In this extensive iPad 2019 review you can read about our experiences with Apple’s cheapest new iPad with 10.2-inch screen. What’s the big screen for you? And are there enough innovations to upgrade? We have tested it extensively for you!
A larger entry-level model for everyday use
Last year we were enthusiastic about the new model in our iPad 2018 review . All kinds of functions were added that brought the tablet closer to the iPad Pro, such as support for the Apple Pencil. With the iPad 2019 ( available from € 389 ), Apple is repeating the same trick by building in a Smart Connector, so that you can now connect a keyboard cover to it. As a result, ordinary users are getting more and more options, which were previously only reserved for the more expensive models.
There are no really big changes in this 2019 version of the iPad and that is all the more remarkable because Apple announced this new tablet during the ‘By innovation only’ event. At the same time, we did not actually expect any major changes. People who buy this iPad are simply looking for a good tablet. What they want is good quality materials, ease of use and a reliable device. They are not at all interested in major innovations that have not yet proven their usefulness and that may still contain teething problems. But is the seventh-generation iPad still recommended due to these small improvements or can you just as well choose last year’s model? In this review of the iPad 2019 we are going to tell you!
The most popular iPad this year is bigger than before: Apple scaled the model from 9.7-inch to 10.2-inch. But technically, not much has changed. That raises the question for many people: should I have this new iPad , or is last year’s actually just as good? What has improved? In this review of the 10.2-inch iPad 2019, we mainly focus on the changes compared to the previous models.
Design: same appearance, larger screen
- Dimensions: 250.6mm x 174.1mm x 7.5mm
- Weight 483 grams (493 grams for the model with mobile internet)
- Casing made of 100% recycled aluminum
- Available in space gray, silver and gold
Compared to previous models, the look of the 10.2-inch iPad has remained the same. Below the screen is still a home button with Touch ID and all other buttons are also still in the same place. This also applies to the speaker and all other parts. The only thing that has changed is the format. This new tablet now measures 250.6mm x 174.1mm x 7.5mm, making it slightly larger than the previous model. This was necessary to accommodate the larger screen. Therefore, keep in mind that you need a new cover and can no longer reuse the covers of previous models. Smart Covers of the old 10.5-inch iPad Pro and iPad Air 2019 do fit. The iPad weighs just under 500 grams.
You still keep the same pretty thick screen bezels, but that’s understandable. Apple has not tried to offer anything spectacularly new with this iPad. Above all, it had to remain affordable. Perhaps that is also the reason that Apple has opted for 100% recycled aluminum for this iPad. Not only does that sound sustainable, but it is undoubtedly also a lot cheaper in terms of purchasing materials. For the first time, there is a Smart Connector on the side.
Screen of the 10.2-inch iPad 2019
- 10.2-inch screen with Retina resolution 2160 x 1620 pixels (previously 1536 x 2048)
- Pixel density 264 ppi (just like before)
- Non-laminated screen
- 500 nits brightness
- Fingerprint-resistant, grease-resistant coating
- No ProMotion, Wide Color and True Tone
- Suitable for Apple Pencil (1st generation)
The biggest innovation is that the screen is now slightly larger, namely 10.2 inches instead of the well-known 9.7-inch screen size that has been the standard size since the very beginning of the iPad. You get a screen with a resolution of 2160 x 1620 pixels with a pixel density of 264 ppi. Because the screen has become larger, you get more pixels, but the sharpness of the texts has remained exactly the same. This is fine for home garden and kitchen use, such as watching movies. It also makes this iPad a little more suited to the new features in iPadOS , such as multiple windows of the same app . We do have the suspicion that users would rather have seen Apple not so much a larger screen, but a better quality screen.
Like the previous model, the screen is not laminated and there is also no anti-reflection coating on it. This makes this screen slightly less suitable for outdoor use. You also notice that there is space between the glass plate and the actual screen. If you previously used an iPad Air, you will notice that you are less close to the buttons with this iPad. Touching the screen now sounds a bit hollow. A laminated screen is thinner, but it is also more expensive to produce. That is why Apple is sticking with a non-laminated screen with this model. There is another reason: this standard iPad must be suitable for use in schools and a non-laminated screen is cheaper to repair.
The brightness is 500 nits, which is fine for everyday use. There are no fancy techniques such as Wide Color and True Tone, but we didn’t expect that either. The color reproduction is the same as you have always been used to, so it is not the case that you suddenly miss something. The people who benefit the most are current owners of an iPad without a Retina display, such as the once immensely popular iPad 2 . For them, the screen of the 2019 iPad will be a sight to behold.
The great thing is, of course, that this tablet runs on iPadOS 13 and has almost all functions that you also find on the more expensive models, such as connecting a USB stick (via a suitable adapter). It can be a great asset if you’re looking for a cheap iPad to use the new Sidecar feature .
All iPads that Apple sells nowadays are suitable for the Apple Pencil (first or second generation), so we are no longer surprised about this. The response time of the Pencil is identical to the previous models, so it’s great for your daily scribbles and notes. If you are an artist and you really want to start drawing with the iPad seriously, then you are slightly better off with the iPad Pro, because it feels more natural. This has to do with a number of factors, including the laminated screen (which puts you closer to the drawing) and the fact that the second-generation Apple Pencil in combination with the ProMotion technology delivers a faster response time. That works just a little better. But again: that only makes sense if you want to draw a lot with it.
Smart Keyboard support
- Support for Smart Keyboard
- Same model as 10.5-inch iPads
- Keyboard and cover in one
For the first time, Apple has added support for the Smart Connector in the standard iPad . Apple first introduced this connection in the iPad Pro in 2015, but it is no longer a real pro function. In fact, the use of the Smart Connector is quite disappointing. Accessories have never really appeared over the years and you can actually only connect Apple’s Smart Keyboard to it. It is a pity that the potential of the Smart Connector has never been exploited.
We still like the Smart Keyboard cover. You can open it in no time, although it may take some getting used to how to unfold the cover exactly. Typing itself is still pleasant, especially for shorter texts and e-mails. We like typing with the Smart Keyboard better than with the virtual keyboard, but it is definitely not a must-have if you decide to get this iPad 2019 at home. This is also because the price of the cover is quite high.
The Smart Keyboard costs € 179 , which is almost half of what you pay for the iPad itself. We actually think this is way too expensive. A price of around € 100- € 120 would have been more appropriate. If you think this is too expensive, you can of course always connect a regular Bluetooth keyboard to it.
- 64-bit A10 Fusion processor
- 3 GB RAM
- Choice of 32GB or 128GB storage
The iPad has an A10 Fusion chip, which is the same as in last year’s model. The chip used has been around since 2016 and was first used in the iPhone 7 (Plus). For average users, that’s powerful enough, but of course you’re not getting the latest of the latest. On the iPhone, Apple has already arrived at the A13.
However, for the use for which this iPad is intended, such as surfing the internet, watching videos and playing games, it is fine. People who buy this iPad probably won’t edit 4K videos on it or design 3D models with it. Keep in mind that this chip will probably be supported for a little less time with new software functions, because the chip is already three years old. The A12 chip in the iPad Air 2019 is more future-proof, but this model is also a lot more expensive.
Apple claims in the press release that the A10 Fusion chip offers “up to twice the performance of the best-selling Windows PC”. That sounds impressive, but there is not much difference with the previous iPad, even though it contains 3GB RAM (previously 2GB). In the Geekbench benchmarks, both models score around 700 and 1400 points for single core and dual core performance respectively.
In terms of storage, you can again choose 32GB or 128GB with this iPad. We think that is an excellent choice. If you don’t do much with your iPad (which is quite understandable with this model) then 32GB is more than enough. We are used to a somewhat higher storage capacity on an iPhone (from 64GB), but another factor is that the devices are often used as a camera. If you are just sitting on the couch at home on the internet and streaming movies, then 32GB is more than enough. If you want to store more movies, for example to watch offline, you can do very well with 128GB. The jump from 32GB to 128GB will cost you € 100 extra.
As far as the camera is concerned, this time again there is an 8-megapixel camera on the front with the possibility to film 1080p HD. On the front is still a meager 1.2-megapixel camera with a maximum video quality of 720p. So don’t count on crystal clear images if you want to use this iPad to facetimize, but it is probably good enough for the target group. Last year, Apple added a new ISP for automatic optimal settings. We didn’t actually see any improvements in the camera for this year. We do not think that is necessary, because the iPad is not a device with which you really take photos. On the other hand, how much did it cost Apple to give the FaceTime camera a minor update, to say 7 megapixels? Probably not much. If you still want a better camera, you have to switch to the more expensive oneiPad Air 2019 .
Battery of the iPad 2019
- Up to 10 hours of battery life for internet browsing
- Charging via Lightning connector on the bottom
- Polymeer– rechargeable lithium battery of 32.4 watt-hour (previously 32.9 Wh)
Do not expect a USB-C connection with this iPad. Apple is sticking to the traditional Lightning connection and that’s fine because the switch to a new type of cable also means that you have to invest again in cables and other accessories. As a budget buyer you are not waiting for that at all. The battery life has remained the same, even though the battery delivers a little less energy. We suspect that Apple has made some optimizations, making this tablet just a little more energy-efficient.
Who is the iPad 2019 for?
This review has shown that the iPad 2019 has only been renewed on a limited number of points. This also immediately reduces the target group of this model. To get straight to the point: we don’t mind upgrading from an iPad 2018 . If you now have this model, you really only benefit from the slightly larger screen. In practice, you hardly notice this larger screen, so you don’t have to.