Apple’s 10th Generation iPad: A Transformative Refresh

In Shorts:

  • The 2022’s 10.9-inch display is decent for the price.
  • The iPad (10th gen) has a more prominent display, sleeker design, quicker A14 Bionic CPU, and USB-C charging.
  • Unfortunately, this tablet costs $120 more than its predecessor and only works with the 1st-gen Apple Pencil.
  • The iPad (10th gen) costs $449/£499/AU$749, $120 more than the lowest 10.2-inch device. $599/£679/AU$999 gets you cellular service.

Apple has completely reimagined its entry-level iPad for 2022. The 10th generation iPad brings a fresh design, upgraded performance, new features, and several changes that alter the user experience. While the higher $449 starting price is a tough pill, the iPad remains the best.

iPad 10th generation Specifications

iPad 10th generation

Released On 2022, October 18
Network GSM / HSPA / LTE / 5G
Dimension 248.6 x 179.5 x 7 mm
Weight 477 g
Type Of Display Liquid Retina IPS LCD
OS iPad 16.1
Memory 64GB 4GB RAM
Battery Type Li-Po 7606 mAh
Starting price $449/£499/AU$749
Display 10.9-inch (2360 x 1640) Liquid Retina
OS iPadOS 16 (pre-installed)
Chipset A14 Bionic
Storage 64GB, 256GB
Rear camera 12MP
Front Camera 12MP with 122-degree FOV
Video quality Up to 4K
Wireless Wi-Fi 6, optional 5G

A Much-Needed Design Overhaul

The base iPad lagged behind its Pro and Air siblings in design. No longer. The 10th generation iPad now mirrors the elegant aesthetics of the pricier models with:

  • A larger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina edge-to-edge display
  • No more front-facing home button
  • Thinner bezels all around for a contemporary look
  • Flat sides that replace the curved edges
  • Touch ID embedded in the power button instead of a home button

The aluminium chassis gives it a premium feel on par with the iPad Air and Pro. And coming in fun colours like blue, pink, and yellow, it has plenty of personalities.

Goodbye Lightning, Hello USB-C

In a much-anticipated move, Apple has swapped the iPad’s Lightning port for a USB-C connector. This brings the entry-level iPad in line with the common charging standard used by MacBooks, iPads Pro and Air, and several Android devices and accessories. The transition to USB-C allows the 10th generation iPad to take advantage of faster-wired data transfers, better connectivity with peripherals, and universal chargers for all your devices. But it also means leaving older accessories behind without an adapter.

Revamped Cameras for Better Video Calling

iPads aren’t known for their excellent cameras, but the new 12MP front-facing landscape camera on the 10th generation iPad improves the video calling experience. The updated ultra-wide lens enables Apple’s Center Stage feature, which automatically pans and zooms to keep you in frame during video chats. The back camera also gets a bump up to 12MP from 8MP. Overall, the new cameras make the iPad better suited for those relying on it as a work-from-home video device. Casual photo-taking and scanning documents benefit as well from the improved sensors.

Faster Speeds With the A14 Bionic Chip

iPad 10th generation

The 10th generation iPad performs admirably thanks to Apple’s A14 Bionic processor. This handy chip easily handles 4K video editing, high-frame-rate gaming, multitasking, and everyday tasks like web browsing. While not entirely on par with the M1-powered iPad Pro, the A14 provides a snappy working or playing experience. The neural engine also gives a nice boost to apps with machine learning features.

Multitasking Made Easier With New Accessories

Apple’s Magic Keyboard Folio, now available for the base iPad, lets you attach a keyboard with a built-in trackpad and use the iPad more like a laptop. The kickstand allows you to adjust viewing angles up to 130 degrees. Combined with iPadOS 16’s multitasking capabilities, it transforms the iPad into a capable work device for productivity. There’s also Apple Pencil support, but you need a $9 adapter since the 1st gen Pencil doesn’t directly connect to the USB-C port.

A Bigger Battery Offset By Faster 5G

Apple says the 10th generation iPad will get an all-day battery life of up to 10 hours of web surfing on Wi-Fi or 9 hours on cellular, thanks to a bigger battery. But the faster 5G connectivity may offset those gains when away from Wi-Fi. Still, the iPad should have no trouble handling days of moderate use between charges.

Higher Starting Price But Unmatched Value

The biggest downside of the 10th generation iPad is its $120 price jump over the 9th generation model. The $449 starting price bites into the iPad’s reputation as an affordable entry-level option. However, it’s still hundreds less than the iPad Pro while offering many of the same capabilities. It outclasses virtually all mid-range Android tablets on performance and app ecosystem significantly.

Accessories Offer Value

iPad 10th generation

All tablets should be protected from backpack clutter. Apple’s Smart Folio ($79) watches the front and back and doubles as a stand. It magnetically connects and awakens and sleeps the iPad. Unfortunately, it feels like cardboard and has sharp edges. We recommend skipping this one because Apple and others offer dozens of third-party choices for less.

The Magic Keyboard Folio for iPad ($249) turns your iPad into a mini-laptop for business. Two pieces make up the Magic Folio. Its magnetically attached back has an adjustable, flip-out stand for viewing the iPad on a flat surface. It’s nice that it offers several viewing angles. But it doesn’t balance appropriately on the knees. The second is the keyboard. The three magnetic magnets on the iPad’s side edge swing it around to protect the display while not in use. Typing on it is tight because it’s 85% the size of a typical keyboard, but that’s normal.

Magic Keyboard Folio

My favourite feature is the keyboard’s plastic surface, not cloth or rubber. Essential travel and comments are good. Though most Apple iPad keyboards lack action keys, the row of action keys for brightness, media playback, and volume is the finest feature. Screen interaction is possible without touching the glass using the trackpad and iPad. Moving GarageBand tracks or iMovie clips may be faster and more accurate using this. The multilingual keyboard attachment is white and easily soiled. Third-party keyboard covers for the next iPad will likely be available in early 2023 at prices less than half of the Magic Keyboard Folio.

Strangely, the 2022 iPad only supports the 2015 Apple Pencil. Although the original Apple Pencil’s shiny, spherical form is awkward and slippery to grip, that’s not the main issue. Pencil charging is the issue. The original Apple Pencil has a top-mounted male Lightning connection. Inserting the original Apple Pencil into the Lightning connector has been the easiest way to link it with an iPad. Since the new iPad uses USB-C, this is impossible. Pairing is done via the iPad’s Bluetooth menu (a few simple steps). Apple repackaged the Apple Pencil with Lightning and USB-C charging ports, but losing one means losing both. Apple’s choices are puzzling. Why not upgrade the iPad to the second-gen Pencil? Worse, the Magic Keyboard Folio has no Apple Pencil storage.

Apple Pencil works nicely with the 10th-gen iPad as a stylus. It’s snappy, responsive, and suitable for note-taking and sketching. The few third-party styluses available don’t have the same direct support; therefore, I wouldn’t suggest them. Make sure you use the Apple Pencil with your iPad.

iPad 16

October brought iPadOS 16 to most iPads. The 10th-gen iPad gets most of the new capabilities except Stage Manager. This new technology enables iPads with M1 and M2 processors to open and control numerous workspaces like computers. Stage Manager is still evolving but should be on the base iPad. Most things include iMessage’s edit, undo, and mark-as-read functionalities, Photos’ Shared Libraries for immediate photo and video sharing, and LiveText and Visual Lookup for image-based searching. After a week of using iPadOS 16 on the 10th-generation iPad, I can report it works swiftly with no issues. The iPad will receive system and security updates for years so that you can relax.

Note: Each of these accessories must be purchased separately from the iPad. The basic model iPad, Magic Keyboard Folio, and Apple Pencil cost $797, which is expensive. Comparatively, Samsung Galaxy Tab S tablets have styluses and folio cases/keyboards.

Pros Cons
Appealing iPad Prostyle It is costlier than the previous model
Moved webcam Absent Touch ID button
Higher-quality cameras
Better speakers

Should I Buy It?

The 10th-generation iPad brings much-needed refinements that offer a significantly improved experience for both work and play. While the higher price is disappointing, it’s still a tremendous value and outclasses all competing tablets. It remains a stellar choice for those seeking an affordable big-screen Apple tablet.

FAQs About the 10th Generation iPad

Does the new iPad support the 2nd gen Apple Pencil?

No, it only supports the original 1st generation Apple Pencil, which requires the adapter to connect via USB-C.

What accessories are compatible with the 10th-generation iPad?

It works with the new Magic Keyboard Folio, Smart Keyboard Folio, and Apple Pencil (1st gen). Older Smart Covers and keyboards are not supported.

Does the 10th-generation iPad have the M1 chip?

No, it has the A14 Bionic chip, which is still very fast but not as powerful as the M1 in the iPad Air and Pro.

How is the 10th generation different from the iPad Air?

The iPad Air retains advantages like the M1 chip, dual rear cameras, and Stage Manager multitasking. However, the base iPad has primarily closed the size, design, accessories, and overall capabilities gap.

Does the new iPad work with the old Apple Pencil?

Yes, the 1st generation Apple Pencil is supported but needs a USB-C to Lightning adapter to connect and charge.