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Apr 05, 2017 10:59 AM EDT

The new 9.7-in. iPad is a fairly decent tablet at $329 with the basic degree of quality, functionality and slightly higher speed with Apple's A9 processor. It does not have any revolutionary claims or accessories like Apple pencil or keyboard like the iPad Pro for it simply is the tablet for those whose older iPad is no longer functional.

The new iPad (2017) or simply iPad copying Apple's branding, offers substantial spec bumps from older iPads starting with a faster A9 processor. The screen also boasts of a Retina display with 2048x1536 resolution, which is a far cry from the high-end True Tone display of the iPad Pro. Nonetheless, its screen is bright and crisp enough for the usual iPad tasks like web browsing, playing Sudoku or watching a movie.

Upon close inspection, the new iPad actually copies many things from the now-discontinued iPad Air and iPad Air 2. In look and design, it is hard to distinguish it from the iPad Air. Under the hood, it is more like the iPad Air 2 but may lack some features of the older device.

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As regards to the screen, the new 9.7-in. iPad inherited the lamination and anti-reflectivity of the iPad Air 2 although still not as good in terms of quality. This may be because the new tablet's screen rests a little further from the front glass since the two parts are not bonded together unlike the Air 2. Moreover, it is more reflective, meaning it is difficult to use under bright sunlight, The Verge reported.

The new iPad is powered by Apple's A9 chips while the iPad Air has the A8 but this does not mean the new tablet is faster. However, in a hands-on benchmark, the new iPad was a tad faster than the Air 2, CNet reported. Other than a slightly faster processor, the new iPad's most redeeming quality is its price, which is reasonable enough for a good tablet.

Apple has finally understood that consumers do not need yearly upgrades of the tablet. Many just want an excellent table that will not drain their pockets especially for owners of older iPads. For those with an older iPad Pro or the iPad Air, an upgrade may not give significant performance gains. It may be wiser to stick to your old devices or better yet, wait for Apple to unveil its long-delayed iPad Pro 2 lineup.

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