Aside from a larger display, the September 2019 update to iPad didn't really bring any real performance improvements - Apple looks to have rectified that with the new 8th generation iPad, announced during the company's 15 September event.

Alongside the updated iPad Air, Apple brought a host of improvements to the standard iPad for 2020, all of which we detail in this article, alongside its release date and price.

Read our review of 2019's 10.2in iPad for some perspective on its successor.

Release date

As rumoured, Apple is bringing the 8th generation iPad to market before the end of September 2020, with pre-orders in select markets available now and retail availability from Friday, 18 September.

Spec

The standard iPad was in dire need of a spec update and that's exactly what this 2020 model offers up.

Starting with storage, Apple didn't see fit to bump the base option for its most modest iPad, meaning the new 10.2in iPad sports 32GB or 128GB as before, which is somewhat disappointing, considering the relative affordability of flash storage in 2020.

On the upside, the new model ditches 2016's A10 Fusion processor in favour of 2018's A12 Bionic chip. This makes it the first standard iPad to tote a Neural Engine, for help with (among other things) advanced image processing and rendering, improved Siri performance, better AR (augmented reality) experience support and more.

Not only that, users should expect to see a 40% overall performance improvement and twice the graphical capabilities, compared to last year's model as a result of the new chipset.

Considering the price (it's cheaper than last year's model) it certainly feels like you're getting more for your money this time around.

Design

Given that the entry-level iPad already underwent a redesign in 2019, we weren't expecting a facelift for this year's model, which turned out to be true.

As such, the recycled aluminium body still features a rounded back and comes in three colourways: silver, Space Grey and gold.

The 10.2in Retina Display is still surrounded by a notable bezel, that allows enough room for a TouchID sensor along the bottom and a 1.2Mp FaceTime HD camera at the top.

While Apple Pencil support endures, that rounded form reinforces the fact that compatibility falls only to the first generation stylus, rather than the flat-sided incarnation featured alongside the likes of the iPad Pro 12.9in 2020.

It's also compatible with Apple's Smart Keyboard and third-party offerings from the likes of Logitech.

New features

While last year we saw an upgrade to the display, this year's improvements are less apparent, namely, new internal components and functionality brought on by iPadOS 14, which Apple confirmed will be available to existing iPad owners from 16 September.

As such, there's nothing dramatically new to speak of and everything we'd hoped for - USB-C support, Apple Pencil 2 support, a laminated display - didn't come to pass.

Still, the extra processing power, paired with the additions coming in iPadOS 14 make this a notably more capable entry-level slate from Apple, compared to last year's revision.

Price & how to buy

We were actually expecting a greater difference between US and UK pricing with this year's iPad but the gap has actually narrowed, with US pricing remaining unchanged but a £20 reduction across every new model in the UK; making prices numerically identical across both markets.

  • iPad 10.2in (2020, 32GB): £329/$329
  • iPad 10.2in (2020, 128GB): £429/$429
  • iPad 10.2in (2020, 32GB, cellular): £459/$459
  • iPad 10.2in (2020, 128GB, cellular): £559/$559

With everything we've covered, if you're interested in picking up the new eight-generation 2020 10.2in iPad, you can head to Apple's UK site or US site to order right now, with delivery cited as 18 September.

For related news, may we recommend our guide to iPadOS 14, which will bring a mass of new features to your existing iPad for free? And remember our roundup of the best iPad deals, so you don't miss bargains across the range.