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.
The new iPad is a refresh of the iPad Air 1
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.
Apple's new iPad vs iPad Pro 8 important things it is missing
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