Ap­ple ipad £319

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Awards 2018 -

As night fol­lows day, a new Ap­ple ipad takes our Prod­uct of the Year tablet Award. This ipad looks iden­ti­cal to the one that won in 2017 – and uses the ex­act same chas­sis. There’s lit­tle dif­fer­ence in specs – di­men­sions, weight, place­ment of ports and but­tons, the speak­ers, the cam­era – ev­ery­thing is the same. But un­like its pre­de­ces­sor, the new ipad sup­ports the Ap­ple Pen­cil (£89).

The new ipad’s screen is al­most iden­ti­cal to last year’s, how­ever it now sup­ports Dolby Vi­sion HDR con­tent on itunes and Net­flix, which is that bit brighter, punchier and more colour­ful.

Colour bal­ance re­mains the ipad’s strong­est suit, bal­anc­ing punch and re­al­ism in a way that means ev­ery­thing is vi­brant but never un­nat­u­ral. From Thor: Rag­narok to Planet Earth II, it feels as though the pic­ture you see is how it was in­tended, with ex­cite­ment and sub­tlety as re­quired. This is a sharp and de­tailed pic­ture and at this price it’s com­fort­ably the best tablet for watch­ing movies and TV shows.

While it’s dis­ap­point­ing the four­s­peaker lay­out of the ipad Pros still hasn’t made it down as far as this model, the au­dio from the driv­ers is at least crisp and clear, though pre­dictably some­what lack­ing in weight. When part­nered with a good pair of head­phones, the new ipad sounds a touch bet­ter than last year, with an ex­tra sliver of punch added to the al­ready crisp, de­tailed and nat­u­ral de­liv­ery. Tim­ing is good, and dy­namic shifts, both sub­tle and bold, are han­dled well. It’s a nat­u­ral, fairly neu­tral sound much like that of the com­pany’s other phones and tablets, and one that lends it­self well to movies and mu­sic alike.

At the heart of the de­vice is Ap­ple’s A10 chip, which is more pow­er­ful than the A9 in last year’s model and of­fers a su­per-snappy and slick user ex­pe­ri­ence. Ev­ery­thing is held to­gether by IOS 12, which gen­er­ally of­fers a clear and in­tu­itive ex­pe­ri­ence. Its new fea­tures are geared to­wards mak­ing the ipad ex­pe­ri­ence slicker and more in­tu­itive too. The added Pen­cil com­pat­i­bil­ity isn’t a huge ben­e­fit to any­one who uses an ipad for movies, mu­sic or games, but for those who oc­ca­sion­ally do an­no­tat­ing, writ­ing or draw­ing, it may well be worth the in­vest­ment. Af­ter all, it’s pleas­ant and ac­cu­rate to use. The im­prove­ments over the pre­vi­ous ipad, while sub­tle, make this a prodi­gious AV tablet – par­tic­u­larly for those who fancy a bit of on-the-go HDR ac­tion. Own­ers of the 2017 ipad needn’t rush out to up­grade, but for ev­ery­one else, the 2018 ipad makes an ex­cel­lent pur­chase. It’s com­fort­ably the best tablet avail­able at this price.

More of the same, only bet­ter – the Ap­ple ipad takes an­other Award

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