Apple's eighth-generation 10.2-inch iPad saw few upgrades over the previous seventh-generation iPad. The main update the budget tablet line received was an A12 Bionic processor for speedier performance and Apple's Neural Engine.
● 10.2-inch display
● A12 Bionic processor
● Smart Connector for Apple Smart Keyboard
● Support for first-generation Apple Pencil
● iPadOS 14
● Starts at $329
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Apple announced the new eighth-generation 10.2-inch iPad alongside the iPad Air 4, Apple Watch Series 6, and Apple Watch SE at the company's "Time Flies" launch event in September 2020. The updated tablet offers a faster A12 Bionic processor that makes it 40% faster than the previous model.
Acting as the budget-model iPad, this device is less about flashy features and more about what Apple withheld to keep the price down. Despite that, the 10.2-inch iPad still benefits from all the features of iPadOS. It can take advantage of the first generation Apple Pencil and Logitech Crayon, and it works with Apple's Smart Keyboard accessories and third-party keyboards with built-in trackpads.
Future iPad Rumors
The budget iPad line doesn't see many updates and changes year-over-year. Apple tends to add features as they become cheaper or get left behind by more expensive models. These moves are all in the name of keeping the baseline iPad as cheap as possible, allowing it to serve as an entry point for consumers and education.
Rumors suggest the ninth-generation iPad will look like the iPad Air 3 with thinner bezels. Not much else will change, but a processor bump is likely — possibly to the A13 Bionic. Since it won't likely have a flat-sided design, we expect it to remain compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil.
10.2-inch iPad Features
Apple designed the 10.2-inch iPad as an affordable model that still covers the basics. Despite hardware compromises, its modern chipset, display, and security can make it a desirable device for users wanting an iPad that doesn't break the bank.
This iPad is targeted at students and children, though it can also serve as an entry point for budget-conscious users, including artists. The total price of the 10.2-inch iPad and Apple Pencil is less than an iPad Air 4.
Display and Design
The eighth-generation iPad uses the same 10.2-inch screen size we saw in its predecessor.
The display has a 2160 x 1620 resolution at 264 pixels per inch. It has a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating but lacks features like P3 color gamut, True Tone, and anti-reflective coating found in more expensive iPads.
The tablet measures 250.6mm tall, 174.1mm wide, and 7.5mm thick. It weighs 490 grams for the WiFi model and 495 grams for the cellular variant. Size is identical to the previous generation, but the new model is a little heavier.
The most significant upgrade in the eighth-generation iPad is the A12 Bionic processor. The new silicon gives it a considerable performance boost over the A10 chip in the sixth-generation and seventh-generation iPads. Apple says it's up to 40% faster than the seventh-generation model.
The A12 Bionic marks the Neural Engine's first appearance in a budget iPad. The Neural Engine offers powerful machine learning capabilities, including people occlusion and motion tracking in augmented reality (AR) apps, enhanced photo editing, and improved Siri performance.
Apple Pencil Support
The 10.2-inch iPad supports the first-generation Apple Pencil. Its responsiveness when used with the eighth-generation iPad is roughly the same as on the original 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The 10.2-inch iPad does not support the second-generation Apple Pencil due to requiring the flat sides and conduction charging found in today's higher-end models.
This model's Apple Pencil support means it's the cheapest way to get a powerful drawing tablet. While it lacks some higher-end technologies like P3 color or laminated display tech, this device can still be compelling for digital artists on a budget.
The new Scribble feature in iPadOS 14 also allows users to write into any text field with the Apple Pencil.
The eighth-generation 10.2-inch iPad is the second entry-level model that includes the Smart Connector, supporting Apple's Smart Keyboard accessory. Very few third-party accessory makers utilize the smart connector, usually opting to connect their accessories via Bluetooth instead.
- The eighth-generation iPad ships in 32GB and 128GB storage tiers
- Apple offers the tablet in silver, space gray, and gold color options
- The iPad has an 8MP rear camera with f/2.4 aperture
- On the front is a FaceTime HD camera that supports 720p video and 1.2MP photos with f/2.4 aperture
This updated 10.2-inch iPad that Apple released in September 2020 replaces the seventh-generation model of the same screen size. That model launched in 2019.
The seventh-generation iPad also had a 10.2-inch display and many other identical specs to its successor. The most significant difference is that it used a slower A10 processor.
It was the first budget iPad with the smart connector for the Apple Smart Keyboard support. It also supported the first-generation Apple Pencil.
The seventh-generation iPad started at the same $329 for 32GB storage as the new model.
10.2-inch iPad Pricing
Interested parties can purchase this iPad with or without cellular support. Here is how pricing breaks down:
- 32GB with WiFi - $329
- 32GB with WiFi + cellular - $459
- 128GB with WiFi - $429
- 128GB with WiFi + cellular - $559