At the Education Event held in March 2018, Apple released another version of its iPad tablets. What specs and important features does a user need to learn about the newcomer? Here’s our brief guide on the topic, where we try to reveal all aspects of the 6th gen iPad usage: for pleasure, education and other purposes.
The 6th gen iPad in General
Now, what’s really interesting and important about Apple’s new tablet? The device happens to be the sixth generation of the 9.7-inch iPads. Actually, it is the successor of the 2017 iPad, which was the 5th generation. To a certain extent, similar to its predecessor, the new iPad combines elements of such models as iPad Air, iPad Air 2. An important novelty in the 6th gen is that the version supports Apple Pencil, which is undoubtedly a long-awaited introduction. Another outstanding news about the model: a pretty nice introduction video.
Apple Pencil Support and Related Features
Thus, Apple Pencil support which used to be for iPad Pro only is at last available in the upcoming 6th gen low-cost. Both the core Pencil and its advanced features are at services of those Apple customers who buy the new iPad model. That means they can enjoy, among other things, full tilt and pressure sensitivity features. A remaining limitation is the ProMotion’s fast refresh rate: the feature is still restricted to 10.5-inch Pro. Presently, Apple expands its protection to Apple Pencil’s no-pressure version Crayon. This Logitech-built model will be available (although for educators only) starting from next July.
A reasonable question: how well is the Pencil doing on the 6th gen iPad? First, the feature will ensure a full 240Hz. The same rate is available on such iPad Pro units as the 9.7-inch and the first-generation 12.9-inch iPads Pro. The non-laminated screen on the new iPad does not significantly worsen the Pencil use, because laminated screens do not actually help in latency reduction. A difference will be noticed only in outdoor and direct lighting use. Under such conditions, the iPad will have more glare than, for example, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
Another similarity with the two above iPad Pro models is that the 2018 iPad will render mere 60 frames a second, using its predictive line technology, which allows to “guess” the line’s appearance. (If you are drawing especially quickly, you may notice a strange looking line appear on the screen. That is actually the “predictive line”).
Unlike the newest iPads Pro, the iPad 6th gen still lacks the ProMotion technology. The difference is noticeable, for example, in such sketching applications as Procreate, where the brushes require much greater computation power. Another drawback is the absence of Smart Connector. You may use Bluetooth or a wired solution via one of Apple’s adapters, but not Smart Connector, unfortunately.
The stereo speaker configuration in the 6th gen iPad is just the same as in the recent iPad mini, that is, a pair of speakers at the bottom. You may enjoy the sound clarity and use noise-canceling mics via iPad compatible handset adapters (Andrea NC 181 is probably the best).
The new iPad uses the A10 (though not the A10X) Fusion chip. A definite step forward compared to the A9 on the previous iPad.The result, in terms of the model’s comparison with the current iPads Pro, is that the latter are markedly faster. However, with everyday tasks, the difference is hardly noticed. The 8MP iSight Camera is not a novelty, but it does respond to the A10’s computation boost by improving low light images.
The battery life is standard (10 hours). Like other new devices, iPad 6th gen comes with a modern battery type that serves longer if not charged and discharged to maximum. So you are suggested to keep always charged your device’s batteries, but not to the maximum charge.
The model’s storage may be either 32GB or 128GB and RAM volume is 2GB.
The Geekbench Performance
Testing on Geekbench 4 has produced 3254 single-core and 5857 multi-core scores whose comparisons with the corresponding scores for other iPad models look more or less expected.
In terms of single-core scores, the 2018 6th-generation iPad is somewhere within the performance range of the iPhone 7 (the latter model was the first to come with the A10 Fusion chip).
The average Geekbench score of 3295 produces the following comparisons. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro easily outperforms it with its 3904 single-core, and so does the 2nd gen 12.9-inch model. However, the 6th gen beats both the original 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3012) and 9.7-inch iPad Pro (2930). In the same way, it safely outperforms the 2017 iPad (2523), and iPad Air 2 (1785).
In the multi-core, the 2018 iPad is again closest to the iPhone 7 family, especially to the Plus model (5411). It outperforms both the original 12.9-inch iPad Pro (4879) and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro (4750), as well as the 2017 iPad (4377) and iPad Air 2 (3987). However, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the 2017 iPhone family devices heavily beat it in multi-core terms with their 9292 average for the 10.5-inch Pro, and 10108 for the iPhone X.
The model comes in three colors: Space Gray, Silver, and Gold.
The iPad (6th gen) is currently available at the following pricing options:
- Wi-Fi only, 32GB: $329
- Wi-Fi only, 128GB: $429
- Wi-Fi + LTE, 32GB: $459
- Wi-Fi + LTE, 128GB: $559
There is a discount for students, so they can obtain the 6th gen iPad with traditional education discount, that is, at $309 (and even $299 for schools).
If you wish to buy AppleCare+ for the 6th gen iPad, the price will be $69, which is much lower than the previous AppleCare+ cost of $99 for the base-model iPad (this price decrease also applies to the iPad mini).
The model has been on sale since March 27 and is available either directly from Apple or via Best Buy.