Apple introduced a seventh-generation entry-level iPad in September 2019 with a larger 10.2-inch display and improved internals. It’s the lowest priced iPad and most affordable, starting at $329 or $309 for education customers.
- 10.2-inch display
- Touch ID and home button
- A10 Fusion processor
- 32GB and 128GB storage
- Apple Pencil (1st-generation) support
- Rear 8-megapixel camera
- iPadOS 13
The 2019 iPad has a 10.2-inch Retina display with 500 nits brightness and a resolution of 2160 by 1620px. Apple increased the size of the screen from the 2017 and 2018 models, which both had a 9.7-inch Retina display with 2048 x 1536 resolution.
Like the iPad 5 and 6, the 10.2-inch iPad does not have a laminated display or support features like TrueTone, wide colour gamut or ProMotion. The side bezels are smaller than previous generations due to a larger display by chassis is nearly identical otherwise.
There’s a front-facing FaceTime HD camera and rear 8-megapixel camera with no flash and has only two speakers instead of a four-speaker system like the iPad Pro. It also supports Touch ID and Lightning for charging and data transfer. The 10.2-inch iPad is available in Silver, Space Gray and Gold.
With the sixth-generation iPad, Apple introduced Apple Pencil support to the budget iPad. The seventh-generation iPad is also compatible with the Apple Pencil 1st-generation and this is due to an incorporated touch sensor under the display.
The Apple Pencil has pressure sensors to detect forces when drawing and writing, allowing different shading techniques. Tilt sensors also identify the angle and orientation you’re holding to pencil, to better improve the paper-like feel you get on an iPad.
It charges through the iPad’s Lightning port and 15 seconds of charge provide 30 minutes battery life meaning you can use it like a physical pencil and never run out of juice. Apple still sells the original Apple Pencil at $99 alongside a second-generation that’s compatible with the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro.
The 10.2-inch iPad uses an A10 Fusion chip that was first introduced with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus back in 2016. It’s certainly getting on a bit but supports the latest version of iOS and runs apps and games smoothly.
Two high-performance and two high-efficiency cores balance battery life and performance when you need it, and can run at a reduced speed to preserve the battery. This is assisted by a six-core graphics chip that’s more powerful than other models.
The seventh-generation iPad has 3GB of RAM (up from 2GB). However, as Apple controls the software and hardware experience, it ensures that both work with each other to save battery life, manage thermals and provide the best performance.
Apple says the iPad has 10 hours of battery life, which hasn’t changed since the iPad 5 was first introduced in 2017. Unlike the iPad Pro, Lightning is still used to charge the device and also works with the original Apple Pencil.
The seventh-generation iPad ships with iPadOS 13 which brings features like Dark Mode, external hard drive support, an improved homescreen and support for mouse and keyboard (in iPadOS 13.4 and later).
A free upgrade to iPadOS 14 is promised this fall and brings a new compact UI to many applications, upgraded widgets, optical character recognition with Apple Pencil and many other improvements.
Apple has recently registered seven new models of iPad (A2270, A2316, A2072, A2324, A2325, A2428, and A2429) under the Eurasian Economic Commission, suggesting a new budget iPad will be announced later this year.
This new iPad could feature improved battery life and much faster performance, due to an A12 chip inside, according to many leakers. Additionally, an iPad with a 10.8-inch display is rumoured, but it’s unclear whether this will be the iPad 8.