5 reasons to buy Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad vs. the 10.5-inch iPad Pro

When Apple launched its
$329 9.7-inch iPad
last year, it was a play for people who
wanted to play with their tablets. With
today’s new update
, Apple is showing that it’s a great tool
for work too.

That’s because Apple is adding support for Apple Pencil to the
entry-level iPad, letting users write and draw on their new
tablet just like they can on the Pro models. With the same tilt
support and pressure sensitivity, Apple has turned its cheapest
iPad into a device that’s darn close to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro,
which costs nearly twice as much. Here are five reasons you
might want to buy a $329 iPad instead of a $650 iPad Pro.

It has Apple Pencil support

The big news today is obviously
support for Apple Pencil
in the non-Pro iPad. Until today,
Apple’s powered stylus was arguably the
biggest selling point for the iPad Pro
, but now that you
can use Apple Pencil to draw and write on the new entry-level
iPad’s screen too, there’s less of a reason to spring for the
higher-priced model. And since both models support the
same $99 stylus, you’ll be able to
use the Pencil you purchase today on any future iPad Pros you
may buy.

It’s just as fast

Apple has bumped the processor in the iPad from an A9 chip to
an A10 Fusion, the same chip that’s in
the iPhone 7
. That’s not exactly the same chip as the A10X
that Apple uses in the iPad Pro, but consider this: At the time
of their release, Apple claimed that the A10X had 30 percent
faster CPU performance and 40 percent faster GPU performance
than the A9X, while the A10 boasted 40 percent better CPU
performance and 50 better graphics performance over the
A9. Add it up, and the difference between the A10X iPad
Pro and the A10 iPad will be negligible.

new ipad 9.7 inch Apple

With Pencil support and an A10X processor, Apple’s new
9.7-inch iPad is a whole lot more capable than before.

You can still use a keyboard

While it’s certainly strange that Apple didn’t bring over the
Smart Connector that is used to attach the Smart Keyboard to the iPad Pro, you can still use a
keyboard with your iPad. All you’ll need to do is pick up a
standard Bluetooth keyboard along with an Apple Smart Cover for
propping purposes and voila, you have a very similar setup.
You’ll even be able to use the same keyboard shortcuts.

It’s cheap enough to hand down to a kid

While the new iPad didn’t get the price drop we were hoping
for, $329 is still a great price for an Apple tablet. That’s
actually cheaper than the
$399 iPad mini 4
, which is running an outdated A8 chip. So
if you buy one today and decide to upgrade to whatever new iPad
Pro comes out later this year, you won’t feel so bad about
passing it down to your child or younger sibling.

It’s just as good of a multitasker

In iOS 10 and iOS 11, Apple introduced a whole new way to
navigate and multitask on the tablets, and you don’t need a
10.5-inch Pro model to take advantage of it. With iOS 11 and
the new 9.7-inch iPad, you’ll still be able to use Slide Over,
Split View, and Picture-in-Picture, as well as Drag and Drop
and the enhanced Dock like a pro. And with the new A10X chip,
switching between apps should be nearly instantaneous.

Which should you buy?

The 10.5-inch iPad Pro brings a slightly better chip (A10X vs
A10), a bigger screen, and better display tech with ProMotion
and True Tone. If those differences are worth $320 to you, then
by all means get an iPad Pro. Otherwise, save your money and buy a
9.7-inch iPad. Or two.

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