Apple’s new entry-level iPad is bigger, but might not be your best option for music production

iPad 2019
(Image credit: Apple)

Never mind the iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and Apple TV+ subscription service: if you’re a music maker, the most interesting of Apple’s new product launches is the rebooted entry-level iPad.

The most obvious improvement in comparison to its predecessor is a larger screen - 10.2 inches as opposed to 9.7 inches on the model it replaces. It also offers support for the Apple Pencil and full-size Smart Keyboard.

On the connectivity front, you get a Lightning port, meaning easy hook-up to loads of iOS music-making peripherals.

So far, so good; the only fly in the ointment is that Apple hasn’t upgraded the processor, so we’re stuck with the A10 Fusion chip from last year’s model. This isn’t a total deal breaker, but this is technology that’s been around since 2016, and we’d have hoped for a speed bump.

This being the case, if you can afford to spend a little more on an iPad for music-making, we’d go for the iPad Air.

The new entry-level iPad costs $329/£349, as opposed to $499/£479 for the baseline iPad Air, but that extra spend gets you a bigger and better 10.5-inch screen, a faster A12 Bionic processor and 64GB of storage as opposed to 32GB. All of this being the case, we’d argue that it’s worth the extra investment.

You can find out more about the new iPad on the Apple website. It’ll be available from the end of this month running iPadOS, Apple’s new tablet-specific version of its mobile operating system.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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