2021 iPad review: The best iPad for nearly everyone

Posted:
in iPad edited September 2021
Apple's ninth-generation iPad isn't a giant leap in design or feature improvements for the line, but as the cheapest tablet in the range, it'll do just fine.

Apple's latest entry-level tablet
Apple's latest entry-level tablet


The iPad has been a staple of Apple's product range for over a decade. Despite the changes year to year, some big and some small, it has always been recognizable as Apple's flagship tablet, and is the default choice for people wanting to pick one up inexpensively.

While announced alongside the iPhone range, the iPad doesn't tend to get much in the way of major revisions year-over year. For the most part, this is the case for 2021's model.

Specifications

iPad
(8th Generation, 2020)
iPad
(9th Generation, 2021)
Launch price$329$329
Capacities32GB, 128GB64GB, 256GB
Screen size10.2-inch10.2-inch
Screen resolution (pixels)2160x1620 at 264 ppi2160x1620 at 264 ppi
Screen max brightness (nits)500500
DisplayRetina
Retina
True Tone
ProcessorA12 Bionic
A13 Bionic
Apple Pencil SupportYes, First GenerationYes, First Generation
Smart ConnectorYesYes
Dimensions (inches)9.8 x 6.8 x 0.299.8 x 6.8 x 0.29
Weight (lbs)1.081.07
Battery (hours)Up to 10Up to 10
Rear Camera8MP8MP
Front Camera1.2MP12MP
Center Stage
Video1080p at 30 fps (rear)
720p (front)
1080p at 25 or 30 fps (rear)
1080p at 25, 30, or 60 fps (front)
BiometricTouch IDTouch ID

Reliable shape, reliable screen

Just looking at the outside, you can tell there hasn't been any major changes to the ninth-generation iPad, as it has been using the same design as the seventh-generation model.

The 9th generation iPad
The 9th generation iPad


For the third release in a row, you're looking at a 9.8 by 6.8-inch tablet that's 0.29 inches thick, and even weighs the same 1.07 pounds as two generations ago.

This certainly makes the iPad unmistakable, but it's starting to look a little aged when you put it next to the just-redesigned iPad mini, the iPad Air, or the iPad Pro line.

The screen on the front is also a continuation of the tried-and-tested 10.2-inch non-laminated LED-backlit IPS display that's on its third generation of iPad. There's no change to its 2,160 by 1,620-resolution screen, which has a pixel density of 264ppi and 500 nits of maximum brightness.

Using our TES 137 light meter, we got 481 nit peak brightness. Close enough.

This time, Apple has tweaked the display to give it support for the sRGB color gamut and True Tone, which are nice extras.

Decent performance, but behind the curve

A new iPad usually signifies a processor upgrade, and 2021 is no exception. The ninth-generation iPad moves on from using the A12 Bionic to the A13 Bionic.

This is two generations behind the latest iPhone SoCs, the A15 Bionic, but versus its competitors, it's still a very powerful and capable chip for typical tablet uses.

Geekbench benchmarks for the A13 put it at just over 1,300 points for single-core performance, around 3,000 points for multi-core, and about 7,200 for Metal. These are all expected improvements on the 1,100 single-core, 2,400 multi-core, and 5,300 Metal scores of the previous iPad model.

For an entry-level iPad that's the least expensive, and anchoring the entire range, the power increase not exceeding the iPad mini or iPad Air is expected.

It's still got more than enough power for years for the average iPad user who doesn't need bleeding-edge iPad Pro-style performance. Media consumption, web surfing, and reading don't exactly demand a lot of computing horsepower.

Those who need a bit more oomph will need to be prepared to pay a bit more for what they require in the iPad mini, iPad Air, or iPad Pro.

Work from home changes

The biggest change of the entire tablet for 2021 is camera-related, and even then it's not the one on the back.

The rear shooter hasn't changed
The rear shooter hasn't changed


On the rear, you have the usual 8-megapixel Wide camera, with the standard f/2.4 aperture, 5x digital zoom, and HDR support. That hasn't changed from two generations ago, and neither has its 1080p video recording at 30fps with 3x zoom, nor the 720p 120fps Slo-mo feature.

The major improvement is the fact that Apple has finally upgraded the FaceTime HD camera from the long-running 1.2-megapixel version to the 12-megapixel Ultra Wide camera. That isn't a typo with a misplaced decimal point, it really is a 12-megapixel camera.

The new front-facing camera
The new front-facing camera


To go along with the higher resolution, you now gain a 2x zoom-out capability and an extended dynamic range for video up to 30fps. Even the video recording options have moved from 720p to 1080p at 60fps.

This all helps drive the main reason for the upgrade: Center Stage support, namely the automatic tracking and zooming of the camera frame to match the user's movements during a video call. We've had mixed results with this so far, but we expect refinements in the next few versions of iOS 15.

With so many people relying on the iPad for video communications, it makes sense to not only upgrade the camera sensor, but also to add in Center Stage. Home-based video conferencing will stick around for quite a few more years at least.

Power, connectivity, and other unchanging things

The rest of the iPad's features list was lifted from the 8th generation's specifications, though you wouldn't expect much in the way of changes in it anyway.

The battery is said to last for up to 10 hours of Wi-Fi web surfing, or up to 9 for cellular surfing, a data point that hasn't changed over the last two years. In our testing, this is about right. Obviously, it will decrease as the user puts more computational demands on it.

Getting power into the iPad is also unchanged, as Apple continues to use Lightning rather than switching over to USB-C, like in the iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro.

Smart Connector on iPad
Smart Connector on iPad


First-generation Apple Pencil support continues to linger for yet another year, while the Smart Connector continues to keep the iPad compatible with the keyboards that use it.

Wi-Fi continues to include 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) support with MIMO which remains adequate, but not the peak of performance. Given that the target market probably doesn't have Wi-Fi 6 routers, this is fine.

The use of Bluetooth 4.2 is also an unchanged element, and unusually so considering practically every other major product in Apple's portfolio uses Bluetooth 5.0 at the very least. This is a bit more surprising than the Wi-Fi 5 support, but doesn't impair functionality that we can tell.

There's cellular options again, with both nano SIM and eSIM support, but unlike the iPad mini, you're stuck on LTE at best. There's no 5G connectivity to be had on the ninth-generation iPad.

Storage up, color options down

It's a good thing to see that Apple has bumped the storage options up this time around. Gone are the 32GB and 128GB capacities of the eighth-generation, it now comes 64GB and 256GB options.

This could have heralded a change in pricing, but it hasn't. Apple's cheapest iPad, the 64GB model with Wi-Fi, is still just $329. If you want a cellular version of the same capacity, it's $459.

Going for the 256GB model, you're paying either $479 or $609, depending on whether you go Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi and Cellular.

While Apple has kept the status quo or improved areas, there is one minor part that has seen a reduction. While you can get a Silver or Space gray iPad, the previously-available Gold option is no longer available.

It's doubtful that there will be a great deal of internet drama or garment-rending at the loss of the Gold iPad. If you're going to put it in a protective case, it doesn't really matter.

A tweaked rerun

For the 8th-generation iPad review, we called the model "powerful and expectedly boring," as it was a cheap iPad that focused on getting as much bang for your buck as possible over practically anything else.

A great low-cost option
A great low-cost option


You could say the same thing about the 9th generation iPad looked at a one-model-year lens. For the most part, it's basically the same as the one before it, but more powerful, and with no outlandish changes.

With any annual computing update since about 2012 in any market, a one-year lens is not the best way to look at incremental annual updates. As with the iPhone, with Windows PCs, and with nearly any other computing segment you desire, that one-year gap doesn't force a "must-buy" situation for the market segment that's served by the entry-level iPad.

The biggest alteration in 2021 is certainly the front-facing camera, though that many not be a massive draw for the model. But, since we're living in a time where video calls continue to be a big part of everyone's lives, it's a much-needed improvement.

The entry level iPad is not going to light the world on fire with its feature set. The iPad Pro does so for performance, while the iPad mini boasts all of the new design features and other quality-of-life upgrades that a user looking for cutting-edge changes could want.

Features of the higher-end iPads will continue to creep downwards over the years. There will eventually be a mostly edge-to-edge design for the entry-level iPad -- but it is not this year, and we're guessing, probably not next year either.

The 2021 iPad refresh is still not enough from a pricing perspective to blow the doors off the education market when looked at an initial cost of acquisition perspective. School districts that pick the iPad do so for the longer-term and lesser support costs down the line versus competitors, and the today-cost of the hardware for the iPad is less of a consideration in those scenarios.

Colleges don't generally pick the entry-level iPad for supply to students, and the 2021 iPad model won't change that. That's okay, though, because like we said before, it's not a higher-end device and wasn't really intended for this specific market.

Space Gray iPad
Space gray iPad


As it has since Apple upscaled the iPad with the iPad Pro line, the iPad with no Air, mini, or Pro name fills the hefty space in Apple's portfolio that consists of users who just need a tablet. No bells and whistles, just the basic offering.

Looked at from that all these perspectives, Apple's latest iPad will fit into the market that it wants to address with it, just right.

If you need an iPad of any sort to perform any given task, this is fine, and will get the job done.

Pros
  • Solid speed improvements

  • Same design means old cases will work

  • Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil support

  • 20W USB-C power brick

  • Reliable and solid design, but...
Cons
  • The older, yet solid, design is starting to show its age

  • No second-gen Apple Pencil support

Rating: 4 out of 5

Where to buy

AppleInsider readers can save on every new model in the iPad 9th Generation Price Guide, with instant savings and exclusive discounts at your fingertips.

At the time of this review, iPad 9th Gen discounts range from $16 to $30 off, with Amazon regularly running sales on the hardware.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    People keep saying this isn’t a big update. For this iPad, it is. Silicon update, doubling base storage, front camera is incomparable, screen update (True Tone), etc. pretty much every element of this iPad got updated. That’s big to keep the same starting price (and I preordered for $299 at Walmart).

    This the biggest update this iPad has gotten in quite some time.
    edited September 2021 williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamdewmeGeorgeBMacthtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 27
    I never like seeing the word “cheap or cheapest” in a review of an Apple product. Apple does not make cheap products it just has a bad connotation to the name. I’d rather see the phrase “less expensive”.
    dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 27
    Could you please let me know what stand it is in the photos?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 27
    If the camera has 10x the pixel resolution, how does that affect the quality of FaceTime calls, if at all?
  • Reply 5 of 27
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,487administrator
    If the camera has 10x the pixel resolution, how does that affect the quality of FaceTime calls, if at all?
    It depends very much on networking, the call's window resolution (Zoom postage stamp in a group, or one-on-one), and a bunch of other factors.

    It's not earth-shattering for video calls. Most of the time, it's not really noticeable other than the better low-light performance. It's much better for selfies, but I'm not sure why you wouldn't use an iPhone for that.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 27
    sreesree Posts: 145member
    Probably the only thing I would change about this iPad is get rid of the lightning connector and move to USB-C. The rest of the ipads are all USB-C, and it would have been good to move to that for this one too.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 27
    Ok, it's not a Lexus.  It's a Camry.
    Either will get you where you need to go.
    ...  But at half the price or less, the Camry/iPadG9 is the wiser purchase -- unless you need a particular feature of the higher priced model.  Beyond that, it's simply a matter of "want" rather than "need".

    My grandson's Gen 6 iPad and its pencil served him quite well last year in Cyberschool -- it got a good, varied workout almost every day -- from art & drawings to scanning, retrieving & editing pictures, to editing videos of him,  to reading assignments to solving Algebraic equations.  It even got used (lightly) for typing tasks with its bluetooth case/keyboard/trackpad when his MacBook was not available (being used by his mom).

    An iPad Air or Pro would not have done any better.  (although the Gen 6 did, occasionally have a delay with the pencil it was nothing that stopped him from getting the work done.)

    Sadly though, now that he's back in the classroom they returned to the old text book/pencil/paper stuff that I used 60 years ago.  I find that hard to understand since he's in one of the highest rated school districts in the state.  Actually, I find it really sad.  But, even if he were still in cyberschool and actively using the iPad on a daily basis I would have a hard time justifying an upgrade to a Gen9 and certainly not to an Air or a Pro.   Actually, the main incentive to upgrade it would be so I could inherit his Gen6!
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 27
    If the camera has 10x the pixel resolution, how does that affect the quality of FaceTime calls, if at all?
    It depends very much on networking, the call's window resolution (Zoom postage stamp in a group, or one-on-one), and a bunch of other factors.

    It's not earth-shattering for video calls. Most of the time, it's not really noticeable other than the better low-light performance. It's much better for selfies, but I'm not sure why you wouldn't use an iPhone for that.
    I don't believe "more pixels" (everything else being equal) will offer better low light performance.  Physically larger "pixels" (discrete sensor cells), a larger lens (allowing more light), improved sensor technology (offering greater sensitivity), and lower frame rate will offer better low light performance...  It's all about photons per frame (unit of time).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 27
    If the camera has 10x the pixel resolution, how does that affect the quality of FaceTime calls, if at all?
    It depends very much on networking, the call's window resolution (Zoom postage stamp in a group, or one-on-one), and a bunch of other factors.

    It's not earth-shattering for video calls. Most of the time, it's not really noticeable other than the better low-light performance. It's much better for selfies, but I'm not sure why you wouldn't use an iPhone for that.
    Thanks for that answer, Mike. I guess someone will try to make a video on this topic and run some comparison tests. I'm trying to decide if I should recommend it to friends and family for this purpose, but from what you say, probably not.
  • Reply 10 of 27
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,487administrator
    If the camera has 10x the pixel resolution, how does that affect the quality of FaceTime calls, if at all?
    It depends very much on networking, the call's window resolution (Zoom postage stamp in a group, or one-on-one), and a bunch of other factors.

    It's not earth-shattering for video calls. Most of the time, it's not really noticeable other than the better low-light performance. It's much better for selfies, but I'm not sure why you wouldn't use an iPhone for that.
    I don't believe "more pixels" (everything else being equal) will offer better low light performance.  Physically larger "pixels" (discrete sensor cells), a larger lens (allowing more light), improved sensor technology (offering greater sensitivity), and lower frame rate will offer better low light performance...  It's all about photons per frame (unit of time).
    I’m aware.

    Bottom line is, the new camera has better low-light performance. I didn’t say anything suggesting the resolution had anything to do with that.
    williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 11 of 27
    How does the author reconcile the headline: "The best iPad for nearly everyone" with almost the entire content of this review?  Clearly if it was the best for nearly everyone, hardly anyone would choose to buy the more expensive models.
    edited September 2021 williamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 27
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,501member
    s.metcalf said:
    How does the author reconcile the headline: "The best iPad for nearly everyone" with almost the entire content of this review?  Clearly if it was the best for nearly everyone, hardly anyone would choose to buy the more expensive models.
    Seriously, you’re having trouble puzzling this out?

    Well, let’s consider:

    1. This is by far the best selling model. Relative to the other models (with the exception of the mini), hardly anyone DOES choose to buy the more expensive models.
    2. Most consumers buy iPads PRIMARILY as a passive-consumption device (surfing, light email/messaging, casual gaming, ebooks, videos, etc)
    3. The “pro” buyer/active creator market in the tablet space is FAR smaller than you seem to think it is (just ask Microsoft!).
    4. It is an inexpensive but tremendously versatile performer that can handle a very wide array of typical-use tasks — including pen, camera, video-call, keyboard/trackpad type work, photo editing, and much more — and will be supported for years to come, and useful for even more years, 
    5. It it HALF or less the cost of any other model other than the iPad mini, which is still significantly more expensive.
    6. MOST PEOPLE buying new devices pick the entry-level or base model, and this is almost universally true across the technology world. The best selling model iPhone is, year after year, the non-pro and non-mini model.

    I think you must be confusing “everyone” with “serious Mac/Apple ecosystem buyers,” whereas the review refers to “nearly everyone” as the general public — including people who use Windows, or have Android phones.

    HTH!
    muthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMacwilliamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 27
    s.metcalf said:
    How does the author reconcile the headline: "The best iPad for nearly everyone" with almost the entire content of this review?  Clearly if it was the best for nearly everyone, hardly anyone would choose to buy the more expensive models.
    Few buyers really understand the functional differences between models -- particularly if those differences aren't something they can see and feel.   And, even fewer are able to project those differences onto their projected use of the item.  So the allure of "This has a "better" screen -- or simply being "better" is strong.   It's been ingrained into western consciousness through decades of marketing.
  • Reply 14 of 27
    chasm said:
    s.metcalf said:
    How does the author reconcile the headline: "The best iPad for nearly everyone" with almost the entire content of this review?  Clearly if it was the best for nearly everyone, hardly anyone would choose to buy the more expensive models.
    Seriously, you’re having trouble puzzling this out?

    Well, let’s consider:

    1. This is by far the best selling model. Relative to the other models (with the exception of the mini), hardly anyone DOES choose to buy the more expensive models.
    2. Most consumers buy iPads PRIMARILY as a passive-consumption device (surfing, light email/messaging, casual gaming, ebooks, videos, etc)
    3. The “pro” buyer/active creator market in the tablet space is FAR smaller than you seem to think it is (just ask Microsoft!).
    4. It is an inexpensive but tremendously versatile performer that can handle a very wide array of typical-use tasks — including pen, camera, video-call, keyboard/trackpad type work, photo editing, and much more — and will be supported for years to come, and useful for even more years, 
    5. It it HALF or less the cost of any other model other than the iPad mini, which is still significantly more expensive.
    6. MOST PEOPLE buying new devices pick the entry-level or base model, and this is almost universally true across the technology world. The best selling model iPhone is, year after year, the non-pro and non-mini model.

    I think you must be confusing “everyone” with “serious Mac/Apple ecosystem buyers,” whereas the review refers to “nearly everyone” as the general public — including people who use Windows, or have Android phones.

    HTH!

    I’m not confusing anything, but thanks for your, uh, concern… ?

    It’s a click-bait headline that doesn’t even match the content of the author’s own article.  I was going to list quotes from the article that provide many examples of why this iPad isn’t for “nearly everyone” and as such contradict the headline, but I didn’t think that was necessary as it was plain to see.  Evidently not.

    I’m a very long-term subscriber (longer than you) and I don’t think poor, inconsistent, unjustified and/or clickbait headlines are helping this site.  “The best iPad for nearly everyone [who wants a new iPad and is budget conscious/constrained or wants one for the cheapest price]” is more accurate but less catchy and less click-bait-y.

    1.  If you have any reliable data on sales breakdowns to back up your claim you should have posted it.  Apple doesn’t provide these figures and I don’t think you have them either.  I don’t either but I have logical reasons to believe that the rest of the iPad market is not minor, tiny or minuscule, nor is this the “best iPad for nearly everyone” even if it was.  That title would probably go to the Air models.  Apple would not have two product categories (Air and Pro) filling such a tiny (as you claim) niche.
    2.  Sure, but that doesn’t mean this is better or “the best” for those things.  It is objectively not in many cases.
    3.  You don’t know what I think but what I do think is likely more accurate than this headline.  Pro doesn’t stop the Pro iPhones being *very* popular.  Plus there’s another whole iPad range in-between the Pros and this budget model that is also *very* popular.
    4.  It’s pretty good value for sure.  I personally bought an M1 11” Pro for my elderly mother who uses it for basic “content consumption” and games because the quality of life improvements were easily worth the extra money, and then some.
    5.  As above.
    6.  The regular iPhone is more popular for sure reflecting that its features and look/feel have approached the Pro models for less and that iPhone prices have been steadily increasing (at least on the top end).  The Pro iPhones are decidedly luxury, yet the Pro models do extremely well.  The iPad market is different and I’ve no doubt that the Air and Pro markets combined is very significant proportionally to the base.  Quite frankly, what the proportions are is unrelated from the point of a reviewer providing purchasing advice like “this is the best iPad for nearly everyone”, which is blatantly disingenuous and poor advice, in my opinion.

    To sum up, the headline should have better reflected the article: that this is an excellent and very capable device for the budget conscious, not that it’s best for “nearly everyone” because that’s an extremely blanket claim that is not true or justified by even the author’s own admission in the article!
    edited September 2021 williamlondon
  • Reply 15 of 27
    If the camera has 10x the pixel resolution, how does that affect the quality of FaceTime calls, if at all?
    It depends very much on networking, the call's window resolution (Zoom postage stamp in a group, or one-on-one), and a bunch of other factors.

    It's not earth-shattering for video calls. Most of the time, it's not really noticeable other than the better low-light performance. It's much better for selfies, but I'm not sure why you wouldn't use an iPhone for that.
    I don't believe "more pixels" (everything else being equal) will offer better low light performance.  Physically larger "pixels" (discrete sensor cells), a larger lens (allowing more light), improved sensor technology (offering greater sensitivity), and lower frame rate will offer better low light performance...  It's all about photons per frame (unit of time).
    I’m aware.

    Bottom line is, the new camera has better low-light performance. I didn’t say anything suggesting the resolution had anything to do with that.
    Good to hear.

    However given the question and your reply, it's not unreasonable to take your statement as suggesting "10x the pixel resolution" = "better low-light performance".
  • Reply 16 of 27
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,487administrator
    s.metcalf said:

    To sum up, the headline should have better reflected the article: that this is an excellent and very capable device for the budget conscious, not that it’s best for “nearly everyone” because that’s an extremely blanket claim that is not true or justified by even the author’s own admission in the article!
    In my opinion, Charles is right, and you're narrowing what you consider to be the iPad market to just folks that read this site and adjacent. You are welcome to your own opinion, of course, but there is nothing in this article that discounts this point, nor the validity of the headline. Your anecdote about your elderly mother notwithstanding, the entry-level iPad may not cover the needs of the AI reader and their families, which tend to cover the upper 20% of Apple's product line -- but it will cover the overwhelming majority of needs for the tablet market as a whole.

    Here's another anecdote: of my family members aged 70 and older, all but one has the entry-level iPad of some sort from the last five years. One has an Amazon Fire. That's still not data, any more than your example is.

    And in regards to the call to authority that you registered before Charles did, knock it off. You're reasonable given your post history, and you know full well that AI forum post count nor registration date means a single thing.
    edited September 2021 williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 17 of 27
    s.metcalf said:

    To sum up, the headline should have better reflected the article: that this is an excellent and very capable device for the budget conscious, not that it’s best for “nearly everyone” because that’s an extremely blanket claim that is not true or justified by even the author’s own admission in the article!
    In my opinion, Charles is right, and you're narrowing what you consider to be the iPad market to just folks that read this site and adjacent. You are welcome to your own opinion, of course, but there is nothing in this article that discounts this point, nor the validity of the headline. Your anecdote about your elderly mother notwithstanding, the entry-level iPad may not cover the needs of the AI reader and their families, which tend to cover the upper 20% of Apple's product line -- but it will cover the overwhelming majority of needs for the tablet market as a whole.

    Here's another anecdote: of my family members aged 70 and older, all but one has the entry-level iPad of some sort from the last five years. One has an Amazon Fire. That's still not data, any more than your example is.

    And in regards to the call to authority that you registered before Charles did, knock it off. You're reasonable given your post history, and you know full well that AI forum post count nor registration date means a single thing.
    Not surprising that you agree with the person who is not being (fairly) critical.  I know what I see and I provided a thorough rebuttal with many points that make sense, which you conveniently overlooked.

    ”Readers of this site aren’t average users”, which you both stated, has nothing to do with the validity of my points and is simply used as an attempt to downplay or discredit my qualification to make those points and opinions without targeting the points themselves.  That is symptomatic of an inability to counter the arguments directly and is a very common strategy, intentionally or otherwise, when someone cannot defend their argument with sound facts or reasoning.  When all else fails: attack and discredit the person is the logic that your comment follows.  It’s extremely common in politics too, for obvious reasons.

    I have further suspicions about the wildly positive “best for everyone” headline (I accidentally misquoted as “best for headline” there for a second) but I won’t go there, yet.  I expect and come here for quality consumer-centric news and analysis and a headline that effectively says “almost everyone” should buy this base iPad in favour of the others doesn’t meet the standard of journalism I’m seeking from a tech reviewer, but is one that Apple would probably be happy with.  They likely want people that can only afford or justify the base to feel like they’re getting the best when clearly they’re not.  Lightning itself is probably (or hopefully) on the way out as well.  The quality of life improvements I mentioned don’t just apply to that particular case either.

    Certainly if you intend to push away long-time readers and contributors you’ve done a pretty good job of it.  It’s not what this site needs right now, surely.

    However, I think I’d prefer to get my Apple news, opinions and reviews from sources that are more objective and balanced and have fewer (or no) ties to Apple.
    edited September 2021 williamlondon
  • Reply 18 of 27
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,487administrator
    s.metcalf said:
    s.metcalf said:

    To sum up, the headline should have better reflected the article: that this is an excellent and very capable device for the budget conscious, not that it’s best for “nearly everyone” because that’s an extremely blanket claim that is not true or justified by even the author’s own admission in the article!
    In my opinion, Charles is right, and you're narrowing what you consider to be the iPad market to just folks that read this site and adjacent. You are welcome to your own opinion, of course, but there is nothing in this article that discounts this point, nor the validity of the headline. Your anecdote about your elderly mother notwithstanding, the entry-level iPad may not cover the needs of the AI reader and their families, which tend to cover the upper 20% of Apple's product line -- but it will cover the overwhelming majority of needs for the tablet market as a whole.

    Here's another anecdote: of my family members aged 70 and older, all but one has the entry-level iPad of some sort from the last five years. One has an Amazon Fire. That's still not data, any more than your example is.

    And in regards to the call to authority that you registered before Charles did, knock it off. You're reasonable given your post history, and you know full well that AI forum post count nor registration date means a single thing.
    Not surprising that you agree with the person who is not being (fairly) critical.  I know what I see and I provided a thorough rebuttal with many points that make sense, which you conveniently overlooked.

    ”Readers of this site aren’t average users”, which you both stated, has nothing to do with the validity of my points and is simply used as an attempt to downplay or discredit my qualification to make those points and opinions without targeting the points themselves.  That is symptomatic of an inability to counter the arguments directly and is a very common strategy, intentionally or otherwise, when someone cannot defend their argument with sound facts or reasoning.  When all else fails: attack and discredit the person is the logic that your comment follows.  It’s extremely common in politics too, for obvious reasons.

    I have further suspicions about the wildly positive “best for everyone” headline (I accidentally misquoted as “best for headline” there for a second) but I won’t go there, yet.  I expect and come here for quality consumer-centric news and analysis and a headline that effectively says “almost everyone” should buy this base iPad in favour of the others doesn’t meet the standard of journalism I’m seeking from a tech reviewer, but is one that Apple would probably be happy with.  They likely want people that can only afford or justify the base to feel like they’re getting the best when clearly they’re not.  Lightning itself is probably (or hopefully) on the way out as well.  The quality of life improvements I mentioned don’t just apply to that particular case either.

    Certainly if you intend to push away long-time readers and contributors you’ve done a pretty good job of it.  It’s not what this site needs right now, surely.

    However, I think I’d prefer to get my Apple news, opinions and reviews from sources that are more objective and balanced and have fewer (or no) ties to Apple.
    While you are welcome to your opinion, apparently others are not. You only think you know what you read, I read your rebuttal which doesn't do a single thing to disprove what I said in the piece.

    Thats the great thing about the internet -- I don't have to validate your opinion or your purchase, be it this unit or a higher-end one. I don't pretend my opinion is universal, and you probably shouldn't think yours is either, but it looks like you do - and you should take a moment to re-read the commenting guidelines, since attacking another user for post-count, and implying we have any connection or financial arrangement with Apple are both against the rules and have been for a very long time. We've banned folks for less, but like I said, you seem generally reasonable, at least before today.

    And, I'll leave you with this, since your "suspicions" are wildly off-base: AppleInsider as a whole has no hardware supply from Apple, nor is there any money being paid to AppleInsider in any way, from Apple. We buy 99/100 review units, at retail. Dan Dilger's M1 MacBook Air from 2020 was an exception, with a contact that AppleInsider as a whole does not have access to. I still don't care what Apple thinks about what I write, and never have, either in public for the last decade, and well before that for the feds. This piece is no exception. I'm sure they'd rather I'd have given it a 5/5, but it isn't a 5/5 product. 

    If we did, this review would have been posted when the embargo on early seed units expired on Wednesday. 
    edited September 2021 williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 19 of 27
    I had an 8th gen iPad (32GB) for my son who is homeschooled that we bought from Apple using the education discount ($299). They offered me $240 for the 8th gen as a trade in, I figured for $60 it was worth it to double the storage alone as 32GB simply wasn’t enough. We don’t normally upgrade devices after just a year, but I decided to this year for him since it was a pretty decent upgrade all around.
    OctoMonkeyGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 20 of 27
    I had an 8th gen iPad (32GB) for my son who is homeschooled that we bought from Apple using the education discount ($299). They offered me $240 for the 8th gen as a trade in, I figured for $60 it was worth it to double the storage alone as 32GB simply wasn’t enough. We don’t normally upgrade devices after just a year, but I decided to this year for him since it was a pretty decent upgrade all around.
    $240 credit against a $299 original cost?  Who could say no to that?!?!
    muthuk_vanalingam
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