically the same speed and the overall CPU performance of the 2 cores is similar to that of the 3 cores in the A8X. Only single core performance has improved, for whatever that is worth in daily tasks.

29. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

wait, iPad air 2 laggy? WTF are you doing on it? rendering videos?

30. whatev

Posts: 2193; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

You don't like an iPad with the A9 for 300$ but you don't want either an iPad with the A9X (better camera, screen, and the capability of the accessories) at 600$, wtf do you want? Want apple to give you a customized one for free? And btw my iPad Air 2 is not as laggy as yours, it's not perfect but not laggy, maybe you should take yours to apple it might be defective

33. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

I want an upgraded iPad air, done right. No cheaping out, like it used to before. This iPad air doesn't have the reflective coating, is thicker and has old scrap processor from 2015. I want an iPad air 3, not this compromised crap. A10x, same specs, DCI-P3 display like the iphone and costs 450-500$(look, I can even deal with 100$ higher price than the iPad air 2 was). SoC barely costs 20-30$ to them. Why cheap out on it. It's not defective. It still benchmarks fine but it drops frames on those gaussian blur effects since iOS 9. I don't like dropped frames. Where is the 'amazing apple optimization'? This device is more powerful than SD821 and still drops frames. I have tried everything, even a factory reset. Nothing fixes it. It drops frames on the exact same places, so no it's the lack of optimization, not some 'fault'.

41. whatev

Posts: 2193; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

I'm gonna ask something, where and when did apple say this is an iPad Air? It's not an iPad Air, it's a budget iPad with nice specs for the price (it's more powerful than the best of android, SD 820 or 821), if you want a better iPad priced similar to the iPad Air 2 at launch go to the iPad Pro, I don't understand your point whining about a budget tablet which is not an iPad Air. And about your lags, mine is not perfect as I said, non device is perfect even my iPhone 7 has ocasional lags but this happens like once in week or two, I can say the experience is similar on the Air 2, and I have seen that the pro have some lags too, but these lags are by no mean as annoying as the ones you find on android device, it'd be perfect that the device didn't lag at all but that's nearly impossible, actually I'm satisfied for having the best devices available because I like to invest my money on things that guarantee high quality overall, and that's what you have with apple, you're complaining about the iPad Air 2 which still is more powerful than some android flagships, then switch to android and tell us about the experience and how that will improve your lifestyle since you're so dissatisfied

38. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

My Air 2 still runs super smooth. Better then my S2. Either like you said, defective or could be lying.

27. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

$170 bucks less than the iPad Air 2 at launch. Big whoop!

10. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

If you want more horse power, stop being cheap and get the new Pro's coming out. Why would Apple put the A10/A10x in the cheap model dude?

13. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

Those are for art professionals. I am not spending a few hundred dollars more for specially calibrated display. All iPad air before had Ax series processors for cheap price. I was expecting the same.

17. Macready

Posts: 1817; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

It's mostly a move sideways but the fact that they no longer use the laminated screen or reflective coating as a cost saver, is less forgivable.

9. Moose

Posts: 418; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

I think I may die of shock - Apple coming out with an affordable device! How are they going to satisfy their greed - maybe it only cost $50 to make??

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