There’s nothing wrong with my previous iPad really. It’s done me well especially on travels and when I’m in between meetings and waiting for the kids at their extra curricular activities. But when I checked out the latest iPad and Apple Pencil, I can see how the newest edition could sway me to upgrade.

Recently Apple released the iPad with 9.7″ Retina Display and I decided to take it for a test drive along side the compatible Apple Pencil — which I actually love using. No surprise for me as I’m a very tactile person. Feeling is everything. For me, it gave me more creative flexibility. As a constant doodler and someone who has always had a notebook beside the bed at night to jot down thoughts, the Pencil experience gives me more strokes and precision with what I’m doing — work and play.

So, what’s new on the latest iPad? All the tech talk is out there (if you understand it) but when it comes down it, we really want to know how it fits into our lifestyle and is it worth it, right? Plus the price point (starting at $429) is very appealing especially for the power it gives. So, after exploring the device, here’s what I really love…

9.7 inch Retina Display: When you look at this iPad screen, images are so crisp and sharp to the human eye. gone are the days of seeing graininess (or pixels you’ll often here them called). This is by far the sharpest of them all. So, my aging eyes really appreciate the quality in the images I’m see in whether I’m reading an article on the Meghan Markle’s fashionable nods to Canadian designers or when I’m streaming my Netflix shows, the quality is amazing. The 8-megapixel camera is amazing! Needless to say you’ll have stunning photos. If you take videos, you’ll notice even better stabilization – so less Blair Witch Project and smoother movements.

A10 Fusion Chip:What does that mean? It all comes down to speed and quality. This powerful chip makes apps launch faster and is able to jump seamlessly between apps on whatever you’re doing. An example is me writing  up my articles. I’ve been able to take photos (or transport them from my phone via iCloud), edit and share them — multitasking that I would have normally done on my main computer is even easier now to do on the go. You can run several apps simultaneously without missing a beat. And if you’re a gamer, or you plan to share this iPad with another person in the family (hello kids), you’ll notice just how amazing the graphics are particularly with newer games.

Augmented Reality: Don’t overlook this exciting technology that not just for fun stuff. AR brings a whole new level of digital experience that’s not just limited to games. I’ve seen a growing number of practical uses from interior design floor plan layouts to exploring artwork located in museums around the world. With this new iPad the larger Retina display offers an ideal lens to interact with these AR apps. The device responds faster and smoother than ever before. I had a chance to check out the app, Froggipedia that offers a view of the anatomy in AR. A fascinating viewpoint beyond any textbook visual. My nephew will get a kick out of that next time I see him.

Supports Apple Pencil: with more versatility and precision in writing, drawing, taking notes and even adding markups on documents. The Pencil was pretty easy for me to figure out and I would suggest simply playing around with it to get a sense of all it can do. Honestly it brought back my love for drawing as a hobby. It was fun to incorporate photos within my doodles to add what we can’t really do on paper anymore. Since we are a new puppy family, it was fun to use the iPad to make some fun notes for the family as well. I downloaded the Linea Sketch app to bring my thoughts (and my doodles) together effortlessly. The layering ability makes it easy to go back to make additions and changes easily.

It delivers up to 10 hours battery life: When you take a device with you on your commute, there’s always the worry about battery life. It isn’t always easy to find a coffee shop to recharge batteries. I was impressed that on a 12 hour journey to the East Coast, the iPad was able to deliver reliable battery life.

This iPad will last quite some time for most people with the power and what it can do. Beginners as well as upgraders – this is a good time to invest in this if you’ve been thinking about it. The iPad also has accessories like an attachable keyboard if you feel you need it. I sure did when I travelled and had to get into do a bit of work, stream my Netflix etc, but not enough that would require me to bring a larger laptop and fitting comfortably in handbag. And a bonus? It weighs just about 1 lb! Perfect for on the go!

The new iPad is available in 32 GB and 128 GB.