The entry-level iPad has a big screen, solid performance and good battery life.
By Anuj Bhatia
The Apple iPad is ready to replace your laptop and without adding the Pro suffix. Before you accuse me of exaggerating, try the new iPad (2019) with which Apple is turning even its entry-level tablet into a potential laptop replacement. The idea behind the new device is to give consumers access to a productivity tool, something everyone can rely on. The new iPad is perfect for students, journalists or anyone else who needs some “Pro” features built-in like support for Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard, but doesn’t have the budget for the iPad Pro, which starts at Rs. 71,900. The base model of the iPad, in contrast, is priced Rs. 29,900.
The new entry-level iPad has a design similar to its predecessor, so don’t expect it to look like the iPad Pro. The tablet is well-built and the enclosure is entirely made out of recycled aluminum, which is a small yet significant step in pushing environmental concerns. You get the new iPad in Gold, Silver or Space Grey.
A lightning port is at the bottom for charging, with a sleep/wake button and a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top of the body. On the right side of the tablet are the volume up and down keys. The bezels on both sides of the screen seem a bit dated, but do help while holding the 10.2-inch tablet. Having a 10.2-inch screen is an advantage, if you want to read the e-paper in the morning, as I do. It’s easier to work in Google Docs and write a copy on the iPad. I treat the 2019 iPad as a mobile computer because it’s light and goes all day on a single charge. My review unit, being an LTE model, is a good investment for a reporter on the move.
The 2019 iPad uses a 10.2-inch LCD display, like any other iPad, but lacks ProMotion, the technology found in the iPad Pro that enables the screen to run at 120Hz. But even without ProMotion, the Retina Screen is excellent. Photos and videos look sharp, and viewing angles are excellent.
Inside, the 2019 iPad has the A10 Fusion chipset, still reasonably adequate for most of the tasks. This iPad is powerful enough for basic productivity tasks, web browsing, watching movies, and playing light mobile games. My biggest issue with the 2019 iPad is its storage. The entry-level model comes with a minimum of 32GB of storage, which is too low for even basic computing needs. Apple should have packed at least 64GB of internal storage in the entry-level iPad.
Although Apple promises 10 hours of battery, I got roughly eight hours on a single charge. It was my primary machine throughout the testing with AirPods attached, sending and receiving hundreds of emails and messages, writing and editing copies, browsing the web, watching an hour of Netflix, and spending close to an hour playing Apple Arcade games. Charging the iPad with the 10W charger is slow, taking well over two hours to full the juice from 0% to 100%.
It is easy to dismiss the fact that a lot of people like to take photographs using the iPad. To satisfy those consumers, the new iPad comes with an 8MP rear-facing camera with the capability to capture 1080p video at 30fps or slow-motion 120fps video at 720p. On the front, you will notice a 1.2MP camera that can record video at 720p.
In summary, if you’re looking for a budget iPad in the market, then yes, the 2019 iPad is the best tablet to go for. The entry-level iPad is a good option with a big screen and solid performance.
Estimated street price: Rs. 29,900 onwards (includes 32GB of storage)