With a lower price of 50 euros compared to last year's model and an extra nib, the new iPad has made sense of the whole tablet category
Presented in Chicago at the end of last month, the new iPad 2018 (or sixth generation), in practice, the 2017 model with a faster processor and support for the Apple Pencil digital stylus. Ah, in Italy it also costs 50 euros less (starting from 359). Put like this, it does not seem to be the most exciting technological news of the year, but, as we will see during this review after about a week of use, there are points of interest.
Let us first analyze the three novelties. The A10 Fusion processor will not be as powerful as the iPad Pro (A10X), but difficult to notice differences in speed and performance in everyday use. Apps, including augmented reality apps – including fun and educational Froggipedia and Boulevard AR – all start and run smoothly, multitasking and split screen they don't have slowdowns. Even the benchmark tests seem to confirm these feelings, and, in general, given also the compatibility with the nib, the impression that the new iPad represents a valid alternative to purchasing the iPad Pro from 10.5 inches, which costs more than double.
The price therefore one of the major interest factors of this model. This is the cheapest iPad ever launched, except for the "old" mini. And if you can not yet say that it is low cost, given that the 359 euro list (for the 32 GB wi-fi version) must be added the 99 of the Apple Pencil, now the iPad can also have its say in the low end of the tablet market. In fact, even if rivals are not lacking, the gap between iPads and Android gadgets is remarkable. While for smartphones the choice between the two operating systems is hard in the world of tablets iOS is much preferable, with hundreds of thousands of apps developed especially for the big screen (and not just the "enlarged" version of those for the phone, as often happens at Google) and many functions (the foldaway bar, a better multitasking, the division of the screen, etc. – all added in the latest version iOS 11) that have given a sense to the tablet as a work or study tool.
Here the third novelty, that is the compatibility with the Pencil nib, the one that has most changed the cards on the table, making iPad easier to use and more open to creativity. In Apple projects must become the ideal tool in schools (the Chicago presentation was held in an educational institution and insisted a lot on the "educational" functions), going to compete with the Chromebook computers.
Given the situation of Italian classes, unfortunately, here the mass adoption to be excluded, but over 200 thousand apps for educational use and the new versions of Pages, Numbers, Keynote and their Microsoft counterparts (the free Office package for the displays under the 10 inches) are full of features suitable for the nib, as well as many other apps for draw, write freehand, add notes and drawings to photos and documents etc. The Apple stylus works well, sensitive to screen pressure and can be tilted at will like a real pencil. The only problem that there is no way to attach it to the iPad: unless you buy a 149 euro case, you will have to stick it behind your ear so as not to lose it.
In conclusion, the iPad 2018 does everything the iPad Pro does at half the price (ok, it does not have the second generation touch ID and has two speakers instead of four) and this makes it the best tablet to buy today. At least until the new version of the Pro, which should arrive in June with facial recognition and other new features.
Wired: the quality / price ratio; compatibility with the nib (with hundreds of optimized applications).
Tired: design begins to feel the weight of years, with those edges a little too thick; the weight is almost half a kilo.