Final month, Apple revealed and launched the Eighth-generation iPad. You might need forgotten; it was overshadowed by a radically redesigned iPad Air, two new Apple Watches, and different bulletins from the corporate. However nonetheless, that is prone to be one of the in style iPads, if not the hottest in Apple’s lineup due to one factor: worth.

At $329 with 32GB of storage and $429 with 128GB, it will be ubiquitous in environments the place cutting-edge options aren’t referred to as for, like point-of-sale, industrial use, and in colleges. However it’s additionally going to be a content material consumption gadget for a wide selection of shoppers.

All that mentioned, there’s little or no totally different about this 12 months’s iPad in comparison with the final. In reality, all of it comes right down to efficiency. So we’ll go over simply that right now, together with a number of fast notes on the way it compares to the earlier mannequin.


Apple iPad (Eighth-gen)

(Ars Technica could earn compensation for gross sales from hyperlinks on this submit via affiliate packages.)

So why is that this a “micro-review?” Effectively, as a result of there’s not a lot to evaluate. In nearly each manner besides the silicon inside, that is final 12 months’s iPad. It has the identical dimensions, is made out of the identical supplies, and has the identical rear digital camera and display screen. (The front-facing digital camera has ƒ/2.Four aperture, whereas final 12 months’s was ƒ/2.2, in response to Apple’s specs pages.)

The identical downsides that I talked about final 12 months are largely nonetheless current. There are nonetheless solely two storage choices: 32GB and 128GB, neither of that are sufficient for individuals downloading plenty of high-quality movies and video games for an extended journey. The bezels are nonetheless fairly giant by trendy requirements.

The Apple Pencil is rather less good to make use of on this show than on the higher-end iPads, and additional, it solely helps the first-generation Pencil. The cameras are nonetheless mediocre, and the audio system solely ship stereo audio when held in portrait orientation—the way in which you’re least prone to be utilizing it when watching a video for which stereo audio could be worthwhile, naturally.

Specs at a look: 2020 Apple iPad
Display screen2160×1620 10.2-inch (264PPI) pressure-sensitive touchscreen for the mini
OSiOS 13.1
CPUApple A12
GPUApple A12
Storage32GB or 128GB
Networking802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 (LTE non-compulsory add-on)
PortsLightning, 3.5mm headphone jack
Digicam8MP rear digital camera,1.2MP entrance digital camera
Measurement9.8×6.8×0.29 inches (250.6×174.1×7.5mm)
Weight1.08 kilos (490g) for Wi-Fi mannequin; 1.09 kilos (495g) for mobile
Beginning worth$329
Different perksApple Pencil assist, Sensible Keyboard assist

However, certainly one of my largest criticisms of 2019’s iPad was efficiency on the A10—not that it was too gradual for present use circumstances, essentially, but it surely didn’t instill confidence within the longevity of the gadget. The A12 is far quicker than the A10, in contrast, and in contrast to the A10, it has all the foremost parts essential to drive Apple’s present slate of huge iOS options.

It’s additionally probably a great funding by way of long-term assist; Apple indicated to app-makers that the A12 could be an vital baseline for some time to return at its developer convention this 12 months.

However for me not less than, there’s nearly one thing comfy about this now-older iPad design. The iPad Professional and the brand new Air are notably totally different in design and elegance than this unit, which follows extra instantly within the footsteps of all of the iPads that got here earlier than it. No, it will not flip any heads, but it surely’s acquainted, and as a pill, it is higher than the rest in its worth vary.

The large sacrifice you are making by going with this iPad as an alternative of the Professional or the brand new Air is that it helps neither Apple’s trackpad-equipped Magic Keyboard nor its second-generation Pencil. All the opposite variations are nice-to-haves however not important.

However this gadget is positioned as a finances possibility, and the pill by itself solely prices a bit of bit greater than a Magic Keyboard. I level that out in order to say that it is unlikely these pricy peripherals you are lacking out on would have been on the desk even when this iPad did assist them—this can be a pill, not a productiveness machine, and it is about finances, not costly attachments. So far as its use circumstances, it’s an old-school iPad, via and thru.

There’s nothing in any respect improper with that. If somebody got here to me asking what pill to purchase they usually instructed me they are not trying to make use of it like a laptop computer for heavy-duty work, I might don’t have any reservations about recommending it over the competitors. That is partly due to the efficiency.


We ran our ordinary suite of artificial benchmarks on this iPad, anticipating it to carry out in step with beforehand launched A12 units. As you’ll be able to see under, that is typically the case.

That is an enormous soar in efficiency over final 12 months’s mannequin—which had the now-four-years-old A10—and it is largely in step with final 12 months’s iPad Air, which had the identical chip as this unit. (That additionally means this iPad ought to typically present efficiency corresponding to that of the 2019 iPad mini and 2018’s iPhone XS and XR.) When it comes to CPU duties, it is a lot quick sufficient for something you’d use it for.

Graphics, although, are extra of a combined bag—particularly in comparison with the vastly costlier iPad Professional. This is not a really perfect pill for demanding 3D gaming, but it surely ought to be fantastic for different kinds of video games, and it is greater than satisfactory for any form of video you need to watch.


The 2020 iPad is extra of the identical, and few will complain about that. It combines an older-iPad-Air-like chassis with the A12, a two-year-old chip that Apple has recognized because the baseline for its most cutting-edge apps, options, and content material.

Whereas the design appears to be like a bit of dated now, it is adequate for the value—and it would not damage that you should utilize the trackpad-less Sensible Keyboard with it, in addition to the first-generation Apple Pencil.

That mentioned, there are some massive sacrifices in comparison with the higher-end tablets Apple sells: there is not any edge-to-edge display screen, the display screen’s design makes the Pencil much less enjoyable to make use of, the speaker system would not work in each orientations, it would not assist the Magic Keyboard, and graphics efficiency is simply OK in comparison with many different Apple devices.

That is the best iPad for teenagers and most business makes use of together with point-of-sale—but it surely additionally delivers all of the fundamentals for individuals who simply need a good pill for content-consumption however aren’t planning to make use of it as a each day driver for productiveness.

Oh, and it nonetheless has a headphone jack—which is an efficient factor for a finances gadget, because it would not be cheap to count on entry-level consumers to spring for pricy wi-fi headphones. (Inform that to the iPhone SE staff, too, please.)

Typically, the tried stays true.

The great

  • Inexpensive pricing for a pill of this high quality
  • Very sturdy efficiency for this worth
  • A12 ensures some extent of longevity of assist
  • Nonetheless has a headphone jack
  • Sensible Keyboard and first-generation Pencil assist

The unhealthy

  • The display screen is not so good as that on the Professional—or probably the brand new Air—for Pencil use, amongst different issues
  • Restricted storage choices
  • Audio system solely ship stereo audio in portrait mode
  • Older design with large-ish bezels

The ugly

  • No assist for Magic Keyboard or the second-generation Apple Pencil

Itemizing picture by Samuel Axon


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here