Supernatant in a maltreated market, the sixth generation iPad reaffirms its strengths and adds a new, its price. Without innovating nor forcing his talent.
For its sixth generation, the iPad is adorned with the virtues of education. Launched during an event dedicated to education in a Chicago school, champion of a reconquest, he must wear the colors of the giant Cupertino in this sector … Good. Let’s wish him good luck in this Homeric fight. And let’s focus on a simpler question: what is it worth in the daily life of everyone?
Last year, by redefining the position of the iPad, Apple had made an impression with its first 9.7-inch tablet sold at nearly 400 euros at its launch. A price that had enough to revive interest in a product that is otherwise not very innovative. A year later, Tim Cook’s teams seem to want to take the same path, but with some adjustments.
The first is obviously his flagship argument, his price. The tablet is now sold from 359 euros – 579 euros for the model tested. But is it enough to justify a relative immobility for the rest?
Indeed, externally, the iPad vintage 2018 is the clone of his elder. Even wide borders, same button Touch ID first generation, one that was sometimes a little slow to react, and even slab of 9.7 inches.
On this point, the definition does not change, the screen is still not rolled or anti-reflective, but the quality is undeniable. Luminous and comfortable to the eye, whatever the lighting conditions, despite the absence of True Tone technology, the slab offers almost perfect color fidelity, without the P3 technology. We measured delta E at 1.11, which is rare, even more so on a tablet of this price. The gamut, the palette of colors, is also excellent. Admittedly, the slab slams less than that of the iPad Pro, but should we remember the difference in price?
To finish with the outside, let’s quickly talk about the sound, powerful enough to allow you to immerse yourself in a movie or a game, without being as encompassing as on Pro models.
Finally, let’s take a glimpse of the photo modules. Forget the one on the front, with its 1.2 Mpixel, it will not always pay tribute to your video chat sessions, especially in low light. The rear module, 8 Mpixels, is much better. It makes possible the taking of beautiful shots in full light. However, do not expect to achieve beautiful portraits as the day draws to a close.
IPad running AR
Another use of the photo module, augmented reality. The iPad 2018 keeps its promises. It seemed to us that it is more difficult to spot flat surfaces than an iPhone 8 Plus or an iPhone X. Especially indoors. Similarly, the positioning of virtual objects is a little less accurate than on these devices. Nevertheless the AR experience offered by ARkit is still impressive and refreshing. Whether to observe a frog under all the seams or to see if this furniture will go well in its interior.
One thing is certain in any case, the power is not lacking for this kind of diving in the augmented world. It is enough to contemplate graceful dinosaurs to cross at a pedestrian crossing in front of oneself to be convinced of it.
For those who ask a little more, we ran a few tests, which we have already published in a first article, to take the measure of the chip A10 Fusion, already encountered in the iPhone 7.
It shows that Apple has perfectly calibrated the performance of its new entry-level iPad. The sixth generation of Apple’s tablet brings a significant gain in power over the 2017 model. About 35% overall CPU and GPU.
Flourish logoA Flourish data visualization
The iPad 2018 is therefore different from the 2017 model, but not enough to warrant an update – it’s been a long time since we understood, and Apple first, we do not change the iPad every year. On the other hand, this rise in power adjusts its position in the range. Because, despite its progress, the iPad this year remains well below what can offer the iPad Pro 10.5 inches.
Nothing to worry about. This means that the performance of last year’s model, which was already largely sufficient for all the uses of a mainstream newspaper, is being revised upwards for more fluidity. Multitasking works smoothly, the display of HD videos knows no jerkiness, and games run without flinching. In other words, the iPad 2018 is … an iPad. With all the quality of experience that implies.
A small fee with a big price
An experience that is also supplemented or enriched by the compatibility of this iPad with the Apple Pencil (or the Logitech Pencil). This implies that it is now possible to take handwritten notes with dedicated applications – we particularly recommend MyScript Nebo to save time by automatically converting our squiggles into typed text. The various tools that Apple offers for free also benefits … We think of Notes, of course, but also and especially to all its office suite (Pages, Keynote, etc.) in which it is possible to work with the stylus.
About the stylus of Apple, we will have three regrets. First, its slightly slippery design and its tip a little too firm that does not transcribe the impression of pressure yet well managed. Then, a charging indicator on the Apple Pencil could have been welcome. Too often you run out of battery when you use it. Finally, its price is even higher than that of the iPad, it represents a little less than a third of the 359 euros promised …
A high price that could curb more than one and deprive them of an interesting experience. Because in the end the pen is a good way to instill a little productivity in this terminal mainly for the consumption of content. Finally, the absence of Smart Connector is a small default that adds to the limitations of iOS to be as productive on an iPad as a laptop.
A slight disappointment …
Comes the last question and the first disappointment, that of autonomy. The 2017 model had offered us great performance in this area by stalling in the footsteps of iPad Pro. This year, we had to satisfy ourselves with autonomy in (strong) withdrawal.
It remains entirely acceptable but it is difficult to justify a reduction in the battery life of two hours. This is indeed our test of versatile autonomy, which simulates intensive daily use.
Flourish logoA Flourish data visualization
In addition to the 2017 iPad and the 10.5-inch Pro model released the same year, we slid the 9.7-inch iPad Pro 2016 in our comparison. This model used the Apple A9X and offered a versatile autonomy that peaked at 8:09. A result relatively similar to those obtained by the previous models, the iPad Air and Air 2.
With its 9h19, the iPad 2018 is well below the iPad 2017 (11h20) in terms of versatility. But it is still above what the older iPads offered in our tests – except for the autonomy in video playback.
One way to say that it could have been worse but that 2017 was an exceptional vintage that we would have liked to find the shine this year. Apple decided otherwise. Except for possible economic reasons, difficult to understand why.