What’s the Difference between the New 9.7-Inch iPad and iPad Air 2?

Apple today launched a new 9.7-inch iPad and discontinued the iPad Air 2. The new iPad is Apple’s cheapest tablet yet with a price tag of $329.

So, what separates the new 9.7-inch iPad from the iPad Air 2? Find out below.


  • The new 9.7-inch iPad and the iPad Air 2 both feature a 9.7-inch Retina Display
    • The display panel on the new iPad has a higher brightness level than the iPad Air 2’s display though
    • Both tablets lack support for Apple Pencil
    • The new iPad’s display is not laminated


  • The new 9.7-inch iPad is both thicker and heavier than the iPad Air 2
    • It is 7.5mm thick compared to the 6.1mm waistline of the iPad Air 2
  • The new iPad weighs in at 469g and 478g for the Wi-Fi and Cellular models, respectively
    • The iPad Air 2 was slightly lighter with the Wi-Fi variant weighing 444g and the cellular model coming in at 478g

Chipset & Storage

  • While the iPad Air 2 featured a tri-core A8X chip, the new iPad comes with a dual-core A9 chip
    • Despite one less core, the new chip is faster than the A8X found inside the Air 2
    • This is the same chipset that is also found inside the iPhone 6s
    • This also means that the new iPad features Apple’s M9 motion co-processor
  • The iPad Air 2 was available in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB variants
    • The new iPad is only available in 32GB and 128GB storage options

Battery Life

  • While Apple says that both tablets feature a 10-hour battery life, the new iPad features a bigger battery
    • The iPad Air 2 featured a 27.62Wh battery, while the new 9.7-inch iPad comes with 32.4Wh battery
  • This should translate into the new tablet offering better battery life than the Air 2


  • Apple had reduced the price of the iPad Air 2 to $399 last year
    • Prices for the new 9.7-inch iPad starts from $329

A lower price point but with more storage, better battery life, and faster internals? The new 9.7-inch iPad is better than the iPad Air 2 in almost every way. The increase in weight and size are a bit of a bummer but they are not exactly a deal breaker.

What do you think about Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad? Do you plan on buying one?

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