What price glory? Not that long ago I wrote about how an new $4,999 iMac Pro is a bargain when compared to a $2,495 Mac from 1984. I bought one of those and loved it. No, it didn’t do much. The only apps available were MacWrite and MacPaint. Today, an iMac Pro is less expensive– in 1984 dollars– and bristles with productivity apps.
Back in 2010 Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPad for $499 and the device sold like crazy for a few years. This week Apple introduced yet another new entry-level iPad for $329 ($299 for education) and it is vastly superior in every way to the original from 2010.
The $329 iPad is thinner, lighter, faster. It has 32GB of storage, a Retina display, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Touch ID fingerprint scanner. This iPad runs iOS 11.x and half a million iOS applications. Options include more storage (128GB), a cellular option, and the choice of three colors. Oh, and it supports Apple Pencil. Just like iPad Pro.
So, what’s the difference between an entry-level iPad at $329 and an iPad Pro?
If we compare Apple to apples, the iPad Pro is a 10.5-inch model that starts at $649. That’s $320 more. Or, put another way, just a few dollars short of twice as much as the entry level model.
iPad Pro has four colors, Wi-Fi, a cellular option, Touch ID, and weighs about the same, but starts with 64GB of storage. iPad Pro also features a Smart Connector with an option for an extra cost Smart Keyboard. Both the iPad Pro and iPad can handle inexpensive Bluetooth keyboards.
Is the $320 difference worth it?
Wait. There’s more. Differences.
iPad Pro features an A10X chip with superior graphics performance, a 12-megapixel camera, P3 wide color and True Tone display with ProMotion technology, and a whole bunch of goodies not available in the entry-level iPad.
The 9.7-inch iPad can be bumped up to 128GB of storage for $100 more, while the iPad Pro models top out at 512GB of storage starting at $999.
In other words, there is a huge difference in performance and price between the two iPad models, Pro and entry level. Do you get what you pay for?
The differences are minor if all you do on an iPad is iWork, Safari, Mail, Calendar, Messages, a few apps here and there, and some games. Both devices run iOS 11.x and both have mostly full access to the half million or so iOS applications. Both can use Apple Pencil.
The new entry-level iPad is a bargain. But iPad Pro is not exactly a slouch, and sufficiently powerful that it can take the place of a more expensive MacBook notebook.
Here’s the problem.
The future is Face ID; not Touch ID. There is little doubt that future iPad Pro models will work much as iPhone X works today. Smaller and thinner bezels, Face ID, more powerful CPU and camera.
WWDC in June?
What we saw the past few weeks was a flurry of sales for the older iPad and iPad mini pro. Apple only puts items on sale– usually at third party retailers– when new products are on the way. When the iPad Pro models show up at Best Buy or elsewhere with a hefty discount, you know that new models are on the way.
And, yes, the new iPad is a dirt cheap bargain; relative to the original, and relative to iPad Pro.