After years of iterative updates, the iPad just got a complete overhaul. The $449 iPad (10th-generation) finally shakes up Apple’s longest-running and most popular tablet, with a colorful and sleeker new design, improved cameras and faster performance. However, all of these perks come at the cost of a pretty significant price bump.
Wondering if the latest iPad is right for you? Here’s everything you need to know.
iPad 10th-generation price and where to preorder
The 10th-generation iPad is available for preorder now, and will hit stores on Oct. 26. The tablet starts at $449 for the Wi-Fi model, and $599 for the Wi-Fi + cellular model.
Apple’s new Magic Keyboard Folio that’s made for the latest iPad is available for $249, while the new Smart Folio is $79. If the new iPad is a bit out of your budget, note that the iPad 9th-generation will continue to be sold for a starting price of $329 (and is often even cheaper on Amazon).
The base iPad has looked the same for ages, but that changes for 2022. The new iPad sports a completely revamped design complete with thinner display bezels, more overall screen space and a range of attractive color options, bringing it more in line with the colorful and sleek iPad Mini models we saw last year.
Considering that the standard iPad has typically only been available in silver and Space Gray, it’s refreshing to see Apple’s latest tablet available in vibrant blue, pink and yellow hues (there’s still a silver option if you’re feeling old-school). But perhaps the bigger upgrades are the ones made to the display, as well as the added power thrown under the hood.
Much like the latest iPad Mini and iPad Pro models, the 10th-gen iPad features thinner display borders that allows for a larger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display. You’ll still get a Touch ID button for quickly logging in with your fingerprint — it’s just on the power button rather than below the screen.
Powering the new iPad is Apple’s A14 Bionic chip, which the company says will offer a 20% bump in processing performance and 10% better graphics compared to the 9th-gen iPad. And if you’re coming from a 7th-gen model or older, Apple says you’ll get up to triple the overall performance. The latest iPad adds support for Wi-Fi 6 (meaning better internet speeds for those with a compatible router), and features 5G compatibility on the cellular model, with options for both physical SIM cards and virtual eSIMs.
The new iPad also makes the jump from Lightning to USB-C for the charging port, which should allow for easier accessory compatibility as well as faster charge times if you have a high-end USB-C charger.
However, this new USB-C port does come with a slight catch. If you have a 1st Gen Apple Pencil from an older iPad, you’ll have to pick up a $9 USB-C to Apple Pencil Adapter to pair and charge the accessory. New versions of the $99 Apple Pencil will come with said adapter in the box. Unfortunately, this iPad still doesn’t support the more advanced $129 2nd Gen Apple Pencil that works with the iPad Pro, iPad Air and iPad Mini.
Other improvements include a front-facing camera that now rests on the landscape (horizontal) edge, which should allow for more natural angles during video calls. You’ll also get an improved 12-megapixel-wide camera on the back, which should allow for better photos and rich 4K video — if you’re willing to run around using your iPad as a camera, of course.
On paper, the new iPad is an exciting device. It finally gives Apple’s most popular tablet a much-needed redesign, complete with attractive color options, a bigger and more immersive screen and some quality of life upgrades that should make it better for both work and play. However, at a starting $449, this new model completely changes the iPad’s place in the market.
The standard $329 model has long been our best tablet pick, offering an unbeatable combination of performance and price. However, the new model’s $449 price makes it nearly as expensive as the $499 iPad Mini. So who is it for?
At a glance, the iPad 10th-gen seems good for folks who like the more modern design of the iPad Mini, but still want a larger 10-inch screen. But if fancy colors and thinner borders aren’t a huge selling point for you, the $329 iPad 9th-gen (which is currently just $269 on Amazon) will likely continue to be the best option for most people. We’ll be putting Apple’s newest tablet through its paces soon to see if the price bump is worth it, so stay tuned.
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