The New iPad in Test: For Most It’s Better Than the iPad Pro

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The new iPad is the best tablet for a mixed use of media consumption, video games, emails, social media and general web usage. But this year Apple is able to put two proverbial shots on it. The first: the price. With 349 euros it is cheaper than ever and for the offered performance a real bargain. The second shovel: Apple is trying to reposition the iPad and now also allows for the first time on a non-Pro device, the use of the Apple Pencil and wants to attract creative but above all, students, teachers and students.

For the first time since 2013, Apple was able to record sales growth for the iPad in 2017. That might have been due to the new version of the iPad Pro with 120Hz display. On the other hand, but certainly also on the new pricing policy on which even more potential buyers may look forward to this year.

What’s in it?

Technically, there has not been much change in the leap from the 2017s the 2018 model. The design, the camera, the battery and most of the components are identical. The only bigger step is the replacement of the processor. The new model is the A10 processor, which we already know from the iPhone 7, respectively the iPhone 7 Plus. That may sound old, but with too fast a judgment one does not do justice to the A10.

The most glaring thing is the difference to the iPad Pro in terms of graphics power: here, the iPad Pro offers almost twice as much power. We note, however, that most app and game developers continue to optimize their software for the A10 processor and often even consider the A9 processor. In an iPad that is not used for the professional use of graphics or CPU-heavy apps, the A10 processor will be sufficient for years to come.

So the A10 comes with four cores and is in single-core -comparison only about 20 percent slower than the iPad Pro’s chip. In the multi-core comparison, it is already 40 percent (but 30 percent faster than the A9 processor in the iPad of 2017) – but the device costs well less than half of the iPad Pro.

Das absolute entry-level model comes with 32 gigabytes of storage space, for 90 euros more quadruples Apple’s memory to 128 gigabytes. With each additional 130 euros, one additionally buys an LTE module in the iPad, so that the maximum price is 569 euros.

The Display

Let’s get to the heart of every iPad, the screen. The new iPad model still measures 9.7 inches diagonally and offers 2048 x 1536 pixels. Both have remained unchanged since the introduction of the iPad Air. Measured by the retail price of the iPad, the display is still terrific. Technically, however, it has already gotten a bit old. Especially when compared to the iPad Pro. In that case, there is no extended P3 color space, 120 Hertz (Pro Motion) frame rate, support for HDR, and automatic adjustment of the color temperature to the environment (True Tone).

The most noticeable difference in the daily Work, however, is the structure of the screen. The distance between the protective glass layer and the actual display is significantly larger than the iPad Pro. If you have worked with an iPad Pro for a longer time, you will notice it immediately. And even for the use of the Apple Pencil has this condition adverse effects.

However, who has never worked with an iPad Pro, who will not notice anything of all these shortcomings in everyday life.

Not Everything shines

Maybe one should not be too critical at a starting price that is not only so low for Apple, two small and one big point disturb us on the new iPad. Apple has saved a few places. So stuck in the iPad only 2 gigabytes of memory. This is the same with the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 8, but in the iPad Pro models are 4 gigabytes, which is especially noticeable in terms of multitasking. Unlike the Pro, the “normal” iPad can not run three apps in parallel. Also saved was the Smart Connector. “Saved” is not quite the right word, because in the classic iPad, this interface was not yet. But in the iPad Pro and there she has paid off immediately, in which much more flexible usable keyboard cases were possible. If you buy this iPad, you still have to pair your keyboard case with Bluetooth and, above all, charge it separately, which should not only be annoying, especially for use in schools.

Apple leaves us speechless about Touch ID , The latest iPad has a Touch ID button of the first generation, which is noticeably less accurate and slower than Touch ID of the second series. Touch ID 2 is practically perfect and now also well depended technology, it was already with the iPhone 6s, so 2015 introduced.

Of course, it is clear that Apple had to find a middle ground: the new iPad should be as good as possible at a pre-defined price, but still be clearly distinguishable from the iPad Pro. To achieve this goal, Apple may like to save our opinion on every nook and corner. Camera, True-Tone and Pro-Motion functionality of the display (both in the iPad from 2018 not included) – but please do not Touch ID!

Apple Pencil

The real surprise in this year’s iPad update was that you can now can also use the “Otto Normal iPad” in conjunction with the Apple Pencil. Apple Pencil is Apple’s version of the stylus, which can be directly connected to the socket of the iPad via Lightning, which connects to it via Bluetooth and can transmit various additional information such as pressure and angle of inclination to the iPad.

In the meantime support Numerous Apps Apple’s newest input device, from image-editing apps like Pixelmator to note apps like GoodNotes. After you’ve always been able to use the Pencil in Apple’s own notes app, this year, Pages, Numbers and Keynote have finally been updated so that you can now draw directly into documents or leave notes with the Pencil.

While there is only one Apple Pencil, its use varies considerably depending on the iPad. In the normal iPad, the glass is not laminated to the display, which leads to the above-mentioned greater distance between the two layers to each other. Drawing on it with the Pencil feels a bit wrong when compared to the iPad Pro. Another difference we did not expect: the pencil is noticeably louder on the new iPad. This, too, is related to the design of the screen and makes the overall work of art seem more plastic, even “cheaper.”

Drawing on the iPad is not as successful on the iPad as it is on the iPad Pro. This is likely due to the lack of pro-motion technology. The screen content of the iPad Pro is renewed up to twice as fast as on the iPad.

However, these are both effects that you only become aware of when you’re used to working with the iPad Pro. Test persons from our private environment, who did not have this pleasure so far, were thrilled with the possibilities of the Apple Pencil in connection with the new iPad. So we complain at a very high level.

Nevertheless, the pencil is not useful for everyone. Especially when you consider that Apple requires 100 euros for it. For the same price you also get, for example, the Logitech Slim Folio Case with integrated Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad. An accessory that should be the more sensible choice for most users when it forces you to choose your budget. Anyway, that’s probably the biggest problem of the new iPad. Apple has made the entry cheaper than ever, but to really work with it and get creative, are still costs for a lot of accessories added.

Conclusion

Despite the alleged shortcomings listed above, a conclusion on an iPad is seldom easier for us than for this device. Because almost everything we have to criticize, is only in direct comparison with the iPad Pro on. And even if you are aware of the differences, you have to ask yourself if they are actually worth at least 380 euros. That’s the minimum price difference to the iPad Pro.
The 2018 iPad model is by far the best tablet that you can buy for less than $ 500 and is the better choice for most people. Even those who have the mentioned 380 Euro left will probably be happier if he invests them in more storage space, a keyboard case and the Apple Pencil than in an upgrade to the iPad Pro.

Test Result
Product Name iPad (2018)
Manufacturer Apple
Price 349
website www.apple.de
Pro
  • Modern device for competitive price
  • Apple Pencil support
  • Sufficiently fast for all everyday tasks and even slightly beyond
Contra
  • First Generation Touch ID

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