Apple’s best-selling and cheapest tablet, the standard iPad, got a refresh alongside the new iPad Air model. Glancing at it, you’ll find that almost nothing has changed this year, but be sure that Apple has made some significant upgrades when it comes to its processing power. With the new chip, the 8th-gen iPad joins the big-league machines, making its design the only weak and perhaps even restricting point right now.
This is everything that you need to know about Apple’s latest budget iPad 8, including its detailed specs, pricing, availability details, accessories, and some worthy alternatives.
Read: Our Apple iPad 8 Review
- 10.2-inch Retina screen
- A12 Bionic processor
- iPadOS 14
- Up to 128GB of storage
- Optional 4G LTE
- Lightning port
- Optional Apple Pencil (1st gen)
- Optional Smart Keyboard
Apple iPad 8: The Basics
From the outside, Apple doesn’t seem to have changed anything on the new entry-level iPad. It comes with the same design that has started to look dated with its thick top and bottom bezels. The 8th-gen model retains its predecessor’s 10.2-inch display and the front-facing Touch ID sensor for user authentication. With that, the tablet keeps its overall dimensions, meaning the Smart Keyboard that worked with the previous model will be compatible here as well. The Lightning port hasn’t gone anywhere either, so you’re stuck with the first-gen Apple Pencil that awkwardly sticks out of the tablet while charging.
While the exterior hasn’t changed one bit, the 2020 iPad has made a big jump when it comes to its internals. It comes fueled by the A12 Bionic processor, the same one that powered the last iPad Mini and the 2018 iPhone XS line. This chip is plenty powerful for a tablet of its size and price, and a meaningful upgrade from last year’s A10 Fusion. Besides the overhead in the CPU performance, the A12 brings a big jump in graphics performance, which should be noticeable when gaming or using other graphic-intensive applications like AR.
The tablet comes running the latest iPadOS version 14 out of the box with all the feature additions and improvements. As for the camera, you’re getting the same 8MP primary sensor paired with a 1.2MP camera for conferencing. The speakers, too, are mounted only on one side of the device with no stereo effect. The storage options on the iPad 8 also haven’t changed; you can pick between 32GB and 128GB space like before. Apple is promising its usual 10 hours of continuous usage, which is often pretty close to the real-life figure.
|Tablet||Apple iPad 8|
|Operating system||iPadOS 14|
|Display||10.2-inch IPS LCD (2160 x 1620), 500 nits|
|Processor||Six-core A12 Bionic|
|Main camera||8 Megapixels|
|Front camera||1.2 Megapixels|
|Connectivity||Optional 4G LTE + GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2|
|Ports||Lightning port, 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Battery||32.4Wh, up to 10 hours|
|Security||Front-facing Touch ID|
|Dimensions||250.6 x 174.1 x 7.5 mm|
Price & Availability
Like everything else that hasn’t changed in the 8th-gen iPad, Apple hasn’t altered its price either. The budget tablet still starts at $329 for the base Wi-Fi-only model and goes up to $459 for the 4G LTE variant. You can increase the storage to 128GB in both models by paying a bit extra. You can already pre-order the device from Apple with shipments set to start from Friday, September 18. The companion Smart Keyboard comes in at $159, while you’ll have to shell out $99 for the older Apple Pencil.
Apple iPad 8 Alternatives
It’s safe to say that the iPad 8 has the best-performing processor in its price range that not many competitors will be able to match. Still, we’re seeing a bunch of decent offerings in a similar category lately, like the new Galaxy Tab A7 10.4 could be a great alternative for basic use on a budget. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (review) is also positioned as a fantastic option that comes bundled with the S Pen, saving you quite a bit of cash if you were to get the stylus separately. In an even smaller form factor, the iPad Mini 2019 (review) could be decent bet, especially since it uses the same A12 SoC.
For a more desktop-like experience, you can look at Lenovo’s Chromebook Duet (review), which offers a complete package for quite a reasonable price. Spending a tad more can get you the Microsoft Surface Go 2 (review), which is an even better productivity device, though its price quickly adds up when you count in all its accessories. You can even consider picking up the iPad 7 (review) if you can snag a decent deal now that it’s a generation old, or even the new iPad Air 4 if your pocket allows.
- Outstanding performance
- Good speakers
- Bright screen
- Metal body
- Fingerprint scanner
- Apple Pencil support
- Optional keyboard cover
- Up to date iPadOS
- Screen not laminated
- Old design
- Lightning port instead of USB C
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