2018 iPad vs 2017 iPad – Should You Buy the New iPad?

I recently got my hands on the latest 2018 iPad. I have already expressed my undying love for this device in a recent post. Well, technically it will die in a few years time. But I can without a doubt say that it is a device that will go down as one of the most legendary devices that I have ever owned. But I almost bought the 2017 iPad. Would that purchase decision have made any difference in the way I feel towards my 6th gen iPad? Let’s have a look at the 2018 iPad vs 2017 iPad.

The Current State of Device Upgrades

New is always better, right? Especially in the world of technology. Sure it is. But in the case of the latest 6th generation iPad, things are slightly different. Slightly, being the keyword. This is due to the fact that there are little changes and upgrades made to the new 2018 iPad vs 2017 iPad.

Smartphones usually get a huge upgrade on a yearly basis. Some manufacturers continue to overhaul their smartphones design and hardware every single year. This is acceptable now because smartphones are devices that you carry around with you all the time. The wear and tear on a small smart device are substantially larger in comparison to an iPad.

So the demand for a new smartphone on an annual basis is warranted. This demand creates a huge amount of competition within the world of smartphones. This competition, in turn, causes an endless attempt at innovation from the manufacturer’s side. Samsung and Apple and the rest of the world are continuously updating their lineups. The Moment you get a new smartphone in your country, you will probably hear of rumours of a new model being released shortly.

iPad Upgrades Are Slow

This isn’t really the case when it comes to the iPad. The iPad is the original OG tablet. It has yet to be taken off its throne. Many have tried, and are still trying, but have failed. You just can’t compete with the iPad because of the plethora of custom apps available. For this simple reason, my entry-level iPad is way better than the top of the line Android tablet because of content alone. Content in the form of exclusive App Store apps.

That being said, Apple has the luxury of doing whatever pleases them. It won’t really make a difference because they are at the head of the pack in this market sector. So when it comes to upgrading an iPad, an already great, affordable device, Apple will take their time in slowly improving it. I don’t really have an issue with this because people do trade in their tablets less frequently so small yearly upgrades are cool.

2018 iPad vs 2017 iPad

So Should you get a new 6th gen 2018 iPad? Well, yes of course, but only if you don’t have an iPad. It’s really very good and reasonably priced. I totally advise that you buy one.

But when you do go to the Apple store, you will find cheaper 5th gen 2017 iPads. The thing is that there are so minor differences that it might be more enticing to grab the older iPad.

So let’s have a look at some of the key differences between these 2 great tablets and see if it is a better idea to save in the short term with a slightly older iPad.

2018 iPad


Both iPads have the same amount of RAM. There is, however, an updated Processor in the form of a new Apple A10 chip. Well, it’s not really new. It’s been in the iPhone 7 for a while now and features a Quad Core Processor. The 2017 iPad has an A9 Dual Core processor. The same chip we saw in the iPhone 6s.

Right away the new iPad has a chip that’s estimated at being 40% faster and more powerful than the previous generation’s chip. And it’s a Quad Core. This is one of the defining reasons for my purchase. I took the newer iPad because it has a better chip which will be better suited for the future. I want to keep this iPad for a while now.

But all is not lost. If you do decide to choose a 2017 model with its dual-core processor, you will be pleased to know that it performs just as well as the new iPad. In a real-life speed test, the 2017 and 2018 iPads perform very much the same. This is due to the fact that they are both running the same RAM and optimized operating system.

The new chip may assist you better in multitasking. But daily usage in terms of launching and switching apps will be almost the same between the two.

Design and Features

The design of both iPads is the exact same. The screen is not laminated and has a bit of an air gap. People have complained about this a lot. But it really isn’t that bad, especially if you choose a black one.

It’s good to know that an older iPad cover will work on the new 2018 iPad. But the strangest thing happened when I bought my iPad. I couldn’t find a decent, cheap cover. There hardly is any. Because an iPad is no longer such a big seller, there just isn’t that much of a selection left.

One of the big upgrades to the new iPad is Apple Pencil Support. The Apple Pencil is a dubbed the perfect stylus companion of the iPad Pro. Now, its available on the entry-level iPad. This is great news for creative people, and I’m sure plenty of people will gravitate towards an entry-level iPad and Pencil combo.

But the price of the Pencil just doesn’t make sense and is really not worth it at all. If you are buying a budget iPad, then you will probably get a budget stylus like an Adonit Mark.

The new feature that I am currently enjoying quite a bit is AR gaming. Augmented Reality gaming is much more fascinating than I expected it to be. There are a few dopey games out there. But once you install them and play, you will be very well entertained.


The main reason I went for my iPad (after almost taking the 2017 iPad) was that I want to be able to use this device for the next few years properly. I don’t wanna have to prematurely trade it in for a new iPad. That is what happened now. I traded in my 1-year-old iPad Mini 2 for this iPad.

The Mini 2 was just fine, but it has seen a major dip in performance and needed an upgrade. I saved in the short term when I got the Mini 2 cheap on Black Friday. But I Lost out now because it is reaching a point when it will not be as relevant as it should be.

So to avoid this, I Just went for the most recent iPad. Maybe Apple may have an issue with Dual Core chips in the future? Who knows. Also, I use my iPad as a productivity tool. I use it for work and networking. So I need something that’s solid.

If you don’t care about productivity and just need something cheap to watch Netflix and play games, then the 2017 iPad is just fine.


Hi. I'm Jameel. I'm a Technology Blogger who loves reviewing stuff and voicing my opinions on anything. I hope you find my reviews helpful while having fun on my website.

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