Apple iPad 9.7 Review

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Apple iPad 9.7 Review: Overview & Price

This tablet is ideal for those who are looking for a basic iPad that is capable browsing media, taking photos and playing games.

The iPad launched in March 2018 making it still pretty fresh on the scene and giving you the best performance and package in a budget iPad.

This Apple 9.7 2018 iPad will keep you entertained and is the ideal Christmas present for kids!

To buy this Apple iPad you are looking at £300 in the UK, the iPad is powerful and is more than capable of playing games thanks to its powerful A10 chipset, also being compatible with the Apple Pencil this tablet is ideal for artists who enjoy designing.

This is a great cheap Apple iPad that can keep the kids entertained for hours, especially as now in 2019 the price has dropped significantly.

Although if your someone who writes a lot and needs a bit of a power boost then you may want to opt for one of the Pro models.

Apple iPad 9.7 Review: Design & Display

So when it comes to design, the iPad 9.7 looks just like most other tablets out there, a well-made metal design with Touch ID integration on the home button, which is located at the bottom of the tablet.

Compared to the iPad Air 2, which was launched a couple of years ago you won’t find a great amount of difference here, however, the iPad 9.7 is actually 1.1mm thicker.

Apple has stuck with the dual speakers at the bottom unlike the Pro’s quad-speaker setup, also weighing in at 469g the iPad is light enough to put in your bag when going to school or prop up on the kitchen counter to guide you through a cooking recipe.

Apple iPad (9.7-inch, Wi-Fi, 32 GB) - Space Grey (Previous Model)
  • A10 Fusion chip
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • 8MP back camera and 1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera
  • Stereo speakers
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi

The iPad comes in three different colours which are; Space Grey, Silver and Gold, however, you might want to take a closer look if you are thinking of opting for the gold colours as Apple seem to change their ‘Gold’ on everything they release.

The iPad 9.7 2018 does, however, look a lot older because of the huge bezels around display, however the iPad is on a cheap side especially for Apple so a few drawbacks are expected.

apple ipad 9.7 review

Image: Kelly Sikkema

When it comes to the display we aren’t overly impressed as it is merely acceptable, the resolution is 1536 x 2048 pixels which are the same as it has been for a number of years now and there is no HDR supported on this iPad.

If your someone who is going to be watching lots of Netflix and YouTube then you might want to check out our iPad Pro review as this does support HDR and makes for a better media experience.

That being said colours are bright and everything is crisp, when you can actually see it!

We found that the amount of light reflected is huge so if you’re in a lit-up area and are trying to watch a video you will have a hard time because of the screen reflectance, however you can easily adjust the brightness and contrast to suit difficult light conditions.

The display also has a gap in-between the LCD and digitiser which is super annoying when you tilt the iPad to its side as you will find a rather big gap, again you will not find this on the iPad Pro as the display is actually sitting flush on the glass.

Another downfall of the 120Hz display is that there is no pro-motion, this is essentially where the iPad automatically adjusts the display to match the movement of content on the screen, this gives you fluidity when scrolling through content and makes everything a lot smoother and more responsive.

This is definitely something that needs to be considered when buying an iPad as it makes the whole experience so much better.

The iPad Pro does offer this feature and if your going to be doing lots of shopping or reading then we would recommend popping into your local Apple store to try this out for yourself.

We absolutely loved drawing with the iPad 9.7 when using the Apple Pencil, we have to say it was so responsive and fun and works accurately with any amount of pressure.

If your someone who loves to Art or simply want to keep your child entertained for hours then this is a great alternative to the more expensive iPad Pro.

Apple iPad 9.7 Review: Performance

So one of the main reasons Apple created this new affordable iPad is to try and get it into more classrooms, so kids can have a better educational experience.

The Apple Pencil alone is enough to make me want it but there is also the option to pair a keyboard with this iPad.

This is a great alternative to a laptop, especially for the younger generation as it’s light, easy to operate and can be taken into School or College to help with note-taking.

See Related:

*Apple Pencil Review*
*Apple Smart Keyboard Review*
*Apple iPad Air 3 2019 Review*
*Apple iPad Mini 5 2019 Review*
*Apple iPad Pro 10.5 Review*

The iPad does not come with the Apple Pencil or Apple Smart Keyboard so they will need to be bought separately but are definitely worth the investment as it really brings this iPad to life.

Apple has stated that there are over 200,000 apps on the App Store waiting to be downloaded for students or teachers, giving them the upper hand when in the classroom and allowing instant access to any question by the power of the internet.

apple ipad 9.7 review

Image: Caleb Moreno

The iPad 9.7 2018 has 32GB of storage which is enough to store a decent amount of apps, images and music however if you’re going to be using it for storing lots of data you might want to opt for a larger 128GB memory size.

Gaming is great on this iPad and runs surprisingly well for the low price tag, thanks to the Apple A10 Fusion chip and 2GB of RAM allowing for a solid gaming experience with no lag or shudder.

This combination of specs is impressive for a cheap Apple iPad, we really didn’t have much to complain about when it comes to the Apple iPad 9.7 performance.

We found the performance aspect of this iPad to be the best value for money with everything running smooth and giving you a great experience when it comes to using the iPad intensely.

Apples simplistic IOS platform is great when using an iPad; it looks clean and is very easy to use.

Kids will get to grips with this iPad extremely fast and also find that it has some pretty cool features.

You can compile all of your favourite apps into one folder making it super easy to navigate to them and you can even split the screen to watch two videos at the same time.

Apple iPad 9.7 Review: Camera

The camera in the Apple iPad 9.7 2018 is generally pretty good, although not much use nowadays with most smartphones taking the lead when it comes to capturing high-quality shots.

However, when opting for a photo with the iPad the 8MP f/2.4 aperture doesn’t do too bad and will give you a detailed image when in good lighting situations.

The camera also offers a range of different modes to play around with, also giving you the option for Super-Slow Motion although nowhere close to what you would find on the likes of a Samsung S9.

Apple iPad (9.7-inch, Wi-Fi, 32 GB) - Space Grey (Previous Model)
  • A10 Fusion chip
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • 8MP back camera and 1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera
  • Stereo speakers
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi

Time-Lapse is also a cool mode on the iPad allowing you to cram a ton of footage into one small clip, perfect for adverts or making short engaging clips.

apple ipad 9.7 review

Image: Dhe Haivan

The camera does struggle in low light situations and we found the camera to be really bad when trying to take zoomed-in shots.

We found that most people using an iPad generally don’t buy it for the camera capabilities but for the times that you do need a quick image then the 9.7 can definitely delivery a quality image.

The 1.2MP f/2.2 aperture selfie camera is also decent for taking selfies for Instagram or Snapchat too.

Again this isn’t the best in low light but when in the right conditions the camera wasn’t too much of a heartbreaker.

Video footage is not available in 4K and there is not much stabilisation at all, so trying to take high-quality videos on this iPad is not a good idea and we would definitely recommend using your smartphone for this!

Apple iPad 9.7 Review: Battery Life

We did not have any issues with battery life when testing the iPad 9.7” and found that it would last around 3 days with one charge.

This was surprising and it actually lasted the same amount of time as the more expensive and higher-spec iPad Pro 10.5”.

As mentioned previously Apple are trying to get this iPad into classrooms so would need it to last at least a full day in order to take it to School.

If you are looking to buy this Apple iPad, we recommend investing in a case and screen protector as this will help keep the device in good condition.

However, if you’re wanting something you can rely on for both performance and battery you might want to check out the iPad Pro.

The Apple iPad 9.7 2018 comes with a regular 12W charger which is decent, but we recommend purchasing a fast charger which will speed up the charging process a lot more.

Considering that to buy this Apple iPad it is less than £300, we found that the battery is rather impressive and can last you a very long time depending on the individual using it.

Apple iPad 9.7 Review: Summary

Ultimately if you’re looking for a budget iPad that can be used to entertain the kids and still have the luxury of a decent camera and performance then this could be for you.

Apple iPad (9.7-inch, Wi-Fi, 32 GB) - Space Grey (Previous Model) 

Although if your planning on writing articles and watching lots of movies then you might want to opt for the more powerful iPad Pro.

The iPad 9.7 is a great Christmas present if you’re looking for a cheap Apple iPad and will do exactly what you expect from a modern-day tablet, we had lots of fun reviewing the iPad and its easy to recommend for those looking for a low-cost tablet!

Apple iPad 9.7 Review: Full Specification

Launch: March 2018


  • Dimension: 240 x 169.5 x 7.5mm (9.45 x 6.67 x 0.30 in)
  • Weight: 469g (Wi-Fi) / 478g (LTE)
  • Build: Front glass, aluminium body
  • Sim: Nano-SIM, Electronic SIM card (eSIM)
    – Stylus support


  • Type: LED-backlit IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen 16M colours
  • Size: 9.7 inches, 291.4² (-71.6% screen-to-body-ratio)
  • Resolution: 1536 x 2048 pixels, 4:3 ratio (-264 PPI density)
  • Protection: Scratch-resistant glass, oleophobic coating


  • OS: IOS 11.3, upgradable to iOS 12.1
  • Chipset: Apple A10 Fusion (16nm)
  • CPU: Quad-core 2.34 GHz (2x Hurricane + 2x Zephyr)
  • GPU: PowerVR Series7XT Plus (six-core graphics)


  • Card slot: No
  • Internal: 32/128GB, 2GB RAM


  • Primary: 8MP, f/2.4, 31mm (standard)
  • Features: HDR
  • Video: 1080p@30fps, 720p@120fps, HDR, stereo sound recording
  • Selfie Cam :
  • Single: 8MP, f/2.4, 31mm (standard)
  • Features: Face detection, HDR, panorama
  • Video: 720p@30fps


  • Loudspeaker: Yes, with stereo speakers
  • 3.5mm Jack: Yes
    – Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic


  • WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, hotspot
  • Bluetooth: 4.2, A2DP, EDR, LE
  • GPS: Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS (Wi-Fi + Cellular model only)
  • Radio: No
  • USB: 2.0, proprietary reversible connector


  • Sensors: Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, compass, barometer
    – Siri natural language commands and dictation


  • Non-removable Li-Ion battery (32.4 Wh)


  • Colours: Silver, Space Grey, Gold
  • Price: As seen in the above post


  • Battery life: Up to 10h (multi-media)

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