Apple updates eighth-generation iPad with A12 processor

Posted:
in iPad edited September 2020
Apple has updated the entry-level iPad, with the new eighth-generation model bringing the powerful A12 processor to the table.

Apple's eighth generation iPad
Apple's eighth generation iPad


The low-end of the iPad line retains the same 10.2-inch screen size that the seventh generation introduced, and most of the other specifications are the same.

However, the standout feature in the new iPad is the A12 Bionic processor, versus the A10 in the seventh-generation iPad. Previously found in the third-generation iPad Pro line, the A12 Bionic processor is six-core, versus dual-core, and uses big.little technology, meaning that tasks that require lower power are done on the high-efficiency cores, and use less battery power.

Apple's entire iPad lineup
Apple's entire iPad lineup


If the processor in the eighth-generation iPad is identical to the third-generation iPad Pro, the single-core benchmark increases by nearly 50%. The multi-core performance is what varies the most, with the A12 more than double the speed of the A10 processor.

The eighth-generation iPad retains the same 10.2-inch Retina non-laminated display that the seventh generation model had, at 2160 x 1620 pixels, at 500 nits brightness. It also keeps Apple Pencil support.

Lightning is retained on the eighth-generation iPad, as is 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 6) support. Bluetooth 4.2 is also retained, versus the Bluetooth 5.0 on the iPad Air and iPad Pro lines. A conventional Touch ID sensor is also retained.

Colors available for the eighth generation iPad
Colors available for the eighth generation iPad


Prior to the unveiling of the eighth generation iPad, Apple last released the seventh generation model during the "By Innovation Only" event in September 2019. We found it to be a worthwhile advancement of the entry-level iPad line, with it an iteration of the technology, rather than an advancement in any big way.

Pricing remains the same, with the 32GB model starting at $329. Orders begin on Tuesday, with units available on Friday.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    Same tired design. Very disappointed. 
    pulseimagesScot1
  • Reply 2 of 16
    Same tired design. Very disappointed. 
    Apple execs have said many times they don't do novel change for change's sake (new colors aside). The object's design is practical, not designed to entertain bored people. 

    If you want something functionally different, get an Air or a Pro.
    humanaftera11OnPartyBusinessspock1234GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    F_Kent_DF_Kent_D Posts: 98unconfirmed, member
    Same tired design. Very disappointed. 
    Apple execs have said many times they don't do novel change for change's sake (new colors aside). The object's design is practical, not designed to entertain bored people. 

    If you want something functionally different, get an Air or a Pro.
    I agree. The design works. It’s easy to hold. It’s kid friendly. It’s inexpensive for what it’s capable of. Why spend more $$ on R&D for something people are already going to buy. Keep the R&D $$ and keep the price of the device low so people can afford it.
    dewmeMplsPhumanaftera11watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    A12? Boring.

    No new design for the X anniversary? Not even for Pencil?

    (Still find it funny how Apple is reusing old chips and still kick the knockoffs asses with them)
  • Reply 5 of 16
    I saw thie A12 coming to this iPad due to many things needing A12 as a minimum now.
    I assume this is still Pencil generation one...
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 6 of 16
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,422member
    Talk about bang for the buck ... Apple's entry level iPad effectively erases any incentive to purchase a non-Apple tablet, unless you want a cheaparoni Amazon Fire tablet to let the kiddos bash around or need something to prop up a short table leg. This iPad's compromises all fall into 1-percenter nits, not even rising to 1-percenter issues. 
    muthuk_vanalingamspock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,956member
    dewme said:
    Talk about bang for the buck ... Apple's entry level iPad effectively erases any incentive to purchase a non-Apple tablet, unless you want a cheaparoni Amazon Fire tablet to let the kiddos bash around or need something to prop up a short table leg. This iPad's compromises all fall into 1-percenter nits, not even rising to 1-percenter issues. 
    Agreed - this seems like a pretty powerful device for the money.

    Same tired design. Very disappointed. 
    I’m curious - just what radical new design did you have in mind? As others have said, this is an entry level device at a great price that just works. 
    muthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    I’m starting to believe Apple’s bloated line-up is merely a disguise for their ridiculous pricing. The original iPad started at what - $500 or less? Nowadays they offer entry-level models for about the same. One used to walk into a store and ask for an iPad only having to decide between black and white a few memory tiers and WiFi / cellular. Now you first sift through all the screen sizes and Air / Pro / you name it monikers then choose the colour / memory / connectivity and end up shelling out trifold if you simply go for the best as you would have in 2012. Either this or stick with a ‘baseline’ model 
    edited September 2020
  • Reply 9 of 16
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,341member
    aderutter said:
    I saw thie A12 coming to this iPad due to many things needing A12 as a minimum now.
    I assume this is still Pencil generation one...
    Correct.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 10 of 16
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,341member

    The original iPad started at what - $500 or less? Nowadays they offer entry-level models for about the same. One used to walk into a store and ask for an iPad only having to decide between black and white a few memory tiers and WiFi / cellular. Now you first sift through all the screen sizes and Air / Pro / you name it monikers then choose the colour / memory / connectivity and end up shelling out trifold if you simply go for the best as you would have in 2012. Either this or stick with a ‘baseline’ model 
    This is the baseline model. Ten years after the introduction, there are exactly two "base" models: iPad, and iPad mini. SO CONFUSING!!

    Also: $329 is not $499 (or $585 in today's dollars), Mr Math Major. If you're looking for a base model, you have two to choose from. Sorry you can't keep up, gramps.
    muthuk_vanalingamspock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    What’s with all the name calling? Is this not a place for civil debate?

    The original poster has a point. There are now three distinct tiers of an “iPad”. The iPad Pro, the iPad Air, and the..... iPad. Since over 500 million iPads (all types) have been sold to date, I think it’s safe to say that this is a mass market device with customers of all ranks of tech literacy. Even as a techie, I still have to sift through comparison tables to determine what is actually different about each one.  And since these devices are generally referred to as just “iPads” by the general public, it’s easy to confuse what model (outside of Apple fanboys/girls) they are referring to in a day to day discussion.

    I personally miss the old Apple days of clean product lines, but obviously this is working for them, so props to them. 


    chasm said:

    The original iPad started at what - $500 or less? Nowadays they offer entry-level models for about the same. One used to walk into a store and ask for an iPad only having to decide between black and white a few memory tiers and WiFi / cellular. Now you first sift through all the screen sizes and Air / Pro / you name it monikers then choose the colour / memory / connectivity and end up shelling out trifold if you simply go for the best as you would have in 2012. Either this or stick with a ‘baseline’ model 
    This is the baseline model. Ten years after the introduction, there are exactly two "base" models: iPad, and iPad mini. SO CONFUSING!!

    Also: $329 is not $499 (or $585 in today's dollars), Mr Math Major. If you're looking for a base model, you have two to choose from. Sorry you can't keep up, gramps.

  • Reply 12 of 16
    chasm said:

    The original iPad started at what - $500 or less? Nowadays they offer entry-level models for about the same. One used to walk into a store and ask for an iPad only having to decide between black and white a few memory tiers and WiFi / cellular. Now you first sift through all the screen sizes and Air / Pro / you name it monikers then choose the colour / memory / connectivity and end up shelling out trifold if you simply go for the best as you would have in 2012. Either this or stick with a ‘baseline’ model 
    This is the baseline model. Ten years after the introduction, there are exactly two "base" models: iPad, and iPad mini. SO CONFUSING!!

    Also: $329 is not $499 (or $585 in today's dollars), Mr Math Major. If you're looking for a base model, you have two to choose from. Sorry you can't keep up, gramps.

    On ya bike, son, on ya bike! :smiley: 

  • Reply 13 of 16
    Really, the only real difference between the Gen 6 & 7 and this Gen 8 is the upgrade from the A10 to an A12.

    But, I would argue that that is not so much an upgrade as it is simply maintaining functional performance 2 years after the initial introduction of this budget iPad.
    Since then Apple has greatly expanded its iPadOS while pencils, external keyboards and trackpads have become more prevalent and useful.  As a result, that 4 year old A10 simply couldn't keep up.   Or, more specifically, if you have one it probably works "good enough" but I would have hesitated to sink money into a new machine with one because its life expectancy was very limited.

    In my grandson's case, we had to get him an Apple Pencil to use with his Gen6 iPad for his cyberschooling -- which is when the limitations of the A10 became very apparent:   When using the pencil for simple writing tasks (like math formulas) the iPad will simply freeze and the pencil just stops working for 5 seconds or so.   If I had just bought this as a new device I would be very concerned about its future because this kind of thing will only get worse.

    But, I would not hesitate to buy a Gen 8 with an A12.   It is a very solid bargain.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 16
    in the past, all electronic product cut 30-50% in retail price because newer tech was emerging. RnD cost recovered. Apple make older tech either off the shelf or repackaged so the price of old tech remain. New tech product prices rise. Too profitable. Not good for consumers. 
    [Deleted User]
  • Reply 15 of 16
    Really, the only real difference between the Gen 6 & 7 and this Gen 8 is the upgrade from the A10 to an A12.

    But, I would argue that that is not so much an upgrade as it is simply maintaining functional performance 2 years after the initial introduction of this budget iPad.
    Since then Apple has greatly expanded its iPadOS while pencils, external keyboards and trackpads have become more prevalent and useful.  As a result, that 4 year old A10 simply couldn't keep up.   Or, more specifically, if you have one it probably works "good enough" but I would have hesitated to sink money into a new machine with one because its life expectancy was very limited.

    In my grandson's case, we had to get him an Apple Pencil to use with his Gen6 iPad for his cyberschooling -- which is when the limitations of the A10 became very apparent:   When using the pencil for simple writing tasks (like math formulas) the iPad will simply freeze and the pencil just stops working for 5 seconds or so.   If I had just bought this as a new device I would be very concerned about its future because this kind of thing will only get worse.

    But, I would not hesitate to buy a Gen 8 with an A12.   It is a very solid bargain.

    I don't think A10 has anything to do with the slowness that you observe in 2018 entry level iPad. A10 is plenty fast for basic operations/use cases that you are describing. Even today, there are plenty of Android low-end/mid-range phones launched with Qualcomm SoCs (SD 665/710/712/720/730 etc) which have raw CPU performance comparable to A10 (and less than half GPU performance). And none of them freeze for basic tasks for 5 seconds like what you mention.


    The problem lies somewhere else, most likely the RAM. The budget iPad 2018 has only 2 GB of RAM and that is the Apple's planned obsolescence at work there. And you are seeing the downside of that decision by Apple which hampers your user experience to the point of necessity to upgrade. The 2019 iPad/2020 iPad/2019 iPad Air/2019 iPad mini all have 3 GB RAM which could become a bottleneck for iOS 15 or 16. I am yet to find any link which mentions about the RAM in 2020 iPad Air, so will wait for more info to be made available before commenting on that. It would be a shame if it also has 3 GB RAM. Apple should provide adequate RAM for the lifespan of the device, not bare minimum for the iOS version at which the device is launching and cripple the user experience for subsequent years.

  • Reply 16 of 16
    Really, the only real difference between the Gen 6 & 7 and this Gen 8 is the upgrade from the A10 to an A12.

    But, I would argue that that is not so much an upgrade as it is simply maintaining functional performance 2 years after the initial introduction of this budget iPad.
    Since then Apple has greatly expanded its iPadOS while pencils, external keyboards and trackpads have become more prevalent and useful.  As a result, that 4 year old A10 simply couldn't keep up.   Or, more specifically, if you have one it probably works "good enough" but I would have hesitated to sink money into a new machine with one because its life expectancy was very limited.

    In my grandson's case, we had to get him an Apple Pencil to use with his Gen6 iPad for his cyberschooling -- which is when the limitations of the A10 became very apparent:   When using the pencil for simple writing tasks (like math formulas) the iPad will simply freeze and the pencil just stops working for 5 seconds or so.   If I had just bought this as a new device I would be very concerned about its future because this kind of thing will only get worse.

    But, I would not hesitate to buy a Gen 8 with an A12.   It is a very solid bargain.

    I don't think A10 has anything to do with the slowness that you observe in 2018 entry level iPad. A10 is plenty fast for basic operations/use cases that you are describing. Even today, there are plenty of Android low-end/mid-range phones launched with Qualcomm SoCs (SD 665/710/712/720/730 etc) which have raw CPU performance comparable to A10 (and less than half GPU performance). And none of them freeze for basic tasks for 5 seconds like what you mention.


    The problem lies somewhere else, most likely the RAM. The budget iPad 2018 has only 2 GB of RAM and that is the Apple's planned obsolescence at work there. And you are seeing the downside of that decision by Apple which hampers your user experience to the point of necessity to upgrade. The 2019 iPad/2020 iPad/2019 iPad Air/2019 iPad mini all have 3 GB RAM which could become a bottleneck for iOS 15 or 16. I am yet to find any link which mentions about the RAM in 2020 iPad Air, so will wait for more info to be made available before commenting on that. It would be a shame if it also has 3 GB RAM. Apple should provide adequate RAM for the lifespan of the device, not bare minimum for the iOS version at which the device is launching and cripple the user experience for subsequent years.


    As I pointed out,  my grandson's Gen6 iPad works ok (no problems) for basic, normal tasks.   The freezing didn't happen until we we started using an Apple pencil -- which suggested graphics to me.

    But, you may be correct that the freezing is due -- or mostly due -- to limited RAM. 

    But regardless, I would not want to buy a new machine with a 4 year old processor like the A10.   No matter how you cut it, in the fast moving world of mobile devices, that thing should be old enough to be using a cane.
Sign In or Register to comment.