Apple recently announced a refresh of the standard iPad. The new device features a larger screen and other minor improvements.
Apple’s 2019 iPad refresh is new wine in an old bottle. Although the device features a larger screen, its A10 Fusion processor is a few years old. Most of the exciting enhancements, including iPadOS, are software not hardware. Consumers who own a late model iPad may want to skip this refresh.
A larger 10.2 inch screen is the most visible and major feature of the new standard iPad. The display offers 2160 x 1620 resolution at 264 pixels per inch. This is beyond HD resolution, with pixel density surpassing human eyesight capabilities. Other than that, it’s a relatively normal backlit LCD display with 500 nits of brightness.
The new iPad’s larger size makes it a good fit for the standard sized Smart Keyboard. Apple’s iPad resizing strategy clearly encourages adoption of the Smart Keyboard. The new iPadOS operating system makes the iPad more like a full computer, however, it’s still a limited device. For example, software engineers still cannot write, compile, test and deploy software on an iPad.
One of the more disappointing aspects of this device is that it uses the three year old A10 Fusion processor. While the chip is capable of speedy performance, its age means that the device will become obsolete sooner. Using an older and inexpensive processor does allow Apple to offer the new iPad at a low price.
The new iPad, like recent models, supports the Apple Pencil. This is, again, intended to woo consumers who desire a full computing experience in a compact, inexpensive package.
iPadOS is key to bringing the new iPads, as well as previous models, closer to a PC. After years of pushing cloud drives, Apple has finally enabled native support for external storage. iPad users will finally be able to connect to USB drives through the Files app.
The new iPad’s evolution is nothing surprising. Apple makes slow, incremental improvements to products over time. Starting at $329, the device may seem inexpensive, however, this is for the 32 GB model. The addition of support for external drives makes 32 GB a bit more tolerable, however, most consumers will likely spend $429 for the 128GB model.