Apple suddenly dropped a new iPad. We were excited. Then we observed said “new” iPad. And we became disappointed.
Apple’s latest tablet is a 9.7-inch, entry-level iPad that’s essentially a replacement of the iPad Air 2 with a slightly different price point and minimally altered specs.
The iPad features Apple’s A9 chip, a modest upgrade from the Air 2’s A8X. The starting price has dropped from $399 to $329, but the tablet also ships without basic features like an anti-reflective coating on the screen. Oh, and apparently the screen is a little brighter.
“Customers love the large, 9.7-inch display for everything from watching TV and movies, to surfing the web, making FaceTime calls, and enjoying photos, and now it is even more affordable,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “New customers and anyone looking to upgrade will love this new iPad for use at home, in school, and for work, with its gorgeous Retina display, our powerful A9 chip, and access to the more than 1.3 million apps designed specifically for it.”
It’s certainly a letdown, even as a minor product update. But at least Apple didn’t hype it up.