In 2017, with delight and triumph, the press relished another defeat for Apple: its 39-year rule in US schools came to an end. Chromebooks have pushed the Mac and iPad out of mainstream education. And that’s how it was: Apple ceased to be the leader in this market segment, taking the second place. Apple responded to the news six months later by announcing a “school iPad,” the sixth generation iPad, at a special event held at Chicago’s Albert Lane High School. It was not possible to repel the invasion of Chromebooks, but iPad 6 went with a bang, and two weeks ago his next, eighth, version came out. Outwardly, it is the same, and the issue of differences between generations of the budget iPad becomes even more relevant.
Should you buy an iPad 8?
Of the many accusations against the eighth generation iPad, perhaps only one is serious. The volume of the flash drive in the basic version of the tablet is 32 GB.
Although these days this drawback is not as fatal as, for example, in 2018. In iPadOS, starting from version 13, external drives are supported. In theory, even with this, everything is fine, although for most of the buyers of the cheapest and simplest iPad, this is about as unrealistic as flying to Mars. The rest rather characterizes those who scold him for thick bezels, Lightning and the Touch ID button in their usual place. These are not disadvantages, for many of those who buy “just an iPad” these are rather advantages.
IPad 5 specifications
I’ll start with the fifth-generation iPad that hit the market in 2017. It bought well, but did not arouse much interest, and reviewers in unison predicted an imminent end to this iPad variant. They were right: only magic could save “just an iPad”, and it was used. Display with a diagonal of 9.7 inches, body dimensions 240×169.5×7.5 mm, weight in the Wi-Fi-only version – 469 g, in the Wi-Fi + Cellular version – 478 g.
System-on-a-Chip Apple a9, Born in 2015, is the same as in the iPhone 6s / 6s Plus and in the first generation iPhone SE. Two configurations – 32GB and 128GB, starting at $ 329 (excluding taxes and fees). A boring budget iPad.
IPad 6 specifications
Almost exactly a year later, in March 2018, the sixth-generation iPad drew a standing ovation, and sales exceeded expectations. Display with a diagonal of 9.7 inches, with the same resolution as its predecessor (2048 × 1536), with the same density of 264 dpi.
The dimensions of the case, weight of modifications, a set of drive configurations and prices are exactly the same as those of the fifth generation iPad. But the new iPad supported 1st generation Apple Pencil and the Logitech Crayon, a pencil from a renowned Swiss company specially designed for the destructive abilities of students. Chip – Apple A10 Fusionreleased in 2016, the same as the iPhone 7/7 Plus and the 7th generation iPod touch (2019). Greg Josvyak presented the new iPad, and that was magic.
IPad 7 vs iPad 6 Comparison
In September 2019, the seventh generation iPad seemed to heed the requests in our Telegram chat, and the thickness of its frames was reduced. Without appreciable damage to the mechanical strength of the device. And it has slightly increased in size (up to 250.6×174.1×7.5 mm). Diagonal screen size rose to 10.2 inches, the resolution has increased to 2160 × 1620, at the same 264 dpi. The iPad is heavier – up to 483 and 493 grams, in only Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular versions, respectively. The main feature of the model is Smart Connector and support for cover keyboards (there were no keyboards with built-in trackpads yet, they are not supported until now).
The chip is the same as in the sixth generation iPad, Apple A10. Same prices, same storage capacities (32 and 128 GB). Plus the same magic from Greg Joswyak.
IPad 8 vs iPad 7 Comparison
The eighth generation iPad announced on September 15 this year has a new system-on-a-chip, Apple a12, 2018. Same as iPhone XR, iPhone XS / XS Max, 5th generation iPad mini, and 3rd generation iPad Air. The screen diagonal, body dimensions, storage capacities, prices and screen resolutions are the same as those of the iPad 7.
At the virtual event on September 15 iPad 8 presented first… This is the worst order for presentation. The most important and interesting thing is presented at the very end. Ted Merendino in the video about this iPad was very convincing – but he is far from Greg, who replaced Phil Schiller as Apple’s chief marketing officer. What will be the next model “just iPad”, and whether it will ever be at all – is unknown.
And if so, which one? An edge-to-edge display, Touch ID like the iPad Air 4 – in an unsuccessfully and inconveniently located button on the edge of the case, the mechanical strength of which is like the iPad Pro? And the minimum storage capacity is at least 64 GB. USB-C.
It would hardly be possible to preserve the last thing that justifies the existence of “just an iPad”: low prices. In addition, schools are buying significant quantities of these iPads – where a flimsy iPad and money wasted are almost the same thing. An iPad like that won’t survive in schools.