Apple’s new 2020 iPad upgrades the processor and nothing else

The good news is that the price is the same. The bad news is that so is nearly everything else.

Credit: Apple

If you're familiar with Apple's popular and economical 7th-generation iPad (introduced about a year ago), you already know what to expect from the 8th-generation model. As the new base-model iPad—available for preorder now and shipping Friday, September 18—the 8th-gen iPad is essentially just the 7th-gen model with an upgraded processor.

The 7th-gen model had an A10 processor, which offered very good performance for the price. The newly updated model features an A12, which is a big upgrade. First introduced in the iPhone XS, the A12 is much faster than the A10. Apple says it offers 40 percent faster CPU performance and double the graphics performance.

Looking at our performance benchmarks of the iPhone XS (featuring the A12) and comparing it with the iPhone 7 Plus (which features the A10), those figures seem about right. 

Apple doesn't say the new iPad will have longer battery life, but we found the A12 to be much more power-efficient than the A10. Given that the new iPad has the same 32.4Wh battery, it wouldn't be surprising to see it last quite a bit longer on a single charge.

Outside of the processor upgrade, everything about this year's iPad is the same as the previous model. It has the same design and dimensions, the same display, the same cameras (8MP f/2.4 on the rear, 1.2MP f/2.4 on the front), speakers, microphones, home button, and smart connector.

ipad 8th generation keyboard Apple

The 8th-generation iPad supports all the accessories as the current base model iPads.

Fortunately, it also has the same price. At $329 for 32GB or $429 for 128GB, with cellular models costing $100 to $130 more, the iPad remains a fantastic value. As much as we would like Apple to unify the iPad line around a common set of connectors and Apple Pencil compatibility (having two Pencils on the market with the same name and different compatibility is not a great user experience), there's no denying that you're not going to find a better tablet on the market at this price.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Jason Cross

Jason Cross
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?