Why you should buy new 9.7in iPad over iPad Pro

Pen­cil sup­port puts it over the top, ar­gues Michael Si­mon

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

When Ap­ple launched its £319 9.7in iPad last year, it was a play for peo­ple who wanted to play with their tablets. With to­day’s new up­date, Ap­ple is show­ing that it’s a great tool for work too. That’s be­cause the tech gi­ant is adding sup­port for Ap­ple Pen­cil to the en­try-level iPad, let­ting users write and draw on their new tablet just like they can on the Pro mod­els. With the same tilt sup­port and pres­sure sen­si­tiv­ity, Ap­ple has turned its cheap­est

iPad into a de­vice that’s darn close to the 10.5in iPad Pro, which costs nearly twice as much. Here are five rea­sons you might want to buy a £319 iPad in­stead of a £619 iPad Pro.

1. It has Ap­ple Pen­cil sup­port

The big news to­day is ob­vi­ously sup­port for Ap­ple Pen­cil in the non-Pro iPad. Un­til to­day, Ap­ple’s pow­ered sty­lus was ar­guably the big­gest sell­ing point for the iPad Pro, but now that you can use Ap­ple Pen­cil to draw and write on the new en­try-level iPad’s screen too, there’s less of a rea­son to spring for the higher-priced model. And since both mod­els sup­port the same £89 sty­lus, you’ll be able to use the Pen­cil you pur­chase to­day on any fu­ture iPad Pros you may buy.

2. It’s just as fast

Ap­ple has bumped the pro­ces­sor in the iPad from an A9 chip to an A10 Fu­sion, the same chip that’s in the iPhone 7. That’s not ex­actly the same chip as the A10X that Ap­ple uses in the iPad Pro, but con­sider this: at the time of their re­lease, Ap­ple claimed that the A10X had 30 per­cent faster CPU per­for­mance and 40 per­cent faster GPU per­for­mance than the A9X, while the A10 boasted 40 per­cent bet­ter CPU per­for­mance and 50 bet­ter graph­ics per­for­mance over the A9. Add it up, and the dif­fer­ence be­tween the A10X iPad Pro and the A10 iPad will be neg­li­gi­ble.

3. You can still use a key­board

While it’s cer­tainly strange that Ap­ple didn’t bring over the Smart Con­nec­tor that is used to at­tach the

Smart Key­board to the iPad Pro, you can still use a key­board with your iPad. All you’ll need to do is pick up a stan­dard Blue­tooth key­board along with an Ap­ple Smart Cover for prop­ping pur­poses and voilà, you have a very sim­i­lar setup. You’ll even be able to use the same key­board short­cuts.

4. It’s cheap enough to hand down to a child

While the new iPad didn’t get the price drop we were hop­ing for, £319 is still a great price for an Ap­ple tablet.

That’s ac­tu­ally cheaper than the £399 iPad mini 4, which is run­ning an out­dated A8 chip. So if you buy one to­day and de­cide to up­grade to what­ever new iPad Pro comes out later this year, you won’t feel so bad about pass­ing it down to your child or younger sib­ling.

5. It’s just as good of a mul­ti­tasker

In iOS 10 and iOS 11, Ap­ple in­tro­duced a whole new way to nav­i­gate and mul­ti­task on the tablets, and you don’t need a 10.5in Pro model to take ad­van­tage of it. With iOS 11 and the new 9.7in iPad, you’ll still be able to use Slide Over, Split View, and Picture-in-Picture, as well as Drag and Drop and the en­hanced Dock like a pro. And with the new A10X chip, switch­ing be­tween apps should be nearly in­stan­ta­neous.

Which should you buy?

The 10.5in iPad Pro brings a slightly bet­ter chip (A10X vs A10), a big­ger screen, and bet­ter dis­play tech with Pro­Mo­tion and True Tone. If those dif­fer­ences are worth £319 to you, then by all means get an iPad Pro. Oth­er­wise, save your money and buy a 9.7in iPad. Or two.

With Pen­cil sup­port and an A10X pro­ces­sor, Ap­ple’s new 9.7in iPad is a whole lot more ca­pa­ble than be­fore

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