I managed to grab a used IPad 2018 (6th gen) 32GB together with a Apple Pencil (1st gen) for S$270 (USD$200) in 2020 and shortly traded it for the 128Gb version as the storage space is simply insufficient. Since I get my hands on it for more than 6 months and decide to write a review on it.
The value of iPad is dependent on whether does its OS still gets supported by Apple. Once the iPad is out of support for further upgrades (meaning you no longer get the cool new features from the OS and the apps that still get supported by your iPad gets lesser and lesser as Apple updates it’s OS year on year), it marks a significant drop in value. At the point of writing, the IPadOS is 14.4.2 and the last iPad that still gets the upgrade is the 5th gen. Hence, I reckon the 6th gen still have some buffer, perhaps at least another year before it gets out of support.
Apple supported and Apple Pencil supported
So my baseline is that the iPad needs to be still supported by Apple, so it can get the latest updates of the iPadOS. So why didn’t I get the head for the iPad (5th gen)? The one key factor to why I bought the 6th gen instead of the 5th gen is because of the support of Apple Pencil (1st gen). Support of Apple Pencil has always been in their high end iPad Pro, and since they have release this feature to their lower end models is such a great news.
6th gen versus 8th gen (the latest iPad)
The key differences between the iPad 6th gen and the latest iPad 8th gen is that the 8th gen has a bigger screen, newer chipset with 6 cores instead of 4cores, extra 1GB of ram and smart connector. This translates to faster processing power and better screen for multimedia works. I can’t do a real life comparison to the 8th gen as I don’t have one on hand. But after more than 6 months of usage, I barely feel any lags and the 6th gen definitely meets my needs. I do bring the iPad regularly to meet clients, present slides and being able to use the Apple Pencil to draw attention. Having a bigger screen definitely helps in my presentation, but I think it does not break the deal.
Of course if you need the fastest iPad that the latest technology provides or will be doing massive multimedia works, iPad 6th gen probably won’t suit you.
I used it for my work purposes from preparing PowerPoint slides to presenting over virtual meetings with my clients and drawing with Apple Pencil over those slides. On top of that, my kids use it to watch Netflix movies and YouTube videos. I edit my article on the go and also photo using Snapseed app, I also play around with designing the floor plan of my new house using Roomle app. I used the iPad for a ton of stuff and even used the iPad as my 2nd monitor from my laptop. I rarely feel any lag but once the used space hit around 70%-80%, I could start to feel lag and apps crashes, that’s when I start to do house keeping and remove all unnecessary stuff from the iPad. Otherwise this iPad is really quite a powerful device.
I did attempt to do a simple video editing just to test its limit. However, I am not a video professional, my video is a home video taken off my phone. I do not feel my comments should provide insights for video professionals. But for causal video editing, this iPad does the job fine if you are using the 128 GB iPad as you need that amount of storage to even start on the video editing.
As I originally bought the smallest 32GB storage, I was very caution with the apps I download and the files I store so as to not slow down the iPad. Typically, as long there is an web presence that the app can be replaced, I would not download the app but instead I would bookmarked the web for easy access. Unless there are very strong benefits for installations the app above the access the web eg needing to login on the web every time but not the app.
Soon, I replaced my 32gb iPad 6 with 128gb after facing a few rounds of housekeeping needed due to space limitation as I needed the storage space to keep some of my presentation slides and books that I downloaded. If you are looking to buy one, I strongly recommend you to purchase the 128Gb as it would be good to have that space to keep stuff without having lags on the iPad.
One awesome stuff about apple products is their App Store. It filled with wonder apps. Gone with the days where we need to buy applications off CD and installing them on our laptop/desktop. One very key application that i need for my everyday work use is Microsoft Office and the best thing about iOS or Android is that Microsoft office is free! With Microsoft office, I could replace the need for laptop for a big bulk of my work. Still I relay on laptop for photo and video editing as they are too resource intensive. But most of my other multimedia work, iPad is the new workhorse.
3.5mm Headphone Jack
Another very important feature in my point of view is that it still does have a 3.5mm headphone jack for me to plug my traditional wired earpiece for virtual meetings. I find it a hassle to need to separately charge these wireless headphone. I don’t want to be caught in a situation where I can’t hold my meetings because my wireless earpiece runs out of battery and I could not proceed with the meeting with my client. Despite they look cool and all, but I am still living with my wired earpiece and mic.
One last bit that I wanted to say is that the speaker is impressive. The music played sounded premium. There were solid bass and the volume was clear and loud. Listening to music from this iPad is such a pleasure.
Mobile Phone & PC replacement
Honestly, i fall in love in the iPad. It is my mobile phone replacement with whatsapp web and mobile apps, on the other hand, it is also my PC replacement equipped with handy microsoft office, email accounts and pdf signing and drawing,etc. i think iPad did a awesome job in this aspect. I foresee this will continue working device for the next few years to come.
I do not recommend the 32GB iPad 6, instead get the 128Gb iPad 6. In my point of view, 32Gb is insufficient unless you do not intend to keep files on the iPad. 128GB would give you the flexibility to do much more and it will last a long way and meet your daily needs and expectation. In addition, you won’t be running into the need to housekeeping regularly which can be frustrating.