Technology

Hands on: New iPad (2019) review

Early Verdict
The new iPad for 2019 was something of a surprise – we weren’t expecting Apple to refresh its entry-level tablet, but what we’ve got is something that delivers better performance and a more attractive screen at a strong price point.

For

Larger screen, smaller bezels

Smart connector

Against

Lacks FaceID

Accessories are expensive

The new iPad 2019 is, well, basically that. The new iPad for 2019 with one key upgrade: a larger screen.Shoved up to 10.2-inches without making the tablet any bigger (nor more expensive) Apple has just made its budget tablet proposition that much more attractive.It’s also now made with 100% recycled aluminum, features more pixels to peer at and also allows for connection to Apple’s smart keyboard – so, where’s the downside?New iPad release date and price(Image credit: TechRadar)The release date of the new iPad is September 30, but you can pre-order it over at Apple’s website.The new iPad price is $329 / £349 / AU$529 / AED 1,349 for a version with 32GB storage. That’s roughly the same price as the 2018 entry-level iPad, but this has newer tech and a bigger screen.if you want the new iPad with a whopping 128GB storage, though, you’ll be paying $429 / £449 / AU$689, which is a step up in price, but bear in mind you’re getting four times the storage.Don’t forget peripherals either – for the Apple Pencil you’ll have to pay $99 / £89 / AU$145, and the Smart Keyboard costs $159 / £159 / AU$235. There are optional, so you don’t need them to get a great iPad experience, but it seems they’re very useful for making the most of iPadOS.iPadOS(Image credit: TechRadar)One of the main things you’ll be buying the new iPad 10.2 for is the newly-annointed iPad operating system. Dubbed iPadOS, it’s really a split version of the iOS 13 platform that underpins Apple’s smartphones, but finally makes it more relevant for the larger screen.What does that mean in real time? Well, you’re getting a home screen that can handle widgets, and the ability to chuck more apps in windows around the screen.You can plug in thumb drives and SD cards, and (if you get a little creative with the accessibility settings) you can even connect a mouse.It really enhances the experience on the new iPad – while it’s a little more complex, you’re able to see more on the screen at any one time, and given you’ve got a larger 10.2 display to play with, that proves to be useful when in full flow.Smart connector and Pencil(Image credit: TechRadar)One of the key new things about the new iPad for 2019 is the fact it now packs the smart connector – the previous tablet didn’t have that, which was strange given it was designed to be better-used to education. Smart keyboard from Apple is a little pricey, but it’s got a good flow to it when being used, despite the smaller travel of the keys when flicking your fingers across it to tap out a missive.The rubberised keys feel nice under your fingertips, and the magnet that holds the iPad in place is strong, making it feel rock solid when sat up.The Pencil support isn’t new, but still feels nice under the stylus from Apple. There’s a slick amount of sensitivity, and combined with the new productivity tools added into iPadOS, you’re able to do a lot more with this tablet.(Image credit: TechRadar)For instance, a simple swipe upwards with the Pencil will create a screengrab and you’re able to annotate and mark that up instantly with the Pencil.The range of drawing tools is increased, and has been enhanced graphically to look more premium (and that’s going to appeal to kids of all ages who like using the tablet as a way of scrawling across the display).THe Pencil support is welcome, even if the accessories are a little pricey. We found the Pencil responsive, and were able to annotate quickly – although we’re not sure how useful it would be for someone trying to take copious notes.Design and battery life(Image credit: TechRadar) One of the key new things about the new iPad for 2019 is the fact it now packs the smart connector – the previous tablet didn’t have that, which was strange given it was designed to be better-used to education. Smart keyboard from Apple is a little pricey, but it’s got a good flow to it when being used, despite the smaller travel of the keys when flicking your fingers across it to tap out a missive.The rubberised keys feel nice under your fingertips, and the magnet that holds the iPad in place is strong, making it feel rock solid when sat up.The Pencil support isn’t new, but still feels nice under the stylus from Apple. There’s a slick amount of sensitivity, and combined with the new productivity tools added into iPadOS, you’re able to do a lot more with this tablet.(Image credit: TechRadar)For instance, a simple swipe upwards with the Pencil will create a screengrab and you’re able to annotate and mark that up instantly with the Pencil.The range of drawing tools is increased, and has been enhanced graphically to look more premium (and that’s going to appeal to kids of all ages who like using the tablet as a way of scrawling across the display).THe Pencil support is welcome, even if the accessories are a little pricey. We found the Pencil responsive, and were able to annotate quickly – although we’re not sure how useful it would be for someone trying to take copious notes.Early verdict(Image credit: TechRadar)The new screen and ability to connect to Apple’s smart keyboard aside, the new iPad 10.2 is merely a refreshed model of the budget tablet Apple unveils each year.It still feels smooth – almost ceramicmwith- in the hand, and is well balanced in terms of design. The screen is nice, if not game-changing, and the Pencil and keyboard support will entice some to join the iPad community.I’s not the most mind-blowing of updates, but what you’re getting for the price makes this a tablet worth checking out.

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews’ are a journalist’s first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it’s like to use, even if it’s only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar’s Reviews Guarantee.

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