First Thoughts: The New iPad

Although we didn’t get all the hardware that was expected at Apple’s education event this week, a new iPad did appear. The big news is that it now works with the Apple Pencil and it's pretty powerful with its A10 chip. 

Despite the education theme, this clearly isn’t something that's just aimed at students, as it takes the iPad to another level.

For me, the big problem is bizarrely the iPhone X. I say this because I think it's a safe bet that a lot of the amazing features of that device are likely to find their way to the iPad Pro this year. 

If you're like me, you'll probably be facing a bit of a dilemma as to whether it's worth getting one of these now or waiting a few months to see what they do around WWDC time. The new iPad Pro is likely to appear then, but that will be around three months into this device's exclusive lifespan. Here are some things to think about if you're not sure.

The biggest news has to be the Apple Pencil support. This turns the 'standard' iPad into a super handy notepad and it's such a great way to interface with the device.

I'll be interested to see how it handles apps like Affinity Designer though. It also looks like there's a keyboard case on the way, as there's a picture of one on the Apple website. The AR support also looks impressive and all in all, it packs quite a punch for the price of an 'entry model'. A few years go, this would surely be the price of the old iPad Air.

The new iPad

If anything, this new iPad should give people who are still hanging on to their older models a great reason to upgrade

I'm just not sure why Apple Pay is being promoted as a feature though, unless a lot of people use these in cafes. It also looks a lot like last year's model as well, which at the time was a bit of a step back from the Air.

I think there are always going to be trade-offs when you split a range like this, by adding the 'Pro' model, but the price should surely make up for it now. While the new iPad will be ideal for most people, it may be worth holding on and paying extra for a new iPad Pro if you really want to be productive with it.

Based on what we've seen on the iPhone X, Face ID, an all-screen design and even an OLED display could appear on the iPad Pro this year.

Although the new iPad itself could be a desktop replacement for everyday users, it's unlikely to be enough for people with things to do. With rumours of iOS and MacOS integration on the horizon, we may even get an iPad Pro we can dock with a screen, trackpad and keyboard to really get productive. 

Although it does a decent job, I think it's fair to say that the iPad they released this week is still some way off replacing the MacBook, even for basic tasks.

To sum it up simply, the new iPad is a great device if you just want something to browse online, use apps and quickly pick up and play around with. It's also perfect for kids and with the Apple Pencil, it's an ideal tool to capture your thoughts and keep organised. You could even get an iPad Pro as well if it's that good.

Image: Apple