One of Apple's new iPads gets benchmarked, revealing interesting internal tidbits
2019's iPad Air looks like one impressively affordable powerhouse
Although Apple does not consider certain specifications important enough to mention when announcing new iPads or even when listing the "full" specs of these refreshed devices on the company's official website, some potential buyers might be curious exactly what lies under the hood of that upgraded Mini and reborn Air.
Geekbench its first performance-measuring visit in no doubt commercial-ready state. While we can't be 100 percent sure which one of Apple's two new iPads we're looking at here, this is definitely either the 10.5-inch Air or the heavily improved (on the inside) Mini.Luckily, that's what benchmarks are for, and a (not so) mysterious "iPad 11,2" model just paid
A state-of-the-art processor and a decent memory count
The reason we're so certain this "iPad 11,2" is something new is that last year's 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros come with octa-core Apple A12X Bionic processing power. This SoC, in turn, though not mentioned by name, sports only six CPU cores, clocked at up to 2.49 GHz. That perfectly fits the description of the original A12 model powering the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. Even the top clock speed is the same.
Of course, Apple already revealed this extremely interesting thing that 2019's iPad Air and iPad mini have in common with the entire 2018 iPhone lineup. What was left up in the air (no pun intended) is the RAM count, listed at 3GB by this exceptionally trustworthy (and popular) benchmarking database. That's actually one gig less than what 2017's iPad Pro 10.5 offered, which may have been a necessary compromise to keep the starting price of the new 10.5-incher as low as $499.
While there's still a possibility this is the revised iPad mini we're dealing with here, something tells us both new variants will be sticking to 3 gigs of random-access memory. Keep in mind that the iPhone XR also comes with that exact same specification, which has no noticeable impact on its raw speed and multitasking prowess compared to the 4GB RAM-packing iPhone XS and XS Max.
2018's 9.7-inch iPad is also perfectly capable of keeping up with your daily multimedia playing, web browsing, and even moderate gaming needs while featuring just 2 gigs of memory. Lastly, 2015's iPad mini 4 packed a reasonable 2GB RAM as well.
Great benchmark scores, but not the best (obviously)
4806 single-core points. 11607 multi-core result. Yup, that's the Apple A12 Bionic alright, delivering remarkable power in compact, energy-efficient packages since less than a year ago. Intriguingly enough, this hot new iPad manages to edge out the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR as far as Geekbench scores are concerned. By no means pushovers, the three handsets generally rack up a little less than 4800 single-core performance points, as well as anywhere between 11200 and 11300 multi-core points.
That might be the result of a testing anomaly of some sort or incredibly polished software running on 2019's iPad mini and iPad Air, but either way, the theoretical differences are negligible and unlikely to translate into something you can actually notice out in the real world.
Naturally, the same doesn't apply to the speed gap between the latest iPad Pro generation and these non-Pro 2019 iOS slates. The A12X chipset is over 50 percent faster than the "regular" A12, which you will absolutely experience in all types of real-life usage scenarios. Then again, that's one of the big reasons why 2018's iPad Pro 11 and 12.9 are significantly pricier, at $799 and $999 respectively in entry-level configurations.
Compared to Android rivals... well, there are no real rivals and there's no real comparison either. The Galaxy Tab S4 10.5, for instance, barely scores 1800 and 6500 single and multi-core points respectively. On the bright side, Samsung's 2018 high-ender does come with 4GB RAM. Also, benchmarks are not everything. But when the differences are this massive, they're certainly something.