The ‘entry-level’ iPad is so good, it makes you wonder if you really need the iPad Pro.
<b>Apple iPad (2018)</b>
Apple has just given its most aﬀordable iPad a refresh. However, you would be hard-pressed to tell, because it looks just like its predecessor. In fact, very little has actually changed: a new processor, support for Apple Pencil, and faster LTE connectivity. That’s it. Everything else from the dimensions to the weight, camera, and battery capacity remain unchanged.
The newest iPad now features Apple’s A10 Fusion processor, the same used in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. It is a much-welcomed change that brings about significant performance improvements.
On SunSpider, we found the new iPad to be 15% faster than the model it replaces. And on 3DMark, it achieved scores that were over 27% higher than its predecessor. In the real world, the new iPad feels noticeably faster, more fluid, and more responsive.
Despite the significant increase in performance, we found the new iPad to oﬀer much better battery life. The newest iPad lasted 45 minutes longer than last year’s version in our battery life test.
Support for Apple Pencil is another great addition because, previously, you could only use the Apple Pencil with Apple’s much pricier iPad Pro tablets. The Apple Pencil might be a premium accessory, but if you love drawing and intend to take notes on your iPad, you won’t find a better writing experience elsewhere.
The latest iPad supports 4G LTE speeds of up to 300Mbps now, which is a considerable increase from the 150Mbps of last year’s version. For users who rely a lot on cellular connectivity, this is great news.
Unfortunately, Apple decided to save the Smart Connector for the iPad Pro tablets. Fortunately, this isn’t a big deal since you can easily get a standard wireless Bluetooth keyboard to pair with the iPad.
Though the improvements don’t sound or look like much, they have a profound eﬀect on the new iPad. It is a much faster device that runs more smoothly than its predecessor. On top of that, the addition of Apple Pencil support makes the iPad much more versatile. In fact, it compares so favorably against the iPad Pro that, for most people, this is really all the tablet you will ever need.
The Apple Pencil used to be
exclusive to the iPad Pro, not
AT A GLANCE
9.7-inch, 2,048 x 1,536 pixel resolution
Apple A10 Fusion
Up to 10 hours