The new iPad (6th gen) with the 9.7-inch display has something for everyone - whether you are a gamer, student, artist or a video buff. Like the previous generation 9.7-inch iPads, the new iPad is excellent for content consumption, but what sets it apart is the inclusion of Apple Pencil (until now available only for iPad Pro) for taking notes or making sketches, making it relevant for content creators too. However, it needs to be purchased separately for `7,600.
Using the smart annotation feature (in beta) in the Pages app, I was able to draw and write over the text, convert it into PDF and share it. All this is possible with the finger as well, but is much easier with the Pencil - its touch response is flawless.
It is been priced at roughly `20,000 less than the iPad Pro 10.5-inch albeit with a few compromises. While the 9.7-inch display has a 2,048x1,536 resolution with 264ppi and fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating, it is not fully laminated. It lacks anti-reflective coating, ProMotion technology, wide colour display and TrueTone display. But you will hardly notice the shortfall if you haven't used the iPad Pro.
The improvised iOS11 brings a lot of productivity features to this iPad. It has a dock for easy access of the most used apps, ability to open two apps in split view without closing a running app, drag and drop images between multiple apps and more. There is also a Files app that stores docs and PDFs. Those who work on Word, Excel and PowerPoint can download Microsoft apps from the App Store or instal the Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps for free and use the export option to convert them into compatible MS Office formats. It does not support Apple's Smart Keyboard but you can connect the iPad to a third-party Bluetooth keyboard.
The iPad's A10 chipset and rear camera offer a good experience while using AR apps and playing games. The two speakers at the bottom ensure adequate sound output for a small room.