Apple iPad 8 vs iPad 7: Should you upgrade? What's the difference?

Apple iPad 8 vs iPad 7: Should you upgrade? What's the difference?
With the release of the new budget 2020 iPad, also confusingly sometimes listed as "iPad 10.2-inch" or "iPad 8", you may be wondering if it's worth upgrading to it over its predecessor – the 2019 base iPad.

What even are the differences between the two, considering they look exactly the same? Internals, right? Without further ado, let's dive into what's been upgraded and what stayed the same, and see if Apple's new 2020 iPad is worth upgrading to.

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2020 iPad vs 2019 iPad: The performance boost



The most notable change with the newer budget iPad is that it now rocks the A12 Bionic chip, which first appeared on the iPhone XS series in 2019. Thanks to it, the new 2020 iPad offers 40% faster CPU performance and twice the graphics capability of the 2019 iPad, which itself runs on the A10 Fusion chip from 2016.

And while the 2019 iPad is quite a capable tablet still, the new one is way more future proof, as was to be expected. It's also an even more enticing choice for serious work, such as video editing, music production or school tasks, in addition to serious gaming.

2020 iPad vs 2019 iPad: No display differences



The display is essentially the same between the two – 10.2-inches in size, IPS LCD, and sadly still not laminated on the 2020 model. The lack of lamination means there's a visible gap between the glass covering the display, and the display itself. So especially when you're writing with the Apple Pencil, you get a slight hollow feel and sound when touching the screen of the iPad. For many users, though, this will be unnoticeable.

If we grasp for straws, the new budget iPad 8 has a slightly higher (1.08%) screen-to-body ratio than the iPad 7, but that's it. No reason to upgrade purely in hopes of a better display. It still looks equally as sharp, nice and vivid on the 2020 iPad as it does on the 2019 one.

2020 iPad vs 2019 iPad: Same cameras



Yep, no upgrades on this front also, although cameras generally don't hold much significance on tablets anyways. Both the new and old budget iPads sport a 1.2-megapixel selfie camera that's acceptable for FaceTime and can shoot video at 1280 x 720 HD. On the back, both also have the same main camera, 8 megapixels, that can shoot video at 1920x1080.

2020 iPad vs 2019 iPad: Software and accessories


Both budget iPad models now run on iPadOS 14, but the 2020 one is going to continue getting software updates for several years longer, thanks to its more powerful internals. It's also much less likely to start slowing down three or four years from now, for that same reason – its flagship 2019 chip.

The Apple Pencil and Apple Smart Keyboard accessories are available for both the iPad 7 and iPad 8, so students will be happy with either tablet for basic school tasks. The two iPads are more than powerful enough for writing essays, researching topics, video conferencing, sketching and the likes.

2020 iPad vs 2019 iPad: Color options and storage options



Apple still isn't quite too generous with the iPad's base storage option in 2020, as the new iPad 8 also starts at a measly 32GB of storage, much like last year's iPad 7. For $100 extra, you can get 256GB of storage on the new iPad, which is also its only other option.

Needless to say, there's no expandable storage on both budget iPads, or any other iPad models for that matter. The color options are also still just Gray, Silver and Gold, not quite as fun and various as they are on the 2020 iPad Air 4.

2020 iPad vs 2019 iPad: The verdict


Unless you want the more future proof and powerful iPad, you don't need to upgrade from the iPad 7 to the iPad 8. Both have the same classic design, similar non-laminated displays, same two speakers on just one side, that fail to deliver true stereo in landscape mode, and the same Apple Pencil support. Both are perfect for students, children, or anyone looking for the best-priced iPad that's still more capable than many laptops.

Apple iPad (2020) - 8th generation (2020), A12 Bionic chip, supports Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard

$329
Buy at Apple

Apple iPad 8th generation - from Best Buy

$329 99
Buy at BestBuy

Apple iPad 8th generation - cellular iPad, 24 monthly instalments

$19 16
Buy at Verizon

Apple iPad 8th generation - cellular iPad on AT&T. 30 monthly instalments

$15 34
Buy at AT&T

2020 iPad vs 2019 iPad: Detailed spec comparison


Display

Size

10.2 inches
10.2 inches

Technology

IPS LCD
IPS LCD

Screen-to-body

74.94 %
73.86 %

Peak brightness

500 cd/m2 (nit)
500 cd/m2 (nit)

Features

Oleophobic coating, Ambient light sensor
Oleophobic coating, Ambient light sensor

Hardware

System chip

Apple A10 Fusion APL1W24
Apple A12 Bionic APL1W81

Processor

Quad-core, 2340 MHz, Hurricane and Zephyr, 64-bit, 16 nm
Quad-core, 2490 MHz, Vortex and Tempest, 64-bit, 7 nm

GPU

PowerVR 7XT GT7600 Plus
Apple G11P

RAM

3GB
 

Internal storage

128GB
32GB, not expandable

OS

iPadOS (13.x)
iPadOS (14.x)

Battery

Capacity

8827 mAh
 

Internet use

LTE: 9 hours; Wi-Fi: 10 hours
LTE: 9 hours; Wi-Fi: 10 hours

Camera

Rear

Single camera
Single camera

Main camera

8 MP (Autofocus, BSI sensor)
8 MP (Autofocus, BSI sensor)

Specifications

Aperture size: F2.4
Aperture size: F2.4

Video recording

1920x1080 (Full HD) (30 fps), 1280x720 (HD) (120 fps)
1920x1080 (Full HD) (30 fps), 1280x720 (HD) (120 fps)

Features

Time-lapse video, EIS
Time-lapse video, EIS

Front

1.2 MP
1.2 MP

Video capture

1280x720 (HD)
1280x720 (HD)

Design

Dimensions

9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29 inches (248.9 x 172.7 x 7.4 mm)
9.87 x 6.85 x 0.30 inches (250.6 x 174.1 x 7.5 mm)

Weight

17.39 oz (493.0 g)
the average is 16.9 oz (482 g)
17.46 oz (495.0 g)
the average is 16.9 oz (482 g)

Materials

Back: Aluminum
Back: Aluminum

Biometrics

Fingerprint (touch)
Fingerprint (touch)

Buyers information

Price

$ 559
$ 459
See the full Apple iPad 10.2-inch vs Apple iPad (2020) specs comparison or compare them to other phones using our Specs Comparison tool.

Related phones

iPad (2020)
  • Display 10.2 inches 2160 x 1620 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera) 1.2 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A12 Bionic RAM
  • Storage 32GB, not expandable
  • OS iPadOS 14.x
iPad 10.2-inch
  • Display 10.2 inches 2160 x 1620 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera) 1.2 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A10 Fusion 3GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB,
  • Battery 8827 mAh
  • OS iPadOS 13.x

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