New iPad
Apple launched a refreshed version of its 9.7-inch iPad Pro tablet on March 21, 2017. Apple

Apple launched a new $329 tablet — iPad on March 21. The new tablet, which is a look-alike of the 2013 model iPad Air 1, has triggered speculations if Apple launched a refreshed version of the same tablet.

On Thursday, iFixit posted its teardown of the iPad on its website and compared the two devices — iPad 2017 to iPhone SE on them being refurbished versions of older models. The company concluded that the new iPad does have some improvements over the original iPad Air, but the uncanny similarity between the two is hard to ignore.

Read: 9.7-inch iPad Unveiled By Apple

iFixit found that many of the components used in the 2017 tablet were the same as those of iPad Air 1. When it swapped the digitizer and LCD from the original iPad air with the one in the new iPad, the company found that the digitizer worked, although the LCD had backlight problems. But, when it used the new iPad’s display in iPad Air 1, it found that the display worked perfectly, indicating that both tablets had the same display controller.

Furthermore, the company’s findings indicated that backlighting problem emerged because of Apple’s use of a new unfused display design with no lamination and coating. In both tablets, the LCD was easy to remove once the front panel was separated from the iPad, although since the front panel was glued to the rest of the device, the chances of cracking the display during repair were high. It also found that both tablets use the same battery packs.

Read: New iPad vs. iPad Pro 2

In conlusion, the teardown revealed that Apple had a similar design philosophy components for both the devices.. That being said, Apple isn’t selling you exactly the same device. Some key differences between both the tablets include:

  • A camera upgrade: The rear camera of the iPad has been bumped up to 8-megapixels from iPad Air 1’s 5-megapixels.
  • TouchID fingerprint sensor: The introduced security feature was missing in the iPad Air 1.
  • No lock switch: The proprietary Apple feature isn’t present on the iPad, unlike iPad Air 1.
  • A9 processor: The iPad has a 64-bit A9 processor, compared to the iPad Air 1’s 32-Bit A7.
  • iOS 10.3: The iPad comes with iOS 10.3, while the iPad Air 1 came with iOS 9

In case, you are disappointed with the iPad's budget features, you needn't despair as the tablet might not be the only Apple tablet launched in 2017. Apple is expected to launch a 10.5 –inch iPad Pro 2 premium tablet at its Spaceship Campus in Apple Park on April 4.