With the iPad 2018 , Apple is taking a new route. The tablet must be a solution for students, but does the company from Cupertino succeed in this? And is it a good tablet for non-students?
The iPad 2018 is just like its predecessor the least exciting product that Apple releases this year. The tablet looks the same, all the improvements we saw earlier in other Apple products and even most parts are identical to those of older iPhones and iPads.
Apple’s New Message
Nevertheless, the signal that Apple issues with this iPad makes it an interesting product. The company from Cupertino organized for the first time in years an Apple event that focused entirely on education, with new software that teachers and students have to offer a helping hand.
The iPad 2018 is the product in which all these ambitions and new technologies come together: it is a relatively affordable iPad for 359 euros, but still delivers the good performance that we are used to from Apple. And that is badly needed, because in recent years Google has quietly claimed the classroom with its Chromebooks. Apple will have to work hard to turn this tide.
A Budget Model, And You Notice That
That’s what the company hopes to do with this iPad. The tablet has a 9.7 inch Retina screen and runs on the A10 chip we know from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus . The iPad has 2GB of memory, which is enough for daily use and editing of photos and videos. The tablet is noticeably slower than the iPad Pro , which does it with the double amount of RAM, but also costs twice.
In addition, Apple has surrendered on quality for the price to print. For example, the display of the few years old iPad Air 2 is noticeably better, which has to do with the distance between the screen and the glass slide. This makes it look like you’re looking at the iPad, instead of the screen being a sheet of paper. In addition, this iPad is more sensitive to reflection than the Air 2 or Pro models.
The biggest improvement of the 2018 model is in two small touchscreen sensors that are just below the screen. These ensure that the iPad responds to the Apple Pencil : the white marker pen that until now only worked on the Pro.
The Apple Pencil is more than a stylus, because it’s packed with sensors that measure how you hold the pen in relation to the screen, and how hard you push the tip on the display. This allows you to draw thicker lines by pressing harder, or color a large area by tilting the tip slightly. Just like you do with a pencil.
Because the Pencil is now already a few years old, there are already many iOS apps that support him. For example, Apple’s iWork apps (Pages, Keynote, Numbers, and more) can be used, as well as Word, PowerPoint and a myriad of sign apps.
This makes the Pencil a valuable accessory for a specific group of people. The one-hundred-euro price tag is too high if you make a drawing every now and then, but for graphic designers and (there they are) again, it is a fine and accurate way to operate the iPad. Although this tablet is suddenly a lot less ‘budget’ if you add 100 euros for the Pencil, which is not included as standard.
Support for the Apple Pencil is the most important new addition to the iPad 2018. For the rest, it is almost the same iPad that appeared last year, with slightly better specifications so that it can handle better with demanding ARKit apps and games.
That makes the iPad 2018 an excellent device for anyone who uses an iPad to read the news, watch series or movies or play a game now and then. Do you need better specs, a bigger and better screen and the Smart Connector, then you’ll have to pay more for the iPad Pro. Because of this dichotomy, Apple has a matching device for every tablet user.
The iPad 2018 is better than the 2017 model, but if you bought this iPad last year, there is no reason to make the switch, besides Pencil support. Research has shown, however, that iPads often last for years. If you have not bought an Apple tablet for the past three years or more, you will undoubtedly notice the difference with this iPad. This way, the battery easily lasts for a day, although it still takes a long time to refill it.
Not Enough For The Classroom
What we are more concerned about is Apple’s ambition to regain the classroom from Google. Because with only Apple Pencil support and a slightly lower price, we do not think that schools will suddenly be tacked. Even if you add the student discount.
For example, we find it remarkable that this iPad does not take over the Smart Connector of the iPad Pro, so you can easily click and connect a keyboard to the tablet. After all, students have to make reports and a bluetooth keyboard is a lot more awkward than Apple’s own solution. We also wonder if 2GB of memory is enough, because the tablet is less good with the multitasking of different apps.
Conclusion iPad 2018 Review
The iPad 2018 is in all respects a great iPad: it does exactly what you expect from an Apple tablet, and for a suggested retail price of 359 euros you get the best tablet in that price range. Apple, however, seems to underestimate Google’s gap in schools. Apple Pencil support will not be enough to replace Chromebooks massively with iPads. Fortunately, this does not mean that this iPad is an excellent purchase for everyone outside the classroom.