Apple gave the 2022 version of the basic iPad a larger screen, USB-C, a faster processor and other enhancements. And the Home button is gone. But along with the new features comes a huge 36% price increase.
“With a large 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, powerful A14 Bionic chip, a first-ever landscape front camera, fast wireless connectivity, USB-C, and support for incredible accessories like the new Magic Keyboard Folio, the new iPad delivers more value, more versatility — and is simply more fun,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, in a press release Tuesday.
iPad 10 gets a facelift, new features
The iPad Pro hogs all the attention, but Apple’s lower-cost tablets dominate sales. So changes in the tenth-generation iPad will affect millions of buyers.
While the product line has been steadily updated, with new versions coming every autumn since 2019, it’s been years since the design changed. The iPad 10 breaks out of the rut. It has a larger display, going from the 10.2-inch screen of its recent predecessors to a 10.9-inch one. That makes it the same size as the iPad Air, and almost as large as one iPad Pro version.
Apple also updated the casing to the flat edges used by other iPad models and the current iPhone. This more closely aligns the tablet’s look with other Apple devices.
Part of the redesign is the end of the Home button. This made room for a larger display without making the tablet too bulky. It’s a trade-off already made by all other iPadOS tablets. (Apple moved the Touch ID sensor to the tablet’s top button.)
Plus, Apple repositioned the Ultra Wide 12MP front camera, placing it alongside the landscape edge of the tablet. That makes it a better option for video conferencing, especially as this tablet supports Center Stage, Apple’s brilliant feature that lets the camera follow the person talking during video calls.
USB-C, at last
The basic iPad was the last Apple tablet with a Lightning charging/data port. Not any longer: The 2022 model uses USB-C. Every other Apple tablet uses the same port, as do all the MacBooks. Only iPhone continues to use Lightning, and that’s expected to change in 2023.
With a USB-C port, the iPad 10 can use plug-in accessories designed for Mac and other iPad models. Charging cables are the obvious example, but hubs and external monitors are also supported.
The new entry-level iPad continues to support the original Apple Pencil, not the newer version as had been rumored. An adapter will be needed to charge the stylus, which still uses a Lightning connector.
A faster A14 Bionic chip and other changes
The new iPad is powered by the A14 Bionic chip, up from the Apple A13 processor in its predecessor. Apple promises a 20% increase in CPU performance and a 10% improvement in graphics.
The upgraded 12MP Wide rear camera can take high-resolution photos and 4K video with support for 240 frames per second slo-mo.
iPad 10 brings significant price increase
The feature that kept the basic iPad popular was its very low price. It stayed at $329 for many years. The new version is much more expensive, starting at $449 — a $120 jump.
The 2022 iPad is already available to order at apple.com and in the Apple Store app in 28 countries and regions. It will reach brick-and-mortar stores beginning October 26.
It’s available in 64GB and 256GB configurations, and comes in blue, pink, yellow and silver. As noted, the Wi-Fi version has a starting price of $449. The Wi-Fi + Cellular models start at $599.