It seems that Apple has finally turned the iPad around. Sales of iPads have been on the up for three consecutive quarters and what better way to keep the momentum going than to release a new entry-level iPad? Apple calls this the new 7th generation iPad and while the updates might be small, they have a dramatic impact on the product and make it, possibly, the best value tablet you can buy today.
There are two big updates to the new 7th generation iPad. Here they are:
Display ― This new iPad has a larger 10.2-inch Retina display. That's 0.5 inches larger than last year's iPad which has a 9.7-inch Retina display. Screen resolution is now 2,160 x 1,620 pixels, which means pixel density count remains the same at 264 pixels per inch.
Smart Connector ― The other big update is that the new iPad has a Smart Connector, which means you can finally use a Smart Keyboard with it. This also means that the entire iPad lineup (except the iPad Mini) now supports Apple’s Smart Keyboard. The lack of a Smart Connector was a glaring omission from last year’s iPad and it’s good to see it finally now coming to the iPad, even if the Smart Keyboard is a ridiculously expensive accessory.
Size ― This also means the new iPad is larger than its predecessor. In terms of dimensions, it's nearly the same as the updated iPad Air that was released earlier this year. It has the same footprint (height and width) but it’s oh so slightly thicker (7.5mm vs. 6.1mm). This means any covers or screen protectors that only cover the screen of the iPad Air will also fit the new iPad.
Processor ― This new iPad is powered by the same A10 processor as its predecessor.
Camera ― The front and rear-facing cameras are unchanged.
Apple Pencil support ― It will still only work with the first-generation Apple Pencil.
Lightning connector ― For better or worse, the new iPad still charges using a Lightning connector. The only iPads to have USB-C ports are the iPad Pros.
Touch ID ― Touch ID is the only biometric authentication system that the new iPad uses. Face ID is only on the iPad Pros.