Hands-On With the New Sixth-Generation iPad
Apple's March event, held last week, focused on a new sixth-generation iPad aimed at the educational market. The device, which went on sale following the event and became available in retail stores on Friday, is an upgraded version of the fifth-generation iPad with one important new feature - support for the Apple Pencil.
We picked up one of Apple's new $329 tablets over the weekend and tested it out to give MacRumors readers considering a purchase a closer look at the new device.
Design wise, the sixth-generation iPad doesn't look any different from the fifth-generation iPad. It's the same thickness as the original iPad Air (aka thicker than the iPad Pro and the iPad Air 2), and it has the same non-laminated display to keep costs down.
That display is equipped with a new touch sensor, though, which enables it to work with the $99 Apple Pencil. Using the Apple Pencil on the new iPad is essentially identical to using it on an iPad Pro, with the accessory offering a smooth writing experience with no jitters or lag.
Inside, the new iPad is equipped with an A10 Fusion processor, which isn't quite as powerful as the processor in the iPad Pro, Apple's flagship tablet, but it's a solid improvement over the A9 in the fifth-generation model. This is the same processor that's in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and it's going to be viable for apps and games for several years to come.
Compared to the iPad Pro, the new iPad has a lower-quality display and lower-quality cameras (8MP vs 12MP at rear, 1.2MP vs 7MP in front) along with the slower processor, but if you don't need those features, the sixth-generation iPad is a fantastic tablet for its price point and an affordable way to get a device with Apple Pencil support.
Apple plans to discount the sixth-generation iPad to $299 for schools, which will make it an attractive option. The Apple Pencil will be available for $89, and Logitech also plans to sell a lower-cost Apple Pencil-style stylus called Crayon to schools for $49.
For more information on the new iPad, including a comparison chart that pits it against the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the fifth-generation iPad, make sure to check out our dedicated iPad roundup.