Apple has released a new baseline iPad model, which is the 6th generation of the company’s famous 9.7-inch tablet. We offer a review of the refurbished iPad featuring its main characteristics and a little of a buying advice. We tried to include all you need to know.
The Basic Novelties
The model is a low-coster and introduces both new improvements and a few downgraded features. Undoubtedly, one of the main new features is the model’s Apple Pencil support, while the other one is a wonderful intro video. The former was previously a feature of Apple’s advanced iPad Pro tablets only, but now Pencil support is with the company’s mainline tablet as well. The new iPad provides a nearly full Apple Pencil support including pressure sensitivity and tilt (an exclusion is a ProMotion: the sophisticated display technology is still restricted for the 10.5-inch Pro). Besides, Apple supports Crayon, which is a non-pressure version of Apple Pencil (will be sold exclusively to educators since next summer at $49).
Pencil’s performance on the new iPad is basically no worse than on the first-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro or 9.7-inch iPad Pro. An exclusion is that the 6th gen iPad won’t have ProMotion technology like on the above-mentioned iPad Pro models. The difference is most noticeable when running a sketching app (for example, Procreate) with a high demand for computational power.
Another downgrade in relation to the iPad Pro models is the absence of the Smart Connection. Still Bluetooth or a wired connection via an Apple’s adapter. The stereo speaker setup on the 6th gen iPad is similar to that on the current iPad mini: two bottom speakers. And, in contrast to the iPad Pro’s, no four-speaker audio.
The Principal Specs and Comparisons
The remaining specs include Apple’s A10 Fusion chip (previously introduced on the iPhone 7) meaning a considerable upgrade relative to A9 on the 2017 model. The 6th gen iPad keeps the same 8MP iSight Camera as was on its predecessor. However, due to the A10 chip providing a higher quality of the image signal processor, the low light looks much better. The first-generation Touch ID sensor remains unchanged and so does the standard 10-hour battery life. As regards memory: the 6th gen iPad may have either 32GB or 128GB of storage and has a 2GB RAM.
With Geekbench 4, the model has a 3254 single-core and 5857 multi-core scores.
In terms of single-core scores, the 6th gen iPad is comparable to the iPhone 7 (where the A 10 Fusion was first introduced). However, with its average Geekbench score of 3295, it is inferior to both the iPad Pro (10.5) and the second-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Still, the new model beats the original 12.9-inch iPad Pro and 9.7-inch iPad Pro (3012 and 2930 respectively). It is also way superior to the 2017 iPad (2523), and iPad Air 2 (1785).
The same broadly applies to the multi-core comparisons. Here too, the new tablet is close to the iPhone 7. It outruns the two iPad Pro’s (the original 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch models with 4879 and 4750 respectively) as well as the 2017 iPad (4377) and iPad Air 2 (3987). At the same time, it considerably yields to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the 2017 iPhones family in multi-core scores. The former has an average of 9292 and the iPhone X – 10108.
The above specs determine the model’s multitasking settings. In terms of Split View, all 9.7-inch iPads belong to the Compact size class. Which means that, if two app are set into Split View, and located side by side in a 50-50 split, both will be displayed with iPhone-style UI. And if located in a 25-75 or 75-25 split, there will be one iPad UI and one iPhone-style UI.
Due to RAM restrictions in these iPads, the user can only pull up a maximum of two Split View apps with both in focus. In principle, it is possible to pull up to two Split View apps, a Slide Over app, and one Picture-in-Picture video on the same screen. However, in this case, only the Slide Over app will be in focus.
Presently the model appears in three colors, such as space gray, silver, and gold.
The current price break down depends on connectivity and looks as follows:
- Wi-Fi only, 32GB: $329
- Wi-Fi only, 128GB: $429
- Wi-Fi + LTE, 32GB: $459
- Wi-Fi + LTE, 128GB: $559
The traditional education discount still applies: for educators and students, the price for the 6th gen iPad starts at $309 (and a mere $299 for those engaged in schools).
About the price for AppleCare+: If you wish AppleCare+ for the 6th gen iPad, it will cost you $69 (down from the former $99; the price reduction also applies to the iPad mini).
A good news is that the 6th gen is absolutely the same size and weight as its 5th gen predecessor. So there won’t be any trouble swapping them as they perfectly fit in the same cases.