NEW Apple iPad (5th Gen): Unboxing & Review
A familiar name, iPad. Gone is “iPad Air 2” which this is replacing and the big news here is that it’s cheaper. Starts off at $329, where the previous model started off at $399 That definitely comes with some compromises to get down to that price level But we also get some upgraded specs Now once again I’ve gotten myself into trouble here because I have to unbox every color So we have three colors to take a look at here. Silver, Gold, and Space Grey One of them is LTE so we get, LTE cellular data The others are just Wi-Fi So cracking into these boxes the first thing we’ll see here is a pretty familiar sight So the front of these iPads look identical to the iPad Air and the iPad Air 2 So the changes in the design really come down to dimensions and some of the details and of course we’ll take a close look at it In terms of the accessories we do get some paperwork Now if you have a cellular model you will get a SIM ejection tool so you can pop out the Apple SIM and replace it if you need to Now the Apple SIM is something we’ve seen for a few years.
This allows you to sign up with a variety of carriers Without buying a specific SIM for that carrier So unfortunately this iPad does not get the embedded SIM of the latest iPad Pros But moving on we have some basic paperwork and a set of Apple stickers When it comes down to accessories we get a 12-Watt power supply and along with a lightning cable Now this iPad has a fairly big battery, Watt-hours Which is good for about ten hours of general use Now that is quite a bit bigger than the batteries in the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Pro, which are around 27 Watt-hours But again they deliver about the same battery life Now really the best way to summarize this iPad is that they’ve combined the original iPad Air with the iPad Air 2 So we have the same dimensions and overall chassis design of the iPad Air 1 But it picks up the design and most of the features of the iPad Air 2 And has been upgraded with the latest A9 CPUs So on one side it’s an upgraded iPad Air 2, on the other side it’s a step back to the iPad Air 1 Now if you draw a line of succession from the original iPad to this iPad this should be the 7th generation iPad but Apple is actually calling this the fifth-generation iPad That’s because they are not including the iPad Airs So the iPad Airs, although gone in name, might return later with a new generation.
So we will see what happens later this year. So taking a close look at the hardware design for the most part this has all the same features of the iPad Air 2 So that includes an 8 MegaPixel iSight camera good for 1080p HD video We also have an ƒ/aperture, so no changes to the camera back here; still a pretty decent camera overall. Towards the bottom edge we have a set of stereo speakers flanking a lighting connector So no quad speakers like the iPad Pro But of course like all iPads we still get a headphone jack We also get a set of dual-microphones mounted towards the top center Now in my case of course, I have two Wi-Fi models and a cellular model So the cellular model has a plastic window which is used for radio transparency for the LTE radios and GPS antennas And also like other modern iPads, we also have an inset Apple logo which is polished and color matched to the body Also returning from the iPad Air 2 is Touch ID so this is the cheapest device with Touch ID built-in Now this is the first generation Touch ID sensor so it’s not quite as fast as the latest Touch ID 2 sensor Also not upgraded from the iPad Air 2 is the MegaPixel FaceTime HD camera Good for 720p video, with an ƒ/aperture It’s a decent camera, but it is getting quite old now.
So getting to the display this is where things get a little controversial and that’s because this display really is a down-grade from the iPad Air 2 Now this still is a inch display with a resolution of 2048×1536 good for 264ppi It’s still LCD IPS so it looks great off axis, but unfortunately it’s not laminated to the glass anymore So there’s an air gap between the glass and the display Just like the first generation iPad Air So unfortunately that means there is more light refraction and distortion so it’s not quite as deep and vibrant as the iPad Air 2 The other disappointing factor here is that there is much more glare on this compared to the iPad Air 2 which had a much better anti-reflective coating and the other side effect of having an air gap between the display and the glass is that it’s noisier so when you tap on the display it is more audible than that of the iPad Air 2 or the iPad Pro Now Apple does say that this display is brighter than the iPad Air 2, but doesn’t specify how much brighter like they typically do so it’s really not clear in what way this is brighter but at first glance it’s really hard to tell the difference I think the biggest difference when you look at these displays side by side really is the color.
The iPad 5th generation is quite a bit warmer than the iPad Air 2 So for me the colors actually look a bit richer on the newest iPad compared to the cooler colors of the iPad Air 2 Now there are a few visual differences between the new iPad and the iPad Air 2 obviously the new iPad is thicker, noticeably thicker than the iPad Air 2 but the same thickness As the original iPad Air 1 It’s also slightly heavier at just over 1 pound but there are some other visual cues, so for example the polished chamfers are gone with the new iPad instead we get these matte chamfers it’s very similar to what they did with the iPhone SE So either this is a cost cutting decision or its part of the new design ascetic In addition to removing the chamfers on the buttons and polished recessions between the volume controls, the volume controls are more widely spaced on the new iPad The microphones are also in a different location you’ll find them at the top center versus around the camera module towards the bottom edge the speakers have also been tweaked with larger perforations and they are not quite as wide There are a few visual cues that tell us that this is based on the original iPad Air which includes the location of the microphones, which are in the same spot as the original iPad Air same with the location of the sim trays, they’re farther down on the iPad Air 1 and the newest iPad compared to the iPad Air 2 and the new Pros when it comes down to it really the only part that is upgraded here is the processor so we go from the A8X in the iPad Air 2 to the A9 We definitely see some performance gains here if we look at our Geekbench scores and they’re pretty significant So that makes this iPad much more future proof compare to the iPad Air 2 now although it’s a year old the iPad Pro is still much more powerful with the A9X processor so we definitely see better Geekbench performance there When it comes down to features and software there really is no difference between the iPad Air 2 and this one there’s nothing new, nothing removed but it doesn’t have some of the things that the iPad Pro has such as the smart connector for a keyboard accessory or support for Apple Pencil but everything else is the same including mutli-windowing for multi-tasking and the overall iOS 10 experience is identical, just smoother thanks to the faster A9 processor Now although we are getting the new A9 chip and the M9 motion co-processor this does not feature wireless siri so unfortunately you still need to be connected to power in order to use the “Hey Siri” command So ultimately this is not the most exciting new iPad to come out but it’s definitely the most affordable at $329 it’s more affordable than the iPad Mini 4 It also makes it a great entry point for a lot of people who have not yet purchased an iPad Instead of focusing on design and details that may not really matter they focused on performance to make sure that this tablet works for years to come so although this is not my personal iPad of choice and if you have an iPad Air 2 you probably shouldn’t bother upgrading but for new tablet customers or people upgrading from older iPads this is definitely the best value we’ve seen to date.