The most popular iPad Apple ever released was the iPad 2, it was especially beloved by schools and to this day, 6 years after it release we are still seeing them come in to the shop. Recently however we have decided to stop servicing them, the age of the device means that the value you get from having it repaired is severely diminished by the lack of remaining life expectancy. Apple puts that life expectancy at only 3 years so any remaining iPad 2s have already survived twice that long and as such it is no longer economical for our customers to have them fixed. The more recent iPads (Air 2 and Pro) are fairly expensive devices with equivalently expensive repair costs that haven’t really appealed to the education market (Not helped by the growing popularity of the Chromebooks).
Apple seems to be aiming to regain that education market with their latest tablet offering, the iPad 5. Similar to the iPhone SE, the iPad 5 uses an older design (iPad Air) with a combination of older and newer hardware. It was released just 2 weeks ago and we now know enough about the device’s features, price and internal design to say that we think Apple have done a great job of producing an excellent device for the education sector and here are our top 5 reasons why:
1. Easy to Upgrade & Use
Apples mobile operating system (iOS) prides itself on ease of use and switching over from older model iPads onto these new iPads will be a breeze. Schools changing from Android devices may feel somewhat constrained by the iOS environment, but if anything that is a plus considering the need to restrict the usage on these devices in an education environment.
2. Supports Modern Versions of IOS
As of July last year Apple released iOS 10 which introduced a slew of new and improved features to their mobile devices, sadly iPad 2 & 3 users never got to see these features as these older devices were simply not able to support the powerful new operating system. The iPad 4 made the cut but only just and is likely to dropped with the next major iteration of the software, the iPad 5 on the the other hand should be powerful enough to take advantage of several years’ worth of software upgrades so you’ll have access to all the latest iOS goodies for some time.
The iPad 5 is the cheapest full sized iPad ever released with a starting cost of just $539, this is a heck of a lot cheaper than the equivalently sized iPad Pro which starts at almost twice as much ($999) and is even slightly cheaper than its 1.5-year-old mini counterpart ($659). Considering the hardware you are getting for that cost this tablet probably represents the best value for money device Apple have ever released.
4. Internal Hardware
The iPad 5 has some significant hardware upgrades over the old iPad 2/3/4 most schools are familiar with, while they are still not as powerful as the iPad Pro’s they pack some impressive hardware for their cost. The iPad 5s are running Apple’s A9 chipset with 2GB of RAM, plenty of power for any classroom tasks and able to run two simultaneous full applications side by side. The only thing this slightly older chipset is likely to struggle with are extremely high level graphic applications and games which are unlikely to be required in an education setting. The iPad 5 is also running a reasonable good camera set up similar to the iPad Air 2, the rear camera manages 8MP Pictures and 1080P Video while the front puts out 1.2 MP Pictures and 720P Video.
5. Cheaper to repair
Any teacher can tell you that combining children (and teens) with technology inevitably leads to breakages, after all getting to see how much damage you can do before something breaks is an important part of growing up. The most common breakage on a tablet will always be the weakest point, the glass. The iPad Air 2 and Pros are much more expensive to fix the screens than previous generations as the glass and LCD on these models are fused together into one assembly, so even you have only broken the glass the whole LCD assembly has to be replaced. The iPad 5 however takes its cues from older models where the glass and LCD are separate components allowing repairers to replace just the glass and saving the customer quite a bit of money.
While the SE was an attempt to get users of the 5, 5c and 5s models to upgrade, the iPad 5 represents a similar push to get users of older iPads to upgrade their tablets and it is a very tempting push indeed. It’s particularly aimed at the education and business sectors but is also a great buy for anyone looking to get a fairly powerful modern iPad without breaking the bank.