Apple iPad 9.7" Review 2018 - Familiar Form, Now Supports Apple Pencil

Apple iPad 9.7” Review (2018)

03:05 PM November 14, 2018

ipad 9.7" review 2018

iPad 9.7″ Review  – Familiar Form Factor, Now With Support For The Apple Pencil

The tablet class was once touted to put an end to the era of laptops. It is safe to say that was the notion when the first set of tablets was launched around 2007/2008. However, ten years have passed, and in spite of the incredible enhancements in design evolution and computing power, the reality is that the tablets have failed to replace laptops as predicted a decade ago. Let’s see how the iPad is aging in our iPad 9.7″ review:

Surprisingly, tablets that have been predicted to be the end of laptops is gradually losing its relevance with the introduction of bigger and more formidable tablets. There is a brand that is taking the lead in this aspect, and its name is Apple. Tablet owes its life to the contribution of renowned brands such as Samsung and Apple as it would have gone into extinction without the inputs of these brands. On the other hand, we have the Microsoft Surface, but its market share is a small part of the Apple iPad.

In 2018, another iPad was unveiled by Apple which was created in that familiar form factor, but possess a special characteristic: Apple Pencil support. The iPad 2018 was launched at a school in Chicago in conjunction with other apps for students. The iPad is an educational tool and a less expensive option to a laptop. We should ask ourselves a genuine question if the Apple iPad 2018 will make the tablet more appealing to us once again and if the Pencil support will be the game changer. Let us check.

Build and Design: 8/10

It is difficult to identify the 2018 iPad from its past generations even after glancing at the device three times. When you take a critical look at the 2018 iPad, it shares a resemblance with other previous generation iPad Air. It is available in Space Gray color, as well as different two colors: Silver and Gold; there is no new addition in this new Apple product. It has a stable build, and it has a 7.5mm thickness; its weight is below one kilogram. The product still offers a 9.7-inch diagonal display enclosed by thick bezels. For those who have used an iPad in the past, the button layout is a familiar feature.

When the edges are checked, there are volume rocker buttons on the upper right-hand corner and a SIM card slot situated along the lower edge. On the top right-hand edge, there is a power/standby button. The left-hand side offers a crisp edge to snap on the cover of an iPad. The base part possesses the lightning port to transfer data and to charge, and two speaker grilles encircle it, one of these conceals a real speaker. The iPad 2018 does not provide stereo sound, but it makes up for this feature with a 3.5mm audio jack. The lightning port can offer support for any earphone or dongle.

One of those speaker grilles is a false addition.

In 2018, the designer’s decision to use thick bezels is weird and unnecessary. It is noteworthy to agree with the designer that the base bezel will offer protection for the Touch ID sensor, it would have been better if some thickness could have taken from the side and top bezels. However, Apple may have wanted to avoid spending too much on altering a conventional design. On the other hand, Apple might not be giving much attention to the tablet line, or they want to restrain design innovation to the line of iPad Pro.

Features: 7/10

As the new iPad share incredible looks with the previous releases, Apple ensured that the internal capacity was fast and loaded with the current generation. The device is powered by the Apple A10 Fusion chipset, a feature on the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. That chipset is an incredibly powerful chipset, not as reliable as the A10X Fusion chip in the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. It is attached with 2GB RAM and a PowerVR series XT7 Plus graphics chip. When it comes to storage, there are two alternatives, as we have the 32 GB and 128 GB, and they are available in Wi-Fi only and cellular varieties. The iPad I am reviewing has the 128 GB storage and is a Wi-Fi plus mobile option.

The device runs on the latest operating system released from Apple; iOS 11.3. It has an 8MP rear camera as well as a 1.2MP front-facing camera. The rear camera has a f/2.4 aperture while the front camera has a f/2.0 aperture. An exceptional ability of the rear camera is that it can shoot full HD videos at 30 fps while the front camera can shoot at HD resolution at 30fps. Having a device with a front-facing camera laced with such features in 2018 is outrageous. On second thought, we would not want innumerable iPad photographers.

The Pencil’s charging mechanism is the silliest idea from Apple so far.

The device has a first gen Touch ID sensor on the home button, and this is entirely unnecessary. To make matters worse, the first-gen Touch ID is not as swift as the present generation unit. The button is clickable unlike the previous two generation of iPhones. The iPad offers support in these aspects; the iPad supports Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS, and other features.

Display: 7/10

The 2018 iPad does not have the advanced traits of the other iPhone products, as it lacks the TrueTone display or P3 color gamut support. You should expect a standard, open, 9.7-inch iPad display.

The new iPad has a familiar looking 9.7-inch diagonal display with the resolution of 2048 X 1536 pixels, which offers a pixel density of 264 PPI. It provides support for the Apple Pencil with this generation. On the other hand, it does not have the DCI-P3 gamut support and the TrueTone chops of the iPad Pro display like its smartphone colleagues. However, it makes sense when we consider the price at which the iPad is sold.

We have to give credit to the new Apple iPad as it passed some tests, except if you are an iPhone 8 or iPhone X user conversant with the TrueTone P3 display. However, there are some defects in the new iPad screen. There is a visible gap which can quickly be detected when using the Pencil as starters. It is a non-laminated display, and it is reflective when likened with the iPad Pro display. In the absence of the P3 gamut support, the richness and liveliness are not hard-hitting, and I specifically found the reflective feature to be infuriating when I am watching movies that have several dark scenes. There is no doubt that it is an excellent device for watching videos and playing games as well as working on office documents. Nevertheless, the experience is below expectations as there is a huge demand we have placed on Apple devices.

With crisp colors, sharp text, impressive sunlight legibility. In case you leave dark areas to light-filled areas, you would need some time before the colors can be adjusted, an instant feature on iPhones.

Performance: 7/10

The Touch ID sensor is the most annoying part of the device. Despite being tarnished by lightning fast fingerprint sensors on Android phones and iPhones, it is terrible to see that the Touch Id sensor would be placed on the new iPad. The sensor compels you to put your finger in a certain angle. I don’t understand why Apple would use a first generation Touch ID sensor when it has an exceptionally fast second gen. their decision to use a sensor seen on the iPhone 5s series is untenable. With the presence of an older processor and limited RAM, the new iPad cannot perform multitasking functions, but its performance is cool for the average user.

The second problem is the issue of multitasking like the new Apple iPad with its 2GB of RAM does not allow you to work with more than two applications at a time. On the other hand, the iPad Pro enables you to switch between three or more apps at a specific time. However, do not expect much from the iPad to avoid being disappointed. In my analysis, I realized that if I make use of a third app as a slide-over, I will not be able to use the apps previously opened in split-view. This is a task you can do on the iPad Pro without stress. The presence of the Apple A10 Fusion processor makes it easy for the smooth running of the device. Though you might encounter lagging when using the Apple Pencil, the ink seems to follow a little behind the tip of the pencil. In the aspect of streaming video content, AR apps, and working with multimedia apps, the new iPad remains a top choice.

This feedback is written on the iPad with the onscreen keyboard, and I must admit that the expectation is not as bad as envisaged. I would have preferred to see the resourcefulness of a smart keyboard, but to my dismay, the smart keyboard of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is not supported. Nevertheless, you can make use of any third-party Bluetooth keyboard with the new iPad; this is good news for you if you want to use it as a laptop.

It does not have loudspeakers, but there is a way around it if you cup the speaker section while you are in a room devoid of noise. I am pleased with the flexibility when you are using the 3.5mm jack or the lightning port for earphones. The new iPad will collaborate properly with your bundled iPhone Lightning EarPods. In the absence of these problems, the iPad is an excellent choice as it performs according to expectations because it serves as a media consumption device. Long reading sessions were pretty good, even though I like to use Kindle for eBooks. I played the Alto’s Adventure and did not see any sign of faltering, but when I checked games like Asphalt Xtreme, I noticed some signs of stutter but not enough to discourage from playing the game.

I checked a few Pencil-related apps such as the coloring and the sketching apps. I noticed that the coloring apps do not pose a threat to the pencil, but the air gap under the display was irritating when used for fine sketching work. It has a stark difference and not as innovative as the one on the iPad Pro. You need to get used to the issue as time goes on.

The Apple Pencil has been streamlined to align with the iWork Suite of apps like Keynote, Pages, etc. On the other hand, Smart Annotations is an aspect where the annotations made by you will function as a share of the original document so that when you zoom in or out or move to the next page, the annotations made by you will zoom in or out or switch relative to the page. This feature allows you to animate what you are writing, and this can be used when you are learning a new language that has a non-roman script or if you are using it to teach your toddlers how to write alphabets.

Camera: 7/10

The new iPad has an 8 MP rear camera as well as a f/2.4 aperture and 1.12-micron pixel size, and a front facing camera with 1.2 MP resolutions and an aperture of f/2.2. The performance of the rear camera is still cool, you identify noise with images shot in the house, and in low light, and it is not right to use it. On the other hand, you would not have many problems when you capture images with bright colors outdoors. The result is not as sharp as the image you will get on an iPhone. If you want to share the pictures as soon as possible on social media platforms, the photos captured with the 8MP rear camera are beautiful. The front camera offers support for the FaceTime HD calling, which is available when you have a constant data connection.

Battery Life: 8/10

You can achieve ten hours of battery life from the new iPad. Even though we lack an idea of the actual battery capacity of the device, we can confirm that the battery life on the new iPad is excellent. I am happy with the fact that I could use the device for ten hours before charging it. I noticed a battery drain of under 12 percent after watching several hour-long episodes on a Netflix show; this is quite remarkable. Only seven percent of the battery was drained when I downloaded five episodes. I also used it as a typical laptop and used it for the writing of articles; web surfing, audio streaming and watching some videos on YouTube, the battery life still shows that it has eight hours of usability.

Remember that as a tablet, this device will be used for media consumption for some hours each day. With a full charge, you can use the device for two or three days, the standby time for the iPad is incredibly high. The device has a fast charger that enables you to charge the iPad for a couple of hours. I was skeptical that Apple would package a slower charger to take off from the price.

Verdict and Price

If you are searching for a tablet to purchase in 2018, the new Apple iPad is the best recommendation. Another alternative was the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 released last year, but it also has its problems which leave us with a single choice of the brand; Apple.

Even though it has its several issues, the new Apple iPad remains a great tablet, and its major competitor is the 10.5-inch iPad Pro which also cost higher. The iPad Pro is a fantastic device, but it is better to buy it if you want a better device that might serve as a replacement for your laptop. The speakers and better display are attractive features of the device, but the price paid for it is worth it.

If your choice is the 2018 iPad and you are not concerned with the $329 starting price, it’s a great buy. I will advise you to choose the cellular version if you want to buy the 32 GB variant. You may have to cope with the limited storage as space will soon be occupied, and you will be left with no choice than to use the cloud.

To purchase the 2018 Apple iPad 9.7″, please CLICK HERE


The Apple iPad 2018 (128GB Wi-Fi+Cell) tablet has a 9.7-inch LED-backlit IPS display with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. It has 128GB inbuilt storage and possesses an 8 MP rear camera and 1.2-megapixel front camera as well as the iOS 11 Operating System.


  • Screen Size: 9.7
  • Screen Resolution: 2048 x 1536
  • Screen Type: LED-backlit IPS Capacitive Touchscreen


  • Internal Storage: 128GB


  • Megapixel: 8MP
  • Front facing camera: 1.2MP


  • Speaker: Yes
  • Audio connector: 3.5mm


  • 2G: Yes
  • 3G: Yes
  • 4G: Yes
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Bluetooth (Version): 4.2
  • Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n): 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz), HT80 with MIMO
  • USB: Yes
  • EDGE: Yes


  • OS: iOS 11
  • GPS: Yes
  • A-GPS: Yes


  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm
  •  Weight (g): 478 grams


  • Warranty: 1 Year
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