Apple’s latest iPad launched this month with relatively little fanfare – a minor re-working of the iPad Air line (though dropping the ‘Air’ moniker). It’s a budget play by Apple, looking to attract attention with its $329 (£339, AU$469) asking price.
It’s a good job that the price is relatively affordable for an iPad then as, according to a new iFixit teardown, the new 9.7-inch iPad is all but identical to its original Air predecessor.
Aside from the addition of the Touch ID sensor (which uses the full button press style rather than the iPhone’s 3D Touch method), all that’s really changed is the removal of the mechanical lock, a solitary speaker grille row and smaller microphone holes.
iFixit also calls into question Apple’s claim that the new iPad has a “brighter” Retina display. It may be brighter than the Air 2, but not necessarily the first Air, with Apple “reverting to the unfused display design of the Air 1” according to iFixit.
As for overall repairability, the new iPad scores a lowly 2 out of 10 from the teardown specialists. Relying on loads of glue and adhesives, you stand a good chance of doing greater damage to the tablet than managing to fix it.
Still, in terms of bang for your buck, the new iPad still looks set to be a solid tablet. Keep an eye out for our full review in the coming days – but perhaps start considering one of those Apple Care plans in the meantime.