Apple iPad (2019) review: no competition

The basic iPad was updated last month with a slightly larger screen and smart connector that allows you to connect Apple's smart keyboard. It still costs $ 329 to start, and it's still one of the best technology deals. You can do as much or more than any other tablet near your cost. In other words, it's still an iPad.

I joked with my coworkers that all I really needed to do for this review was to rewrite that phrase: "It's an iPad." It has been a joke since the 2017 iPad review, in which I explained that there are only three things you needed to know. Those three things are also true for the new model:

  1. It's an iPad.
  2. It costs $ 329 for the base model.
  3. You should get it if your old iPad is dying. You should not get it if your old iPad is fine.

This new iPad is good. Run all the same applications as iPads that cost two or three times more (or more). And in most cases, you may not even notice a difference in how well you run those applications. You have no problem with iPadOS 13, at least none that is different from the general operating system error that affects all iPads at the time of writing this article. (13.1.2, for the record, it still has problems.)

If you are not tempted by a slightly nicer screen (the iPad Air) or power, performance and face identification (the iPad Pro), then the normal iPad is the one to get. I think the 32GB storage of the $ 329 model is almost too low, but if you're diligent in streaming movies and music, you can probably survive.

The iPad still uses Lightning to charge, and is still compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil, which still costs $ 99. It still has only two speakers and Touch ID instead of Face ID, plus of cameras that are fine by 2017 standards but not excellent by 2019 standards.

All these details are things that are unlikely to bother people who buy this tablet. I have been using a first-class iPad Pro 11 for almost a year now, and switching to this new iPad did not significantly make my life worse. He still plays all the games in Apple Arcade, and he still has a battery that lasts all day. Mainly, I noticed that web pages seemed to load more slowly.

apple ipad 2019 review no competition

What I'm about to tell you shouldn't bother you in the least if you're in the market for a nice and relatively cheap tablet, but here we go: This is a slightly odd iPad, and it makes me wonder what the hell is going on with Apple's product strategy. I'm not sure why Apple bothered to update this iPad, to be honest. The new screen size is 10.2 inches, which is not much larger than the previous size of 9.7 inches that will make a material difference.

The new keyboard connector is good, but Apple's Smart Keyboard still costs about $ 159 somewhat ridiculous, and there are really no cheaper viable options to take advantage of it anyway. (If you keep the score, that price is 48 percent of the base cost of the iPad. A fully equipped base iPad with an Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard costs up to $ 587). I suspect that education shoppers are a key market for this iPad – they won't get away from Chromebooks just because of the new connector.

This year's iPad apparently has 3 GB of RAM now, but it has the same A10 processor as last year's model. That processor is still fast enough for what you will do with this device, but it does not record impressive benchmarks or performance like the most modern chips. It is the same chip that was on the iPad of 2017, but Apple does such a good job with the processors that, even now, it won't feel slow.

Mainly, this iPad is strange to me because I don't know how most people will decide between him and the iPad Air that came out last March. The iPad Air has a 10.5-inch screen, but that size difference doesn't matter, it doesn't really. The screen of the Air is prettier: it is laminated and supports True Tone plus a wider range of colors. But if you're in the business of spending money on a prettier screen, I have to imagine that you'll save a little more for an iPad Pro. The same applies to the processor: the iPad Air has a better one, but it's not as good as what You can get it on an iPad Pro.

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This is the best tablet for less than $ 500, but I can't help thinking that Apple would have improved it if there were significant tablet competition in this price range.

Although the processor is taking a while and Apple's Smart Keyboard is too expensive, it's still impressive that you can get such a good computer for this price. It is not a device that I would recommend updating if you have a tablet with which you are moderately satisfied, but it is a device with which you will be happy if you buy it.

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