If you want to pick up an iPad in its most distilled but zippy form, the new “fifth-generation” 9.7-inch iPad is the slate to go for, as enthused in early reviews of the back-to-basics device.
The new iPad, which Apple differentiates from the other models simply by calling it the “fifth-generation” model, is aptly named. With the succinct mantra that “it is an iPad”, The Verge says that “the best feature is the price”, which starts at $329 for the 32GB non-cellular variant.
With its A9 processor, the new iPad compares surprisingly well to the A9X-powered iPad Pro – which, it is worth emphasizing, has a much higher starting cost of $599. The new iPad is also, compared to the Pro, slightly thicker and lacks lamination on its screen.
However, 9to5Mac concedes that “most people who are in the market for a cheap iPad will be fine with the added girth.” MobileSyrup has called this iPad “perfect for first-time tablet buyers”, most of which would be unlikely to object to the absence of a Smart Connector and Apple Pencil support.
The new slate’s battery life, Touch ID sensor, and support for in-app Apple Pay have also received critical plaudits. You can enjoy all of this for a price lower than any Apple has previously charged for a new iPad, making the whole deal a steal for tablet fans without productivity on their minds.