The new iPad 2018 is the best one yet, except for this one weird thing
Apple’s latest affordable iPad brings essential upgrades over its already excellent predecessor.
They include a faster processor, which enables the tablet to run augmented reality apps and games, and support for the Apple Pencil. The new features make the full-size slate—which starts at AED1,349—a great tool for students.
Apple's Sleek Signature Design Remains the Same
The new iPad looks exactly like the model it replaces. There's literally no cosmetic difference between the 2017 and the 2018 iterations. The newcomer is also available in the same trio of colors—silver, gold, and space gray.
The sleek metal body of the new iPad is as exceptionally well-crafted as you would expect from an Apple product. The 9.7-inch Retina display is sharp and immersive, so it’s a great canvas for all the apps and games iOS has to offer. There's a fingerprint sensor sitting below the screen (in portrait mode) and a pair of bottom-firing stereo speakers.
Overall, if you have ever used an iPad in your life, you'll feel instantly familiar with this 2018 iteration. If you're a first-time buyer, it might take you a few minutes to get used to the hardware.
The new iPad is powered by the Apple A10 Fusion chip. The component debuted in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and it offers a 40% bump in CPU performance and 50% faster graphics, compared to the already speedy A9 chip found in the tablet’s predecessor.
The updated chipset makes the iPad effortlessly fluid and capable of handling any task you throw at it with ease. You can also enjoy the App Store’s finest graphic-intensive games without dropping a single frame.
Having a more powerful processor also makes Apple’s affordable iPad capable of running augmented reality apps and games. This is a really impressive performance feat for a tablet in this price range.
The A10 Fusion chip is great for taking advantage of the side-by-side multitasking capabilities in iOS 11, too. The new iPad easily runs two apps side by side, allowing you to keep tabs on crucial updates of your Twitter feed while you're also conquering a spreadsheet.
iOS is the Best Platform for Tablets
It’s hardly news that Apple iOS is the best platform for tablets available today. It offers an amazing selection of apps and games to help you stay creative, productive, and entertained at all times.
The App Store offers a great selection of augmented reality apps and games, including ones that are great for learning. For example, we were able to learn the anatomy of a frog without hurting one with the help of Froggipedia.
Having a device with Apple iOS also ensures that you'll receive timely updates and security patches for years. In this instance, the tech giant is truly in a league of its own.
Superb Apple Pencil Experience
Having the option to use a tool as powerful as the Apple Pencil in this price point is nothing short of remarkable. Apple’s stylus is handily the best of its kind, offering a blend of comfort and precision that’s yet to be matched by any rival.
Most importantly, the Apple Pencil is compatible with a plethora of iOS apps, so you can always make the most of its incredible capabilities. Whether you want to jot down a note, create an elaborate school project, or draw a digital masterpiece, there's always an amazing selection of apps to help you accomplish the task.
Yes, it would have been great if charging the Apple Pencil wasn't so awkward—you have a choice between plugging it into your tablet or using the tiny adapter, which could be easy to lose. However, the accessory’s performance and functionality make the tradeoff worth it.
Our Verdict: The iPad Is the Best Tablet in Its Price Range
The new iPad is the best tablet in its class by a crushing margin. It’s well-designed and solidly crafted, as well as plenty fast and productive. Crucially, it has the best platform and selection of apps, so you can work and play equally hard.
We really wish that Apple had brought the Smart Connector of the iPad Pro to the entry-level iPad. The hardware feature would have made connecting a keyboard to the tablet even more seamless.
If you're looking for a full-size tablet and have a budget between AED1,000 and AED2,000, don’t even bother looking at any alternatives. If you have a higher budget, buy an iPad Pro with a faster processor, a larger and better screen, a Smart Connector, and a quartet of speakers (the iPad has two).
In terms of the competition, Google has been treating Android tablets as an afterthought for quite a while. As a result, the current selection of tablets with the platform could not be any more forgettable. Similarly priced Windows 10 tablets will also underwhelm you in both design and performance.
Pricing of the iPad has remained the same. It starts at AED1,349 for a variant with 32 GB of storage and Wi-Fi connectivity. An extra AED350 will land you a model with 128 GB of memory—we highly recommend that you spend the extra for it if you can.