2018 iPad: Unboxing and First Impressions

After many years, I decided to buy my first tablet and iOS device.

Although most people have made the switch to tablets – some people even ditching their “conventional” computers, I preferred to stay with a conventional desktop or laptop computer.

Today, though, that changed. After getting some feedback from professors, mentors, relatives, friends and even online – I decided that a tablet would be a wise purchase. After all, it’s more portable than your standard laptop and can do some things that you just can’t do on your standard computer.

I’ve also stayed away from the iOS environment. I currently use Macs at work and in all of my classes, and used Macs at home between 2015 and 2016. (My dad currently uses a Mac.) Despite this, I felt that iPhones were overpriced – so I grew accustomed to the Android interface.

I’ve seen and tried a lot of Android tablets, and none felt as solid as an iPad. I use an older iPad (either third or fourth generation) at work, and my grandfather uses an iPad. Yes, my 86-year-old grandfather uses an iPad.

Walmart was running a special on the latest generation iPad model. At the time of purchase, the iPads at Walmart were $100 cheaper than at any other store – including Best Buy, Amazon, and – yes – the Apple Store. So I decided to go for it.

I also decided to get a Slim Folio keyboard with the iPad, since I hate typing on on-screen keyboards, and I do want to use the iPad for writing. I’ve had bad experiences with Logitech wireless mice, but the Slim Folio had good reviews and was one of very few Bluetooth keyboards that also doubled as a case.

The Unboxing

As I had just mentioned, I purchased the iPad at a discounted price at Walmart. It was $100 cheaper than elsewhere. The Slim Folio was also on sale with $14 off the regular price.

The iPad and Logitech Slim Folio were packaged and shipped separately.

The iPad and Slim Folio shipped separately. The Slim Folio arrived a day before the iPad did, as the iPad got stuck somewhere. Thanks to Walmart’s excellent online customer service, I was able to find out where the tablet was.

The next day (today) I picked up both items at my local Walmart, as I chose the “Site-to-Store” option.

I decided to unbox the Logitech Slim Folio first.

The Slim Folio box, which even has a fancy magnet to keep it shut.
The inside of the Slim Folio’s box provides a list of iPad control keys, such as those for media playback, volume, Siri and other adjustments.

The Logitech box was fairly “fancy” – including even a little magnet to keep the lid shut. Speaking of the lid, the inside of the lid has a list of control keys listed out.

The Slim Folio is ready for the iPad.

Now that the Slim Folio is ready for the iPad, it’s time to give it what it wants. On to unboxing the star of the show… the iPad.

The iPad comes packaged in your typical Apple-style box: white with a photo of the product at some angle.

Unboxing the iPad is very similar to unboxing other Apple products. Perhaps the worst part is getting through the cellophane wrapper; outside of that, everything is easy to get to.

Upon lifting off the top cover of the box, you’re greeted with your new iPad.

After removing the top cover, you’re greeted with your iPad. Underneath is the Lightning-to-USB cable for charging and data transfer, as well as some documentation and the power adapter.

Documentation hides under the iPad. Below the document carrier is the power adapter. For those wandering, Apple does still include their infamous Apple stickers!
The Lightning-to-USB cable and power adapter are very similar to what is used with the iPhone and iPods. The adapter’s plugs can be changed for other versions that can be used in other countries, like the Mac’s MagSafe adapters.

Now, everything is removed from its packaging and is ready to be set up.

Installing the iPad into the Slim Folio is extremely easy. The instruction sheet included with the Slim Folio shows the orientation to install the iPad in, if not already appearant. The iPad simply “snaps in” at the bottom.

Installing the iPad in the Slim Folio case is extremely easy… now we’re ready to go!

When you plug in the iPad, it will immediately start and jump right into the iOS installation process. The keyboard can’t be setup until after you finish the installation process, so you’ll need to briefly use the on-screen keyboard.

After finishing the iOS installation procedure, the machine is yours to use. The first order of business, at least to me, was to setup the Slim Folio and configure the Bluetooth. This is simply accomplished in the Settings menu, and by pressing the Bluetooth button on the keyboard before entering the code in.

After installing iOS, you can customize your iPad and setup any Bluetooth devices – like a keyboard or stylus.

First Impressions

As mentioned, this iPad serves two firsts for me: my first tablet computer, and my first iOS device.

Tablets

I haven’t been the hugest fan of tablet computers. Many of my friends have ditched their conventional computers for tablets like the iPad and the various Android tablets on the market.

As I also mentioned earlier, I’ve used some Android tablets. While Android tablets (especially the budget models available at Walmart that can be purchased for under $100 and are made under brands like “RCA” and “Polaroid”) can be cheap, I never liked them. I felt many felt cheaply built and easy to damage.

I felt the best value – even if it is one of the more expensive options – was the iPad. The iPads I’ve used felt well built and were easy to use. Which brings me to the next topic… the operating system.

iOS

When I first used an iPad, I was stunned by how similar iOS was to macOS. As mentioned, I use macOS on a daily basis.

iOS is very easy to use. In fact, it’s so simple to use that my 86-year-old grandfather was able to learn the basics of how to navigate iOS and do basic tasks.

iOS also offers a lot of inter-connectivity with macOS. For instance, you can AirDrop files from your iPad to your Mac. (Personally, I think AirDrop is one of the most forgotten features of a Mac – one that I love using.) You can do other things between your Mac and iPad. Your iPhone can also join in the fun.

Just like macOS, iOS includes the iWork suite. This includes productivity software – Pages, Keynote and Numbers. While these apps are not as nice as Microsoft Office, they are a free alternative that isn’t horrible. iOS, just like macOS, is prebundled with creativity software by Apple, such as GarageBand and iMovie.

iOS comes with a variety of productivity and creativity software that also comes preloaded on Macs, such as iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Keynote and Numbers.

Keyboard shortcuts are also similar to macOS, like Command + C is copy, Command + V is paste, etc.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about iOS. My first phone was an Android, and almost every phone I’ve had since has ran Android (the one exception being the Lumia 635 Windows Phone I had briefly.) In general, though, I feel mixed as many iOS devices are much more expensive than their Android counterparts and offer no special functionality – even more so if you’re not immersed in the Apple ecosystem (using Apple/Mac everything.) Thankfully, the 2018 iPad is an exception and is a great starting point if you want to just learn or tinker with iOS.

Other Thoughts

The 2018 iPad is an excellent value, especially if you find it on sale like I did. Even the 128GB model (which I purchased) is a great value.

The 2018 iPad doesn’t sacrifice power to become more afforadable, according to some reviewers who looked at it.

The 2018 iPad is perfect for someone who wants to ditch their old computer and go “tablet only.” The iPad is a decent device to browse the web with, listen to music, do social media, etc. The iPad is also decent for doing light work, such as balancing a budget sheet, working on a essay or letter, or something similar.

It also is a great machine for children and the elderly alike. Children can play a large selection of game titles that are available on the AppStore. On the other side of the spectrum, a lot of older people who may have never touched a computer before can learn iOS and its basics. As mentioned, my 86-year-old grandfather (who, prior to the iPad, never touched or used a computer in his life) was able to learn the basics and uses it quite frequently now.

Lastly, the 2018 iPad is good for those wanting to replace an old iPad, learn iOS or buy their first iPad to complement their Mac.

Despite friends and family members even using iPads to replace their conventional desktop/laptop computers, the iPad won’t be replacing mine. Instead, I will use the iPad in tandem with each other.

Suggestions

If you’re looking at buying an iPad, I would seriously purchase the 128GB model if you’re going to be using it a lot for work or to take pictures/video. 32GB is okay for those just browsing the web – people who never (or rarely) work on documents locally and don’t take a whole lot of pictures and/or videos. Obviously, audit your uses and “needs and wants” before purchasing an iPad.

If you’re going to be doing a lot of typing, I’d highly recommend a Bluetooth keyboard. The current generation iPad only supports Bluetooth keyboards; there is no longer the option to “hard-wire” connect a keyboard to the iPad. More expensive models of the iPad, like the iPad Air and iPad Pro, do support Apple’s own “Smart Keyboard.”

I’d also recommend purchasing a case for your iPad, if you don’t purchase a keyboard that also doubles as a case. Apple sells “Smart Covers” for iPads for a decent price. There are cases that are rugged and protect your iPad from damages if dropped. Having a “naked” iPad isn’t a good idea.


So, I purchased an iPad. As I normally try to do when purchasing a new device, I’m going to strive to write an update post in a week or month to provide an updated opinion on the iPad after I’ve got a chance to “break in” the device and use more features.

After all, I just picked the iPad up today.

This post was written on the 2018 iPad. Photos edited on Lenovo ThinkPad W541.

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