Hands-on with Apple's new 9.7-inch iPad for education

I am not cheap. When making technology purchase decisions, I've often bought very expensive devices. But I'm practical. When I buy something that's pricey, it's because it's what I need to do my job.

For example, it's been almost five years since I bought my current main computer[1], a 2013 iMac. I spent a whopping $3,700 for that machine, but it's been worth every penny. While previously, I'd tended to need to upgrade my main machine every 18-months or so, this machine has lasted more than three upgrade cycles.

Also: The new iMac Pro is actually cheaper than the original Mac[2]

It's my care in purchasing that has led me to avoid buying into the iPad Pro line. Oh, I have no doubt we'll eventually get the 12.9-inch model[3], but that will be for my wife's use, not mine. She wants it to read scanned-in books, and for that, the 12.9-inch model is perfect.

But, for me, the Pro models are too expensive. Unlike my desktop computers, which remain where they're planted, and smartphones, which are carried everywhere in their ruggedized cases, my tablets are often subjected to torture.

I use my tablets in the shop, where the concrete floor is just waiting to kiss the screen of an unsuspecting tablet. I use my tablets in specialty frames and jigs for filming work, swapping them from frame to jig rapidly and without the protection of a case.

I also use my tablets in the field, to help monitor drone flights[4]. They bang around in the car, hook precariously to modified controller mounts, and sometimes land,

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