With the announcement of the iPad (2021), everyone wants to know how it stacks up against the iPad (2020). Should you spend the extra money on the iPad (2021), or will the older iPad (2020) work? That’s what you’re thinking, isn’t it?
Both of these tablets are well-made devices for their prices, and are capable of working while you’re on the go, or at home. It’s safe to say that the new iPad (2021) is more attractive with a few useful (if subtle) upgrades; Again, the iPad (2020) should prove cheaper to track now that it’s been supplanted by a newer model.
If you’re having trouble deciding which iPad is for you, we’re here to help. We’ve looked at all the features and specifications of both tablets, as well as their designs, so you can find out which slate is best for you before you hit that ‘buy’ button.
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iPad (2021) vs. iPad (2020) Price and Availability
Wi-Fi only iPad (2021) starts at $329 / £319 / AU$499 for 64GB of storage. The price rises to $479 / £459 for 256GB – we’re still waiting for Australian pricing for this version, but it works out to around AU$650.
Alternatively, if you want to go the cellular route, expect to pay a little more for the benefit of 4G connectivity while on the go. It will go on sale on September 24th, but you can pre-order it from the Apple website if you want to get ahead of the curve.
Buying the iPad (2020), which starts at just 32GB of storage and comes with Wi-Fi and cellular options, will be a difficult proposition now that Apple has discontinued the tablet and many retailers are already running low in stock. are. If you can find it on sale, it should be at a decent discount compared to the latest iPad (2021) – we can’t see it sold longer for a launch price of $329 / £329 / AU$499.
The iPad (2021) and iPad (2020) are almost identical when it comes to their dimensions, with most of the changes taking place under the hood. According to Apple, the design has been kept the same so that existing accessories are compatible with the new tablet.
Both tablets measure 250.6mm x 174.1mm x 7.5mm dimensions, while the Wi-Fi only version of the new model weighs less than the iPad (2020) at 487 grams, compared to 490 grams. In regular use, you will never really notice the difference here.
Apple has also kept it safe in terms of color; Space Gray or Silver are the only two options for you, whether you choose iPad (2021) or iPad (2020). Still, either will get along well in your home and with other gear.
As with both the devices, the top bezel houses the selfie camera, while the bottom home button offers a built-in Touch ID sensor. Apple isn’t reinventing the wheel with the iPad (2021) by any means – but more on the camera later.
There are two speakers on both iPads and they’re functional if that’s unremarkable enough.
Both iPads also support Lightning connections instead of the latest USB-C connectivity, ensuring the iPad 2021 remains compatible with all existing accessories. That includes the first-generation Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard for both the iPad (2021) and iPad (2020).
Both the Apple iPad (2021) and iPad (2020) continue to use a 10.2-inch LCD display that offers 1620 x 2160 resolution. However, there is one major change for the iPad (2021).
It now uses TrueTone technology, which means the display changes colors a bit to fit your space. This can be useful if you use it outdoors frequently, as it means the screen becomes brighter and easier to see, even in bright conditions. Both slates offer the same PPI of 264 as well as the same maximum brightness of 500 nits.
Both tablets also only offer 60Hz refresh rates, with the 120Hz refresh rate continuing to be reserved for the iPad Pro range. Still, at this price point, you really won’t miss the smooth browsing you can enjoy on the much-priced slates out there.
camera and battery
Hardly anyone buys a tablet for the camera and it appears in both the iPad (2021) and the iPad (2020). While neither tablet is a complete slouch, neither are they designed for avid photographers.
The iPad (2020) has an 8MP wide camera with /2.4 aperture, along with up to 5x digital zoom and HDR for photos.
Alternatively, the iPad (2021) offers the same camera but Apple promises better autofocus to ensure that better pictures are produced. Otherwise, the rear cameras are very similar.
Where things get much better for the iPad (2021) is its front camera. While the iPad (2020) had a positively less 1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera that looked incredibly dated, the iPad 2021 is designed with video calls and FaceTime sessions in mind. It now has a 12MP ultra-wide rear camera that promises a 122-degree field of view so you can capture more of what you’re recording.
The iPad (2021) also takes center stage like the iPad Pro which allows the camera to ‘follow’ you around a room while making a video call. If you do video calls often, you will appreciate it a lot.
When it comes to video recording, both tablets stick with 1080p at 30 fps, which is fine if not awe-inspiring.
The battery life of both the tablets is believed to be similar. If you’re relying on a cellular connection, expect up to nine hours of browsing or up to 10 hours of video watching.
specs and features
It’s the hardware under the hood that really sets the iPad (2021) and iPad (2020) apart. The iPad (2021) uses the A13 Bionic chip, which promises to be up to 20% faster than the older A12 Bionic chip on the iPad (2020). It’s not quite as fast as other iPads like the iPad Air or iPad Pro, but it’s a big step up for the standard iPad range.
Of course, whether it’s worth spending the extra money on a 2021 iPad depends on how much that speed means to you. It’s a huge improvement, but if you’re only going to use your iPad casually, it might still be worth going for the older model—especially if you can find a big discount.
The lowest storage option for the iPad (2020) is a frankly embarrassing 32GB, with the latest iPad (2021) starting at 64GB. Still, you might consider upgrading to 128GB as it’s not possible to add in storage after purchase.
Both tablets run the latest iPadOS, the iPad (2021) shipping with iPadOS 15 pre-installed. Apps are usually very well optimized, so speed shouldn’t be an issue here.
If you’re willing to go with a cellular model, there aren’t much changes here, with both slates offering 4G/LTE instead of 5G.
The iPad (2021) and the iPad (2020) are both respectable budget-friendly iPads. The difference between the two is not as big as you might expect.
Ultimately, deciding between them depends on how you plan to use your newly purchased tablet. If you regularly take video calls on your iPad, the iPad (2021) is extremely attractive thanks to its superior front camera. The iPad (2020)’s 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera just doesn’t cut it anymore, and its successor’s 12MP Ultra Wide camera is a great addition.
Beyond that, it’s all down to speed. While the TrueTone feature of the iPad (2021) display is attractive, it probably won’t be a deal breaker when shopping, provided you can get the iPad (2020) for a good price. Instead, it is the better processor that might prompt you to choose the latest model.
Apple is great at supporting apps and updates for longer periods of time, but with an extra 20% speed to play with (in theory), the iPad (2021) should last you a bit longer than the older model.
If you decide to go for an older iPad (2020), don’t forget that the iPad (2021) starts at 64GB of storage which can make even the best iPad (2020) less attractive.
Overall, neither the iPad (2020) nor the iPad (2020) offer the ultimate iPad experience; That honor goes to the iPad Pro or iPad Air, depending on your budget. However, if you’re looking for a relatively ‘cheap’ iPad, the iPad (2021) or its older sibling should work.
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