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Apple iPad (2019) review: Probably all the tablet you'd ever need

By Kenny Yeo - 30 Oct 2019

What's new, what's not

Apple's updated entry-level iPad has a larger 10.2-inch display and a Smart Connector.

Say hi the newest entry-level iPad

It seems that Apple has finally turned the iPad around. Sales of iPads have been on the up for three consecutive quarters and what better way to keep the momentum going than to release a new entry-level iPad? Apple calls this the new 7th generation iPad and while the updates might be small, they have a dramatic impact on the product and make it, possibly, the best value tablet you can buy today.

 

So, what’s new?

There are two big updates to the new 7th generation iPad. Here they are:

Display ― This new iPad has a larger 10.2-inch Retina display. That's 0.5 inches larger than last year's iPad which has a 9.7-inch Retina display. Screen resolution is now 2,160 x 1,620 pixels, which means pixel density count remains the same at 264 pixels per inch.

The 10.2-inch Retina display is sharp, crisp, and has nice colours.

Smart Connector ― The other big update is that the new iPad has a Smart Connector, which means you can finally use a Smart Keyboard with it. This also means that the entire iPad lineup (except the iPad Mini) now supports Apple’s Smart Keyboard. The lack of a Smart Connector was a glaring omission from last year’s iPad and it’s good to see it finally now coming to the iPad, even if the Smart Keyboard is a ridiculously expensive accessory.

You can finally connect a Smart Keyboard to Apple's entry-level iPad.

Size ― This also means the new iPad is larger than its predecessor. In terms of dimensions, it's nearly the same as the updated iPad Air that was released earlier this year. It has the same footprint (height and width) but it’s oh so slightly thicker (7.5mm vs. 6.1mm). This means any covers or screen protectors that only cover the screen of the iPad Air will also fit the new iPad.

 

What’s not new?

Processor ― This new iPad is powered by the same A10 processor as its predecessor.

The new iPad is powered by the A10 Fusion processor that debuted in the iPhone 7 in 2016.

Camera ― The front and rear-facing cameras are unchanged.

Apple Pencil support ― It will still only work with the first-generation Apple Pencil.

Lightning connector ― For better or worse, the new iPad still charges using a Lightning connector. The only iPads to have USB-C ports are the iPad Pros.

No USB-C here. The new iPad still relies on a Lightning port for charging.

Touch ID ― Touch ID is the only biometric authentication system that the new iPad uses. Face ID is only on the iPad Pros.

  • Design 7.5
  • Features 8.5
  • User-Friendliness 9
  • Performance 8.5
  • Value 9
The Good
Good performance
Nice display
Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support
Attractively priced
Long battery life
More functionality thanks to iPadOS
The Bad
Dated design with large bezels
Display prone to reflection and glare
Speakers only on one side in landscape
Accessories sold separately
Accessories are pricey