It’s been rumored for some time that Apple would redesign the baseline $329 iPad with slimmer bezels, a better screen, and faster performance. Today, we got that in the form of the 10th-generation iPad, but it’s not quite the device we were expecting.
The new iPad, starting at $449, isn’t a replacement for the existing ninth-generation iPad. Instead, it’s positioned as a more premium version of that tablet, complete with features from more expensive models and boiled down to a device that’s a bit more accessible. Plus, it comes in four fun colors.
The 10th-gen iPad, compared to the ninth-gen, is completely redesigned with flat edges and a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display (2360×1640 in resolution and 500 nits bright). Apple is using the same design as the iPad Air here, which also means the iPad gets dual stereo speakers and Touch ID built into the power button.
A big difference between this iPad and every other model in Apple’s lineup is the positioning of the selfie camera, which is on the right side of the device instead of at the top. While this is obviously the correct orientation for iPads since so many people use them in landscape, it’s hard to imagine why this the only iPad that gets the change. The M2-powered iPad Pros, for example, still have the camera built into the top.
Under the hood, the new iPad comes with the A14 Bionic processor, the same chip that’s in the iPhone 12. It’ll be a bit snappier than the A13 Bionic that’s in the older iPad, and it’s up to “5x faster than the best-selling Android tablet” (a.k.a. “MediaTek MT8768N-based Android tablet systems”). The chip powers iPadOS 16 which ships with the device right out of the box. You’ll get features like Stage Manager, desktop-class apps, and external display support.
Speaking of which, external displays can be connected to over the new USB-C port at the bottom of the iPad. It’s ditched Lightning for Thunderbolt, but there’s one little problem with that: Apple is continuing to support the first-generation Apple Pencil with this iPad, which means you can’t charge it due to the lack of a female Lightning port. Apple is supplying a USB-C to Lightning adapter in the box (which will also be sold separately for $9) to enable charging, but it’s extremely clunky and tedious regardless.
There’s a 12MP camera on the back of the iPad that supports 4K video capture and 240fps slow-motion, while the front 12MP camera has a 122-degree field of view for Center Stage. You’ll also find Wi-Fi 6, 5G (on special cellular models), and dual microphones on the iPad as well.
Apple made a special Magic Keyboard Folio for the 10th-generation iPad that’s cheaper than the standard Magic Keyboard at $249. It’s a bit looser and probably has a few less parts inside, but it does come with a Function row and lighter weight.
The new iPad is available to order now from Apple.com. It starts at $449 for Wi-Fi and $599 for cellular. You can configure it with either 64GB or 256GB of storage. Colors include blue, pink, yellow, and silver. The Magic Keyboard Folio is only available in white, and it too is available to order today.