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 sells the new iPad for $329, and it's available from the online Apple Store and Apple retail stores. The Apple Pencil is sold separately for $99.

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.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Buy Now)
Related Forum: iPad

Top Rated Comments

mi7chy Avatar
61 months ago
Can't recommend it with only 2GB DRAM when it would probably cost Apple $5 more to increase to 4GB. The $500 iPad Pro 10.5 at Micro Center makes more sense with double the DRAM (4GB vs 2GB), double the storage (64GB vs 32GB) and less likely to be obsolete anytime soon.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Populus Avatar
61 months ago
I just want a new iPad mini, Apple!

C'mon, putting an A9 on the mini can't be so difficult!
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rGiskard Avatar
61 months ago
WTF is up with the Mini? For years I've had $500 set aside for a new Mini with a better display.

Why doesn't Apple want my money?
[doublepost=1522707707][/doublepost]
Because of the aspect ratio, a 7.9” mini has almost twice the screen area as would a 6.5” X Plus. Also, it would be $600-700 cheaper. One really isn’t a substitute for the other.
Nobody who uses a Mini believes an iPhone would be a good substitute. I'd bet good money that those who think an iPhone Plus is as good as a Mini iPad are the sort who don't use an iPad for reading books.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cansuds Avatar
61 months ago
A $30 discount for students. Incredibly old technology.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Naraxus Avatar
61 months ago
And Apple keeps falling further and further behind Google in education. Sad really. There was a time when Apple took the education market seriously.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Hairball Avatar
61 months ago
Sad that the four year old iPad Air 2 is still superior.
Nothing to be sad about, the Air 2 is an inferior device. I just sold my Air 2. The new iPad 6 is definitely faster and shows WAY less fingerprints. The anti-glare display is the worst for fingerprints and didn’t really do much for glare.

I did notice the gap in the display immediately due to not being laminated, but the quality of the screen is on par with the Air 2. Definite plus for the addition of the pencil.

Well worth the upgrade. Would do it again if I had to.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Cyber Monday Deals Feature 2022

Best Cyber Monday Apple Deals Still Available for AirPods, Apple TV, iPad, and More

Monday November 28, 2022 5:24 am PST by
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday shopping rush is drawing to a close, but there are still some good deals to be had out there. For Apple products, many of the deals you've seen since last week are still available, though some have expired. So for anyone who missed out on Black Friday deals, there's still an opportunity to get some of the year's best prices on many Apple devices. Note: ...
iPhone 14 Pro Rear Camera

iPhone 15 to Use 'State-of-the-Art' Image Sensor From Sony for Better Low-Light Performance

Monday November 28, 2022 11:00 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 15 models will be equipped with Sony's newest "state of the art" image sensors, according to a report from Nikkei. Compared to standard sensors, Sony's image sensor doubles the saturation signal in each pixel, allowing it to capture more light to cut down on underexposure and overexposure. Nikkei says that it is able to better photograph a person's face even with...
Apple Watch Ultra Oceanic Plus App

Apple Announces Oceanic+ App Now Available for Apple Watch Ultra

Monday November 28, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Apple today announced that the Oceanic+ app is available for the Apple Watch Ultra starting today. Designed by Huish Outdoors in collaboration with Apple, the app serves as a dive computer for recreational scuba diving at depths up to 40 meters/130 feet. Apple already offers a basic Depth app on the Apple Watch Ultra for viewing your current depth, maximum depth reached, water temperature,...
app store awards 2021

Apple Announces 2022 App Store Award Winners, Highlighting Best Apps of the Year

Tuesday November 29, 2022 3:10 am PST by
Apple today announced its 2022 App Store Award winners, highlighting the 16 best apps and games selected by Apple's global App Store editorial team. The top apps were chosen by Apple for their quality, innovative technology, creative design, positive cultural impact, and ability to deliver "exceptional experiences." Apple CEO Tim Cook said: This year's App Store Award winners reimagined...
rapid security response

Apple Releases Another Rapid Security Response Update for iOS 16.2 Beta Users

Monday November 28, 2022 10:16 am PST by
Apple today released a Rapid Security Response update that is available for those running the iOS 16.2 beta, marking the launch of the second RSR update since the feature was released in iOS 16. The Rapid Security Response Update is designed to provide iOS 16.2 beta users with bug fixes without the need to install a full update. The initial RSR release for iOS 16.2 beta users was a test with ...
twitter elon musk

Elon Musk Claims Apple Has 'Mostly Stopped' Offering Ads on Twitter and Is Making Moderation Demands

Monday November 28, 2022 10:42 am PST by
Apple has cut back on its Twitter advertising, according to Twitter CEO Elon Musk. In a tweet, Musk said that Apple has "mostly stopped" its Twitter ads, asking if Apple hates "free speech." Musk went on to publish a poll asking if Apple should "publish all censorship actions" taken that impact customers and he began retweeting content from companies that Apple has had moderation discussions ...
iphone 11 tesla cybertruck close up

Elon Musk Pledges to Build iPhone Rival If Apple Ousts Twitter

Tuesday November 29, 2022 2:48 am PST by
Elon Musk has pledged to offer an "alternative phone" if Apple and Google remove Twitter from their app stores, adding to long-standing rumors about an iPhone rival from Tesla. Modified iPhone 11 Pro in the style of the Tesla Cybertruck, by Caviar. Musk's remark came after being asked about the potential scenario of Twitter being removed from app stores, which could conceivably happen if the...
General Black Friday Deals 2022 Green

All the Apple Black Friday Deals You Can Still Get

Friday November 25, 2022 4:40 am PST by
Although Black Friday is now technically over, many Apple products are still seeing major discounts through the weekend as we head into Cyber Monday. In this article, you'll find every Apple device with a notable Black Friday sale that's still available. We'll be updating as prices change and new deals arrive, so be sure to keep an eye out if you don't see the sale you're looking for yet. Note:...