iPad 8 review: the value is also outstanding, it may be the first choice for tablets for 3000 yuan

On September 16, the eighth-generation iPad (hereinafter referred to as iPad 8) was like a dragonfly, passing Apple’s autumn new product launch-about 64 minutes long press conference, only 6 minutes to introduce it.

Not only is Cook eccentric, but also the KOLs in the digital circle have not paid much attention, and the exposure resources are all leaning toward the “reborn” iPad Air and the new Apple Watch.

However, for such an “inconspicuous” iPad, market feedback is another situation : it often dominates the sales list of related categories on e-commerce websites. After all, the price of more than two thousand yuan is very friendly to users with limited budget.

▲ The entry-level iPad is a winning general in sales

In fact, with the continuous upgrading of software and hardware, this entry-level ” cheapest large-screen iPad ” should never be taken lightly. Especially with the blessing of iPadOS, it has quietly grown from a “sofa toy” in the iOS era to a unique productivity tool.

Chips and charging are faster

Cook has always been precise. Compared with its predecessor, the seventh-generation iPad released last year (hereinafter referred to as iPad 7) has not upgraded the processor, but made an article on the appearance-such as the screen size has become larger, from 9.7 inches to 10.2 inches.

Compared with its predecessor, the iPad 8, which has just been released, has no changes in its screen and appearance. The chip is upgraded from A10 Fusion to A12 Bionic .

▲ iPad 8 (right) and iPad 7 (left) have no changes in appearance

In fact, compared to the 0.5-inch screen that was increased in the previous iteration, this upgrade is more necessary. After all, in actual use, a faster processor can bring a better experience.

We are no strangers to the A12 bionic chip on the iPad 8. It first appeared on the iPhone XS series and iPhone XR, and was the industry’s first 7nm chip that year. iPad Air 3 and iPad mini 5 also use this processor.

▲ A12 Bionic chip. Picture from: redmondpie

From the data point of view, the A12 bionic chip rolled A10 effortlessly. A10 is a quad-core processor with 16nm process. The A12 Bionic is a six-core processor with 7nm process technology . Whether it is performance or power consumption, the A12 Bionic will be much better than the A10.

In Geekbench 5, the single-core score of the iPad 8 reached 1113 points, which can be tied with the 2018 iPad Pro, which is 46% higher than the iPad 7’s 762 points. In terms of multi-core scores, the iPad 8 scored 2500 points, a 76% increase compared to the 1413 points of the iPad 7.

▲Geekbench 5 test results (iPad 8 on the left, iPad 7 on the right)

Through the Antutu running test, the iPad 8 can reach 440,000 points, which is 183,000 points higher than the previous generation iPad’s 257,000 points. The improvement is still very significant.

▲ AnTuTu running score results (iPad 8 on the left, iPad 7 on the right)

In addition to the test content above, we also recorded the download and upload speed, boot time, App open time, etc. of the two models. The final results are organized in the table below.

It can be seen that the performance of iPad 8 is significantly ahead of iPad 7 in all aspects . Apple also emphasized at the press conference that “iPad 8 is 2 times faster than mainstream Windows tablets, 3 times faster than Android tablets, and 6 times faster than Chromebooks in performance.”

For consumers, its performance is sufficient for 3-4 years . If you just entered your freshman year this year, then the performance of this iPad is enough for you to graduate from college.

In addition to the chip, the standard charging head of the iPad 8 has also been upgraded from 12W to 20W . This is a rare generosity of Apple. After all, the Apple Watch Series 6 and SE series released at the same time have no charging heads for environmental protection. This charging head is priced at 243 yuan on the official website, and it is not cheap to buy it separately.

So what is the difference in charging speed between 20 W and 12 W chargers? We actually tested it and used a 20W charger to charge the iPad 8 and a 12W original charger to charge the iPad 7. The results show that the iPad 8 fully charged in 2 hours and 57 minutes , nearly twice as fast as the iPad 7. However, both support up to 30 W fast charging . If you want a faster charging speed, it is recommended to buy a higher watt charger.

▲Charging efficiency curve (blue line is 20W, orange line is 12W)

It may be the best iPad for students

If you watch the video of Apple’s new product launch, you will find a lot of iPad 8 promotional clips showing how it has become a productivity tool for the student party.

For the student party, the first thing to consider when buying a tablet is the budget . As the cheapest iPad in the sales camp, iPad 8 should be the first choice for most students.

When I was a student, I mainly used iPad for three things. One is to browse the web on Weibo; the other is entertainment video; the third is post-editing.

Yes, you read that right, I didn’t use it to take notes at the time, even if this is the usage scenario that the iPad has always emphasized. Because when I was a student, only iPad Pro supported Apple Pencil, and the price of iPad Pro was too high for ordinary students like me.

And now, both the top-equipped iPad Pro and the most entry-level iPad already support Apple Pencil. This undoubtedly greatly released its productivity in the student community, and using iPad to take notes is no longer a Pro-level “privilege” .

Like iPad 7, iPad 8 supports the first-generation Apple Pencil. To be honest, when you first start to take notes with Apple Pencil, you may feel very awkward, writing and drawing on the screen is not as efficient as paper and pen. However, after you are familiar with it, you will most likely find it really fragrant. After all, you only need an Apple Pencil instead of a whole bag of markers to mark with various highlighters in your electronic notes.

▲ iPad + Apple Pencil “artifact” for taking notes and drawing

In fact, using iPad to take notes, the more prominent advantage lies in the organization and management of notes . No matter where you are, you can always find the notes you have taken on the iPad at any time. Its efficient keyword search is also more efficient than turning a notebook page by page. People like me who like to lose everything don’t have to worry about losing their notes, because electronic notes can be stored in the cloud for viewing on multiple devices.

▲ Notes taken by Fudan Xueba Li Shuqi with iPad. Picture from: CNMO

If you need a lot of text input when taking notes, or need to write papers frequently, then it is necessary to equip the iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard. The “official companion” of iPad 8 is Smart Keyboard , which does not support Magic Keyboard. But Smart Keyboard is small in size and relatively cheap. You can buy an iPad 8 for the price of a Magic Keyboard. If you particularly like the design of the Magic Keyboard with its own trackpad, you can also buy Logitech’s Combo Touch.

▲ iPad 8 with Smart Keyboard

For students, there are also more affordable Bluetooth keyboard options on the market, such as Logitech’s K380. Taking the iPad and keyboard to the classroom or library is much lighter than carrying a laptop. The WiFi version of the iPad 8 only weighs 490 grams, which is equivalent to a bottle of Coke.

▲Smart Keyboard details

The iPad 8 has a battery capacity of 32.4 watt-hours, and with the low-power A12 bionic chip, the official said it can last up to 10 hours. In the actual experience, the battery life of the iPad 8 is even stronger than the official statement. I used Tencent Video to play a TV series for an hour at a medium volume and only used 8% of the battery. Using Safari to browse web pages for half an hour only consumes 3% of the battery.

In other words, if you are a very diligent student, full of classes at the end of the day and writing papers in the library at night, the battery life of iPad 8 can also meet the needs of one day of learning .

Of course, a smart student knows how to combine work and rest. Going back to the dormitory at night, lying in bed to watch a variety show or American drama is too pleasant. The 10.2-inch retina display of the iPad 8 makes it easy to watch videos.

But unfortunately, iPad 8 is still a non-full-screen fit, easy reflective, need to adjust the angle while watching the video. When touching, you will also feel that your finger is some distance away from the content displayed on the screen. This feeling is like two layers of glass film, but fortunately, it does not affect the sensitivity of the screen.

When the screen is not fully fitted, you will see a black border around it when it is lit. If you can’t bear it, my suggestion is to buy the black version , which can improve the visual a lot.

▲ The black version of the “screen black border” is not obvious

And this kind of screen is not without benefits. After all, the maintenance cost of a non-fully-fitted screen is much lower than that of a fully-fitted screen. Even if it is accidentally broken, it will not be “poverty” .

If you love music and pursue sound quality, the “extremely advanced” 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPad 8 will win your heart.

In terms of games, when playing lightweight games like Hearthstone, there is no need to worry about performance. When I used it to play Honor of Kings, I couldn’t notice the slightest lag, and the whole frame rate was stable at around 60FPS. Although sex works, playing games with such a big screen is still cruel to the wrist.

In addition, if you have a hobby of photography like me, it is a good choice to use iPad for post-retouching. The screen color and color accuracy of iPad 8 are “Apple level”, so don’t worry about it because it is a non-full-fitting process. In addition, I tried to use iPad 8 to edit 4K video, and there was no lag. This A12 bionic chip is still “a treasure”, you can use it to edit your Vlog with confidence.

How to choose a 3,000 yuan budget?

If your budget is around 3,000 yuan, I think you might struggle between iPad 8, iPad Air 3, and iPad mini 5 . After all, these three iPads all use the A12 bionic processor, and their performance is evenly matched.

We have also made a purchase analysis to see which of the above three iPads is more suitable for you.

It should be noted that the current iPad Air 3 official website has been removed and can only be purchased from third-party channels . The prices in the following table are third-party channel prices and are for reference only.

Obviously, on the whole, iPad 8 is still inferior to iPad mini 5 and iPad Air 3. The gap is mainly concentrated in the screen and size.

The look and feel of fully-fitted screens is definitely better, but non-fully-fitted screens are better at cheaper prices and lower maintenance costs. However, with wide color gamut and original color display, if you don’t often use it for professional retouching work , the reduction of iPad 8 has little effect. After all, the perception is not obvious in daily use. Otherwise, it is recommended to buy iPad Air 3.

In terms of size, iPad mini 5 has a huge advantage in portability . The small size can also get a better grip when playing games. The iPad mini 5 is even nicknamed “the strongest game console on the surface.” But in terms of learning, the small screen of the iPad mini 5 will become a constraint. After all, the larger the screen, the better the experience during split-screen operation . You can watch online lessons and take notes on the big screens of iPad 8 and iPad Air 3.

Of course, setting aside the price is a rogue . At present, the third-party channel iPad Air 3 is more than 1,000 yuan more expensive than the official website iPad 8, and there is a certain risk of renovation in the third-party channel. The difference of 1,000 yuan is enough to buy an Apple Pencil and a third-party Bluetooth keyboard, allowing the iPad to maximize productivity.

The starting price of the iPad mini 5 is about 500 yuan higher than that of the iPad 8. If you don’t use the iPad as a game console, you must spend the same amount of money to buy a 128GB iPad 8.

In summary, the main target users of iPad 8 are already very clear: students who need to take frequent notes, read documents, and take into account audio and video entertainment; ordinary users who “productivity before buying, iQiyi after buying”, and those who want a low-cost experience The users of the Apple ecosystem.

In fact, in the past few days when I experienced iPad 8, I found that everything I did on iPad Pro can be done on iPad 8. To say that the more prominent regret is that the first-generation Apple Pencil supported by iPad 8 does not feel as good as the second-generation. Furthermore, there is a gap in the look and feel of the screen.

After all, for ordinary users like me, the performance of the iPad Pro has been completely surplus, and there is currently a lack of software in the Apple ecosystem that can fully utilize Pro-level performance. In contrast, spending 40% of the price can buy 70% of the Pro-level experience, which is enough to make me shout: ” iPad 8, YES! “.

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