One of Apple's new iPads gets benchmarked, revealing interesting internal tidbits

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.

Luckily, that's what benchmarks are for, and a (not so) mysterious "iPad 11,2" model just paid 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.

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



1. srgonu

Posts: 549; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

Moved from iPad pro to Tab S4. It's a better productivity and media consuming device. Also, comparable screen time with lte tab s4 against wifi ipad pro. Samsung Dex is pretty good who is looking for productivity.

2. chris2k5

Posts: 249; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

Exploding batteries on the Samsung too.

3. Macready

Posts: 1821; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

2016 called. It wants its dated joke back.

5. briankeithmays

Posts: 34; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

I guess they never told you about all the exploding iPhone 7 batteries. This is a tablet knuckle head!

8. Charlie2k

Posts: 131; Member since: Jan 11, 2016

Didnt Apple create a foldable iPad Pro? The latest one that even out of the box is bent. Great quality

4. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2366; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I used to have an Android tablet but Android has far less apps that are built for tablet form than Apple does on the iPad. And you can’t really beat the Black Friday price of the iPad at $250.

6. vgking9699

Posts: 194; Member since: Mar 01, 2019

That’s cuz google killed off android for tablets over a year ago and won’t be updating any past Oreo Now not long ago, google announced they are closing off their tablet and laptop departments and won’t even be pushing chrome os devices themselves anymore, as well as no more android tablets

10. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Tell that to the first guy who thinks somebody will believe his dumb message :).

9. Mike88

Posts: 402; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

Tab s4 is nothing in front of ipad pro 2018

11. whatev

Posts: 2267; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Lmao, are you talking about an Apple iPad or a Chinese android clone called something like ahpel eyePad?

7. vincelongman

Posts: 5693; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Dammit Apple, why do you always cheap out on RAM lol

12. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2203; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Once these become $399 @ MicroCenter for the 64GB WIFI this will be a great buy. I will wait.

13. Ikechukwu

Posts: 250; Member since: Oct 03, 2011

3GB ram? A pity

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