The hype in the market might be all about the new iPad Pros launched by Apple, but for all that they offer, they do cost a fair bit (read our story about them) — the most affordable of them starts at Rs 85,900, which is a fair amount. That’s as much as some high-end notebooks.
So should you give up on the iPad as a computer dream? Not at all.
For there is an iPad out there which can step in for your notebook — as long as what you are looking to do is a lot of word processing and web browsing — at a much lower cost. We are talking of the iPad (2018), the basic iPad model, simply referred to as the “iPad” by Apple, which starts at as low as Rs 28,000 for its base edition. It might not have the Pro nomenclature or all the hype that accompanies the new iPads around it, but what it does pack in is some very good hardware and a truckload of very useful features.
For starters, it has a smaller display than the new iPad Pros, but it is still a Retina display and at 9.7 inches, it is large enough for most tasks (hey, one of the first iPad Pros had a 9.7 inch display too) and at 2048 x 1536 has a very healthy resolution. It will not be as brilliant and bright as the one on the iPad Pros (that have True Tone displays), but it is still a VERY good display.
Some people will also point out that the A10 chip on the iPad is not in the class of the A12X Bionic chip on the Pros, but then again, it is more than capable of handling every routine task you will throw at it. It might not do them as fast as an iPad Pro does, but it will still do them faster than most notebooks will. And well, it will play most games that you want to with a degree of ease. And no, we do not think that its having slightly inferior cameras is a factor — we are not convinced that people use tablets for photography. Not just yet. And for all those who will say that the new iPad Pro comes with USB Type C connectivity, well, the iPad lets you use the same lightning charger as the iPhone — and from what we have seen, fingerprint unlock on the iPad works better than face unlock on the iPad Pro.
No, it is not as powerful as the iPad Pros in quite a few respects (we have not even talked about how good those speakers on the new iPad Pro are), but it is what the iPad brings to the table that really makes a difference in our book. The display is good, the form factor is very compact (at 469 grammes, it can slip into any bag), and well, the 10 hour battery life makes it the perfect companion for any one who is not always close to power outlets. The A10 chip is a very good one for most tasks — we have even edited video on the iPad, and the experience has been relatively smooth.
But for us, a huge plus is the fact that the Apple Pencil (original) works with the iPad, allowing you to sketch and even make notes (read our review of one of the best handwriting recognition apps for the iPad here) on the iPad. Add a Bluetooth keyboard (we recommend this one) and you pretty much have everything you have on the iPad Pro. A slight notch slower at the high end perhaps but more than adequate for most tasks like word processing, web browsing, binge video watching and even gaming. And yes, even after paying for an Apple Pencil and a Bluetooth keyboard, there is a fair chance that you will end up with a bill that is a whole lot less than the base model price of the iPad Pro — the high-end 3G and Wi-Fi and 128 GB edition of the iPad is priced at Rs 46,300.
It might not have the hype that the iPad Pros have but we believe that the iPad is actually one of the best value around the Pros. Its performance remains awesome, at Rs 28,000, it is one of the most affordable new iOS devices around. Don’t have the budget for an iPad Pro? Just get an iPad. Throw in an Apple Pencil and a Bluetooth keyboard. You will not regret it.
Traveller’s Tip: It might come across as a little more expensive but whenever possible, go for the 3G and Wi-Fi edition of an iPad. It simply gives you the option to have connectivity even when there is no Wi-Fi network around — sure you can use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, but that can drain battery big time!