I switched from my old iPad to the new iPad a few weeks ago. It was a pleasant upgrade, delivering exactly what I had been expecting. Better sound, better screen, better feel and came with a better (lower) price tag. An iPad isn’t something that I need. I never use it for work or doing anything productive. It’s my dedicated time off computer. I don’t have social media apps installed on it, I never load up a word processor, I don’t even do meal planning or on-line shopping on it. In this day and age where everything is connected to everything and everyone, my iPad is my haven of peace and quiet. I watch a bit of TV. I stream a movie through Netflix or Amazon Prime. I load up games that run better on the big screen. I don’t read on it, but on holiday Chris opens up the Kindle App when I put it down to pick up my Kindle. It’s hard to justify it’s price tag for a device of leisure, but there’s one more thing it’s put to use for – Education.

The person in the house that uses the iPad most of the time, is Cass. She has math apps, literacy apps, interactive learner reader books, physics-based games, puzzle games, spelling and grammar apps. She plays Minecraft and makes her own little movies. She creates interactive books and theatre shows. She takes pictures that are reused as valuable footage and composes songs, choreographs dancers in a show and tries out various professions in all the different children’s apps that abound in this ecosystem. We watch educational videos and when all the learning is done, episodes of My Little Pony.

We did all of these things on the old iPad, but it was just getting a bit too old to work well. The upgrade has been worth it and with the high build quality and solid Apple ecosystem, I’m sure it’ll continue to be in daily use for years to come.

The Ergohacks Verdict

It’s another iPad in the continuous generational March of the iPads. It doesn’t have any new gimmick, special tricks or significant must-have-it feature. If you don’t have an iPad and would like one or if your old iPad is on its last legs, like ours, it’s a great piece of hardware to invest in, particularly with the new, lower price tag. If you have kids, get one. iOS is still the lead platform for education and there’s a gazillion apps that make learning fun and interesting. It’s a well rounded leisure device and I’m sure would function fine as a platform for work and more productive applications. For me though, the iPad is for fun. I love gaming on it. It’s just the right size for watching a movie in bed. Highly recommended.*

*Unless you already have one that works fine.

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Buy it from Apple 

Price: ± From £339 to £559 depending on storage or connectivity package.

About Apple

Apple needs little introduction. They’re the world’s richest company and have perhaps more mind share and brand recognition than any other company.

Design

The 2017 iPad fits perfectly into the line and designs of all the iPads that have come before it. A rectangular curved metal tablet with a single physical button, stereo speakers, a couple of on/off anf volume buttons and a couple of cameras.

There are a couple of standout points to mention. The first is that unlike the newest iPhone the iPad does have a 3.5mm headphone jack. I do use bluetooth headsets some of the time but the option to be able to plug in wired headsets is still something I’d think of as essential. Secondly every generation of iPad’s seems to get thinner – except for this one. The 2017 iPad is actually slightly thicker than the 2016 iPad Air 2 while being slightly thinner than the 2016 iPad Air. It’s almost un-noticable but Apple have made the trade off to save money and be able to reduce the iPad’s cost.

Finally there are four versions of the iPad – 32gb and 128 and with and without Cellular data. We’ve been using the 128GB without data and unless money is very tight I’d not recommend going for the lower capacity storage.

Specification

Product dimensions: 24 x 16.9 x .7 cm
Capacity: 32 or 128Gb
Item Weight: 469g
Colour: Silver, Gold or Space Grey
Waterproof: No
Release date: March 2017
Made in China
Materials: Metal and Gorilla Glass

Technical Specification
Operating System: iOS 10
Display: 9.7 inch IPS 2048×1536
Camera: 8 Megapixel
Connectivity: USB 2.0
Wi-Fi: Wi‑Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac); dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz); HT80 with MIMO capable
Bluetooth: 4.2
NFC (Near Field Communication): Yes but locked down and only accessible by system apps
Battery: Integrated 32.4 Watt hour battery.
Power and plug description: Proprietary reversible lightning cable
Warranty: One year limited warranty included and further AppleCare warranties available

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 We based our Ergohacks Verdict on 8 weeks of tinkering, testing and using the iPad. This article was first published on 22 May 2017.