Eighth-generation iPad brings power boost

Review: Latest iPad is perfect for tablet newcomers.

iPad (8th generation) works with the first-generation Apple Pencil and can act as a digital notebook.

Product name: iPad (8th gen)

Price: €392.5

Where to buy: www.apple.com

Website: www.apple.com

Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 06:04


iPad (8th generation)

When Apple held its iPad event a few weeks ago, most attention was on the Apple Watch and iPad Air. That’s not surprising, given the redesign that made it look more like the iPad Pro Lite than the original Air.

As a result, you may have missed the eighth generation iPad that was also unveiled at the same event.

The eighth generation of the iPad looks remarkably similar to the previous version. Outwardly, you couldn’t tell them apart. However, never judge a book by its cover. The internal workings of the iPad have been boosted, with the faster A12 chip which also brings Apple’s neural engine to the regular iPad for the first time. It still has the same screen – a 10.2-inch display – and supports Apple’s smart keyboard. The camera is the same, as is the storage capacity. The new iPad also supports the Apple Pencil, like its seventh-generation predecessor, but only the first generation of the smart stylus.

Power bump

So why is the 8th gen iPad the tablet that you need? The A12 Bionic chip means the iPad is fast, with a 40 per cent bump in CPU power, and twice the graphics power of its predecessor. You can see that when playing games; there are no stutters or slowing of the frame rate.

Available in wifi only or wifi and mobile data, the iPad is the perfect introduction for newcomers to tablets. It keeps the fingerprint reader for biometric logins; the front-facing camera is the same as its predecessor, so no FaceID here. That may well suit some people, particularly if you have multiple users for a single tablet. One of the flaws with FaceID is that the devices can only log a single face, although you can register an alternate ID if you wear glasses. Conversely, you can register multiple fingerprints for both hands with Touch ID.

Smart keyboard

Regardless of whether you are using it for work or leisure, the tablet delivers. It works with the first generation Apple Pencil, so it can act as a digital notebook. If you pay extra for the smart keyboard, you also get a decent cover that functions as a stand as well as a keyboard, so you can work comfortably.

The 10.2 inch screen is a good size for binge-watching on Netflix (or Apple TV, the free introductory offers for which has been extended for another few months). The iPad doesn’t have the beefed-up speakers of the Pro, which means if you want really immersive sound you will have to crack out some headphones, but the speakers are still loud enough to cope with video.

The real bonus for the iPad though is its price. At just under €400, it is significantly cheaper than the iPad Pro, and more than €270 cheaper than the iPad Air. And while you may sacrifice a few things to get to that price, they are things that the average user could probably do without, especially when it means that much of a discount.