2017 9.7 iPad vs. iPad Air 2 – Hardware and Operating System Comparison

Apple fans were pleased to hear that the Cupertino based tech giant decided to introduce a new 9.7 inch tablet. The device has been simply named “iPad” and it’s expected to replace the highly popular iPad Air 2 lineup. The new iPad has been designed as a mid-ranged budget device and its hardware specs reflect just that.

What’s interesting is that iPad Air owners represent a large majority of 35% of Apple’s customer base. The reason why this is intriguing is because Apple was expected to refresh its iPad Air lineup, but instead decided to replace it with the new 9.8 inch iPad.

Today we’re going to a look at what the new iPad brings to the table in comparison with iPad Air 2, and see if owners should feel like they need to upgrade their device.

Hardware and Operating System

First off, the new iPad runs on iOS 10.3 and up which is a major upgrade in comparison to iPad Air 2 that ships with iOS 8.1 out of the box. However, iPad Air 2’s operating system can be upgraded but we can’t know for sure how much longer it will receive software support. Apple is known for paying a high price on iOS user experience, and that’s why having access to the latest updates is very important.

Leaving the operating system aside, let’s take a more in depth look what hardware specs these tablets have been equipped with. iPad Air 2 is powered by Apple’s own A8X chipset. The triple-core processor clocks at 1.5GHz and it is paired with 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM. The chipset is quite impressive, having scored 1782 points in the Geekbench 4 Single Core test.

On the other hand, we have the new iPad that’s fueled by Apple’s more impressive A9 dual-core chipset. The processor has been clocked at the higher speed of 1.85GHz and it is also coupled with 2 GB of LPDDR3 RAM.

We think it’s safe to say that the new iPad wins this comparison, especially since it was able to score 2397 points on the same Geekbench 4 Single Core test. More importantly, the 9.7 inch iPad can be acquired for only $329 starting March 24th while iPad Air 2 has been priced at $339.

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