Our biggest gripes with Apple's 2018 iPad

Posted:
in iPad edited April 12
Apple's new 2018 iPad is undoubtedly the budget iPad of choice, thanks to it's powerful A10 Fusion processor and Apple Pencil support, which until now, hasn't been available on any iPad other than the Pro line. However, the low-cost build creates some pretty big issues that might make you reconsider.



Non-Laminated display

The first issue with the new iPad, which we reviewed in-depth this month, is that it comes with a non-laminated display. The decision to use this sort of screen means there's more glass between the display panel and the cover surface, creating a noticeable and annoying gap around the screen edge.

Apple iPad vs iPad Pro


The iPad Pro's laminated screen has an extremely small gap which is less distracting, while also making it feel like the display is almost sitting on top of the glass.

When you use Apple Pencil, one of the highlight additions to the new iPad, the experience is less impressive when compared to the iPad Pro. The gap is quite noticeable, with the effect of writing above the surface of the display potentially affecting accuracy when creating detailed drawings or when handwriting notes.

Apple iPad versus iPad Pro


The 2018 iPad also has an odd hollow feel when you tap the screen, unlike the solid and well-built feel of the iPad Pro. You can even hear the difference between the two screens when tapping them.

Not only that, but laminated displays are also able to show deeper black shades than the non-laminated versions. By comparison, dark hues look gray on the 2018 iPad's display.

Even though we think it's worth replacing your old iPad with the 2018 iPad because of the processor improvements and Apple Pencil support, both the iPad Mini 4 and iPad Air 2 have laminated displays, making it tough to go back to a non-laminated display after using those models.

No Anti-Reflective Coating

The 2018 iPad's display is distractingly reflective. Every iPad that that comes with a laminated display also gets an anti-reflective coating, but since the 2018 is not laminated, it doesn't receive this extra treatment during production.

Apple iPad vs iPad Pro


We didn't think it was a big deal until we actually started using both the new iPad and the iPad Pro at the same time. Even using them indoors, we could still see a huge difference in reflectiveness.

Taking the two tablets outside, reflections on the new iPad were even more distracting, forcing us to set the brightness to the maximum to see what was onscreen, even on an overcast day. By contrast, the iPad Pro was less reflective in tests, even at lower brightness.

Because the anti-reflective coating cuts down on glare, iPad Pro users don't need to crank up brightness, equating to potential battery life savings even when outdoors.

Old Touch ID Technology

Another issue with the new iPad is that it still uses Apple's first-generation Touch ID. The iPhone line and current iPad Pro models have moved on to the second-generation version, yet the iPad sticks with the first.

Apple 2018 iPad


Even before comparing it against the version used on the new iPad Pro, we noticed it was fairly slow and not very reliable.

Since the second-generation of Touch ID was introduced with the iPhone 6S, most iPhone users will probably notice the difference, unless they're using an iPhone 6 or iPhone 5S.

The iPad's Touch ID sensor can be tapped repeatedly without unlocking, due to its slowness, and won't unlock unless you rest your finger on it for an extended period. On the iPad Pro, Touch ID is so fast that it unlocks while pressing the home button to wake the screen.

Just using the power button to try out the same tap test on the iPad, it is lightning fast to lock and unlock. When compared side-by-side, the faster Touch ID unlocking offered by the iPad Pro provides an enhanced sense of reliability compared to the newer iPad.

Old Selfie camera

The FaceTime selfie camera mounted on iPad's front fascia continues to be an issue, with the latest version using an absolutely awful 1.2-megapixel sensor capable of recording a meager 720p video.

Apple iPad versus iPad Pro camera comparison


This is effectively the same FaceTime camera that came with the fourth-generation iPad from 2012. It's the year 2018, six years later, and it's shocking that we still have devices like these that are limited to 720P recording.

The iPad Pro comes with a 7-megapixel FaceTime camera capable of recording in 1080p. While it may not seem like a big difference, it actually is an important upgrade due to the 1080p resolution using more than double the number of pixels as a 720p image.

It's a huge disappointment that Apple continues to use such a low-resolution selfie camera that hasn't seen any major change in so many years.

Old Display Technology

The last issue also relates to the display, specifically about the technology used to render an image. The new iPad is still using the same old Retina display that Apple introduced with the 3rd-generation iPad in 2012.

Apple iPad and iPad Pro camera compare


Many of Apple's latest products are now being equipped with displays that support P3 wide-color gamut, which produces more vibrant and accurate colors. On the iPhone side, the iPhone X has moved on to a better OLED display compared to its predecessors, and it's quite likely OLED-equipped iPad Pro models will make an appearance in the near future.

Even Samsung's Galaxy Tab S2 has a Super AMOLED display, and that tablet dates back to 2015.

It's extremely disappointing that the new iPad is effectively stuck with a 6-year-old display, instead of progressing to newer display technologies.

The 2017 iPad Pro also has ProMotion, which allows the screen to increase its refresh rate to a maximum of 120Hz, double the refresh rate of the 2018 iPad. ProMotion's higher refresh rate makes the overall experience more fluid, and it dramatically reduces input lag while using the Apple Pencil, bringing drawing on the screen even closer to how it would feel to use pen and paper.

Even though the 2018 iPad gets an extremely powerful processor and Apple Pencil support, and we definitely recommend buying it, the lacking display, slow Touch ID, and woeful front-facing camera makes it feel like an older iPad model.

Nobody wants to feel stuck in the past, especially in 2018, but in some ways, the iPad still is.
Alex1Nspheric
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 74
    Well, I guess there is a reason why it costs half as much?
    StrangeDaysGeorgeBMacmuthuk_vanalingamchasmandrewj5790Alex1Njozsefhorracerhomie3chiaadm1
  • Reply 2 of 74
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,359member
    Apparently Apple Insider doesn't grasp the concept of low cost.
    d_2viclauyycGeorgeBMacchasmnunzyandrewj5790Alex1Njozsefhorracerhomie3adm1
  • Reply 3 of 74
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 166member
    Are the squinty selphie pictures reversed? The 2018 picture looks more detailed to me.
    muthuk_vanalingamchasmAlex1N
  • Reply 4 of 74
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,628member
    Are the problems nonexistent in the 2017 iPad? 
    StrangeDaysGeorgeBMacchasmSiSander
  • Reply 5 of 74
    My gripe with the 2018 iPad is that it is not the iPad Pro. 

    Future article: 

    My gripe with the iPad Pro 2018 is that it costs double the iPad.
    GeorgeBMacchasmAlex1Njozsefhorracerhomie3adm11983mike1brucemclkrupp
  • Reply 6 of 74
    Some of these things are value-engineering, but the non-laminated display in my view is a bad mistake by Apple, heavily affecting the ergonomics with pencil, touch and even viewing for not much benefit in profit. There was a time when 10 or 15 percent profit margins were regarded as exceptional and when Apple is trying to push things north of 50 with certain items they're really pushing their luck. When you consider what they're going up against in the education market it's kind of short-sighted.
    minicoffeeadm11983aylk
  • Reply 7 of 74
    This junk iPad needs a nickname
    aylk
  • Reply 8 of 74
    Some of these things are value-engineering, but the non-laminated display in my view is a bad mistake by Apple, heavily affecting the ergonomics with pencil, touch and even viewing for not much benefit in profit. There was a time when 10 or 15 percent profit margins were regarded as exceptional and when Apple is trying to push things north of 50 with certain items they're really pushing their luck. When you consider what they're going up against in the education market it's kind of short-sighted.
    Pushing their luck!!! $329. There is not a better value for the money product in the Apple line-up. How will they ever sell these?!?!🤔
    StrangeDaysmuthuk_vanalingamchasmAlex1Njozsefhorracerhomie3mike1brucemcMisterKitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 74
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,386member
    Some of these things are value-engineering, but the non-laminated display in my view is a bad mistake by Apple, heavily affecting the ergonomics with pencil, touch and even viewing for not much benefit in profit. There was a time when 10 or 15 percent profit margins were regarded as exceptional and when Apple is trying to push things north of 50 with certain items they're really pushing their luck. When you consider what they're going up against in the education market it's kind of short-sighted.
    Says here Apple’s net profit margin is 21%:

    http://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/AAPL/profit-margin/apple-inc-gross-operating-net-profit-margin-history
    chasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 74
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,386member

    This junk iPad needs a nickname
    It’s not junk just because it’s not the pro model. You’re thinking of the chrome knockoffs. 
    GeorgeBMacmwhitechasmAlex1Nracerhomie3mike1watto_cobraSiSanderjony0
  • Reply 11 of 74
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,724member
    I have the iPad Pro, so I’m not missing much.
    However, I’d love love love to see the Apple Pencil work on an Apple Trackpad. 
    Alex1N1983mrboba1jcs2305GG1
  • Reply 12 of 74
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 364member
    This junk iPad needs a nickname
    The Apple Schurface.
    mac daddy zee
  • Reply 13 of 74
    wizard69 said:
    Apparently Apple Insider doesn't grasp the concept of low cost.
    It’s a fair review. They still recommend the product. And, as Apple is traditionally focused on luxury and not wanting to compromise on  hardware ‘polish’, it’s valuable to know what compromises they have made in his instance. AI seems aware in their review of cost and how it affects their hardware.
    muthuk_vanalingamAlex1Nmac daddy zeegatorguyrandominternetperson
  • Reply 14 of 74
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,245member
    In some ways Apple may have benefited more if it had packaged the 2018 iPad in a polycarbonate case (or some variation thereof) and sold it for slightly lower price, say $299. The iPad design has so few physical design knobs to tweak and the base iPad looks very similar to the Pro to the average consumer. A dramatically different case material and marginally lower price would obviate the impulse of some reviewers to compare the base iPad with the Pro model. In truth, customers are benefiting substantially by the similarities between the two models but reviewers who are fixated on pointing out subtle (to many) technical details of what’s inferior on the lower priced model are squandering the value proposition the lower price unit deserves and the performance and lack of compromise the higher price unit commands. Perhaps if the lower price unit screamed “this is a lower end product” with the hint of a plastic case these comparisons would go away and consumers would have an easier and more obvious purchasing decision to make based on their personal priorities. 
    edited April 12 chasmAlex1Nmac daddy zeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 74
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,017member
    Some of these things are value-engineering, but the non-laminated display in my view is a bad mistake by Apple, heavily affecting the ergonomics with pencil, touch and even viewing for not much benefit in profit. There was a time when 10 or 15 percent profit margins were regarded as exceptional and when Apple is trying to push things north of 50 with certain items they're really pushing their luck. When you consider what they're going up against in the education market it's kind of short-sighted.
    No, not at all...
    A cracked glass is far cheaper to replace in a non-laminated display.  And, since they're designed for use by kids in schools, that is an important feature, not a "bad mistake".   Quite the opposite actually.
    muthuk_vanalingammwhiteandrewj5790Alex1NRayz2016deepinsider1983randominternetpersonbrucemcStrangeDays
  • Reply 16 of 74
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,017member
    This junk iPad needs a nickname
    I'll assume this is either snark or you have no idea what you're talking about.
    muthuk_vanalingam1983watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 74
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,613member
    So basicallynyou want an iPad Pro for $329.
    muthuk_vanalingamchasmAlex1N1983mike1liquidmark
  • Reply 18 of 74
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,017member
    This article sounds like it was written by a Droid fan -- picking a great product apart just to pick it apart.
    I could have tolerated this if it were titled and treated as a comparison between the iPad and iPad Pro.  But "Our Biggest Gripes with..."  makes it a negative review of the 2018 iPad.  It would even have been ok if he had titled it and structured it as: "Why I like the iPad Pro more than the 2018 iPad".

    Basically what he did was compare a Toyota Camry to a Lexus ES.   Yes, you could pick the Camry apart just like this "review" did by listing every feature that doesn't measure up to the Lexus -- which costs twice as much.

    But, going down through his list of gripes:
    1) non-laminated display:   That's a feature not a detriment.  The non-laminated display makes cracked glass far cheaper to repair -- and that's very important in a device designed for kids in school.

    2) No anti-reflective coating:   I bought one of the 2018 iPads for my grandson.  The screen is fine.  Reflections are simply not a problem.  Agree, a non-reflective coating is better.  But we do not find it necessary.

    3) Gen 1 Touch ID:   If the iPad is being used in a school environment, the touch id won't be used very much, if at all.  Again, Gen2 would be nice, but we don't find it necessary.

    4) 1.2 megapixel front camera:   It's fine for normal, everyday use.  Yes, higher resolution would be better,  But we don't find it necessary.

    5) Standard retina display:  This display is fine for normal, everyday use.  Yes, better is better.  But we don't find it necessary.

    It boils down to:   A Toyota Camry can't measure up to the exceptionally high standard of the Lexus ES.  But then normal people can afford it where most cannot afford a Lexus.

    The same here:  The 2018 iPad works very, very well in most general use scenarios.  True, it doesn't work as well as the iPad Pro.  But then, normal people (and schools) can afford it where most cannot afford an iPad Pro.

    And again:  if this video were billed as a comparison it would be an excellent comparison.   But, it wasn't it was billed as identifying deficiencies with the 2018 iPad -- which it actually failed to do.  Because not all features measure up to the Pro doesn't make them deficiencies.

    But, I give the author one thing:   Great Click Bait!  It got me to watch the video.
    PickUrPoisonmonstrositychasmnunzyAlex1N1983randominternetpersonbrucemcStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 74
     This article is ridiculous, even the 2017 MacBook Pro still only offers a 720P FaceTime camera! Where is the  bitching and moaning  about that?! 
    muthuk_vanalingamchasmAlex1NGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 74
    chasmchasm Posts: 512member
    I have to fall in with the rest of the comments: this crossed the line from serious critique to whiny short-sightedness. None of these are “pretty serious issues” given that every non-Pro iPad ever sold has them, and of course the price point. I suppose the Mac Mini has “pretty serious issues” compared to the iMac Pro, as well ... give me a break.

    The report sunk to the level of complete ridiculousness when it referred to Touch ID (the same tech all the iPad Pros use) as “old,” along with the quaint old-fashioned “Retina” display (again, the same technology used in all other iPads, Pros included — though naturally the Pro models have a higher-quality Retina display). A reminder: the Retina display is, bar none, the best-quality display available on a tablet.

    Again, the thrust here seems to be “wah, this iPad isn’t an iPad Pro” or “wah, why can’t I have all the expensive features of an iPad Pro without paying for them?” The funny thing is that if this video had taken the exact opposite tack — “Not so fast on buying the 2018 iPad, here’s why you might want to consider getting the iPad Pro after all” — the perspective of “the iPad is great, but the iPad Pro is greater” would have made for a better approach.
    nunzyAlex1Nmac daddy zeeGeorgeBMac1983watto_cobra
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