That time when I almost didn’t need to use my laptop.
Apple somehow found a way to make iPads a staple part of anyone’s gadget list and while it initially started as one device, the company now has an entire lineup of iPads that would suit any user. The 7th-generation iPad we’re reviewing is the cheapest in Apple’s current tablet lineup, followed by the iPad mini and iPad Air and the high-end iPad Pro.
With a starting price of 1,349 AED for a 32 GB version the 7th-generation iPad may bear minimal upgrades from last year’s model, but they’re definitely worthy improvements. Aside from extra RAM that would help with multitasking, the iPad now supports a larger 10.2-inch display and now has a Smart Connector so you can easily connect Apple’s Smart Keyboard or any other third-party accessory. It’s still compatible with the 1st-generation Apple Pencil, so it’s good to know that older accessories will still work with this new one.
Probably the only drawback is that they’ve used the same A10 Fusion processor found on the 6th-generation iPad. While it’s not really a bad thing since it is still capable of handling tasks with ease, it would have pushed the performance even better if it had say, an A11 chip.
But I guess there has to be a compromise to keep the costs down. Like the CPU, the cameras have been largely unchanged with the 7th-generation and while it’s decent enough to take everyday pictures and videos, don’t expect the same top-notch quality you’d find on the more expensive models.
From the outside, the iPad still bears that same recognizable design: an aluminum slab with the Apple logo right in the center, a power button at the top, volume rockers on the side and a Lightning port at the bottom. The speakers are located at the bottom as well, and this is one of the instances where I miss using the iPad Pro’s four-speaker setup.
The iPad runs a rebranded iPadOS that brings all the bells and whistles of iPad along with iPad-only features. The new additions like an improved home screen along with support file management on Safari or even using Apple Pencil to take a screenshot and annotate a document easily makes this tablet as a suitable laptop replacement.
I tried using the iPad with the Smart Keyboard for about a week to do my work. While I struggled on the first since I had to figure out what apps I would need for everyday tasks, pretty soon I got comfortable enough to use it as a laptop replacement. It won’t replace everything you have on your laptop that’s for sure, but with this iPad and iPadOS, that gap is just getting narrower.
I’d initially be worried that heavy apps like LumaFusion and iMovie would struggle, but they all opened and worked flawlessly. It took longer to render videos because of the older processor, but it still managed to complete tasks without any hiccups. Just like previous iPads, expect around 11-12 hours of battery life depending on your usage. In my case, I managed to make it last more than 9 hours in the office with the usual typing, browsing, and email checking.
The 7th-generation iPad’s entry-level price makes it ideal for school or even everyday use. It’s fast, it’s decent and for its price, you’d be willing to forget its (minor) flaws.
+ Larger screen
+ Now includes a Smart Connector
+ iPadOS puts it closer to a laptop replacement
– Average cameras
– It uses the same CPU as the 6th-generation iPad
Final Rating: 4/5