The Apple iPad (6th Generation): A Powerful and Affordable Tablet

The Apple iPad (6th Generation): A Powerful and Affordable Tablet

Introducing the Apple iPad (6th Generation)

The Apple iPad (6th generation) is the latest iteration of Apple's budget-friendly tablet, following up on the fifth generation model. It comes equipped with a new A10 fusion chip and introduces support for the Apple Pencil, making it a compelling option for those seeking a powerful yet affordable tablet. With a starting price of $329, it offers a range of features and capabilities that make it a noteworthy addition to the iPad lineup.

Unboxing and Accessories

When unboxing the Apple iPad (6th generation), users can expect a familiar yet satisfying experience. The device is available in three sleek colors: silver, Space Gray, and a new gold color, adding a touch of elegance to the lineup. The unboxing process reveals the iPad wrapped in clear plastic, providing a distinct tactile sensation when unwrapping. Additionally, the package includes essential accessories to enhance the user experience.

Design and Display

The design of the sixth generation iPad remains identical to the fifth generation, with the only noticeable change being the introduction of a new gold color option. This warmer copper gold color, reminiscent of the Apple Watch and iPhone 8, adds a vibrant touch to the lineup. The chassis maintains the same dimensions, button placements, and overall design as the previous model, offering a familiar yet sleek appearance.

Display Specifications

The iPad features a 9.7-inch LCD IPS display with a resolution of 1536 by 2048, delivering the same Retina resolution since the 2012 iPad fourth-generation. While the display is not laminated to the glass like the iPad Air 2 or iPad Pros, resulting in a slight air gap, the overall display quality remains impressive, providing a visually satisfying experience for users.

Camera Performance

The sixth generation iPad retains the same cameras as its predecessor, including the 8-megapixel iSight camera with an F 2.4 aperture and the 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD camera. While the iSight camera offers decent picture quality and 1080p video recording at 30 frames per second, its performance in low-light conditions may result in slightly undersaturated and noisy images. The FaceTime camera, though older in specification, still delivers adequate performance, offering good exposure and functionality for most use cases.

Biometric Security and Audio

The Apple iPad (6th generation) features the Touch ID fingerprint sensor with a color-matching metal ring surrounding the sapphire glass, allowing users to unlock the device and make secure online payments. The stereo speakers provide decent audio quality, but there may be a slight lopsidedness in sound distribution when the iPad is held in landscape orientation.

Button Layout and Connectivity

The iPad's button layout remains consistent with previous models, featuring volume controls, a sleep/wake power button, and a headphone jack. Additionally, the cellular model includes a nano SIM tray for cellular connectivity, and a plastic trim piece ensures radio transparency for GPS and LTE functionality.

Processor, RAM, and Battery Life

The Apple iPad (6th generation) retains the two gigs of RAM from the previous model but introduces the new A10 fusion CPU, a quad-core design similar to the chip in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Additionally, the battery size is slightly reduced to 32.4 watt-hours, yet the more efficient processor ensures that it doesn't impact overall battery life. Apple claims users should expect around 10 hours of on-screen time on Wi-Fi and nine hours on cellular, though actual usage may vary.

USB 3 Spec and Fast Charging

It's worth noting that the iPad (6th generation) does not support the USB 3 spec like the iPad Pro, meaning that fast charging is not available for this model.

Comparing the iPad (6th Gen) to the iPad Pro

When comparing the iPad (6th generation) to the iPad Pro, several notable differences come to light. Firstly, the iPad (6th generation) features a 9.7-inch screen, while the iPad Pro comes in larger sizes of 10.5 or 12.9 inches. The iPad Pro also boasts a performance and price premium, along with superior displays that support DCI-P3 and ProMotion for high refresh rates. Additionally, the iPad Pro doubles the speaker count to four and offers better cameras, including a 12-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization and 4K video recording. The iPad Pro also features a smart connector for keyboards, which is absent in the iPad (6th generation).

Apple Pencil Support

The Apple iPad (6th generation) supports the Apple Pencil, offering users a more affordable entry point to experience the benefits of this accessory. While the Apple Pencil is not included with the iPad, it can be purchased separately for $99. Pairing the Apple Pencil with the iPad (6th generation) is a straightforward process - simply connect it to the Lightning connector at the bottom of the device. This connection also facilitates the recharging of the Apple Pencil's internal battery, providing seamless integration with the iPad. Users can conveniently monitor the battery status of the Apple Pencil through the battery widget accessible from the drop-down notification shade. With pressure sensitivity and angle sensitivity, the Apple Pencil delivers precise and natural control in drawing apps, allowing for varying line thickness and shading based on the applied pressure. It's important to note that the Apple Pencil is primarily designed for specific tasks such as drawing and is not intended to replace finger-based navigation for general user interface interactions.

Software Experience and Multitasking

The software experience on the Apple iPad (6th generation) closely mirrors that of other iPads, including the iPad Pro. Users can authenticate and navigate the interface using familiar gestures, such as tapping the home key to return to the home screen, swiping down for the search panel, and accessing the notification panel by swiping from the top. Additionally, the control center provides quick access to essential settings, allowing users to adjust brightness, enable night shift mode, and manage connectivity options. Despite the absence of 3D Touch, the iPad (6th generation) supports long-press interactions for accessing contextual menus and actions, providing a seamless user experience.

Conclusion: A Compelling Budget Tablet

The Apple iPad (6th generation) offers an undeniable bargain with its impressive processing power and support for the Apple Pencil. While it may not bring many new features to the table, it provides the same functionality as the iPad Pro at a much more affordable price point. This makes it a compelling choice for those seeking a budget-friendly yet powerful tablet option.


Is the Apple Pencil included with the iPad (6th generation)?

No, the Apple Pencil is not included with the iPad (6th generation) and must be purchased separately for $99.

Does the iPad (6th generation) support fast charging?

No, the iPad (6th generation) does not support fast charging due to the absence of USB 3 spec compatibility.

What are the key differences between the iPad (6th generation) and the iPad Pro?

The iPad (6th generation) features a 9.7-inch screen, while the iPad Pro comes in larger sizes of 10.5 or 12.9 inches. The iPad Pro also offers superior displays, better cameras, and a smart connector for keyboards, which are not present in the iPad (6th generation).


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