In a previous post, the iPad 201
A similar upgrade-oriented comparison with pre-iPad Air releases would be extremely unfair, given Apple's advances in the latest model. While the specifications of the first four generations of iPad and the 2018 release are not particularly one-sided, this certainly demonstrates the improvements that Apple has brought to the tablet over time and what has remained the same.
Appearance and Display
Apple kept the screen of its main iPad line at the same size throughout its life, with the exception of the spin-offs for the iPad mini and iPad Pro, the 9.7-inch -Display for the rest remains static for eight years.
The original iPad resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels was used for only two device generations, in the third for a 2048 x 1536-resolution panel, which has remained the same since its capture in 2012. Resolution means that the pixel density itself is the latest Model has stayed at 264ppi for six years.
The weight of modern iPads is relatively low compared to previous models. The original weighs only 1.5 pounds for the Wi-Fi model, 1.6 pounds for cell phones. The 1.03 and 1.05 pound weights of the modern model come from Apple's push to bring the iPad to a pound that jumped in the air lineup.
The thickness was also influenced similarly to the weight, from the 13.4 millimeters thickness of the first model to the fourth generation to 9.4 millimeters. The iPad Air and the iPad Air 2 have compressed everything to 7.5 and 6.1 millimeters and then reduced again in the 2017 and 2018 versions to 7.4 millimeters and 7.5 millimeters.
Another notable thing that has remained throughout the iPad line is the use of the Home button. These early four models had no Touch ID, since this was first introduced on the iPad Air 2.
Even though the iPhone X introduced the notion of the notch and Face-ID, the new iPad uses the well-worn design language of the originals instead. For outsiders, the iPad 2018 looks like an iPad, and that's exactly what Apple wants to think.
Obviously, the iPad has improved its processing capabilities over time. While the original went with a 1GHz single-core A4 processor, followed by more powerful dual-core models, these are tame compared to the 2.22GHz quad-core A10 Fusion with M10 co-processor of the 2018 iPad.
Apple has also given the iPad more and more RAM to play, originally with 256MB of memory, but then doubled and doubled it for the next two releases until it reached 1GB, then it moves from Air 2 to 2B. The current iPad 2018 has eight times as much memory as the original.
All this contributes to the fact that the iPad 2018 in benchmarks many times higher than its predecessors. While the original iPad for this benchmark has no recorded result, the second-generation model has achieved 356 points in single-core and 574 in multi-core tests, with the fourth generation multi-core testing four-digit with 1331
The iPad 2018 scored 3254 in its single-core tests, 9.8 times the second-generation iPad score. Similarly, the multi-core performance, which reaches 5857 points, more than ten times as much as the seven-year-old model.
The original iPad had no cameras at all, but Apple integrated the FaceTime and the rear camera into the second-generation model. Still, those were not quite great imaging components, with the back side capable of delivering 0.7 megapixel stills and 720p video, while the front panel used a 0.3 megapixel sensor. In the third generation, Apple switched off the rear view camera for a 5-megapixel sensor, which was kept in the product line to the iPad Air 2, which turned off for an 8-megapixel model still used today. From the third generation, the rear view camera was able to record 1080p video, but while the iPad Pro and iPhones can now record 4K recordings, this still needs to be activated on iPads.
The front camera went through a similar transformation, but somewhat delayed. The 0.3-megapixel camera remained up to the 1.2-megapixel version in the fourth generation, which could also record 720p video, the feature remains to this day without further improvement.
Connectivity and Miscellaneous
The technology that powers Wi-Fi in the iPad has undergone few changes during its lifetime, in part due to its slow overall turnover with newer protocols. The original started with 802.11n support, but only moved to 802.11ac on the iPad Air 2.
Also, Bluetooth connectivity has jumped in stages, with the first two models Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR (Enhanced Data Rate,) followed by 4.0 support in the third and fourth. The current models include support for Bluetooth 4.2.
One change that has long been with the iPad is the Lightning port, which replaced the 30-pin connector of the first three generation iPads. It was not until the first iPad Air that Apple has added two speakers into the iPad line, meaning that previous models had to be held by a single speaker.
In particular, battery performance for the latest model is not as high as in previous versions. The third- and fourth-generation iPads had 43 watt-hour batteries, about one-third more than the latest 32.4-watt version of the iPad.
Another unexpected peculiarity is that storage capacities have remained relatively unchanged over time. While the 16GB option along with 64GB has disappeared, the 32GB capacity has always been available since the original iPad, while the 128GB capacity has existed since the fourth generation.
Initially, three storage capacities were available, which could be expanded to four in the fourth generation, but now there are only two size options in the latest iPad model.
Moore's law is dead on the desktop, but not the tablet
As mentioned before, there is no point in saying that it pays to switch to the latest model, as it is certainly more powerful and generally better in terms on specifications than the original iPads is. There are also reasons to keep the original iPads, rather than relocating, such as app compatibility with older versions of iOS that can not be used on newer models, or normal sentimentality.
However, there are two things to consider in this comparison: improvements and static specifications.
In seven years, the iPad has increased its processing power tenfold, it has eight times the memory and doubled the pixel density of the original version. These are massive improvements over time and are likely to continue to improve as Apple further refines the design.
For areas that have remained the same, these also fall into two camps. Components such as the camera and the battery are being improved from time to time, and it is quite possible that newer versions and even the display will be introduced in future models.
As far as areas such as screen size and slenderness are concerned, these are likely to remain the main tenets of Apple's design philosophy in the foreseeable future. Apple wants its products to be recognizable to all, and adhering to the same basic principles of a display of a certain size and a home button and a thin body over a long period of time helps people to see if it's a device an iPad is about years down the line.