After years of iterative updates, the iPad just got a complete overhaul. The $449 iPad (10th generation) finally rocks Apple’s longest-running and most popular tablet with a colorful, sleeker new design, improved cameras, and faster performance. However, all these benefits come at the cost of a considerable price increase.
Wondering if the latest iPad is right for you? Here’s everything you need to know.
iPad 10th Gen prices and where to pre-order
The 10th generation iPad is available for pre-order now and will be available in October. 26. Tablets start at $449 for Wi-Fi models and $599 for Wi-Fi + Cellular models.
Apple’s new Magic Keyboard Folio for the latest iPad costs $249, while the new Smart Folio costs $79. If the new iPad is a bit out of your budget, be aware that the 9th-gen iPad will continue to sell at a starting price of $329 (often cheaper on Amazon).
The base iPad has remained the same for years, but that will change in 2022. The new iPad features a new design with thinner display bezels, more overall screen real estate and a range of attractive color options that make it more in line with the colorful and sleek iPad Mini models we saw last year.
Considering that standard iPads are usually only available in silver and space gray, it’s refreshing to see Apple’s latest tablet in vibrant blue, pink, and yellow shades (and a silver option if you’re feeling old-school). But perhaps the bigger upgrade is an upgrade to the display, and extra power under the hood.
Much like the latest iPad Mini and iPad Pro models, the 10th-generation iPad has thinner display bezels to accommodate a larger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display. You’ll still get a Touch ID button for quick sign-in with your fingerprint — it’s just on the power button, not below the screen.
Powering the new iPad is Apple’s A14 Bionic chip, which the company says offers 20 percent more processing performance and 10 percent better graphics performance than the 9th-generation iPad. If you’re on a 7th generation model or earlier, Apple says you’ll get three times the overall performance. The latest iPad adds support for Wi-Fi 6 (meaning better internet speeds for those with a compatible router) and 5G compatibility on cellular models, with both physical SIM and virtual eSIM options.
The new iPad’s charging port also jumps from Lightning to USB-C, which should allow for easier accessory compatibility as well as faster charging times if you have a high-end USB-C charger.
However, this new USB-C port does have a bit of a glitch. If you have a first-generation Apple Pencil from an old iPad, you’ll have to buy a $9 USB-C to Apple Pencil adapter to pair and charge the accessory. The new $99 Apple Pencil will ship with the adapter in the box. Unfortunately, this iPad still doesn’t support the more advanced $129 second-generation Apple Pencil, which works with the iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad Mini.
Other improvements include the front-facing camera now positioned on the (horizontal) edge of the landscape, which should allow for a more natural angle during video calls. You’ll also get an improved 12-megapixel wide camera on the back, which should take better photos and rich 4K video—if you’re willing to use the 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, including attractive color options, a larger, more immersive screen, and some quality-of-life upgrades that should make it better for work and play . However, the new model, which starts at $449, completely changes the iPad’s place in the market.
The standard $329 model has always been our best tablet pick, offering an unmatched combination of performance and price. However, the new model’s $449 price tag makes it nearly as expensive as the $499 iPad Mini. So who is it for?
At first glance, the 10th-generation iPad seems like a good fit for anyone who likes the iPad Mini’s more modern design, but still wants a larger 10-inch screen. But if fancy colors and thinner bezels aren’t a huge selling point for you, the $329 iPad 9th-gen (currently just $269 on Amazon) will likely continue to be the best option for most people . We’ll soon put Apple’s latest tablet through its paces to see if the price hike is worth it, so stay tuned.