The gold 8th-gen iPad is on sale for $299 at Amazon and Walmart

The 8th-generation iPad doesn’t look much different from last year’s model, and while that might disappoint some, it’s not a bad thing. Apple didn’t mess with the design, which includes a 10.2-inch touchscreen and the physical Home button below it that allows you to unlock the device with TouchID. It also still comes in 32GB and 128GB models — and that part’s kind of a bummer. 32GB isn’t a ton of storage, but it should work just fine for those that use the iPad mostly as a media consumption rather than a production device.

The biggest improvements are inside the 8th-generation iPad: it runs on Apple’s A12 Bionic chipset and that makes a noticeable difference in how the tablet performs. The previous generation model wasn’t painfully slow, but there were hiccups when playing games, running laborious apps and using multiple apps in Split View. The A12 Bionic chip erases those problems, producing an iPad that’s smoother and better equipped to handle the upgrades found in iOS 14. The A12 Bionic chip also brings Apple’s Neural Engine, which should help the new iPad complete tasks that rely heavily on machine learning.

These improvements, plus its affordable price tag, still stellar battery life and new fast charger, led our Chris Velazco to give the 8th-generation iPad a score of 86. The 8th-generation iPad is the best all-around option for most first-time iPad owners as well as those that need to update their aging tablet.

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