Apple's new iPad is not an iPad Air 2 or iPad Pro upgrade: 8 things Apple's $330 tablet is missing

The iPad Air name is out, welcome the new... iPad. That's right, it's now simply 'iPad', with no adjective in sight.

This new 9.7-inch iPad looks a lot like an iPad Air and feels a lot like an iPad Air, but it's not an iPad Air 2 upgrade or successor. Apple is selling this new tablet at prices starting at just $330, a stunningly low entry point for such an affordable tablet.

But there are a few bullet points to keep in mind here:

  • The new iPad does not have the same anti-reflective coating as the iPad Air 2, nor does it have the same lamination to the glass. This means that the display experience is simply not the same, it's in fact a downgrade from the screen of the Air 2. The right comparison would be to the original iPad Air, with a visible gap between the display and the glass

  • The new iPad is thicker and heavier than the iPad Air 2. In fact, it will be just as thick and heavy as the original iPad Air. Here is how the numbers compare: the iPad Air 2 featured a thickness of 6.1mm and measured 0.96 pounds of weight, while the new iPad measures 7.5mm thick and weighs 1.03 pounds.

With these key points in mind, it is fair to say that the new iPad is more of a re-fresh of the iPad Air 1 formula, but it is not in any way an upgrade to the iPad Air 2. With cheaper parts, Apple seems to have been able to cut $70 off the starting $400 price of the iPad Air 1, while at the same time adding double the storage (the new iPad has a 32 GB and 128 GB models available).

Comparing the new iPad to the iPad Pro, you can see that removing the iPad Air 2 from its catalog, Apple has only widened the gap between its Pro tablets and the regular iPad. In fact, here are 10 important things that the iPad is missing in comparison with the iPad Pro.

Related phones

iPad 9.7-inch
  • Display 9.7" 1536 x 2048 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A9, Dual-core, 1850 MHz
  • Battery 8827 mAh



1. redmd

Posts: 1948; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

PA, your new picture gallery is not mobile friendly. Kindly bring the previous one. It was better.

3. whatev

Posts: 2396; Member since: Oct 28, 2015


2. WPX00

Posts: 511; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

You missed the most important one: a fully laminated, oleophobic display.

10. KingSam

Posts: 1494; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

I will but one and the only thing ill miss is the anti reflective coating. 4k, live photos, pencil, keyboard, I dont care about. I have a phone and a laptop. Im buying this toplay games and watch videos so it should be fine.

4. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"*.The new iPad does have the same anti-reflective coating as the iPad Air 2, nor does it have the same lamination to the glass" I guess you meant to say "The new iPad does NOT have the same anti-reflective coating as the iPad Air 2". Fix the mistake, Victor H.

5. Ronan

Posts: 51; Member since: Mar 21, 2017

It's garbage!

6. Ozsikhs

Posts: 58; Member since: Sep 03, 2015

PA, there is NO flash on the new iPad, Please correct it

7. UnlimitedSkye03

Posts: 300; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

Uhm PA this is quite stupid, why point out what's lacking with the new iPad from iPad Pro? Their clearly not in the same level. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

12. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014


13. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

There were a couple points that compared it to the iPad Pro, but many compared it to both the previous iPad Air 2 and regular iPad.

8. buccob

Posts: 2979; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

So this is basically an iPad Air 1... They figured out what to do with old component stock

11. lJesseCusterl

Posts: 96; Member since: Apr 27, 2015

Not necessarily a bad thing. I work on the repair side of things now and the Air 2 is close to prohibitively expensive to repair thanks to the bonded screen.

9. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Lol, no apple pencil support? Something like the Huawei Matebook with core M3/M5 at similar price already makes this look like an overpriced toy...for a moment I thought things had suddenly changed, but alas, it still can't be an apple product if it's reasonably priced compared to the competition.

14. JakeH

Posts: 89; Member since: May 01, 2014

Making the glass not laminated to the LCD will make it easier to repair the glass panel if it breaks. In my eyes, this iPad is good for educational purposes in schools

15. techbuttcheex

Posts: 205; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

Does Apple make a single product worth owning these days?

16. Valinor

Posts: 182; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

Well that sucks. Guess I wont be upgrading my ipad air 2. The weight difference between the ipad air and air 2 is significant. I was so surprised the air 2 was so light. The only thing that sucks with the air 2 is the battery. My ipad air that I used for 2,5 years and charged daily still had a better battery life than my new ipad air 2.... (I exchanged my ipad air 2 twice before realising the crappy battery life was normal.)

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