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Grow Your Business Technology

Apple iPad 9.7-inch (2017): Is It Good for Business?

Apple iPad 9.7-inch 2017 Credit: Apple

Apple's new 9.7-inch iPad isn't an Air, Mini or Pro. It's just an iPad, and it starts at just $329. Unlike its other models, this one doesn't pair with the company's Smart Keyboard or support the Apple Pencil. It will go on sale on March 24. But should you make it part of your company's productivity tools?  

The aluminum unibody shell is available in silver, gold and space gray. It measures 9.4 x 6.6 x 0.29 inches and weighs just 1.03 pounds, which is nice and compact. That's merely a hair bigger and heavier than the iPad Air 2 and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. 

The home button features the Touch ID sensor, which can keep your iPad secure. It can also be used to make purchases on Apple Pay. 

The 9.7-inch display sports a resolution of 2048 x 1536. That matches what you'd get on Apple's other tablets. It shows up to 264 pixels per inch. 

The 8-megapixel camera isn't quite as powerful as the iPad Pro's 12-megapixel camera with dual LEDs and a Sapphire crystal lens cover. The same is true of the back's 1.2-megapixel camera on the iPad vs. the 5-megapixel rear camera on the Pro. But both should be sufficient for videoconferencing. 

It's also got a slightly less powerful dual-core Apple A9 chip, but that should still be plenty powerful to get lots of multitasking done. Apple hasn't said how much RAM is included, but it should store up to a 128GB of memory. Apple says the battery should last you all day, with up to 10 hours of charge. 

The new iPad comes with iOS 10 preloaded. That includes all sorts of great business-friendly features, such as a smarter Siri and improved Continuity for working across iPhones and iPads. 

If Wi-Fi isn't an option everywhere you need to take your iPad to work, you can opt for 32GB Wi-Fi plus cellular options starting at $459. Would that LTE coverage be enough to make this your favorite work tablet? Perhaps. What's undoubtable is that this lower-cost model of an Apple full-size tablet means the company hopes you'll make the switch. 

Anna Attkisson

Anna Attkisson serves as B2B Editorial Director at Purch. She oversees technology coverage for Tom's IT Pro and Business News Daily.