Early reviews of iPad 10 compliment its larger display, relocated camera and faster processor. But they also have plenty to say about the steep increase in price.
Read on to see if the new “budget” iPad, which now starts at $449, is right for you.
iPad 10: The latest in a long series of Apple tablets
In 2017, Apple introduced the iPad 5 at just $329. Successive versions brought many improvements, including faster processors and a larger display. But the price stayed the same year after year.
That all changed with iPad 10. Its base cost jumped $120, or 36%. And that’s a major topic of any review of Apple’s latest tablet.
Display: Bigger is better
The 2022 iPad comes with a 10.9-inch display, up from the 10.2-inch screen of its recent predecessors.
CNET‘s reviewer says, “The display feels notably bigger.” And the review in Tom’s Guide says, “The 10.9-inch display on the iPad 2022 won’t blow you away, but it’s a good panel for the price.”
The Verge review both agrees and disagrees: “It’s a good size for a tablet and comfortable enough for getting light work done as well as watching movies, reading, or playing games, even if it feels a bit cramped as a laptop replacement.”
But The Verge goes on the criticize the non-laminated display, which means there’s a gap between the touchscreen and the LCD. “These issues are much more forgivable at $329, but it’s a lot tougher to excuse this display at $449.”
As reviewers note, the Home button disappeared to make room for the larger display. (Apple moved the Touch ID sensor to the iPad’s side power button.)
Ideal camera placement
In a welcome move, Apple repositioned the front camera to sit alongside the landscape edge of the iPad 10. Previous versions put the camera on the short edge.
“When I Zoom or FaceTime on other iPads, my face looks weirdly off-angle with my eyes looking elsewhere. That’s fixed now,” says the CNET review. “Combined with the auto-zooming Center Stage tech, this iPad’s video chat camera is absolutely perfect.”
Tom’s Guide agrees. “The 12MP front camera gets a welcome shift from the top edge to the long edge, which makes for more natural video calls in landscape mode, especially when your iPad is docked in the Magic Keyboard Folio.”
The new iPad is powered by Apple’s A14 Bionic chip, up from the A13 processor in its predecessor.
“While the A14 is not as fast as the M1 or M2 processors Apple’s putting into the more expensive iPads, I’d be shocked if most people can really tell,” said The Verge. “This iPad has no problem doing the exact same tasks I use my 11-inch iPad Pro M1 for.”
USB-C in place of Lightning
iPad 10 packs a USB-C port, like other iPads and all Macs. It replaces the Lightning port of earlier models. The change is surprisingly controversial.
“We’re glad that the iPad 2022 offers USB-charging, as it did result in faster recharge times in our testing versus the previous model,” said Tom’s Guide. “The new iPad got to 26% in 30 minutes, compared to 19% for the Lightning-equipped iPad 9th gen.”
CNET‘s and The Verge‘s reviews have a lot more to say about Apple’s decision to make the iPad 10 only support the Apple Pencil 1, which charges via a Lightning connector. “If you’re serious about making art on an iPad using the Apple Pencil, this bizarre move is bad enough to skip this model entirely,” said CNET.
iPad 10 is a significant upgrade with a big price hike
“At its core, this iPad is an excellent tablet with fast performance, reliable battery life, and a vast library of optimized apps to make use of its large touchscreen,” wrote The Verge. “But along with those upgrades comes a higher price.”
“The iPad 2022 is a tablet that looks and feels new, and that’s a welcome change over the last few iterations,” said Tom’s Guide. “However, $449 is a lot of money to spend on this tablet.”
The iPad 10 hits store shelves on October 26. It’s available from the Apple store and many other retailers.