The once almighty iPad has been put on the backburner by Apple for some time, with the focus turning to its ever-increasing range of iPhone handsets. Tablet sales have suffered, as consumers switch to mobiles with bigger screens, making gadget insurance all the more important. Thankfully, fans of tablets in general and the iPad in particular can rejoice, as last month, a brand new model was unveiled. But what does it offer over its predecessors and will it manage to gain traction in a volatile marketplace?
To be clear, the new iPad is not in the same league as the all singing, all dancing iPad Pro, and this is reflected in its price. Where it does attempt to match its big brother is in its support for the Apple Pencil peripheral. So for people who want to doodle on their device with impressive accuracy and unlock a range of other functions, this update will be welcome. Just bear in mind that the Pencil itself is sold separately and comes in at £99 in the UK, which is something else to add to the best gadget insurance cover, to avoid disaster. Processing power is provided by the A10 chipset, which was used in the iPhone 7 back in 2016. So again, it does not push the envelope on the hardware front, but should still outpace earlier iPad models. A healthy 2GB of RAM is also onboard, with early tests showing that it can come close to matching the iPad Pro in a number of tasks, which helps to make its affordable price point even more impressive. The display is consistent with those of earlier generations when it comes to size and resolution, squeezing 1536×2048 pixels onto its surface and delivering crisp, clear visuals at all times. Apple has left HDR support off the table, but most people will not miss it as the content which features it, is thin on the ground.
Camera & battery
While photography may be the focus on new iPhone handsets, the latest iPad is a little behind the curve in this department. It has an eight megapixel snapper on the rear which delivers mediocre snaps, but then Apple appreciates that most people are not using their tablets to take pictures these days, so again, this is not much of a downside. With plenty of apps on offer to tweak sub-par images, there are lots of ways to make up for this. The battery is big enough to deliver around three days of use for people who pick up their tablet once or twice every 24 hours. Remember to get worldwide gadget insurance if you are planning to take your new iPad overseas with you for a holiday in the sun. Turn the brightness up to full and blaze through processor-intensive apps and games, and the battery will be out of juice in about four hours.
If you have not dipped into the iPad range for a few years and are looking for an upgrade for your older model, then this latest edition is a sensible purchase. It is faster than earlier versions and still has the same access to a vast library of useful apps to keep you informed and entertained. If you snapped up an iPad in the last 12 months, however, it probably doesn’t offer anything different enough to make it a worthwhile replacement. So get tablet insurance and keep using your current device.