Technophile

Apple’s most popular iPad comes back stronger

Mala Bharghava | Updated on: Dec 08, 2021

The king of tablets holds on to some old elements with a specs boost and more power

Apple’s iPad, simply known as the iPad, is the best-selling from the company’s collection. Each other iPad has something setting it apart but the ‘regular’ iPad is the one that makes sense for many.

Recently, Apple brought the 9th gen iPad into the market globally and while it holds on to some older elements, it’s also got a specs boost that has it keeping pace on the performance front. Customers who don’t want to pay a lot more for an iPad Pro or an iPad Air are comfortable enough with the iPad when they’re looking for an additional all-purpose device at home.

The iPad 10.2 9th gen may belong to 2021, but it doesn’t bring some of the design changes the other iPads have seen. It still has thick bezels, specially at top and bottom, and the good old Home button at the bottom of the tablet. It will annoy those who are used to Face ID but a first time iPad buyer won’t care.

I recently recommended this iPad to someone who isn’t tech savvy and has never owned a tablet, and he certainly didn’t care what the other iPads came with, or even that there are other iPads out there. To him, his new iPad is an endlessly absorbing pastime.

This iPad still has the Lightning port, another annoyance to existing users but not to new ones. It’s Apple’s proprietary charging port and hasn’t been replaced on this tablet with the USB-C. Maybe next time!

But on the bright side, the iPad still has the 3.5mm headphone jack. It also has only speakers on the bottom, not stereo or quad, and this is a nuisance because you don’t get the full impact while on video calls or watching movies.

Apple Pencil

Another older design element is that this tablet still supports the older Apple Pencil. It is still capable but charges awkwardly in the lightning port. You have to be careful not to knock it as you move around else you could damage the port. But, by and large, users become accustomed to being careful. The Pencil also feels a little different because there’s a gap between the glass and the screen and you feel further from it. It nevertheless adds a whole slew of capabilities to the tablet, letting you take handwritten notes, draw, mark up etc.

The changes to the iPad 2021 are all on the inside. It will be no surprise to look back a few months later to find that this one is still the iPad that sells the most. The display is suited well to indoor use; it’s not an OLED, but is nice and bright though maybe not designed for use in blazing sunlight. It supports True Tone which means it adjusts to ambient light.

The tablet runs on the A13 Bionic chip — more than it used to have and plenty fast despite being two years old. You won’t experience any lag and stutter and it easily lets you play some of the most common games. It’s just not the ideal device for things like video editing.

The iPad now starts with base storage of 64GB vs 32GB earlier. It runs the same software as the other iPads — iPadOS 15 — and can serve for light work as well if you buy a keyboard.

The iPad 10.2 9th gen starts from ₹30,900.

Published on December 08, 2021

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