iPad Overview Updated April 11, 2021

iPad (2020)

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3,271 'iPad' stories

February 2010 - April 2021

The iPad is Apple’s base tablet model. In its eighth generation, the iPad focuses on being the perfect tool for education and people who seek a bigger screen to read and surface the web. With Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support, the iPad has never been better.

History

The iPad is a line of tablets designed and developed by Apple. It was originally announced in 2010, three years after the first iPhone was introduced. With a 9.7-inch screen and with iPhone OS 3.2 the iPad was a success, hitting 1 million tablets sold in over three months, half the time the first iPhone took to reach this mark.

Steve Jobs then unveiled the iPad 2 in March of 2011. About 33% thinner than its predecessor and 15% lighter, the second generation used the A5 chip, twice as faster as its predecessor. The iPad 2 also introduced front and back cameras that supported FaceTime video calls.

The successor of iPad 2 wasn’t a success at all. The third generation was introduced in March of 2012 with a Retina display and the A5X processor. The problem with this tablet it was too heavy and the battery didn’t last long enough. In October of the same year, Apple announced the fourth generation with the A6X processor, HD FaceTime camera, improved LTE capabilities, and the Lightning connector.

At this October event, Apple also introduced the first iPad mini. In 2013, Apple went with the first iPad Air and the iPad mini 2. In 2015, the company introduced the first Pro model, with two different sizes.

In March of 2017, Apple announced the fifth-generation iPad with the A9 processor. It was a budget option compared to the other tablets. It was in 2018 that the company brought expressive news to the base iPad line. The sixth-generation had the A10 Fusion processor and fully supports the first-generation Apple Pencil.

A year later, the seventh generation was announced with a larger 10.2-inch display and support fot the Smart Keyboard as well. It retained most of the specs of the previous model.

In September of 2020, the eighth generation was introduced alongside the fourth-generation iPad Air model. The eighth-generation received an upgraded processor, now with the A12 Bionic, while keeping the same storage options: 32GB and 128GB.

iPad Specs

The eighth-generation iPad launched in September of 2020. Available in three colors, Silver, Space Gray, and Gold, this tablet is made of 100% recyclable aluminum, and supports the first-generation Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard.

With thinner bezels, the product comes with a 10.2-inch Retina display with a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating. This tablet uses the A12 Bionic chip, the same available on the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. It has an “all-day” battery with up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi or watching videos.

The iPad also comes in 32GB and 128GB storage options and Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular versions. It has an 8MP camera that can record up to 1080p and 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera.

Education

Apple describes this iPad as the go-to tablet for education. For several years the company discounts this tablet up to 10%.

Apple is always promoting ways students can use the iPad to learn new things: using Augmented Reality, the Apple Pencil, and how to code with Playgrounds.

The company says the “App Store is the best place to discover apps” for education purposes:

Let your curiosity run wild with iPad. The App Store is the best place to discover apps that let you get a leg up in geometry, learn a new language, and attend virtual classes. You can even use augmented reality to learn something exciting, like watching the history of spaceflight unfold in your living room or making characters from your favorite book literally leap off the page.

Pricing

iPad (2020) pricing starts at $329 for the 32GB storage option with Wi-Fi only. The prices can go up to $559 with the 128GB storage option and WI-Fi + Cellular. Here are the full prices of the eighth-generation Apple sells:

  • 32GB with Wi-Fi: $329
  • 32GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $459
  • 128GB with Wi-Fi: $429
  • 128GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $559
  • Apple Pencil (1st generation): $99
  • Smart Keyboard: $159

Lower prices may be available from Apple’s official Amazon store.

iPad (2020) Review

In our video review of the eighth generation iPad, we described it as the “best value tablet you can buy: “

“The iPad 8 was never meant to be a huge update. But even still, I think this is easily the best value tablet you can buy. For $329, this tablet has so much to offer: The performance, the great battery life, and the Apple pencil functionality. I’d highly recommend you pick up this tablet if you simply need an inexpensive tablet today that’s going to last you for three to four years with no trouble.”

iPad Deals

Over at 9to5Toys, you can find the best deals on the iPad and other Apple products. Download the 9to5Toys iPhone app to receive push notifications for new deals as well.

iPad Stories April 11

Rumors have been suggesting that Apple will introduce new iPad Pro models sometime in the first half of this year, and Bloomberg has already said that these models should arrive in April. While we’re still waiting for some news, Bloomberg today reported that the new 2021 iPad Pro is indeed coming later this month, despite supply constraints with the Mini-LED displays.

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iPad Stories April 8

Alleged new iPad mini dummies look identical to current model

An image shared by Sonny Dickson on Twitter purports to show dummy mockup units of forthcoming iPad Pro and iPad mini refreshes. However, the reveal is somewhat of a disappointment … with the new iPad mini seemingly looking identical in design to the existing model.

iPad Stories March 30

Adobe launches iPad app bundle with Photoshop, Illustrator, Fresco, more at 50% off

Adobe is out today with a new iPad app bundle to offer its mobile design software in a convenient and more affordable package. The Adobe Design Mobile Bundle includes Photoshop, Illustrator, Fresco, Adobe Fonts, Spark Post, and more.

iPad Stories March 28

New images shared on Twitter this week claim to show an early prototype of the first-generation iPad. While we’ve seen prototype images of the original iPad before, these images show that Apple had considered a docking system of some sort for the device…

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iPad Stories March 18

Astropad has offered its studio app for creative professionals that turns iPad into a Mac drawing tablet since 2017. Now after hearing lots of feedback from users, Astropad has launched a beta to convert iPad into a PC drawing tablet.

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iPad Stories March 16

The Kensington StudioDock is a unique dock accessory for the iPad Pro (2018 and 2020 models) and the iPad Air (2020). It’s geared toward quickly providing users with a vast array of I/O options, while giving the iPad a more desktop-friendly form factor.

Starting at $379, the Kensington StudioDock is far from cheap, but it gets lots of points in my book for being willing to do something unique, and for providing a genuinely useful desktop setup for dedicated iPad users. Watch our hands-on video for the full unboxing, and be sure to subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more videos.

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