Apple iPad 9.7″ (2017) 128GB

Last updated date: May 6, 2019

DWYM Score
8.8

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.

We looked at the top 1 iPads and dug through the reviews from 8 of the most popular review sites including Trusted Reviews, CNET, The Verge, Engadget, Tech Radar, PG Magazine - SE Asia, Wired, Digital Trends and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best iPad you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 95 expert reviews, the Apple Apple iPad 9.7" (2017) 128GB placed 5th when we looked at the top 13 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note May 6, 2019:
Checkout The Best Apple iPad for a detailed review of all the top ipads.

Expert Summarized Score
8.5
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.5
7,384 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Like previous iPads, the standby time is particularly impressive, which is important for a device you only use intermittently.
- Trusted Reviews
April 6, 2018 | Full review
The result is an image that looks brighter and bolder, but also has stronger on-screen reflections.
- CNET
June 9, 2017 | Full review
This is an iPad, which means the screen is quite nice and unless you are a pixel pedant you will find little to complain about.
- The Verge
April 4, 2017 | Full review
The Touch ID sensor embedded in the home button works as fast as the iPhone 6s' -- which is to say you'll probably never have trouble with it.
- Engadget
April 6, 2017 | Full review
The new iPad is cheaper than the iPad Air 2 was when it was on sale through Apple’s website.
- Tech Radar
March 28, 2018 | Full review
The new iPad has an A9 processor, which is faster than the iPad Air 2's A8 but not as powerful as the A9X in the iPad Pro or the A10 in the iPhone 7.
- PG Magazine - SE Asia
I've been carrying Apple's new, cheaper 9.7-inch iPad around for the last couple of weeks, putting the $329 tablet through its paces.
- Wired
May 8, 2017 | Full review
Features such as Split View and Slide Over allow for a quick way to deal with other tasks while focusing on something else.
- Digital Trends
April 3, 2017 | Full review
What experts didn't like
My biggest issue with the display though is the lack of lamination of the panel to the glass that sits above it.
- Trusted Reviews
April 6, 2018 | Full review
Even though this new model is slightly thicker and heavier, you'd probably have to put them side by side to notice.
- CNET
June 9, 2017 | Full review
It is also a little more reflective than the Air 2, so it's a little less nice to use outside in bright sunlight.
- The Verge
April 4, 2017 | Full review
Both pack a 9.7-inch screen running at 2,048x1,536, but the 2017 iPad's 7.5m waistline is slightly thicker than the Air 2's, and it's a little heavier, to boot.
- Engadget
April 6, 2017 | Full review
This new version is a touch thicker than the Air 2, but that’s barely noticeable considering it’s still only 7.5mm thick, which makes it easy to hold in the hand.
- Tech Radar
March 28, 2018 | Full review
Their primary upside is the same as their primary downside: Apple's quality-controlled, access-limited OS and app store, which delivers terrific experiences for average users while irritating more technical types who want to be able to get into file systems and such.
- PG Magazine - SE Asia
Unlike the iPad Pro, this one doesn't work with the Apple Pencil, and it's missing the the Smart Connector for attaching keyboards and chargers.
- Wired
May 8, 2017 | Full review
We noticed the occasional stutter when using Split View for some time, so don’t expect the same level of performance as the Pro models.
- Digital Trends
April 3, 2017 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

The new 9.7-inch iPad delivers the revolutionary iPad experience at an even more affordable price. The vivid Retina display offers an immersive viewing experience. The A9 chip provides amazing performance, yet it still delivers up to 10 hours of battery life. And the durable aluminum unibody enclosure is just 7.5 mm thin and weighs just a pound. With advanced cameras, ultrafast wireless connectivity, Touch ID, Apple Pay, iOS 10, and more than 1.3 million apps on the App Store, you can work, play, surf, and shop everywhere. Apples most popular-sized iPad is a great choice for first time iPad owners and upgraders who want to enjoy the benefits of a powerful, new iPad.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Apple iPad Pro (11-inch, Wi-Fi, 64GB)
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 9
2. Apple iPad Pro 10.5 inch
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 8
3. Apple iPad, 9.7-inch (128GB)
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 5
4. Apple iPad Pro, 12.9-inch (256GB)
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 6
5. Apple iPad 9.7″ (2017) 128GB
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 8
6. Apple iPad with WiFi
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 4
7. Apple iPad Pro 9.7
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 6
8. Apple iPad MP2G2LL/A
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 8
9. Apple iPad Air 2 MGLW2LL/A
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 6
10. Apple iPad 2 MC769LL/A
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 5
11. Apple iPad mini 4
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 9
12. Apple iPad Air MD785LL/B
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 4
13. Apple iPad Pro
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 9

An Overview On IPads

The iPad has come a long way in the years since its 2010 release. The device has gotten thinner and lighter, allowing it to increase in screen size without compromising its portability. In 2012, Apple debuted the iPad Mini, which struck the perfect compromise between smartphones and tablets.

Today, you have plenty of choices within the iPad family, from the powerful 11-inch latest iPad Pro to the 8-inch Mini. If you plan to take your tablet everywhere with you, the Mini packs a good punch while still comfortably fitting into your purse or backpack. But there is also ample reason to choose the larger versions as well, including the larger screen size and faster speeds for browsing and viewing.

Among the larger iPads, you still have two major choices to make. The standard iPad will save you some money, but those savings may not be worth it for those who plan to engage in bandwidth-consuming activities, like gaming and video streaming. You’ll likely see minimal differences between the 11-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pros since both feature the latest technologies. However, the 11-inch version does offer up to 1 terabyte of storage. So if you plan to save videos to watch later or you have an extensive music library you’d prefer to have on the device itself, it might be worth the extra expense.

Before you start shopping, though, make sure tablets are the right option for you. A laptop may be more expensive, but the convenience of a built-in keyboard can be a plus if you plan to use your device for work or school. You should also consider other tablet models to make sure the iPad is the best choice for your own unique needs. There are many advantages to the iPad, but  Android, Chrome and Windows tablets also have their own benefits.

DYWM Fun Fact

Even though the iPhone debuted three years earlier, the iPad project came first. At some point, Apple decided to temporarily pause the iPad to focus on launching the iPhone. When Steve Jobs debuted his new tablet technology in 2010, it was introduced as a new category that fell between the iPhone and the MacBook. But the iPad wasn’t the first tablet on the market — that distinction goes to Microsoft, which has been credited with coining the term “tablet PC.” However, Apple’s introduction of the iPad ushered in an era in which consumers gravitate toward smartphones and tablets rather than laptops and desktops. Although iPads are far from the only choice when it comes to tablets, they still hold a sizable share of the market.

The IPad Buying Guide

  • When it comes to size, each iPad has its own pros and cons. The latest version features an 11-inch screen, which offers plenty of viewing space. If you go all the way down to the Mini, though, the 7.9-inch screen squeezes everything down to a small size. At the same time, the size makes it far more portable.
  • Though the screen size may vary greatly, there isn’t a huge difference in size of the unit itself. The iPad Mini is 8” X 5.3”, while the newest iPad Pro is only 9.74” X 7.02”. You’ll also only save an inch in thickness by going for the Mini versus the iPad Pro.
  • When it comes to weight, though, the Mini soars. This is important if you’re planning to carry your iPad around with you. The iPad Mini weighs in at only 0.65 pounds, while all of the newer iPad Pros are 1.03 pounds.
  • Newer iPad models feature Apple’s Retina display, including both the Mini and standard versions. The Retina display reduces pixelation to give you a crisp, clear image.
  • When you’re playing games or watching movies, speed is a must. Although all of the iPads perform well in speed tests, the latest iPad Pro promises a central processing unit (CPU) that’s three times faster and graphics that are eight times faster. On the other end of the spectrum is the Mini, which has a slower CPU.
  • One thing you’ll get with the iPad Pro 11- and 10.5-inch models is Apple’s ProMotion technology, which provides a smoother, more responsive web experience.
  • As with any mobile device, battery life is a top consideration. You’ll get up to 10 hours of battery life per charge, whether you buy a Mini or the newest larger iPads.
  • The iPad is made to be portable, which means you can watch movies, listen to music and even snap photos anywhere. But storage can be limited, depending on the model you choose. The iPad Mini comes with only one storage option, 128 GB, while the standard iPad comes in either a 32 GB or 128 GB option. The 10.5-inch version of the iPad Pro provides up to 512 GB of storage, although you can go as low as 64 GB if you want to save some money. For the widest range of storage options, though, consider the newest model of the iPad Pro, which has 64 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB versions.
  • One major choice you’ll need to make when you purchase an iPad is whether you want Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi plus cellular. The Wi-Fi plus cellular model will let you access the internet even when you aren’t on a Wi-Fi network. However, in addition to adding more than $100 to the purchase price, you’ll also need to purchase an extra monthly plan from your cell phone provider, which may come with data limits.
  • If you’re working within a budget, cost is probably going to be one of the most important deciding factors. Your cheapest option will be a standard iPad on a Wi-Fi plan, but it’s neck and neck with the iPad Mini. The Wi-Fi only version of the latest iPad Pro nears $800, with cellular putting it around the $900 mark. Prices can fluctuate, though, and you can definitely find deals on iPads, especially during back-to-school season and as new editions are released.
  • No iPad purchase is complete without accessories. At the very least, you’ll need a case if you want to prop it up while you’re streaming video. Since these accessories add to the purchase price, it’s important to look into them before you buy. You may also need a keyboard and an Apple Pencil stylus.
  • iPads have a variety of applications beyond leisure time. They’ve become especially popular in the medical field, where professionals can use them for charting and accessing patient records.