The brand new Apple 10.2-inch iPad is Apple’s not-so-secret weapon


James Martin/CNET

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

The brand new iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max have actually turned lots of heads at Apple’s September occasion, not least due to the controversial new green color options. However I would wager {that a} briefly talked about replace to the entry-level iPad will likely be an even bigger leap for extra individuals. The iPhone updates are largely centered on digital camera {hardware}, whereas the Apple Watch’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it inside compass and always-on display isn’t going to maneuver the needle greater than every other Apple Watch replace.

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First take a look at Apple’s 10.2-inch iPad


However, the iPad (Apple’s solely pill and not using a modifier like Air, Mini or Professional), looks like a much-evolved product. Its display goes from 9.7 inches, a mainstay for the reason that launch of the iPad line in 2010, to a extra modern-feeling 10.2 inches. Meaning there isn’t any present iPad with a 9.7-inch display, the primary time that is occurred within the historical past of the system. 

The shift additional erodes the road between the usual iPad and the far more costly iPad Pro, pitched by Apple as a real laptop computer alternative. Really Apple pitches this new entry-level iPad as a laptop computer alternative, too, saying it presents two times the performance of the “best-selling Windows laptop.” 


Dan Ackerman/CNET

Now, as a lot as I believe there is a actually nice story to be instructed concerning the new iPad, that is a reasonably shaky comparability. Relying on the place you look, the best-selling laptop proper now’s a sub-$500 plastic slab with both a low-end AMD or Intel Celeron processor. A equally priced iPad specifically tuned to run its customized iPadOS working system is unquestionably going to really feel quicker than a Celeron machine struggling to run Windows 10 easily. The identical could possibly be mentioned of an affordable Chromebook, which can really feel quicker operating Google’s gentle ChromeOS. 

So it isn’t an ideal comparability to a Home windows laptop computer from that standpoint, however the different massive new characteristic within the iPad actually does assist it make the case as an alternative choice to clamshell PCs. By including the proprietary Good Connector interface to the sting of the iPad, you out of the blue have entry to the small however spectacular vary of high-end equipment made for the iPad Pro and iPad Air. Having tried each varieties of keyboards, a direct connection to Apple’s keyboard cowl is a greater general expertise than utilizing a Bluetooth keyboard. 


These three dots are the Good Connector on the brand new 10.2-inch iPad.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

The earlier gen of iPad already labored with the Apple Pencil, at the very least the unique model of it, and that continues right here. Now mixed with a bigger display, quick A10 processor and the Good Connector, there’s much less daylight than ever between this and the expensive iPad Professional. 

Misplaced someplace within the center are the not too long ago revived iPad Mini and iPad Air. Each of these are trapped within the center, main neither in value nor options. The iPhone is accessible in common and Professional fashions, the MacBook in Air and Professional fashions. I am undecided there is a compelling purpose for there to be 4 distinct iPad product strains. However I’m shocked that the entry-level iPad now feels just like the mannequin that ought to survive alongside the Professional. 

I am going again to my unique ideas on the iPad, relationship again to the unique 2010 launch mannequin. On the time, I called it a product that came off better in person than on paper. I would say the identical concerning the new iPad. It provides a bunch of spec tweaks that do not sound revolutionary, however when making an attempt it out in particular person, I got here away extra impressed than I anticipated. 


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