There were a lot of rumors about a new iPad Air launching at Apple’s event yesterday, but few about a new base-level iPad. But the company did indeed announce an update to its 10.2-inch iPad and the 8th-generation model is available for purchase at Apple’s website for $329. The new iPad may not arrive until early October, but you can still place your order now at Apple or other retailers including B&H Photo, Best Buy, and Walmart.
Unlike the iPad Air, the latest base-level iPad didn’t get a Pro design refresh. Rather, the tech giant updated it with the A12 Bionic chipset and Neural Engine that’s located in the iPhone XS. The previous, 7th-generation model ran on the A10 chip so the new one will feel much faster overall and have improved graphical performance.
While that might seem like an underwhelming update, it’s quite the contrary. The iPhone 7 was the first of its kind to have the A10 chip when it was launched in 2016, so the iPad was run. We gave the 7th-generation iPad a score of 86 when it was updated last fall, and one of the things we wished for was a snappier chip inside. While the A10 chipset handled multitasking and other iPadOS features too, well presume the 8th-generation iPad will contain the A12 processor and will be much better at handling all of the new improvements coming in iPadOS 14.
Alongside iPad mini, the base iPad still has a design with chunkier bezels – but that also means it still has the physical Home button with TouchID. It also continues to help the first-generation Apple Pencil and the company showed off a lot of new features coming to the native Notes app – like copying and pasting handwritten notes as text – that will make note-taking a lot easier and a bit more exciting. The biggest downside is that you’ll still have to charge the Apple Pencil by connecting to the new iPad’s Lightning port.