Apple Intros Cheaper, More Powerful iPads

Apple today introduced an updated iPad, featuring a brighter 9.7-inch Retina display, faster CPU, more memory and a cheaper $329 base price.

The key changes for mobile musicians are:

  • The upgraded A9 CPU should be significantly faster. The A9-powered iPad Pro is about twice as fast as the earlier iPad Air 2.
  • The new iPad is 20% thicker than the iPad Air it replaces, about the same as the original iPad Air.
  • Baseline memory has been doubled to 32GB.

The new iPad retains the same connectivity as the iPad Air 2, and does not include support for Apple Pro features, like Apple Pencil.

Pricing & Availability

The new iPad is available to order beginning Friday, March 24, priced starting at US $329 for the 32GB with Wi-Fi model and $459 (US) for the 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

61 thoughts on “Apple Intros Cheaper, More Powerful iPads

  1. so stingey with the storage tho.. baseline at this point should be 64gb . they keep touting it as a computer make it worth while

    1. 30% of the users of an iPad are using models up to the first Air model. For all those users this is a very compelling update, a kind of iPad SE. Apple will sell lots of this new model 2017.

  2. Just when i thought apple was no longer making low end models.
    About 8 months ago apple ipad airs disapperaed, ipad air 2 hard to find, then going into walmart 6 months ago only thing on display for sale, ,ipad mini4, ipad pro 9.7. there was no airs anywhere.
    If i am going to get a 7 inch tablet, i feel better in 200 price range, and if i need 10 inch for my eyes to see I should have to spend 600 to do it.
    Now now that i am not going to have to but one now, but if I need to get a replacement or if someone else needs to get in to large screen but doe not need pro come on

      1. I too am disappointed with the color choices. I want a candy apple red with a dual white Shelby Cobra racing stripes down the back. Apple better get on the ball or I’ll buy from some other company with better color choices!

  3. only a lightning port needs a couple adapters just to get audio and power. then midi or audio interface? maybe i don’t understand how to bring this into a world with hardware. and crippling size.

    1. need some more commas

      i agree there should be an interface with multi audio and multi midi, right now its either or
      I like to see something like the x-18 but with 4-8 audio out on case and 4 midi in and out so you can turn the ipad into a portable workstation

      The coolest setup would be with ipad on top with a protective cover, audio 8 in , 4 out, 4 midi in 6 out, with at the ability to use another ipad though the lightning connector for aux control and sound

        1. PAY ATTENTION
          more than one midi
          more than stero
          there is a bunch with midi and audio combined
          BUT NONE
          32 or more midi and 4 or more audio
          I am tired of seeing this 300 peice gear that keeps coming out

          Yes the iconnect is starting to annoy me

      1. iPad has no dedicated headphone jack and hardware has no wifi or bluetuth. I’m talking about using this without/instead of a computer…isnt that the point?

        1. yes, i am talking about using the ipad as the computer in my setup, and why not, with capacity to record 16 audio channels and have less hiccups than some windows machines.’Strange thing if i have a desktop computer i could get an 8 port midi and 16 port audio (in 2 separate racks units)
          but i would like to have a streamlined setup. just look at behringer x-18 and now add some more midi and audio outs and you have the winning ticket

      1. I used to be a cloud hater but…meh, it’s only a 1 dollar a month for 50gbs, the simplicity of not having to copy over 50 gigs of crap every time you get a new device is worth the 12 bucks a year.

    1. Unfortunately, to get a Surface Pro 4 that’s faster, you’ll need to spend $800 more than the entry-level iPad.

      And then your battery will only last half as long, because the Surface Pro isn’t optimized for battery life, it’s optimized for being used as a desktop computer.

      And then you still won’t have a tablet with any software that’s designed for multi-touch computing, because there’s not enough interest in the Surface Pro 4 platform to get developers to write for it.

      But if you want to file down your index finger and try to use Ableton Live’s tiny controls on it, enjoy laughing about it all you like!

  4. Yay, will definitely get one. With Touchable, Lemur, Patchbase and many other apps in the studio a second iPad comes in handy. 32 GB is fine for me, in the age of Netflix and Spotify I don’t see the need to store anything.

    1. I don’t think it is storage as much as apps. If you install a couple of games on there you will use something like half of the 32gb – the 128 is about $100 more so it may be worth it for that.

      1. probably would not so bad if the OS itself to so many gigs
        remember when the OS was only 500 megs or even 40 megs?

  5. There’s a few things I hate about Apple’s philosophy…. mainly, “would it kill them to allow micro SD expansion?” But there are those, that the second a new product is launched (and I don’t consider this new) you’d think Apple had a long and torturous history of flooding the market with junk. Their stuff works and works extremely well for most people. So why the constant condemnation?

  6. I hear they’ll also come up with something called a personal computer where you would actually have a file system and usb ports

    1. Cmon man, why do you need any of that apple can manage your files and your devices that you purchase through apple that can wirelessly connect to only apple devices. If apple determines that you don’t have enough storage you can always purchase more apple devices or storage on apple’s servers…. isn’t it great?

  7. wth is with the storage options of 32gb and 128gb – that is like offering a 5 inch and a 17 inch version…. you would think they would either start at 64 or top at 64….

  8. This has to be one of the more ridiculous comment threads I’ve seen here in a while. It’s a stupidly powerful computer that you can hold in your hands and control with your fingers. You can access most of recorded history, talk to friends, play synthesizers, do multi-track recording, read or write books, watch or make movies… Anywhere. For 330 dollars.

    I could easily bitch about Apple all day without pause but c’mon.

      1. Well, Synthtopia usually demands mandatory gripes about anything for any reason: if it’s Apple it’s too expensive/limited/non-Windows/non-Android. If it’s software it can never, ever be as good as hardware. If it’s hardware it’s overpriced compared to cheap software plug-ins and mobile apps. If it’s digital it sucks because it’s not analog. If it’s Behringer it’s too cheaply made to be good and probably “stolen” from the original inventors. If it’s mobile or compact or has mini-keys it’s a cheap (or overpriced, in the case of the OP-1) toy unsuitable for real music making. If it’s Moog (or analog) it’s too expensive because they could sell a million of them at $100 each. If it’s DCO it’s not real analog. If it’s DSI it’s too expensive/buggy/not a Prophet 5. If it was made in the last decade it doesn’t sound as good as classic synths. If it’s a video then the music sucks/recording quality is bad/people are too old-uncool-ugly or too young-fake-hipsterish. If it’s classic it’s boring and unoriginal. If it’s modern it’s not as good as the classics. If it’s new and from Roland it sucks on general principle.

        I seem to remember mostly positive comments about Theremin performances, but I’m probably misremembering things.

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