This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
The 8th generation iPad was released on September 18, and I tried it out for a short time. I think the basic specifications have already been introduced in the previous report, so I will write about what I thought in this article after touching the device.
As I said last year when the seventh-generation iPad was launched, I'm still thinking "this is good enough". The design is the same as the old one, but the 10.2-inch screen can handle multitasking, and you can use the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. The 8th generation is powered by the A12 Bionic chipset with Neural Engine, so you're unlikely to have a problem with performance in office work.
The A12 Bionic is an SoC using the 7nm process found in the 2018 iPhone XS. I remember 5 trillion in OPS (number of processes per second for a neural engine) was too big a number for me to imagine well.
When I ran the benchmarking app Geekbench 5 on the 8th generation iPad, the CPU score was 1119 on Single-Core Score, 2742 on Multi-Core Score, and 5422 on Metal Score. Of course, looking at the Multi-Core and Metal Score figures alone, there is more than double the difference between it and the Pro series, but my impression is that there isn't actually that much of a difference.
For example, I took a 30-second video, adjusted the filters and angles using the standard editing features of the Photo app, and measured how many seconds it took. It takes roughly a little over 20 seconds.
Using the same video file, I tried the same edit on my regular 11-inch iPad Pro 2018 model (this one was still on iPadOS 13), and it took about 30 seconds, which was a bit frustrating because I thought, "Oh, it''s losing." (Well, I'm heavy using it, so memory usage, OS version, the equipment I shot it on, or some other condition may have affected it...). By the way, my iPad Pro's Geeckbench 5 score was 1125 on Single-Core Score, 4594 on Multi-Core Score, and 11324 on Metal Score.
Of course, AR and gaming will make a difference in some areas, but even if the iPad is neither Pro nor Air, it's unlikely to be lacking in performance when it comes to basic office tasks. If your only intended use is replying to emails and chats or creating documents, I think it's more cost-effective than choosing a higher-end model. Also, even creative applications, including relatively short video editing, will probably work just fine.
The iPad (8th generation) is priced from 38,280 yen (including tax) for the 32GB model in the smallest configuration, and the Apple Pencil (1st generation) is 11,880 yen, for a total of 51,060 yen. A Smart Keyboard is also available for 18,480 yen, so the total price of the full set with this item is 68,640 yen.
As for the full set price, it increases when you get to the higher-end model. We're not sure if we should wait for the new, redesigned iPad Air, but even though the iPad Air is a great deal, it's still over $100,000 with a pen and keyboard in its smallest configuration. It honestly depends on your budget as to which one you choose.
If you're buying it for limited use, such as to give it to your kids or to create a paperless environment for telecommuting, the 8th generation iPad continues to be the best bet for the price. The charging port also uses Lightning, so the fact that cables can be used with the iPhone is also economical.
However, the iPad's minimal configuration of 32GB of storage is honestly unreliable, as you'll use it up quickly when editing videos or installing creative apps. Let me make it clear that unless you're buying it for a more divisive purpose, such as "checking email or digitally signing documents," you're better off paying 11,000 yen more for 128GB.
Gallery: 「もうコレで充分」第8世代のiPadは万人向けじゃないがほとんどの人には買いのモデル | of 3 Photos
Besides that, there are of course many other aspects of the experience that are inferior to the iPad Pro / Air. For example, you can't use the second-generation Apple Pencil, which makes charging the pen itself a bit of a hassle, and the camera is a bit rough at 8MP. As for the display, it doesn't support full lamination, wide color gamut, True Tone, or ProMotion technology (Pro only), so there's a difference in comfort when you're illustrating, for example. There are also only two speakers (four in the Pro only).
It's an all-around inexpensive device that's usable in all applications, but we'd like you to be aware of the difference in the quality of experience between it and the higher-end models before you consider buying it. If you're going to stick to those features, then at the very least, you should choose the new iPad Air.
On the other hand, if you're planning on using the device for purposes that don't particularly concern you with any of the listed features, then it's a "buy" device.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.