What’s the difference between iPad 6th and 7th generation?

Tony Boyce

Which iPad should I buy?

Apple first introduced their premium touchscreen tablet PC in 2010. There are three lines in Apples iPad range: - iPad, iPad mini and iPad Pro. Since introduction, iPads have been through numerous improvements – the latest ‘brand new’ model is the 8th generation. We’ll focus here on the difference between the previous two releases – iPad 6th generation (2018) and the iPad 7th generation (2019).

What hasn’t changed between a 6th and 7th generation iPad?

It’s clearer to start with what hasn’t changed between the two generations:-

  • Both have the same body colour options
  • Both support IOS 14
  • Both displays are 264 ppi and have the same oil repellent coating
  • Neither have laminated or anti-reflective screens
  • Both support the original Apple Pencil
  • Both models have the same estimated battery life
  • Performance is effectively the same between the two on benchmark tests
  • Both have the same cameras - a rear-mounted 8 megapixel camera capable of shooting stills and 1080p 30 fps video and a front-mounted 1.2 megapixel camera capable of shooting stills and 720p video
  • Both are powered by the same 2.33 GHz dual-core Apple A10 Fusion processor and M10 motion coprocessor, and can be configured with either 32 GB or 128 GB of storage. Both have the same accelerometer, three-axis gyroscope, ambient light sensor, digital compass and barometer and the same support for dual band 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO and Bluetooth 4.2
  • Both models support "Retina Flash," which turns the entire screen into a flash for improved selfies

What HAS changed between a 6th and 7th generation iPad?

The major upgrade on an Ipad 7th generation is the screen size. 7th gen iPads sport a 10.2" (2160x1620) display, 6th gen iPads are 9.7” (2048 x 1536). It’s bigger! The iPad 7th generation also has more RAM – 3GB, as opposed to 2GB on a 6th generation.

The 7th generation also has more advanced LTE (Long Term Evolution) wireless networking technology, and has a ‘Smart Connector’ that supports a size-specific Apple Smart Keyboard.

Which of these iPads is best for me?

An iPad 7 will cost a little more than a 6 on the refurbished market, so as with everything, the choice is chiefly based on need.

Does size matter to you? For the visually impaired, or for anyone working in graphically heavy areas, a 7 may be worth considering over a 6 given the extended real estate of the screen.

A dedicated Apple Smart Keyboard is a beautiful thing to work with, so may be a consideration if you’re intending to heavily input text. Bear in mind, though, that most OEM Bluetooth keyboards will work with both models. The improved memory (3GB from 2GB) may have implications for future IOS upgrades, but that is unlikely to be an issue for a while yet.

Thinking of buying an iPad from new? Think different.

Apple are working hard to reduce their carbon footprint, but computer manufacture is notoriously carbon and rare earth heavy - not to mention the sumptuous packaging!

We all have a part to play in maintaining the environment we live in. By buying a refurbished iPad we are collectively reducing the overall technology carbon footprint and preserving the planet now and for our future generations. A good refurbished iPad is both a sound economic and ecological choice.