VentureBeat reviews Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad: ‘OK for schools, great for everyone else’

“Let’s start this quick review with some harsh truth: Apple’s 2018 9.7-inch iPad is a ‘press release”’ product, not an ‘Apple Keynote’ product,” Jeremy Horwitz writes for VentureBeat. “Despite Apple’s decision to unveil its latest tablet in a high school auditorium, this isn’t a brand new, made-for-education ‘ePad’ — it’s last year’s iPad with some spec bumps. The sixth-generation iPad looks, feels, and works the same as its predecessor, apart from a new processor and Apple Pencil support.”

“For VentureBeat, however, the question isn’t whether the new iPad does more than its predecessor for the same $329 starting price; that’s a given,” Horwitz writes. “Instead, we ask whether this iPad actually moves the needle in any way — is it truly transformational technology? By that measure, the answer is ‘probably not.’ But it’s still a great upgrade for users of older iPads.”

“You can expect the new iPad’s performance to be between 20 and 40 percent better than the 2017 iPad, and around 50% below the 10.5-inch iPad Pro,” Horwitz writes. “Despite all the hype surrounding the 2018 iPad, it’s basically just a spec-bumped 2017 iPad with education-focused marketing. Unfortunately, based on educators’ responses after Apple’s unveiling event, the pitch doesn’t appear to have worked. They asked for a substantially more affordable iPad, preferably with better keyboard support, and Apple didn’t deliver… As for everyone else, this iPad is a highly competent tablet for the $329 asking price.”

Much more in the full review here.

MacDailyNews Take: The meh is strong with this one.

Apple’s new iPad can only be good news – March 29, 2018
New iPad’s enemy isn’t just Chromebooks, it’s the U.S. public education system – March 28, 2018
Logitech’s Rugged Combo 2 keyboard and case for Apple’s iPad has its own smart connector – March 28, 2018
Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad offers 2GB of RAM, 2.2 GHz A10 processor – March 28, 2018
How Apple lost its place in the classroom – March 28, 2018
Apple bids for education market with new software, new iPad – March 27, 2018
Apple takes aim at Google Chromebook with $299 iPad with Apple Pencil support for schools – March 27, 2018
Did Apple do enough to grab back education market share? – March 27, 2018
Apple unveils new 9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil support starting at $329 – March 27, 2018
Apple unveils ‘Everyone Can Create’ curriculum – March 27, 2018
Apple’s iWork update brings drawing, book creation and more to Pages, Numbers and Keynote – March 27, 2018
MacDailyNews presents live coverage of Apple’s March 27th ‘Field Trip’ event – March 27, 2018
Google’s Chromebooks are still spying on grade school students – April 21, 2017


    1. He noted the speed increase and support for the Apple Pencil in the article. His point was…

      “is it truly transformational technology? By that measure, the answer is ‘probably not.’ But it’s still a great upgrade for users of older iPads.”

      I agree that it is a nice upgrade for those with old iPads.

      Getting iPads with A10 processors and Apple Pencil support for $329 is certainly going to change the game. The low price point is key.

  1. and yet the education market is dominated now by unexciting sorely limited Chromebooks. Is education just about whats cheapest? Is Apple judged by different standards? Probably yes to both of those but I guess they will need some inspiration to answer it beyond what Cook has on offer.

    Perhaps if Apple hadn’t done an Apple and sat of the product in a self satisfied manner circa 2014 and the improvements we now see were brought in on a yearly basis from then on the iPad would have been a far bigger hit in schools. But as I have had to say far too often the company does like to let things drag so that they can make apparently big leaps forward. In the days of a miserably archaic Microsoft that was enough but with things far more nimble these days that attitude just will not do. Schools, iPad, Siri, AppleTV, MacPro, whats next for the back burner for a few years.

  2. Schools will always look at this from a price point perspective. Most of them do not have the luxury of a champagne budget, more like a beer budget. Apple, you want iPads in schools everywhere? Price them $10 below the Chromebook and throw in the pencil. You wouldn’t be able to keep up with demand if that ever happened.

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