Over the weekend I took a trip to the Apple Store to check out the new 9.7 inch $329 iPad. There is a lot to like about the new iPad, starting with price. It’s roughly half the cost of the 10.5 inch iPad Pro. For that price, you get an iPad that supports Apple Pencil, looks great,and is plenty fast. I tried to get it to drop frame rates, and it felt just as fast as my 10.5 inch iPad Pro. (I know that it is not but it still felt plenty fast.) I think, for most iPad users, the new 9.7 inch iPad is fine.
9to5 Mac has a postdetailing the differences and there are quite a few but having used one in person I can tell you for most people those differences won’t matter. Going forward, when friends and family ask me for a recommendation for an iPad, I’m going to point them at the new $329 iPad unless they’ve got a good reason to move to the pro. When you consider the rich assortment of software available for iPad plus the fact you can get a Bluetooth keyboard in the $30 range, the new iPad is a heck of a deal.
For those of you that are interested in the iPad Pro, I think we’ve officially entered the “don’t buy unless you must” zone. I expect a new iPad Pro shortly, probably with Face ID and more bells and whistles to distance it from the impressive new $329 iPad.