The biggest refresh in Apple’s entry-level tablet was seen last year in the 9th gen iPad. The 9th-generation iPad came with excellent performance and great battery life at an affordable price. This trend looks to be continued with the 10th-generation iPad.
The 10th-gen iPad has launched with a larger display, updated processor, and a fresh design, also available in new colours. The device got a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, an A14 Bionic chip, and Wi-Fi 6.
|Updated design||First gen Apple Pencil|
|Improved performance with A14 Bionic chip||Expensive|
|Improved battery life||Screen could have better|
|Landscape-oriented selfie camera||Keyboard folio is extremely costly|
|Keyboard with trackpad and function key|
The home button is removed, and Touch Id is integrated with the lock button. The bezels are smaller and the display is bigger. Front facing camera is moved to the landscape edge which is much needed for video calls and conferences. All these are significant changes for the entry-level iPad. You will find similar changes in previous Pro and Air models, but for the base model, it is a big change.
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A14 Bionic chip was first seen in 2020’s iPhone lineup. It is a hackneyed update over last year’s A13 Bionic. Modest works like media consumption and office work are handled by A14 without a hiccup. Advanced tasks like editing RAW images in lightroom and exporting 4K video clips in 1080p are also handled smoothly by iPad. A14 is surely behind the M1 in iPad Air and M2 in iPad Pro, but for the price, it is a decently performing chipset.
However, the new iPad can’t use Stage manager multitasking and window management features of iPadOS 16 as they are limited to Pro and M-series powered iPad.
The 2022 iPad lasted 11+ hours of battery life with media consumption. Of course, battery performance will drop with heavy tasks like gaming and video editing.
|Display||10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, 2360x 1640 pixels resolution, 500 nits brightness, 264 PPI, True Tone display, Scratch-resistant glass|
|Processor||A14 Bionic SOC with 4-Core GPU and 16-core Neural Engine|
|Storage||64GB and 256GB|
|Operating System||iPadOS 16|
|Rear camera||12MP with f/1.8, 5P lens, Autofocus with Focus Pixels|
|Selfie camera||12MP 122° with f/2.4, Retina Flash, FaceTime video, Centre Stage|
|Weight||477g (WiFi), 481g (5G)|
|Sensors||Touch ID, Three‐axis gyro, Accelerometer, Barometer, Ambient light sensor|
|Battery||Li-Ion, non-removable (28.6 Wh)|
|Colours||Blue, Pink, Silver, and Yellow|
|Prices||$449 (Wifi only), $599 (Wifi+Cellular)|
Screen size is definitely bigger compared to last year’s iPad. The newer iPad is equipped with a 10.9 inches iPad Air display. A larger display makes multitasking more convenient and less crumpled. The bigger display in a similar body size is definitely an improvement.
However, In contrast to Pro models, the display is severely lacking. The display lacks an anti-reflective coating, is not laminated to the front glass, and does not support the P3 wide colour gamut.
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This year iPad gets a significant improvement in the camera department. The iPad sports a 12-megapixel back camera, the same as iPad Air. It’s not the best-performing camera but now you can shoot 4K videos compared to the last iPad which was maxed out to 1080p.
The front-facing camera also gets a significant change. Surprisingly the base variant camera placement is better than the Pro variants. This year the selfie camera is moved to the landscape edge.
The new iPad has its own redesigned keyboard accessories. The keyboard folio comes in two parts, one is the back cover that is attached magnetically and has a kickstand. Another is a keyboard with a trackpad that attaches to the side of the tablet. The sides of the iPad have smart connectors to sync and power the keyboard.
The typing experience feels much better than the previous magic keyboard folio and also feels more comfortable on lap typing. Key travel is 1mm. The keyboard has 14 function keys on the top row which is the first Apple-made keyboard.
With good design and performance, Apple has made some trade-offs to prevent the iPad from overstepping the iPad Air and iPad Pro. The tablet still comes with the first-generation Apple pencil. No doubt the Pencil is a capable tool for writing and drawing. It has a number of issues i.e, the built-in lightning connector on the back, which you need to plug in to charge either with your iPad or a charging adapter with the lightning cable. The cap to cover the charging port is highly prone to losing. Also, it is round with no edges and bumps, it rolls over the table and other flat surfaces. There is no storage space for the pencil along with the iPad.
With all these existing problems comes a new-born issue with the new iPad. Now, the iPad comes with a USB Type-C port. You need a USB-C to the lightning connector now to charge the pencil. A similar thing goes with the charging adaptor. Apple should have bundled the much improved second-generation pencil. Which has a flat edge and snaps to the side of the iPad for charging and storage.
iOS 16 is tweaked to iPadOS 16 with better optimization for the big screen. Features like unsending and editing messages in I Message, scheduling and undoing send-in Mail, the ability of copying text from the video, iCloud Photo Library sharing, and some other features are available for the budget iPad. Stage manager and windowing system are not available as it is limited to iPads with M1, M2 chips, and some older Pro models. But you have a split-screen multitasking feature.
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Where does it fit?
Besides some good specs, considering the increased pricing there are some lackings in the iPad. Other iPads come with second-generation pencil which is far better than the original pencil and cut down all the problems with the first-gen. If you use Apple pencil a lot, go for the iPad Air which is just $150 more expensive. For $150 you get more performance, a good display and a far better pencil experience.
The keyboard folio costs a whopping $250, which means that with the keyboard the basic iPad will cost $700. For this price, go with the iPad Air or some windows laptop if you do typing work a lot.
The display is the worst in the iPad lineup. As the display is not laminated with glass, the air gap between them looks bad.
The new iPad is an improvement over the previous one. A bigger screen, improved cameras, more powerful chipset, modern design, and some other improvements worth the extra cash Apple is asking for.
But, the fact that can’t be ignored is that it cost just $150 less than the iPad Air. Which makes the iPad Air a better deal as it comes with a more powerful chip, a better and more beautiful display, and a second-generation Apple pencil.
The iPad looks like “iPad Air lite”. Last year Apple gave the Pro design to Air and bumped the price. A similar thing happened this year, Apple gave Air design to the basic iPad and bumped the price.
Keeping every con in mind, the basic iPad is not recommendable. Go for the iPad Air or a better windows laptop. Once, the basic iPad comes with the support of second-generation, only then it would be worth recommending. Apple must cut down the price of the basic iPad to under $400. But for now, the iPad doesn’t make sense for most users.