If you’re in the market for an iPad (and you can’t see yourself using an Apple Pencil), you shouldn’t rule out last year’s 9.7-inch model. Sure, its near-identical modern-day cousin is hogging the spotlight these days, but that relative lack of attention means steep cuts on the 2017 variety grow more common by the day. Normally these discounts only get you down to $280 or so (down from the usual retail of $330), but Walmart is currently offering the 2017 32GB 9.7-inch iPad for an impressive $249.
We’ve seen it at these numbers before, although only for a day or so at a time. In this case, there’s no telling when it will jump back up to a higher price, although it may not be for long as competing retailers like Best Buy are still selling the model for around $30 more.
Still, Walmart’s pricing makes this an excellent buy if you plan on using it as a practical tool for the office, school, or simple media consumption.
Even without the Apple Pencil (which isn’t supported with this model), it still performs almost all tasks quickly and efficiently. It’s built with all the iPad’s usual multitasking features and the 9.7-inch size is perfectly suited for virtually every task. It’s neither too big nor too small. In our review— written long before we knew that this year’s iPad was on the way—we said that “it’s a better choice than the iPad Pro for a lot of users” and that remains true today.
Keep in mind, though, that if you want Apple Pencil support and a faster processor, you’re going to want to go ahead and plunk down some extra cash for the newer model. But if you’re looking for the iPad experience at its most classic and dependable (and without the need to worry about accessories), this deal is one of the best you can get.