A qualified entry-level iPad: Get started with the 2022 iPad


The new iPad is undoubtedly one of the most controversial of Apple’s October releases. Will the new screen lag and not follow? Will the look and feel of the product regress? –Like many people, I had these questions and confusions on the night of the new release. With these questions in mind, I went ahead and got my hands on the new iPad and compared it to the fifth generation iPad Air (hereinafter referred to as iPad Air).

Appearance and screen
The overall design of the new iPad is very similar to that of iPad Air, with straight edges and rounded corners, and similar screen proportions, camera placement, Touch ID integrated into the power button, and visual appeal. However, when you compare them, there are some differences – the iPad Air has a more sandy texture on the back, while the new iPad is smoother and thicker and heavier. The most obvious point is that the new iPad has a more curved bezel and feels a bit rounded, while the iPad Air is much sharper to the touch.

The blue color of the new iPad is more saturated and appears more youthful and flamboyant overall. iPad Air’s blue color is more cyan and has a more understated quality than the new iPad.

If you’re an iPad Air or Pro user and you accidentally touch iPad mini one day, you’re bound to feel a noticeable lag on iPad mini. That’s not a problem with the new iPad, which has the same level of color, clarity, and refresh rate as iPad Air. And as you can see from the comparison in the image below, iPad Air is slightly purple overall, and the new iPad feels even better.

However, the iPad Air’s screen is fully laminated (i.e., “fully laminated display”) and has an anti-reflective coating, so the iPad Air’s screen is noticeably darker when exposed to light. In addition, iPad Air supports P3 color gamut display, which in theory provides better color reproduction for Internet content. But overall, the new iPad has no problems with touch and display, and won’t hold you back in daily use.

Performance
The new iPad is powered by the A14 chip, which is the oldest point of contention on the new iPad. While the iPad mini is already using the A15 chip, Apple is still using a two-year-old chip in a new product that will be released at the end of 2022, which is a bit stingy.

Although my previous iPad Air came with a desktop-grade M1 chip, I didn’t notice any performance difference between the two in everyday use – typing, multitasking, watching YouTube, and so on were all smooth and lag-free. Of course, the A14 is the flagship chip from two years ago, so it can handle non-high-load scenarios. And since I don’t use my iPad to cut movies or play big games, I didn’t have a chance to use the M1 to its full potential.

What really limits the performance of the new iPad is the ace feature of iPadOS 16 – Stage Manager. iPadOS 16 clearly states on the iPadOS page that this feature is only available on iPads with Apple silicon and some iPad Pros. The iPadOS 16 page makes it clear that this feature is limited to iPads with Apple silicon and some iPad Pros, so it’s a key feature in Apple’s product positioning that distinguishes them as “Pro” or not. At the same time, the maximum specification that can be achieved by the new iPad external display is only 1080p 60 fps or 4K 30 fps. In other words, the new iPad is a simple tablet with no room for expansion, both on the software and hardware levels. The A14 chip puts a certain “old-world” stamp on the new iPad as the boundaries between iPad and desktop computers gradually merge.

In addition, according to Federico Viticci, the new iPad does not support display scaling, and some apps will zoom differently than iPad Air when splitting the screen. This small difference doesn’t affect the core experience, but it’s something to consider when buying iPad if you usually like to use it in a split screen.

Keyboard
I love and hate the Magic Keyboard Folio that comes with the new iPad.

I love it because it works so well, and I like this keyboard for two reasons – one is that it is more flexible and free than the Magic Keyboard.

One is that its form is more flexible and free compared to the Magic Keyboard. iPad’s Magic Keyboard comes with its own stand, which allows iPad to be used more like a laptop, but the problem is that the Magic Keyboard only “holds up iPad” in one state, so if I want to read or take notes with iPad, I have to take it off the keyboard and use it separately, which is very troublesome. The double-sided clip is made up of two parts, one for the front and one for the back, both of which are magnetically connected to the iPad. When I don’t need the keyboard, I can simply fold the keyboard part to the back of the iPad, so I don’t have to repeatedly disassemble it.

The second is that this keyboard has a new function area, especially with a separate Esc key. I believe that those who have used the first side of the iPad keyboard have experienced the pain of not having Esc, every time you make a typo, you have to rely on the delete key to backspace in order, which is really a waste of time. With the ribbon, the feeling of typing and operating the keyboard on iPad is infinitely closer to that of a Mac, and the “Lock” button in the upper right corner of the ribbon can even lock the screen and wake up iPad, which is quite convenient.

Another thing is that the feel of the dual-sided clip on the Wonder Keyboard is very similar to the butterfly keyboard on the MacBook. I like the short, crisp key return myself, so I’ve liked the butterfly keyboard before. But I also know that many of you don’t like the feel, so if you’re hesitant about that, I recommend going to an Apple retail store and touching a real keyboard to see if you can get used to it.

However, the folding form of the dual-sided clip is not perfect, because it uses the structure of the back support, so it becomes a little difficult to put on the lap to type – the feet pinch the legs, and will be shaky when typing. In addition, the keyboard part of the double-sided clip will be directly on the screen, the front of the adsorption force is not strong, seems a little flimsy.

I hate it for two reasons – the tongue-twisting Chinese name, and “Why doesn’t the higher-end iPad work? The night the new iPad was released, the name “Myriad Keyboard” became my gripe.

On the night the new iPad was released, the name “Myo-controlled keyboard double-sided clip” became the focus of my complaints. In addition to the Smart Keyboard, Apple has also introduced the Smart Keyboard, Smart Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Double Clamp, which together seem to be a game of words about Magic, Smart, Folio and Keyboard.

In fact, what really makes me feel wrong is the translation of “double-sided clip”. “In my opinion, it would be simpler and more intuitive to translate it as “Magic Keyboard Folio”, so that even users who are not familiar with Apple’s product line can roughly guess the shape of the product when they hear the name. Although the keyboard is technically a double-sided clip, the name of the product is not a scientific definition after all, and its ease of recognition and communication should be more important than accuracy. Of course, Apple has already got the name right, so all I can do is memorize more fruit words and prefixes to avoid confusion the next time I see one.

As mentioned earlier, with the ribbon, the dual-sided clip on the Wonder Keyboard is already highly finished and useful, so it’s my biggest gripe with Apple that I can’t use it with the higher-end iPad. When I was using iPad Air, most of my office scenarios were typing. The inflexibility of the keyboard and the lack of Esc were obstacles that “made me love the iPad even more”. The good news is that the new iPad is not so bad, even if it’s not great. For writing, the new iPad with the dual-sided keyboard clip can even do it better than my iPad Air. However, the keyboard without Esc is not a permanent solution, so please ask Apple to work hard on the next generation of the Wonder Keyboard.

Some buying advice
From the product webpage to the promotional text to the commercial, Apple clearly conveys the intention that “the new iPad is more suitable for taking notes and holding video meetings”. From my use, the two main groups of people who are most suitable for the new iPad are indeed students who need to carry their computers with them at all times to go to class online and take notes, and office workers who don’t require computer performance for work and mainly use it for meetings and watching dramas. If your needs fit the new iPad, then “iPad is still iPad” – it will serve you well and satisfy you most of the time. If, on the other hand, you clearly need a better screen or more performance, then go with the M-chip line.

What I really find difficult to give advice on is the dual-sided clip for the keyboard. The keyboard is impeccable in terms of functionality, but it’s really not cheap. Especially considering that it can only be used in conjunction with the iPad even if you are not a bad user, I am afraid it is difficult to accept such a price. The only thing that could affect your shopping decision is whether typing plays an important role in your iPad use. If it does play a big role, then maybe it’s not a bad idea to invest two thousand dollars for a keyboard that you can use?

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