The Apple iPad is ready to replace your laptop and without adding the Pro suffix. Before you accuse me of exaggerating, try the new iPad (2019) with which Apple is turning even its entry-level tablet into a potential laptop replacement.
The idea behind the 2019 iPad is to give consumers access to a productivity tool, something everyone can rely on. The new iPad is perfect for students, journalists or anyone else who needs some “Pro” features built-in like support for Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard, but doesn’t have the budget for the iPad Pro, which starts Rs 71,900. The base model of the iPad, in contrast, is priced Rs 29,900.
The seventh-generation iPad ships with iPadOS 13, the new software update that allows you to use a Bluetooth mouse, as well as thumb drives, external disk drives, and SD cards directly into your iPad. Sure, the A10 Fusion is not as powerful as the A12X in the iPad Pros, but it is still pretty fast. Plus, the new iPad also comes with a bigger 10.2-inch screen, which provides plenty of display real estate.
Apple iPad 2019 specifications: 10.2-inch Retina Display | A10 Fusion chipset | 3GB RAM, 32GB/128GB storage | iPadOS 13 | 10 hours battery backup | 3.5mm headphone jack | stereo speakers | Apple Pencil (first gen), Smart Keyboard support
Apple iPad 2019 price in India: Rs 29,900 onwards
Apple iPad 10.2 review: Design
The new entry-level iPad has a familiar design as its predecessor, so don’t expect it to look like the iPad Pro. The tablet is well built and the enclosure is entirely made out of recycled aluminum, which is a small yet significant step in pushing environmental concerns. You get the new iPad in gold, silver or space grey.
The old fashioned thick bezels still exist and a TouchID fingerprint reader doubles as a home button. Do I miss FaceID? Yes, I do miss Face ID, but TouchID works just fine and gets the job done.
A lightning port is on the bottom for charging, with a sleep/wake button and a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top of the body. On the right side of the tablet are the volume up and down keys. The bezels on both sides of the screen seem a bit dated, but do help while holding the 10.2-inch tablet.
I loved using the iPad despite the size and weight of the new iPad. Yes, I can live with this one as my daily work machine.
Having a 10.2-inch screen is an advantage, if you want to read e-paper in the morning, as I do. It’s easier to work in Google Docs and write a copy on the iPad. I treat the 2019 iPad as a mobile computer because it’s light and goes all day on a single charge. My review unit, being an LTE model, is a good investment for a reporter on the move.
Of course, there is a hidden cost attached to the 2019 iPad, or any other iPad for that matter. While Apple is advertising the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil as key features, both accessories have to be purchased separately and they don’t come cheap. But some can live without either. But I definitely recommend you get the Apple Pencil (first gen) at some point, because the Pencil works beautifully on a large canvas. I mostly used it to take notes, but you can use Apple Pencil to sketch or draw.
In case you think the Smart Keyboard is too expensive, I would strongly recommend you to buy the Logitech K480. It’s an inexpensive full-size, Bluetooth keyboard with keys that have good travel. The keyboard comes with a tray to seat your iPad in, and is made with iOS in mind but should also work with Android and Chrome OS.
Apple iPad 10.2 review: Display
The 2019 iPad uses a 10.2-inch LCD display, like any other iPad, but lacks ProMotion, the technology found in the iPad Pro that enables the screen to run at 120Hz. But even without ProMotion, the Retina Screen is excellent. Photos and videos look sharp, and viewing angles are excellent. I streamed Saaho via Amazon Prime Video on the tablet, and the iPad’s 10.2-inch display made all the chase sequences larger than life. And by the way, the stereo speakers are really good.
Apple iPad 10.2 review: Performance
Inside, the 2019 iPad has the A10 Fusion chipset. It’s the same processor that powers iPhone 7 which was released back in 2016. In comparison, the iPad Mini 5 and iPad Air 3 feature the A12 Bionic chipset.
No doubt, the A10 is an old chipset. That said, the A10 Fusion chipset is still reasonably adequate for most of the tasks. Most people won’t care whether the iPad is running A10, A12 or A13 chipset. What they will care about the performance of the tablet when running apps, editing photos or playing games they like to play.
Don’t worry. This iPad is powerful enough for basic productivity tasks, web browsing, watching movies, and playing light mobile games.
I recently subscribed to Apple Arcade and the 2019 iPad didn’t disappoint. While testing the iPad, I played a number of Apple Arcade games like Oceanhorn 2, Skate City, Spaceland, and Agent Intercept. There was no lag, and the games never stuttered. Apps like Google Docs and iMovie run flawlessly on the iPad.
My biggest issue with the 2019 iPad is its storage. The entry-level model comes with a minimum of 32GB of storage, which is too low for even basic computing needs. Apple should have packed at least 64GB of internal storage in the entry-level iPad.
Apple iPad 10.2 review: Battery
Battery life is impressive. Although Apple promises 10 hours of battery, I got roughly eight hours on a single charge. It was my primary machine throughout the testing with AirPods attached, sending and receiving hundreds of emails and messages, writing and editing copies, browsing the web, watching an hour of Netflix, and spending close to an hour playing Apple Arcade games. Charging the iPad with the 10W charger is slow, taking well over 2 hours to full the juice from o per cent to 100 per cent.
Apple iPad 10.2 review: iPadOS
The biggest advantage of owning the iPad is iPadOS, which is essentially an iPad-centric operating system. While the iPad has always had the right apps, it lacked the right software needed for a productivity device. With iPadOS, Apple did try to address those concerns.
At its core, iPadOS is basically iOS with a lot of features that are common among the iPhone and iPad like Dark mode, improvements to mail, among others. What makes iPadOS more independent is the ability to able to pin certain widgets to the device’s home screen, or new ways to manage the content in the Files app.
iPadOS is also bringing a new feature called Sidecar that turns your iPad into a second Mac display. I think a lot of professionals will be using this feature. My personal favorite feature is how Safari now shows the desktop versions of a website on the iPad.
The multitasking functionality has been expanded in iPadOS. Now you have the ability to open multiple windows of the same app, just like you would on a PC or Mac. Thanks to iPadOS, the iPad is also compatible with external devices such as USB drive, hard drive, and a microSD using the Files app, making it easier to transfer content. And yes, the new operating system also allows you to use a mouse with the iPad. All of these features have been on Windows-based laptops for years.
Apple iPad 10.2 review: Cameras
It is easy to dismiss the fact that a lot of people like to take photographs using the iPad. To satisfy those consumers, the new iPad comes with cameras (on the front and back). Camera specifications remain unchanged compared to the previous generation model. There’s an 8MP rear-facing camera with the capability to capture 1080p video at 30fps or slow-motion 120fps video at 720p. On the front, you will notice a 1.2MP camera that can record video at 720p. The camera is nothing special, though it serves the purpose if you are using it for augmented reality apps.
Apple iPad 10.2 review: Conclusion
If you’re looking for a budget iPad in the market, then yes, the 2019 iPad is the best tablet to go for. The entry-level iPad, in my opinion, is a good option there with a big screen and solid performance. Battery life is solid, too. iPadOS is a powerful mobile operating system, and the tablet supports tons of apps and features. I think you’ll like the new iPad.
The starting model is priced at Rs 29,900 and includes 32GB of storage. If you plan to download lots of movies and games, then get ready to shell Rs 37,900 for the model with 128GB of storage. You’ll want that extra space.