Oct 1, 2018
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Apple iPad (2018): winning formula does not change, it improves

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The 2018 edition of the 9.7-inch iPad introduces a new processor and support for Apple Pencil to write and draw on the tablet’s display.

The new 9.7-inch iPad retains the good already seen with the predecessor, adding native support to Apple Pencil. The tablet thus becomes an even more versatile tool, both for study and for entertainment and productivity, thanks to the latest innovations introduced by the iOS operating system and the rich software catalog offered by the App Store platform.

Design

The design of the iPad version 2018 remains unchanged compared to what was seen in the previous generation of the device. There are the Touch ID fingerprint reader positioned next to the screen (or below, depending on how you hold it) to be used for payments with Apple Pay and which performs the function of Home button, integrated stereo speakers, the jack from 3.5 mm for headphones and earphones, physical buttons for volume adjustment and switching on or off. In the version with Cellular module for mobile connectivity there is also the slot that houses the SIM. The front is almost entirely occupied by the 9.7-inch display with IPS panel with LED backlight (resolution 2048 × 1536 pixels, 264 ppi) covered with an oleophobic coating.

Among the colors available for the body: silver, sidereal gray and gold, with the latter very similar to the pink gold color already seen on some products of the bitten apple. The dimensions are 240 × 169.5 × 7.5 mm, while the weight stands at 469 or 478 grams depending on the version.

Data sheet

The heart of the tablet is the A10 Fusion processor with 64-bit architecture and integrated M10 coprocessor, the same as iPhone 7. The amount of RAM installed is 2 GB. Together these components provide more than enough computational power to easily manage even the most complex applications, even though without equaling the performance of the iPad Pro.

Scrolling through the list of specifications are then a rear camera with 8 megapixel autofocus and video recording in 1080p, while the front FaceTime 1.2 megapixel reaches 720p. All models offer the 802.11a / b / g / n / ac WiFi module with support for MIMO technology, while in Cellular add-on connectivity to mobile networks and GPS. Complete the Bluetooth 4.2 data sheet, digital compass, iBeacon microlocalizer, three-axis gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer and ambient light sensor. The 32.4 Wh battery ensures autonomy of up to ten hours of WiFi browsing, video or audio playback, while using the mobile network drops to nine hours.

Apple Pencil

Not a simple nib: Apple Pencil is an instrument designed by the Californian group to interact in a natural and intuitive way with the display of iPad and iPad Pro. A tool that is useful both during the study and for the job, without forgetting the use that it can be done to give free rein to your creativity. You can write freehand notes, underline or highlight the most important passages of a text, edit a screenshot, draw a graphic, color an image and much more, dynamically modifying the intensity of the stroke by making more or less pressure with the tip on the screen.

So it works in a very similar way to a pencil or, if necessary, like a pen, a brush or a tool for technical drawing. Inside there is a battery with enough capacity to guarantee up to twelve hours of continuous use: to recharge it simply remove the cap and connect it to the Lightning port of the tablet. Also secured support for some third-party accessories, among which the Logitech Crayon nib stands out.

Software

The 2018 edition of the iPad makes its debut with the latest version of the iOS operating system (release 11.3). Users can rely on the App Store platform to download games and applications of all kinds, including those dedicated to augmented reality based on ARKit technology. The pre-installed packages include the iWork productivity package (Pages, Numbers and Keynote) and GarageBand for musicians. There is also the possibility to combine the screens of several software executed simultaneously, so as to use them in multitasking mode. All this without forgetting the Siri virtual assistant to obtain information or to issue commands using your own voice.

Price and availability

As already mentioned, the new iPad is available with different cuts of internal memory for storage and with the possibility to choose between the version with only WiFi connectivity and the one equipped with a SIM slot for access to the Internet on the move. As for the price, the launch starts from € 359.00 for the basic configuration, reaching € 579.00 for the most complete. Below all the available variants.

  • 32 GB, WiFi: € 359.00;
  • 32 GB, WiFi + Cellular: € 489.00;
  • 128 GB, WiFi: 449.00 euros;
  • 128 GB, WiFi + Cellular: € 579.00.

Those who wish can evaluate the idea of permuting an old model of the line, so as to receive a significant discount on the purchase of the new one: all information about the initiative can be consulted on the official website pages.

Review

The sixth generation of iPad arrives at a delicate moment for the tablet segment, a market that sees the line proposed by the Cupertino group to be an exception with its good performance in terms of sales. Compared to its predecessor, it offers an advanced CPU and support for the use of the stylus, while reducing the launch price up to 359 euros. In short, a best seller announced.

The will of Apple is clear: to propose an updated device in terms of hardware and software, ready for the advent of technologies and applications such as those related to augmented reality, which gives a nod to the educational field (where Chromebooks today make the big voice) and without compromise in the use of multimedia contents. All this by letting those more interested in productivity turn their eyes to the Pro line.

The choice to place the product in a relatively low price range (the nib should still be purchased separately at 99 euros) is tantamount to the interest of those who up until now had turned exclusively to Android solutions for budget issues. The bitten apple then tries many potential switchers, strong of a wide and excellent catalog of applications optimized for the interaction with his tablet. The design substantially does not change, remaining faithful to a form factor already well tested, with all the pros and cons of the case. The only ones are perhaps to be found in the performance of the camera and speaker, not exactly high-end.

Apple Pencil is the real added value and a tool that in the hands of creative people allows you to express your full potential. The interaction with the tablet screen is the best we could wish for: recognition of the pressure level, perfect simulation of pens, pencils or brushes, high autonomy and recharge through the Lightning port. To turn up their nose is just the absence of a system to carry the two devices together (for the Pro model there is an official case).

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Tablets

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