iPad 9 Vs iPad 8: Why Should You Pay More?

iPad 9 vs iPad 8

There’s no doubt that the iPad 9 is a better device than the iPad 8. Is it still worth it to acquire the iPad 9 if you can get the iPad 8 for less?

iPad 9 (2021)iPad 8 (2020)
Powerful performance.
Multi-year OS upgrades.
Solid front-facing camera.
Supports Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard.
Bright and colorful display.
Superb battery life.
Dated design.
Tinny speakers.
Design a bit dated.
Nowhere to store Apple Pencil.

SPECS: iPad 9 vs iPad 8

iPad 9 (2021)iPad 8 (2020)
Starting priceView on AmazonView on Amazon
Screen10.2 inches (2160 x 1620)10.2 inches (2160 x 1620)
Battery life (claimed)Up to 10 hours (rated)Up to 10 hours (rated)
ProcessorA13 BionicA12 Bionic
Storage64GB or 256GB32GB, 128GB
Rear camera8MP (f/2.4)8MP (f/2.4)
Front camera12MP (f/2.4)1.2MP (f/2.4)
Video recordingUp to 1080p HD at 30 fpsUp to 1080p HD at 30 fps
SecurityTouch IDTouch ID
Apple Keyboard supportSmart KeyboardSmart Keyboard
Pencil supportApple Pencil (1st generation)Apple Pencil (1st generation)
Dimensions9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29 inches9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29 inches
Weight1.07 pounds1.08 pounds
PortsLightning, headphonesLightning, headphones
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, LTE optionalWi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, LTE optionalWi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, LTE optional
ColorsSilver, space graySilver, gold, space gray

DESIGN: iPad 9 vs iPad 8

Both of these iPads are nearly identical. They have the same body and display size, as well as identical volume and power controls.

The iPad 8 comes in rose gold, and the silver iPad 8 has a white bezel rather than a black one like the iPad 9.

Both the iPad 8 and 9 include wider top and bottom bezels and a Home button with a fingerprint sensor for biometric verification.

There are two speaker grills and a lightning port for charging and accessories at the bottom.

DISPLAY: iPad 9 vs iPad 8

Both iPads have a 10.2 inch retina display with a resolution of 2160 by 1620 pixels and a maximum brightness of 500 nits and 60 Hertz when it comes to the display.

The iPad 9 has a non-laminated display, exactly as the iPad 8, and there is still an air gap. However, I don’t see the difference in real life while I’m viewing content, playing games, surfing the web, or utilizing any of my apps.

I don’t have any issues using the Apple Pencil with either of these.

Apple’s only modification to the iPad 9’s screen is that it is now a True Tone display. That is to say, sensors detect the colour of ambient light in your environment and modify the colour on the display accordingly. As a result, the white always appears white, not yellow or blue.

CAMERA & SPEAKERS: iPad 9 vs iPad 8

Now, let’s get to the camera and speaker systems. Because here we’re seeing one of the major upgrades of the iPad 9.

The speaker setup is the same, with speakers on each side of the lightning port at the bottom. You don’t notice it when you’re watching stuff in portrait mode. However, if you’re watching videos or playing games in landscape mode, you’ll hear it more because the sound is coming from one side. It’s definitely more difficult to tell which direction footsteps are coming from when I’m playing games without a headphone. That’s why both of these still retain a 3.5 millimetre headphone connector, which is fantastic.

When it comes to the front-facing camera, the iPad 8 has a 1.2MP, F/2.4 camera, and the iPad 9 has a 12MP, F/2.4 ultrawide camera. So, it’s quite a significant difference. Not only will we get a higher-resolution camera, but we’ll also have access to a new function called Center Stage.

When we look at the rear facing cameras, both the iPad 8 and the 9, have a wide 8 megapixel F/2.4 camera with a 5x digital zoom and HDR for photos. Both can record 1080P at up to 30 frames per second. And both can do slow motion at 720P at up to 120 frames per second.

ACCESSORIES: iPad 9 vs iPad 8

Because the body shapes are identical, everything from protective cases to keyboard cases will work with both devices.

Both styluses are compatible with the Apple Pencil 1st Generation, which pairs and charges via the lightning connection.


Processing power is one area where we are seeing progress. The A13 Bionic Chip is used in the iPad 9, as opposed to the A12 in the iPad 8. Following are the single and multi-core benchmarks.

Single-Core Performance

iPad 9 (2021)iPad 8 (2020)

Multi-Core Performance

iPad 9 (2021)iPad 8 (2020)

This is a fantastic addition to a low-cost device, especially since Apple kept the price the same.

Multitasking is another area where more processing power is always desired. As a result, the iPad 9 comes preloaded with iPad OS 15, including all of the new multitasking features.

When I’m multitasking, I haven’t noticed a significant difference between these two in my experience. Both have the same amount of RAM and the same functionality.

So, I’ve been using the iPad 8 to play games since it was released, and it’s been fantastic. And I’ve had a similar experience with the iPad 9. Some games seem to be a little more responsive in iPad 9.

BATTERY LIFE: iPad 9 vs iPad 8

Now let’s talk about battery life. Both iPads are rated for 10 hours of online browsing or video watching on WI-FI and 9 hours of web surfing or video watching on cellular data. As a result, we won’t be getting an upgrade.

A great use for the iPad 9 and the iPad 8 is sidecar, where both of them can be used as an additional display for your Mac, your iMac or your MacBook.


In comparison to the iPad 8, which has 32 or 128 gigabytes of storage, the iPad 9 has 64 or 256 gigabytes of storage. This upgrade was a smart decision by Apple because 32 gigabytes is a relatively little amount of storage unless you exclusively use the iPad for content consumption or with very small apps.

Now, I believe that more people will be able to get by with the entry-level 64 gigabytes, even if they wish to play a few larger games. Then there’s the 256 gig option, which is for those who are developing content or simply want to download a bunch of larger games all at once.

Apple also didn’t change the price of the iPad 9, so you can get double the storage for $329 or $459 if you choose the 64-gigabyte model.

The iPad 8 and 9 are also available in cellular variants, but no 5G update is available. So, both of her 4G LTE devices.


It comes down to the price difference if you don’t have one of these. You should get the iPad 9 if you can get a good deal on it. You’ll receive twice as much storage, a considerably better front-facing camera, and a more powerful processor.

If you already have an iPad 8, I’d say it’s probably not worth upgrading for the majority of people. The only exceptions I can think of are if you have everything you need but need more storage on your device or do a lot of video calls and want a far better front-facing camera.