iPad 9

IPad 9 test, the best value for money at Apple

Apple took advantage of the new school year to renew its entry-level iPad. Sold from 389 €, is the tablet still so interesting?

Between the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro and the brand new iPad Mini, Apple took the opportunity to renew its entry-level iPad. If it seems less attractive than other recent products from Apple, the iPad is still entitled to a nice update of its technical sheet while maintaining an ultra-attractive call price. Is the iPad 9 (2021) still the brand’s best value tablet? Answer in this test!

iPad 9

iPad 9 64 GB at the best price Base price: 389 €

iPad 9 256 GB at the best price Base price: 559 €

Dated design …

Never change a winning team. Unlike the iPad Air and the iPad Mini, both of which have yielded to the sirens of borderlessness, the “classic” iPad retains its wide borders and the traditional Home button. It therefore becomes one of the last Apple products to offer this button, along with the iPhone SE and… the iPod Touch (yes, it still exists). The advantage is that this Home button offers a Touch ID sensor, much more practical than Face ID in these times of pandemic.

iPad 9

But if the iPad may seem a bit dated, its build quality is absolutely exemplary. Its aluminum frame with rounded edges is still very pleasant in the hand. The device is light and extremely thin, and its large 10.2-inch LCD panel on the front is perfectly suitable for a tablet. With its definition of 2160 x 1620 pixels at 264 dpi, it is not the best screen on the market, far from it, but it remains very homogeneous, offers fair colors, the True Tone to rest your eyes, and ample light indoors. We may regret the fact that this screen is still not laminated, which would have avoided some reflections in use, especially outdoors, but we quibble.

iPad 9

The speakers that the iPad offers are quite good and produce rich and powerful sound. However, to take advantage of stereo, you will necessarily have to hold the tablet in portrait mode. In landscape, the sound will come out only on one side, which can be annoying to watch films or series from your iPad, content that is consumed precisely … horizontally. The iPad nevertheless has a 3.5mm jack, and becomes the last of its siblings to offer this port. Obviously, you can also connect your headphones or wireless headphones.

iPad 9

Connection side, it is once again quite minimalist. There is simply the Home button on the front, the unlock button on the top edge, and the Lightning port on the bottom edge. No, still no USB-C on this model, even though all the other iPads have switched to it. Note that this iPad is indeed compatible with Apple Pencil, but only the first generation one, which just plugs into the Lightning socket.

iPad 9

Finally, there is also the Smart Connector, these three pins placed on one of the edges of the device. We can therefore connect a keyboard very easily, such as Apple’s Smart Keyboard, and thus enjoy a real small working machine. Ideal for a student, for example.

… but top performance

If the look of this iPad may seem slightly outdated, the interior of the tablet offers the very latest technology. To power the tactile slate, Apple is indeed relying on an A13 Bionic chip. It’s not the latest A15 Bionic chip from the iPhone 13 or the M1 chip from the iPad Pro, but the A13 Bionic is still a safe bet. It is in particular the SoC that we find within the range of iPhone 11, which are still largely capable. In other words, this new iPad will offer excellent performance in relation to its price.

Productivity, video games, intensive multitasking … All uses are perfectly supported and this new iPad allows you to take advantage of the new features of iPadOS 15, delivered straight away with the tablet. To discover all the new features of this new version of the iPad operating system, we invite you to consult our dedicated file. Unfortunately, if the performance is there, the device sins on the connectivity side. There is no WiFi 6, and the cellular version will only offer 4G, and no 5G. Today, that will be more than enough to take advantage of his tablet properly, but in a few years, the absence of these new standards could well become problematic.

iPad 9

The autonomy of this new iPad does not change compared to that offered by its predecessor, ie 10 hours on average using the tablet in WiFi and up to 9 hours via a cellular connection. Apple claims a full day of use, which is more or less true depending on how you use it. The iPad is indeed used sporadically, unlike a smartphone, and the promise of the day of use has less meaning on this product than on an iPhone.

What matters, therefore, is rather the ability of the iPad to save power when not in use, and Apple is quite effective on this. Sleep mode is very efficient and you can easily last several days on a single charge. In use, the autonomy of the iPad is generally very satisfactory, and we have never been surprised to find it discharged. On the other hand, if this happens, you will have to arm yourself with patience: the iPad only benefits from a fast charge up to 20W. The good news is that unlike iPhones, the USB-C charger block does come with the slate.

iPad 9

The other good news is that Apple has doubled the base storage of the iPad. The entry-level model previously offered 32 GB of memory – a bit modest for a tablet – and now embeds 64 GB. It is still not extraordinary, but it is more than enough for an extra tablet that will be used mainly to consume stream content or retrieve files stored in a cloud. As for the second storage option, it also doubles and goes to 256 GB. This model is therefore intended rather for those who make professional use of their iPad, which will be largely possible with the power of the A13 Bionic chip.

We still regret the absence of a 128 GB in-between, but, after all, the entry-level model and its 64 GB of storage should be sufficient for a large majority of users. The power-users will happily move towards an iPad Air or Pro, after all, and the uses are not really the same between a tablet and a smartphone. We take fewer photos and videos with a tablet, for example. This does not mean that the iPad is incapable of it… it is even particularly suitable for videoconferences!

Ideal for videoconferences

If the rear camera of the iPad of 2021 does not really evolve and is still content with a mediocre 8 MP sensor that will simply be used to capture a few images on the fly or scan documents, the front camera is gaining ground this year. .

iPad 9

Apple indeed had the good idea to offer its entry-level iPad a new 12 MP ultra-wide-angle sensor on the front, the same one found on … the iPad Pro M1. The latter offers a field of vision of 122 ° and the “Center frame” feature introduced with the brand’s premium tablet.

This is a face tracking system that allows you to always place yourself in the center of the image, even when you move. We tested, and it’s really convincing, especially for your interlocutor. The kind of small function that will boost your video conferences, especially as FaceTime offers a number of crisp new features with iPadOS 15.

iPad 9

iPad 9 64 GB at the best price Base price: 389 €

iPad 9 256 GB at the best price Base price: 559 €

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