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Apple iPad 10 Review: One Month Later. Apple iPad 10

Apple iPad 10 Review: One Month Later

Should you get the Apple iPad 10? My review shows that it’s a great tablet but it has some major weaknesses, some of which nobody mentions.

My test shows that the Apple iPad 10 is not as bad as everyone says. Regarding some aspects, the 449 Dollar tablet is better than more expensive competitors running Android. However, there are a few major weaknesses and I noticed one issue that nobody else seems to mention. In this iPad 10 review, you learn what I like about the iPad 10 and what this one unknown weakness is.

Design Built Quality

I think it’s great that Apple has finally discarded the old design with the home button, thick black bezzels, and Lightning connector. The simple iPad 10 has the same basic design as the iPad Air and iPad Pro now. A uniform black bezel surrounds the display, which is noticeably thinner than on the iPad 9.

Although the corners are rounded, the overall design has become a bit more rectangular. The case is still made of aluminum and has a high-quality feel. It’s 7mm thin and weighs 477g. I’ve gotten the yellow version, but you can also get it in blue, silver, and pink.

It’s a shame that Apple has removed the headphone jack. As usual, there is no space for a microSD card. However, I like the fact that the TouchID fingerprint sensor is now located in the power button, just like on the Air. And even better is that we get a USB C port instead of the old Lightning connector now. It’s slower than the iPad Pro and as fast as a USB 2.0 port, but you can still connect external monitors.

There are four speaker slots on the sides with two speakers. Sound quality is pretty good and I like that we finally get decent stereo separation on the basic iPad. That’s why it’s a great media tablet.

I also like that the 12-megapixel ultra-wide webcam sits in the center when using the iPad in landscape orientation now. On all other iPads, the front camera sits on one of the short sides, so you’re never positioned exactly in the middle when video chatting. The main camera on the back also resolves at 12 megapixels and the quality is very good on both.

Hardware Performance

The built-in hardware is fantastic. The Apple iPad 10 is equipped with an Apple A14 chipset, which is supported by 4GB of RAM. You can choose between 64GB and 256GB of internal storage. A version with 5G is also available. If you want to install a lot of demanding games, edit photos and videos, or perform other data-intensive tasks, 64GB is a bit low. I regretted getting the 64GB version of my iPad Mini because I’m constantly running out of space.

In the Geekbench 5 benchmark comparison, you can see that the iPad 10 is significantly more powerful than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series. Thus, it’s snappier than the best Android tablet on the market. It’s slightly stronger than the iPad 9, but sits below the iPad Mini. The iPad Air with the M1 and iPad Pro with the M2 are clearly more powerful.

This is exactly what the 3D Mark Wild Life Extreme test shows. The graphics performance is better than any Android tablet, but it is clearly below the iPad Pro. So, the performance is excellent for this price range.

Apple’s processors are so powerful that developers can hardly fully utilize the performance on an iPad. So you can play games like PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9 and Apex Legend with the highest graphics settings and all these games run very smoothly and look good. Even compared to the latest iPad Pro, it’s hard to see a difference.

This is exactly what my video render test shows. I rendered a 9-minute 4K video in Adobe Premiere Rush, and here the iPad 10 takes only slightly longer than the M2 iPad Pro. However, that’s also because no software is fully utilizing the M2 yet. It’s significantly more powerful than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8. Again, that’s the fastest Android tablet on the market.

Display with Jelly Effect

Let’s move on to the display, and this is where my praise of the iPad 10 ends. At 10.9 inches, the screen is now slightly larger than on the iPad 9, which I like. The resolution of 2360 x 1640 pixels is also good, as texts look nice and sharp. I especially like that it’s very bright at 500 nits. Very few competitors are brighter than that. Colors also look great and it supports Apple’s True Tone technology.

Let’s get to the criticism. I find it rather unfortunate that the display is not laminated. And that’s despite the fact that it costs 450 Dollars. An air gap is visible between the IPS panel and the touchscreen. This makes it look as if you don’t touch the screen directly, especially with the Apple Pencil. When you tap the screen with the Pencil, it also sounds a bit hollow – because that is what it is.

I think this is also a reason why the black levels are not as good as on the iPad Pro. Black looks more like a dark gray – even compared to the 11-inch iPad Pro, which also has an LCD. Especially in direct comparison, the iPad 10 is much more reflective than the Air or Pro, since a good antireflective coating is missing.

I noticed another weak point that no one else seems to mention. When using the iPad 10 in landscape orientation and scrolling, a jelly effect or rolling shutter effect is visible. It looks like one half of the display responds a bit faster than the other.

Such an effect can be seen on some 60Hz tablets. These include the iPad Mini and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e. I don’t think it’s as bad on the iPad 10 as I do on the Mini, but it is noticeable.

Apple Pencil: An Adapter Desaster

Similar to the display, I’ve got praise and criticism regarding the Apple Pencil. It has some good features, but also some negative ones. Although we get the same design as the Air and Pro now, the iPad 10 works with the first-generation Apple Pencil only. But not with the Apple Pencil 2.

The Pencil 1 charges and connects to the tablet via a Lightning port. The iPad 10, however, has a USB C port. Apple’s solution is an adapter that you must buy separately. Without this adapter, you cannot connect the stylus to the tablet. Also, you can no longer charge the stylus directly on the tablet, but need at least an adapter and a USB C to USB C cable.

Other than that, the stylus works the same as before. And I think it’s a really good stylus that is better than many Android tablets. You can draw well with it and write down handwritten notes. Of course, the non-laminated display is a bit distracting, but most people won’t notice it in real life.

Software: iPadOS 16

The iPad 10 runs iPadOS 16, which is the same software that also runs on the iPad 9 and 8, as well as the Pro and Air models. Therefore, I don’t have too much to say about it. In general, I think it’s great that there are many more apps for iPadOS that are optimized for tablets. The selection is huge, especially if you want to work with a tablet or need it for school or university.

I also like the fact that iPadOS can be used with a mouse and keyboard now. Safari displays web apps just as well as the desktop version. And you can connect almost every accessory like hard drives, microphones, monitors and complex USB C hubs via the USB C port. The only unfortunate thing about the software is that the simple iPad doesn’t support the new Stage Manager.

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Apple Magic Keyboard Folio

Although the iPad 10 looks like an iPad Air or Pro now, it does not work with the Magic Keyboard. Really unfortunate. Instead, Apple has released a new keyboard case for the simple tablet, called the Apple Magic Keyboard Folio. It costs a hefty 249 Dollars and currently works with the iPad 10 only.

We already know the basic design of the Magic Keyboard Folio from many Lenovo and Samsung tablets. It’s made up of a back that connects magnetically to the tablet and has a folding stand built into it. The folding stand can also be used without the keyboard – that is convenient when you need a stand to watch a movie, for example.

The keyboard is then also connected magnetically. The display and the back are protected when folded. It’s a pity that unlike Microsoft, you cannot angle the keyboard, but it always lies flat on the table.

In general, however, it’s a very good keyboard, with which I enjoyed writing. Like this review. Similar to the Magic Keyboard, the keys have a good travel and for a 10 inch tablet, the keyboard is quite large. New for Apple is a bar with function keys at the top. A backlight is missing.

The touchpad works great. It’s relatively large for a 10-inch tablet, but quite small compared to a laptop.

Battery life

In my battery test, the iPad 10 got a runtime of 5.5 hours. For this test, I always loop an HD YouTube video at maximum brightness. Considering that the display is very bright, this is a solid result, but not a great one.

iPad 10 Review: Final Verdict

So, is the Apple iPad 10 a good tablet or has Apple made too many mistakes? The processing power is really good at this price and I like the high-quality build, the bright display, the speakers, and I like the new keyboard as well.

On the other hand, it is unfortunate that the display is not laminated and this jelly effect is not nice either. And the USB C adapter for the Apple Pencil is ridiculous.

Apple did not accidentally make the iPad 10 less than perfect, of course. They were quite careful to make sure it’s better than the iPad 9, which is cheaper and still being sold. At the same time, they’ve been careful not to make the iPad 10 as good as the iPad Air. It positions itself right in the middle.

And in such a way that you’re inclined to buy the iPad 10 if you’re considering going for the iPad 9. But if you’re willing to spend over 400 Dollars from the start, the iPad 10 has enough weaknesses that you’ll seriously consider spending even more money on an Air.

Let’s look at the alternatives.

The most exciting alternative is the Apple iPad Air. While it looks very similar to the iPad 10, it’s significantly better in almost every aspect. The iPad Air has a fully laminated display and it supports the Apple Pencil 2, which you can charge directly on the tablet via induction without an adapter. It’s also much more powerful thanks to the M1 chipset and works with the original Magic Keyboard.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is also interesting. If you include the stylus, it costs about the same as the iPad 10. The performance is a bit weaker, but the S8 has a fully laminated display that even supports 120Hz. You can use it with the S Pen, which never needs to be charged and is already included. In the meantime, an update to Android 13 has also been released for the S8.

Review: The Apple iPad 10 is faster than all Android tablets. Especially compared to its predecessor, it offers a better and more modern design, a bit lager and bright 10.9-inch display, as well as a new and good keyboard cover. Overall, it’s a great tablet but it does have a bunch of downsides. The screen is not laminated and I noticed a jelly effect. You can get it with the first-generation Apple Pencil. However, for that one to work you have to buy an extra adapter which is ridiculous. And, sadly, the price has increased.

  • New modern design
  • Bright screen
  • Outstanding performance
  • iPadOS with long updates
  • Apple Pencil support
  • New keyboard cover
  • Fingerprint scanner

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Apple iPad 10.9-inch Gen 10 review

The Apple iPad 10.9-inch Gen 10 delivers excellent performance, a quality display and impressive speakers, but its weaker battery life is disappointing.

Pros

  • Powerful performance
  • Solid display
  • Killer speakers
  • Great Apple Pencil

Cons

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The iPad 10.9-inch Gen 10 is Apple’s latest base tablet model and, to the shock of no one, it yields impressive performance, an alluring display, and four delightful speakers. And if you decide to opt-in for the Apple Pencil, you’ll love the smooth feedback provided from drawing and writing against the screen.

However, it’s far from perfect, with battery life that falls short of its predecessor and a price point that’ll have your wallet running before you do. Unfortunately, the Magic Keyboard Folio doesn’t make it any better, transforming the tablet into a ghastly monstrosity regardless of which color you purchase.

The Apple iPad 10.9-inch Gen 10 is still one of the best tablets out there, but be sure to read more below to see whether or not it’s the right one for you.

Apple iPad 10.9-inch Gen 10 price and configurations

Our Apple iPad 10.9-inch Gen 10 is built with an Apple A14 Processor, 256GB of storage, and 4GB of RAM packed into an aluminum shell with a blue finish for 599. Alternative color options include pink, yellow or white. You can also build the iPad with 64GB of storage to reduce the price to 449.

Accessories included are a USB-C cable for charging alongside a 20W USB-C power adapter. Accessories available for purchase include an Apple Pencil Gen 1(99), Apple Pencil Adapter (9), Magic Keyboard Folio (249), and Cellular (149), all of which were included in our test model, shooting the price up to 1,106.

Check out our best cheap tablets if you need something more affordable.

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Apple iPad 10.9-inch Gen 10 design

The 10th Gen iPad’s design is what you’d expect from Apple, maintaining consistent aesthetic accents with its predecessors. To be fair, why mess with a perfectly sleek and minimalist design that imbues a colorful finish into a thick aluminum shell? The product is equal parts sturdy, gorgeous and satisfying to hold.

iPad 10 Long-Term Review: Why YouTubers were wrong.

Our iPad comes in a gorgeous blue, and although Apple hasn’t assigned this color a fancy name, its anodized metal means it can quickly shift between a deep dark hue and a light sky blue depending how it’s angled with the light. It’s highly reflective, which isn’t for everybody. I prefer when the iPad looks shiny and bright, so I’m far less enamored when the deeper side of it takes over in the dark.

But my biggest issue rests in the Magic Keyboard Folio and protective back panel — they are abhorrent. Apple needs to reconsider this design, as the beautiful reflective aluminum shell quickly turns into a cheap expanse of insipid plain white when both are attached. While the two items are exceptionally sturdy, having them magnetically faceted to the tablet makes me go from loving Apple’s iPad to hating it with the snap of a finger.

The iPad 10.9-inch is light and compact, measuring 9.78 x 7.07 x 0.28 inches and weighing 1.05 pounds. While it’s unsurprisingly larger than the previous generation’s Apple iPad 10.2-inch Gen 9 (9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29 inches, 1.1 pounds), it is smaller than the OnePlus Pad (10.1 x 7.45 x 0.25 inches, 1.02 pounds) and Lenovo Yoga Tab 11 (10.1 x 6.7 x.31 inches, 1.4 pounds).

Apple iPad 10.9-inch Gen 10 display

The iPad’s 10.9-inch, 2,360 x 1,640-pixel, LED-backlit, multi-touch, IPS display is pretty darn lovely to look at, boasting high levels of brightness and solid color depth. It’s exactly what we’ve come to expect from Apple.

I watched the trailer for The Last Voyage of the Demeter and was pleasantly impressed with how the display took the film’s dark environments aboard the tight spaces of a seaship and elevated its deepest hues to conjure a wide range of color. 10.9 inches is a little smaller than what I’m used to, but as the rain fell heavily atop the deck of the ship and as our protagonists glowed against a void of stormy ocean waves and dim clouds, Dracula hunted them mercilessly and I was gripped. The iPad’s display stayed true to this horror film’s dark atmosphere.

The display’s multi-touch screen is wonderfully responsive and is easily the best way to use the tablet. I found no issue tapping away at the screen as I browsed through Safari, loaded up trailers, navigated the settings, used the camera, and scrolled through the app store.

Our colorimeter measured the iPad’s display as reproducing 72% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, which is solid, but it got overshadowed by the competition. Not only did the One Plus Pad (79%) outdo the iPad, but even the previous model iPad Gen 9 (75%) was a little better. To be fair, these scores are close enough that it’s highly unlikely you’ll notice the difference.

However, nothing could compete with this iPad’s luminescence, boasting a total of 504 nits of brightness on average. This is superior to the OnePlus Pad (465 nits), Lenovo Yoga Tab 11 (368 nits), and the previous iPad Gen 9 (473 nits).

Apple iPad 10.9-inch Gen 10 Apple Pencil and Magic Folio Keyboard

If you desperately need a keyboard for your iPad, then the Magic Folio will get the job done, but it does so poorly. These keys are shallow and nowhere near wide enough for anyone accustomed to standard-sized keyboards.

My first attempt at the 10fastfingers typing test was embarrassing, with me managing 30 words per minute at a 55% accuracy. When compared to the 122 words per minute and 96% accuracy I can get on my mechanical keyboard, it’s pretty clear that the Magic Folio takes some time to get used to.

But I wanted to give this keyboard a fair chance, so I enhanced my words per minute and accuracy over the course of ten additional attempts. I managed to get as high as 95 words per minute at 92% accuracy on my final try, but I hated using the tiny keys and the especially miniscule caps lock, shift, and return. Alongside this, the material of the “deck” is too soft, causing a weird and uncomfortable sensation against my palm as I move my hand around the keyboard.

The trackpad is equally bad, with a frustrating floatiness that fails to emulate scrolling around on a proper laptop. Not only is the touchpad small, but when gliding my finger across the surface, the cursor will continue to move after I’ve already stopped using it. It’s like Apple wanted users to feel as if they were driving a car, where their cursor has momentum and continues moving for a split second when not in use. It is difficult to be accurate with.

The cursor itself is also magnetic, which means it will attach to apps you hover over. This is especially frustrating on websites where there’s lots of interactable objects strewn about the page, causing the cursor to frequently slow down and stop at different points on the screen. It is unpleasant and quickly made me realize how much I’d rather just use the touchscreen.

The Apple Pencil (99) is wonderful, bringing me back to the times in my life when I still had to write things down physically. The movements are seamless and the resulting scribbles look perfectly transcribed when compared to how I wrote them, alongside a satisfying level of friction against the screen that makes writing and drawing great. As someone who plans to work on writing kanji as soon as possible, alongside practicing handwriting in general, I’m in love with the Apple Pencil.

I also tried out Scribble, which automatically transcribes the things you write using Apple Pencil into text. I’m not going to pretend that my handwriting is superb, but I very clearly and calmly wrote “Momo loves tea” onto a note, and it kept turning my name into “Mono.” This is more likely because it couldn’t recognize the name “Momo,” but when I wrote “Japanese lesson plan” and “company taxes,” it was perfectly able to translate those into text.

Apple iPad 10.9-inch Gen 10 audio

The Apple iPad’s four speakers offer impactful audio capable of filling a small room. At maximum volume, it was louder than many laptops I’ve tested (and clearer too), thrusting me deep into my favorite tunes without a sweat.

I listened to “Title Track” by Death Cab for Cutie and was impressed by how the resounding chords of the repetitious guitar melody pushed itself to the front of the track without drowning the lyrics out. And as the song shifts from its low-fi first-half to its more wholly produced second-half, I could feel the percussion and bass bouncing between the walls of my office.

Apple iPad 10.9-inch Gen 10 performance

The Apple iPad 10.9-inch Gen 10 is undeniably powerful, ensuring its speedy dominance against similar products. However, I did notice quite a bit of stutter while taking the 10fastfingers typing test, with the keys I tapped slowly filling out the text box in sudden bursts of lag. This was probably because the page was overwhelmed with advertisements and pop-ups, but it was still surprisingly slow.

On the Geekbench 5 overall performance test, the iPad’s multi-core score hit an average of 4,040, resulting in a total wipe against its foes. The iPad Gen 9 (A13 Bionic, 3,387), OnePlus Pad (MediaTek Dimensity 9000, 3,275) and Lenovo Yoga Tab 11 (MediaTek Helio G905, 1,633) didn’t stand a chance.

It managed a solid 47 frames per second on the 3DMark Wildlife Unlimited benchmark, which puts it ahead of the previous iPad Gen 9 (39 fps). However, the OnePlus Pad (53 fps) surprisingly pulled ahead of both, easily asserting its dominance.

Apple iPad 10.9-inch Gen 10 battery life

We weren’t particularly impressed with the iPad’s battery life, but it is more than enough to get you through most of a day. On the LaptopMag battery life test, it survived a total of 10 hours and 57 minutes with Wi-Fi and Verizon cellular turned on. While that may seem impressive, the OnePlus Pad (13:31) and Lenovo Yoga Tab 11 (11:46) were superior. Worst of all, however, the older iPad Gen 9 (11:59) managed to stay on for a whole hour more.

Apple iPad 10.9-inch Gen 10 cameras

The Apple iPad has two cameras. On the front is a landscape 12-megapixel Ultra Wide camera with a 122-degree field of view. It also has 1080p video recording available at 25 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps. Additional features include Smart HDR 3, time-lapse video with stabilization, cinematic video stabilization, lens correction, retina flash, auto image stabilization and burst photo taking functionality.

Its back camera is a 12MP wide camera that features up to 5x zoom, a five-element lens, autofocus, panorama (up to 63-megapixels), Smart HDR 3, photo geotagging, auto image stabilization, burst mode and image formats in HEIF or JPEG.

The front camera is less than great, conjuring a slightly grainy image that morphed my facial features into an unsatisfying haze. It’s certainly not bad, presenting the deep pink of my basement walls with an accurate luster, while maintaining the hue of my dark hair and navy blue shirt appropriately. But particularly around my eyebrows, you can tell where certain facets of my face quickly bleed into another.

On the other hand, the iPad’s back camera is sharp and vivid, managing a level of detail that will alarm you. Perhaps coupled with a tad bit too much clarity, I could easily see the brown freckles across my cheek, red veins in my eyes, and every individual loose strand of hair atop my head. It was a little unnerving, but it goes to show how good the camera is.

Apple iPad 10.9-inch Gen 10 iPadOS 16

With iPadOS 17 likely getting shown off on June 5 at WWDC 2023, most of us won’t have to deal with iPadOS 16 for much longer, but there’s plenty of changes that were made with this update worth knowing about.

These include features like sharing iCloud photos with up to five other people, shared photos in Memories, editing messages, undoing send, marking as unread, recovering recently deleted messages, new Safari languages supported in web page translation (Arabic, Dutch, Indonesian, Korean, Polish, That, Turkish, and Vietnamese), and more.

One big feature brings multi-tasking to iPad through Stage Manager, allowing the user to layer Windows over another and arrange them how one desires. This makes the experience more laptop-esque, allowing a larger slew of multi-tasking capabilities.

The iPad has a one-year limited warranty. See how Apple performed on our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands ranking.

Bottom line

Apple’s 10th Gen iPad is a powerful tablet that excels in its performance, surpassing competitors in productivity-adjacent tasks. It’s perfect for day-to-day use, and even if you plan to lose yourself within the throes of a compelling song or movie, it has a bright, vivid display and powerful speaker system to match.

But it’s also expensive, with the addition of the Magic Keyboard Folio, Cellular compatibility and Apple Pencil (plus its adapter) bringing the tablet up to 1,100. While you can purchase the base 64GB model for just 449, its battery life is still an hour shorter than the previous generation, and it ran out of juice the quickest among competitors.

Apple should also expand the aesthetic choices for the Magic Keyboard Folio, as the beautiful reflective blue tablet transformed into a boring expanse of plain white while the accessories were attached. If you’re on the hunt for a slightly more affordable but equally fantastic tablet, the OnePlus Pad is a great choice. Otherwise, the 10th Gen iPad will not do you wrong if you’re willing to invest.

Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Momo finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Momo is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn’t writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.

iPad (10th generation) review: A beautiful disappointment

In many ways, the 10th-generation iPad is a fine tablet, with a stunning design, clever webcam, great cameras, and 5G… but those improvements come at a price, which means it’s no longer cheap enough for the budget market. Its two-year-old processor and unlaminated screen, meanwhile, mean it’s realistically not good enough for the mid-market.

Best Today: 10.9-inch iPad (2022)

It can be hard to get excited about the cheapest model in a range. Apple’s standard iPad has for years offered a blend of strong value and respectable specs without creating much of a buzz because the features it offers are either weaker than those on the Air, mini, and Pro models, or arrive several years later.

This latest iPad, however, may change that perception. It does some interesting things, particularly in terms of its position within the range–but not all of those things are good. Being interesting can be a mixed blessing.

Design and build: Bright, colorful, and modern

From very first impressions, it’s clear that Apple has given the humble iPad a glow-up. Particularly if you’ve got one of the bright new colors: I tested the pink model, which is vibrantly gorgeous in the flesh, but from publicity photos, the other colors look just as joyous. This is the first iPad in years to not offer even the choice of a black or dark-gray finish: your options are silver, pink, yellow, or blue–and these are much brighter shades than the comparatively somber blue, pink and purple offered with the latest iPad Air and mini. (In our iPad Air review I described its subtle purple hue as a “grown-up color.”)

There’s a temptation to look at these brash, unapologetic colors and compare them to the unloved iPhone 5c from 2013, which always seemed garish next to the understated elegance of the iPhone 5s. There’s clearly something to that analogy: Apple evidently thinks that bright colors are a property of budget devices, and that pro users are too sensible to work on a device that’s too flamboyant. But all I can say is that I disliked the iPhone 5c’s color options from the first moment I saw them, but was instantly blown away by my pink iPad. These are colors that are both bright and tasteful, and it seems a shame that buyers of the other iPad models don’t get them.

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

Other than that, the iPad has seen a design overhaul that brings it in line with the iPad Air and mini. Most obviously, the Home button is gone and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor has been relocated to the power button on the top edge. On the iPad, I find this a superior position from an ergonomic point of view (the way you hold an iPhone, the Home button is easy to reach, but that was never the case with an iPad) but the narrower sensor makes it, in my experience, fractionally slower and less reliable at recognizing your fingerprint.

Screen: Bigger, but not really better

The departure of the Home button allows Apple to offer a larger screen without increasing the size of the case. Not significantly, anyway: the device’s width has gone up by 5mm, while the height/length has dropped by 2mm, and it’s fractionally thinner (7mm vs 7.5mm). The new iPad is a little lighter than last year’s model, too (1.06 pounds vs 1.09 pounds).

The screen is now up to 10.9 inches, which is the same size as that of the iPad Air; knowing Apple, that will likely jump up to 11 inches next year, while the iPad Pro gets bigger still. But for now, the iPad has parity. I can’t say I noticed the extra space but I definitely noticed and enjoyed the more modern look. It’s strange the way aesthetic fashions affect you, but the Home button design was definitely showing its age.

Some will be relieved, incidentally, that there’s no notch on the iPad. But the bezels around the edge of the screen are pretty wide and there’s plenty of space to fit in the front-facing camera without one.

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

It may be bigger, but the display still isn’t laminated, which means I have to talk about this perennial bugbear yet again. The iPads mini, Air, and Pro all have laminated screens, which means the glass sits perfectly flat against the display elements underneath. The standard iPad’s screen, on the other hand, has a tiny but noticeable gap between the two. This means that when you press down on it, there’s a very slight give as it yields downwards.

Many people use unlaminated screens without being bothered by them, but once you’ve tried a laminated one, the alternative will feel cheap and plasticky by comparison. It’s disappointing that Apple is still cutting corners in this one area, which is especially annoying because I was so conscious of it so much of the time. Taps and swipes lie at the very core of the iPad experience, and to be reminded that you’re using a compromised model every time you do these fundamental actions is disheartening.

A more minor quibble with the unlaminated screen is the fact that it also affects performance when drawing or writing with an Apple Pencil, which is visibly further away from the line it’s making than would be the case with other iPads. We’re talking a matter of millimeters, though, so this isn’t a dealbreaker.

Also note that the iPad doesn’t have ProMotion, the Apple tech that gives iPad Pro screens both higher refresh rates and the ability to adjust those rates on the fly to conserve battery life. This was never going to happen, since even the iPad Air doesn’t get the feature, but it’s worth bearing in mind that ProMotion screens deliver a smoother experience with the Apple Pencil as well as for video and animation.

Cameras: Changes and improvements galore

Apple has upgraded the iPad’s rear camera from 8MP to 12MP, so it now matches the front-facing camera. It also gains a larger aperture (f/1.8, up from f/2.4), 4K video recording, and support for the third version of Smart HDR, while the previous model doesn’t support Smart HDR at all.

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

Smart HDR is Apple’s clever AI tech for simultaneously capturing multiple different exposures in challenging lighting, then blending parts of each to deliver better image quality. It’s a godsend when shooting shaded subjects against a bright background, for example. As usual with the standard iPad, you’re making a compromise here since Apple’s top-tier devices have moved on to Smart HDR 4, but it’s still far better than the camera on a tablet has any right to be.

Even when shooting directly into a bright morning sun, the iPad’s rear camera was able to pick out detail and capture accurate color on foreground objects. And in less demanding lighting, photos were superb: clear, vibrant, and richly detailed. It’s likely to be the best camera that most people will never use.

The all-important front camera, meanwhile, gets significant changes of its own. Most obviously, it’s moved and now sits in the middle of the long edge with the volume keys. This is genuine Galaxy-brain thinking, recognizing that a tablet’s most important camera duty is video calls in landscape mode, and ensures that you get a far better angle for such conversations: it’s simply more natural to talk without having to think about the location of the camera.

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

The payoff, of course, is that you get bad angles when using the iPad in portrait mode, so selfies may suffer. (In fact, it’s not just the angle that’s a problem: for right-handed users the camera is exactly where your thumb will go to press the exposure button. Righties should remember to turn the iPad ‘upside down’ before shooting selfies to solve this issue.)

Despite the downsides, I love this change, and it’s about time. Apple has long been the only mainstream tablet maker refusing to properly position the camera in landscape orientation. But I wonder if everyone at Apple agrees—because for once, the standard iPad is the first member of the range to get this new feature. Perhaps it’s viewed as a risk, and this is an experiment. Or perhaps Apple has research that shows expensive iPads are used for selfies more than cheap ones. Who knows?

The front camera also gets Smart HDR 3, and I found that I could take a selfie with the sun behind me without losing the definition on the face. The angle was awkward, but the image quality (considering the conditions) was impressive.

Speed tests: Fast but not future-proofed

The new iPad gets a new processor, but we should probably put an asterisk next to the word “new.” It’s the A14 Bionic: an upgrade from the A13 in last year’s iPad, certainly, but a chip that’s been around for two years. For comparison, the current iPad mini (which itself is a year old) has the A15, while the Air and Pro have moved on to M-class Mac processors.

In other words, the brand-new 2022 iPad is the slowest iPad Apple sells, with the sole exception of its immediate predecessor. That doesn’t mean it’s objectively slow–it was slick and responsive in testing, and ran every app I threw at it with no worries at all–but it does mean there’s less future-proofing.

This was all borne out in speed tests. The 10th-gen iPad scored 4,175 in the multi-core component of Geekbench 5, for example, which is a solid 20% improvement on the 3,480 scored by last year’s iPad but far behind the iPad Air’s 7,264. In other areas, Apple is clearly trying to lift the iPad out of its budget origins, but for theoretical speed and processor future-proofing, it’s still very much in that category.

It’s a similar tale for graphics power, with the iPad outscoring last year’s model by 16 percent in the 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited benchmark but lagging behind the iPad Air by a much bigger margin. Again, this is a perfectly decent iPad for gaming right now, but that won’t remain the case forever, and it will start to struggle with the most processor-intensive games a year or two earlier than the Air.

Battery life: Not great, not terrible

The iPad features a 28.6Wh battery, which Apple claims is good for up to 10 hours of web surfing on Wi-Fi, or nine hours on cellular data if that applies. That’s a standard claim, mind you: Apple says exactly the same thing about the iPad from 2021 (despite featuring a larger 32.4Wh battery), the iPad Air from this year (28.6Wh again), and even the latest models of the iPad mini (19.3Wh) and 12.9-inch iPad Pro (40.88Wh!). Apple simply expects iPads to last for 10 hours.

For a more precise assessment, we turned to the Geekbench 4 battery test, in which the iPad lasted just six hours and 13 minutes.

This isn’t as bad as it sounds, since real-world usage will be far less demanding; you can expect much longer life when using your iPad for writing documents, checking email, light gaming, and, as in Apple’s claim, browsing the web over Wi-Fi. Rather than a prediction of battery life in everyday use (which is messy and unpredictable), the test is designed to provide a rigorous and consistent point of comparison with other devices. It’s a worst-case scenario, but it’s fair.

The iPad Air, for example, fell short of the 10-hour mark too–although at seven hours and 28 minutes it came closer. The ninth-gen iPad, meanwhile, lasted eight hours and five minutes. In fact, none of the mid-size iPads we’ve tested over the past two years have hit the 10-hour mark in Geekbench 4, but all have lasted longer (by a clear hour or more) than the 10th-gen iPad.

This is clearly a disappointing performance, although subjective experience suggests it’s not disastrous. In general testing, the iPad consistently lasted throughout the day, which is the key threshold for battery success or failure. When using it as a laptop replacement, it happily and repeatedly reached logging-off time without dropping below 20 percent (or in most cases getting even close to it). The device simply seems to have issues coping with processor-intensive activities, with the 3DMark benchmarking session mentioned above triggering an alarming dip in power levels.

Overall I’d describe the iPad’s battery performance as okay. It’s good for light use but runs out quickly when you push the processor to its limits.

Charging and data transfers: Lightning no more

When topping up your iPad’s battery after a strenuous benchmarking session, you’ll both gain the benefits and suffer the downsides of Apple finally completing the migration of its tablet range to USB-C. (The iPad Pro ditched Lightning years ago, and the Air and mini followed more recently; the vanilla iPad is as usual the last to join the party.)

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

On the plus side, USB-C supports a higher power delivery rate than Lightning. Of course, the actual speed at which your iPad charges is also dependent on other factors, such as the power adapter and the device’s own capabilities, so don’t expect a sudden transformation. Charging from empty using the bundled adapter and cable for 30 minutes lifted the iPad to 27 percent, and it reached 53 percent after a full hour. That’s decent speed (last year’s iPad managed only 19 percent in 30 minutes) but you should still budget a couple of hours for a complete charge.

USB-C is capable of faster data transfer than Lighting too, though Apple hasn’t unlocked more than USB 2.0 speeds here. Granted, high-speed transfers aren’t really the target audience for Apple’s cheapest model, so if that’s your priority you should be looking at the iPad Pro with its support for Thunderbolt/USB 4. Apple’s use of a non-proprietary standard will also make it easier and cheaper for third parties to sell compatible accessories.

But on the negative side, Apple switching to USB-C will make many of your existing iPad accessories redundant, unless you’re willing to bear the expense and/or inconvenience of dongles. And this includes, bafflingly, Apple’s own first-gen Apple Pencil, which is the only model the new iPad supports. (You can’t use the excellent second-gen Pencil, even though that came out in 2018.) The first Apple Pencil, you will recall, charges by plugging directly and precariously into the Lightning port of its companion iPad, a method which is now impossible, so Apple has released a cheap but easily lost dongle which is required for pairing as well as for charging the stylus.

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

Tech fans are used to accessory obsolescence, and we knew our Lightning cables would be consigned to the drawer of oblivion at some point. But the way Apple has dealt with the Apple Pencil here is astonishing: now was surely the time to extend an olive branch and build in support for the 2nd-gen Pencil. Chuck in the slightly weaker stylus performance you get because of the unlaminated, non-ProMotion screen, and I have to advise against buying this iPad if you’re planning to use it with an Apple Pencil.

Joining the Magic circle

There is some more positive news on the accessories front, however. This year the standard iPad gets its own keyboard accessory in Apple’s excellent Magic Keyboard Folio. The key feature here is the trackpad, which enables the iPad to act as a far more plausible laptop replacement than was the case with the older Smart Keyboard.

In the past, there have always been caveats and stumbling blocks when trying to use an iPad as a laptop. For sure, it was possible to work effectively using the Smart Keyboard; you just had to memorize the key shortcuts and build up muscle memory. But it was a thing you had to devote time to learning. With the Magic Keyboard Folio, you just open the iPad and start working on it as if it was a laptop because it basically is a laptop. Apple has removed the friction.

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

However, there are still some hurdles to clear. At 249, the keyboard is expensive (though not quite as expensive as the Magic Keyboard) and makes the iPad less portable. But it’s a transformative accessory.

Should you buy the 10th-gen iPad?

In many ways, this is a fine tablet, with a stunning design and a clever webcam that’s perfect for video calls. It boasts lots of significant upgrades over the previous model, from a larger screen and better cameras to a faster chip, and 5G… but those improvements come at a price—one so steep (from 329 to 449) that I would no longer view this as a budget tablet.

This is a shame because Apple already has a mid-market iPad: the iPad Air, which has a better screen, a much more future-proofed processor, and support for the second-gen Apple Pencil, yet is only 150 more. Rather than competing with the Air, the standard iPad existed to provide an affordable entry point and to appeal to those who just want a convenient gadget to sit on the coffee table and serve for checking email, web searches, and FaceTime calls with the grandkids.

Those needs are still served, of course, by the 9th-gen iPad, which remains on sale–albeit without the price drop we’d normally expect when a product is superseded. But that does leave me wondering who this iPad is aimed at. It’s not cheap enough for the budget market, and thanks to its two-year-old processor and unlaminated screen, it’s realistically not good enough for the mid-market. Battery performance was disappointing, too, and the less said about the Apple Pencil situation, the better.

There’s presumably a subsection of consumers out there for whom the 9th-gen is too basic and the Air too expensive, but it can’t be large. And it’s hard to see how the people who are in the subsection will even realize, given the confusing nature of this opaque, overlapping range.

iPad 10th Gen Review: Better Camera, but the 64GB Storage Isn’t Nearly Enough

Apple’s new model of the iPad bumps up the cost, fixes the camera and does something weird with the Pencil.

I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.

  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps

I wish life could be simple, but Apple’s new iPad lineup is showing that it’s not always the case. For the last few years, Apple would have just one model called the “iPad” back in the day. But now with the new iPad for 2022. offered alongside last year’s ninth-generation iPad. picking which one to buy has become a strangely entangled process.

Somewhere between every single model Apple offers is the perfect iPad, but it doesn’t currently exist in one single product.

That’s why I, as your reviewer guide, am having such a hard time with the review for Apple’s brand-new, redesigned 10th-gen iPad. Starting at 449 (£499, AU749), it should be the iPad for everyone. But from what I’ve seen so far… it’s not, even if it’s better in many ways from the previous version.

iPad (10th gen, 2022)

Like

  • Larger screen
  • USB-C
  • Faster A14 processor
  • Front-facing camera’s in the right place

Don’t like

  • expensive
  • New design means fewer case options
  • The 64GB entry-level storage isn’t enough

Maybe Apple already knows this, because the iPad lineup has six variants: 2022’s base model, last year’s ninth-gen iPad. the iPad Mini. the step-up iPad Air and the luxury iPad Pro. which comes in two sizes.

So which is the best one, you ask. “Stop talking about confusion, Scott, and help me.” This newly redesigned iPad nearly has it all: It has USB-C, finally! It has a bigger screen and better speakers, like the iPad Air. It’s the first iPad to move its camera to the horizontal edge for better FaceTime and Zoom calls.

Then there are the downsides. If you want to use an Apple Pencil with this iPad, you have to use the first-gen one, which means using a weird USB-C dongle. It doesn’t work with iPad case accessories made for any other model, meaning you’ll have to buy new accessories. And the price has gone up. It’s 449 for the version with only 64GB of storage, but you’ll likely want the step-up model with more storage.- 256GB for 599. And with any sort of case or AppleCare, you’re probably looking at well over 700. I haven’t even factored in a Pencil or Apple’s new 250 Magic Keyboard Folio Case.

In this economy, a better bet might be the ninth-gen iPad from 2021, which starts at 329, steps up to 479 for the higher storage tier and frequently can be found on sale. Apple took a similar approach to its latest MacBook Air: Increasing the price while adding features, but keeping the older model in the lineup.

And that’s a shame because this iPad, with its larger display, camera improvement and better processor, is the model I’d prefer.- minus its weird Pencil accessory situation.

I don’t use the Apple Pencil much, despite how nice it is to draw with, so I might be OK with having to use the first-gen Pencil. But many other people won’t be. And it’s baffling, frankly, why Apple decided to not make this iPad compatible with the more useful Pencil 2 despite all of its other improvements. (You can even get 5G through the modem-enabled version.)

I’m going to unplug my Pencil 1 from its dongle now and rest it somewhere where it won’t roll off the table while I continue this iPad review.

Camera: Yes, finally, it’s perfect

The one big thing I wanted from the iPad arrived, like a magic wish granted: The weirdly placed front camera on the iPad is now on the landscape edge. This is great. Why is this great? Because I work on iPads in landscape mode, in cases and stands and keyboard docks. When I Zoom or FaceTime on other iPads, my face looks weirdly off-angle with my eyes looking elsewhere. That’s fixed now. Combined with the auto-zooming Center Stage tech, this iPad’s video chat camera is absolutely perfect.

This, alone, makes me want to use this iPad more than any other. But, alas, Apple has only moved the camera’s position for this iPad. No other model, not even the new iPad Pros, have it. Why? I have no idea. This is clearly the future of camera placement, so you’re one step ahead if you buy this model.

Design: Mostly better, but not always

This iPad has adopted the design style of all other iPads at last, with USB-C charging replacing Lightning and a flat-edged case with a larger, curved-corner 10.9-inch display. This iPad has better speakers than the ninth-gen model, and the display feels notably bigger. The display lacks the anti-reflective coating and extra color gamut of the iPad Air.

It doesn’t have the smooth-scrolling 120Hz ProMotion on the iPad Pro models, but it’s more than good enough for basically anything. Often, I had a hard time telling the difference between the iPad Air and this iPad in everyday use.

This iPad is, effectively, the 2020 iPad Air minus a few features. The Air had the same A14 processor, but also supported the Pencil 2. It also had a rear Smart Connector that supported the Magic Keyboard case.

There’s no home button anymore, with Touch ID moving to the small side-placed power button, which the iPad Mini and iPad Air also have. I love this and wish the iPhones had it, too. There’s no Face ID camera, which is fine, because I wear a mask a lot anyway and Touch ID has been more convenient lately.

The downside to the design is it’s a bit thicker than the current 11-inch iPad Pro and iPad Air, meaning this won’t work with any of those cases. This means shopping for all-new accessories. Apple also created a differently placed Smart Connector on the side edge, which works with Apple’s iPad-made Keyboard Folio Case. on that below.

I asked my 14-year-old son, who uses an iPad all the time, what he thought of it. He said, “I don’t care, it looks the same.”

But there’s one thing about this iPad’s design I can’t stand.

Pencil: Really?

The best thing I can say about this iPad is it works with the Apple Pencil, but I think that’s almost on a technicality. Apple skipped support for the magnetically charging snap-on Pencil 2 with this model, so you’ll need to use the Pencil 1.- which rolls a lot, has an easy-to-lose end cap, doesn’t have extra side-tap controls and charges via Lightning.

Except instead of plugging the Pencil into the side of the iPad to charge, you’ll need a separate USB-C dongle and the charge cable to charge it. Not only is that weird, it’s frustrating. The odds I’ll bring all that stuff with me when I need it are slim. 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. (Even the iPad Mini works with the Pencil 2, come on.)

Magic Keyboard folio case: An imperfect solution

Apple redesigned its keyboard-connected case yet again for this new iPad, taking an approach that feels a lot different than its Magic Keyboard case. That case, which works with the iPad Air and Pro, is expensive (300 and up), heavy, can’t be used as an everyday case because of its inflexible angles, but is excellent for working on small work surfaces or laps.

The folio case is still expensive at 250. It’s split into two parts (a keyboard that snaps on the side and a kickstand back cover that snaps to the iPad back), can be used as an everyday case and adds a helpful row of function keys on the top. But it isn’t lap-friendly and lacks keyboard backlighting. I wrote this whole review on it, but I edited and posted it on a MacBook Air.

I’ve used keyboard cases by Logitech and others. and the Surface Pro has a similar keyboard design. You can get Logitech’s cases for less, and they offer better protection: Apple’s case doesn’t protect the iPad’s sides at all, and it looks ready to pop off if you ever drop the iPad. The keys feel a little different to me than the other Magic Keyboards or my MacBook Air. I don’t like it quite as much.

Also, there’s no place to put the Apple Pencil. Which, last I checked, was rolling around somewhere.

Performance: than good enough

The A14 processor has been around for a while (it was on the iPhone 12). Here it comes with 4GB of RAM, similar to the iPhone 12 and 2020 iPad Air. The results are good: than fast, but it’s not as blazing as the M1 in the Air or the M2 in the new Pro.

Do you need bleeding-edge iPad performance? I don’t think so. The gains over last year’s ninth-gen iPad are significant, but no different than the iPad Air model from 2020. Apple’s mobile processors are now so powerful that the iPad software needs to catch up to their potential.

Thoughts, after using it longer

After using this iPad for a while after first writing this review, here’s what I’ve been noticing: For everyday basic use, it’s totally fine. I really appreciate the camera for Zooms and FaceTime. I do not like Apple’s new keyboard case, for my needs, but I’m curious about other options. And I don’t use the Pencil, and have left it and its dongle behind. So, in general, I’m mostly really fine with this iPad.

I just don’t love all the decisions made with it, wish it fit iPad Air and Pro cases, and am not thrilled at all with the price it jumps to for the level of storage I think most people need. It’s those little things that make me wonder why I wouldn’t just upgrade to an iPad Air instead. although, then again, with the Air you lose that new camera placement. I now feel I’m making a choice to pick the camera on this model at the expense of other possibly better options in the lineup.

Should you wait? Maybe

Apple‘s iPad lineup has been staggered lately: Base and Pro models arrive in the fall (sometimes) and the Air model comes in the spring (sometimes). Last spring’s iPad Air has slight improvements over this iPad, with an M1 chip, subtly better display and Pencil 2 support. But it doesn’t have this newly fixed front camera. The same thing happened last year when the entry-level iPad added Center Stage zoom while the iPad Air was left without it.

The iPad Air costs 150 more and could be tempting. Apple keeps its upgrade increments just within reach, like sizes of popcorn at a movie theater. Suddenly, you’ll find yourself entering iPad Pro land, and a 1,000-plus package. Pull back and ask yourself: Will this model go on sale? Would you be happy with last year’s iPad instead? Would you rather see if something better for the Air comes next spring?

The only thing that concerns me for future upgrades is that Apple’s leaning on its M1 chips as the cutoff for more advanced software features, although right now that mostly just means better external monitor support with Stage Manager, a feature that’s currently so buggy Apple’s delayed the release to later this year. I’d say you’re fine without the M1, especially since the A14 is more than good enough.

Down the road, having an old Pencil and a sub-M1 chip could leave this iPad on the other side of the future. Then again, you’ll be saving money. Apple hasn’t made this iPad lineup easy this year. It feels like the iPad is a product still in transformation. Right now, its perfect form doesn’t exist.

iPad 10 (2022) artist review

iPad 10 was released in Oct 2022 together with the M2 iPad Pro (2022).

Apple has finally ditched the home button and updated the design with the iPad Pro 2018 aesthetics with the flat sides and uniform bezels. The design is an upgrade but the price has increased substantially from US 329 to 449.

Apple is still selling the iPad 9 (2021) though alongside the 10th generation iPad. If you’re confused by the numerous iPad models, I’ll cover that later.

First, let’s talk about the bottom line.

Bottom line

The TLDR for this review is to get the iPad Air 4 (refurbished or new) if you can find it at the same price of the iPad 10.

The new iPad looks great. The design language of the iPad Pro 2018 with the thin uniform bezels, flat sides, USB-C port has finally trickled down to the iPad 4 years later. Inside, the new tablet is using the A14 Bionic chip (used in the iPhone 12 and iPad Air 4 in 2020). RAM has increased from 3GB to 4GB.

Many old features have remained, such as the non-laminated display, Apple Pencil 1 support, lack of P3 colour support for the display. To pair and charge the Apple Pencil, you have to use a USB-C to lightning adapter which is included with the Apple Pencil purchase or otherwise sold separately for 9.

The iPad 10 (2022) is kinda the lesser sibling of the iPad Air 4 (2020) without Apple Pencil 2 support and the laminated anti-reflective display with P3 colours. And it has been re-designed ever so slightly so that iPad Air cases and keyboards are not compatible. You don’t see this sort of anti-consumer wasteful design from Samsung with their Tab S7-S7FE-S8 and Tab S6-S6 Lite tablets where the designs are identical and you can swap accessories however you like.

iPad 9 (2021) sells for US 329 and the iPad 10 (2022) is US 449, and that’s for the Wi-Fi model with 64GB storage.

64GB storage isn’t really much for digital artists or creatives. iPadOS 16 takes up around 15GB storage so you’re effectively left with only 49GB of storage before any apps are installed. Upgrading to the 256GB model is an additional US 150. And that’s not inclusive of the 99 for Apple Pencil. So to get all that adds up to US 698.

Whether that’s worth the money really depends on what you value.

If you have limited budget, the other option is the iPad 9 (2021) which was already outdated the day it came out. But still needs an upgraded to 256GB storage making it 329 150 99 = 578.

My overall take is I don’t think the iPad 9 or iPad 10 are worth the money given the other tablet options available from Apple and from competitors.

Here are the specs for the three competing iPad models mentioned:

iPad 9 (2021) iPad 10 (2022) iPad Air 4 (2020) refurbished
Price (USD) for 64GB 256GB From 329, 479 From 449, 599 From 469, 599
Storage (base) 64GB 64GB 64GB
RAM 3GB 4GB 4GB
Dimensions 250.6 x 174.1 x 7.5mm 248.6 x 179.5 x 7mm 247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1mm
Weight 487g 477g 458g
Display 10.2-inch, non-laminated, 60Hz, IPS LCD 10.9-inch, non-laminated, 60Hz, IPS LCD 10.9-inch, laminated, P3 colour support, anti-reflective coating, 60Hz, IPS LCD
Brightness 500 nits 500 nits 500 nits
Resolution 2160 x 1620 2360 x 1640 2360 x 1640
Processor A13 Bionic chip A14 Bionic chip A14 Bionic chip
Battery life 10 hours 10 hours 10 hours
Apple Pencil 1st gen 1st gen 2nd gen
Main camera 8MP f/2.4 12MP f/1.8 12MP f/1.8
Front camera 12MP f/2.4 12MP f/2.4 7MP f/2.2
Speaker Two at bottom Two stereo Two stereo
Port Lightning USB-C USB-C
Unlock Touch ID Touch ID Touch ID

Design

The updated design looks good. It no longer looks like the iPad that came out in 2010.

The bezels are thinner and uniform. Corners of the frame and display are rounded off. There’s a landscape 12MP ultra wide camera in front.

Colours of the LCD display look good out of the box even though colour support is just sRGB and not P3. Resolution is 2360 by 1640 with 264 PPI so all the visuals look sharp with no visible pixelation. Brightness is up to 500 nits and refresh rate is 60Hz.

The display is not laminated so the there’s a gap between the glass and LCD display beneath.

It’s not obvious in these two photos and unless you’ve tried a laminated display, you may not know the difference between a laminated vs non-laminated display.

Due to the non-laminated display, there will be a gap between the line and the pen tip. This doesn’t affect the drawing accuracy though as the line will always appear directly beneath the pen tip. And parallax isn’t really a problem on small display sizes. Due to the gap, tapping the pen tip on the display will produce a more hollow sound.

Laminated displays are common nowadays and is almost not considered a feature anymore, but for Apple it’s still a feature. I’ve watched Dave2d’s review and he mentioned non-laminated displays are cheaper to repair. True. iPad 9, iPad 10 and iPad Air 4 cost US 249, 319 and 419 respectively to repair from Apple. Repairs will be cheaper from third party repair shops.

Anyway, most people buying iPads aren’t thinking about repairs. But for schools, institutions or companies buying iPads in bulk, maybe.

Another thing that affects drawing experience is lack of anti-reflective coating. That anti-reflective coating actually provides slightly more resistance while drawing. By comparison, Apple Pencil on iPad 10 glides more smoothly.

4 colours are available: blue, pink, yellow and silver. The colours are intense and even the interior of the charging port is coloured.

The power button has Touch ID fingerprint sensor which works fast and effectively. There are two sets of speaker grills here but audio only comes out from the bottom set, the set that you may cover with your hand when you’re holding the tablet horizontally.

Lightning port has been replaced by USB-C with USB 2 speeds. There are two more sets of speaker grills and the audio also comes out from the bottom set.

On the bottom of the horizontal side are the connectors for US 249 Magic Keyboard Folio. FYI, connectors on the iPad Air 4 are on the back which is why you can’t use iPad Air keyboards folios with iPad 10. While the physical dimensions may look similar, they are slightly different so cases may not be interchangeable too.

iPad 10 with with Apple Pencil 1, not 2. Because the space internally at the top (landscape) is taken by the camera, and the bottom taken up by the connectors, there’s no way to attach the Apple Pencil to the side of this tablet for charging and Bluetooth pairing. And since the port is now USB-C, you can’t just connect the lightning interface of Apple Pencil 1 into that USB-C port.

The new way to charge and pair is to connect Apple Pencil to the USB-C to lightning adapter, to a USB-C to USB-C cable, to the iPad.

This way of charging and pairing the Apple Pencil is more silly than the original way of connecting the Apple Pencil directly to the lightning charging port. If Apple Pencil runs out of battery while you’re outdoors, you’ll need the USB-C to lightning adapter and a cable for charging. It is possible to charge the Apple Pencil with your iPhone that has the lightning port, so it’s not too bad I guess. Is this the Apple ecosystem Apple fans are talking about, no?

If you already have an Apple Pencil 1, you can buy the USB-C to lightning adapter separately for US 9. If you buy an Apple Pencil 1 today from Apple for 99, that adapter is included together with the lightning to lightning adapter and USB-C cable. Oh, the iPad still comes with a charger unlike the iPhone.

Drawing performance

These are line tests with Procreate.

Apple Pencil has low initial activation force. Thin lines can be drawn easily even if a thick brush is selected. If you don’t apply pressure, you can still draw a thin line as long as the pen tip is touching the display. Diagonal lines drawn slowly does not suffer from wobble or jitter.

Line transition from thin to thick is smooth.

It’s easy to maintain line thickness by maintaining consistent pressure.

Dots can be drawn easily while tapping the display.

Drawing performance of Apple Pencil has always been fantastic ever since the Apple Pencil existed.

This was drawn with Procreate.

These are the number of layers for A4 300 DPI artwork with Procreate. For some reason, the number of layers is limited to 26, same as what you can get on the iPad 9 that has 1GB less RAM.

Model RAM No of layers
iPad 9 (2021) 3GB 26
iPad 10 (2022) 4GB 26 (at launch)
iPad mini 6 (2021) 4GB 26 (at launch)
iPad Air 3 (2019) 3GB 26 (19 at launch)
iPad Air 4 (2020) 4GB 57 (19 at launch)
iPad Air 5 (2022) 8GB 116
iPad mini 5 (2019) 3GB 19
iPad Pro 2018 4GB 57
iPad Pro 2020 6GB 73 (56 at launch)
M1 iPad Pro 2021 8GB and 16GB 116 (26 at launch)
M2 iPad Pro 2022 8GB and 16GB 116

This was drawn with Procreate and the resolution is 10000 x 2000. I was only able to create 9 layers and the resulting file size is 500MB including a lossless timelapse video. Even though the resolution is high, there was no lag when drawing. I was also able to do a screen recording with the iPad while Procreate was creating the timelapse video during the drawing process.

These were drawn with Concepts which is my favourite app for digital sketching.

This was also drawn with Concepts. That’s my daughter drawing angry faces on her balloon.

Sketched with Clip Studio Paint.

Sketched with Infinite Painter.

Drawing experience

Drawing experience is good, but drawing experience is better on the more premium tablet due to the laminated display and anti-reflective coating.

Other things that affect the overall drawing experience is the weight of the tablet. iPad 10 is 477g (Wi-Fi) which is still considered lightweight for a tablet at this size. It’s a tablet that’s easy to hold with one hand for drawing. Just note that weight will be heavier with a case, but it’s still very manageable compared to the iPad Pro 12.9.

I personally prefer to draw on the tablet on a stand, especially if I have to work for long periods of time. The tablet stand I always recommend is the Parblo PR100.

Oh, Apple Pencil is cylindrical so be careful not to have it roll off the table onto the floor.

Apps for creatives

The most compelling selling point of the iPad for creatives, artists and designers is there’s a huge variety of high quality drawing and graphic design apps available from the Apple App Store.

Below are apps that come to my mind instantly:

  • Procreate
  • Medibang Paint Pro
  • Clip Studio Paint
  • Sketchbook Pro
  • Tayasui Sketches Pro
  • Concepts
  • PaintStorm
  • Infinite Painter
  • Affinity Photo
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Fresco
  • ArtStudio Pro
  • Affinity Photo
  • Affinity Designer
  • Vectornator
  • Amadine
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Affinity Publisher

Photo and video editing apps

Most tablets app only have a subset of tools and features compared to desktop versions of the same app if available.

Except for Clip Studio Paint which has almost similar functionality as the desktop version.

Is there anything better for your money for drawing

There is and it’s the Samsung Tab S6 Lite (2022) or Tab S6 Lite (refreshed) priced at US 349 (on Amazon) and it comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage with MicroSD card slot. The Samsung S Pen is included. Maybe throw in a 400GB microSD card for US 50. So for less than 400, you get 4GB RAM, 64 400GB storage and a pen included. The Samsung Tab S7 FE 64GB and 256GB are priced at 379 and 449 respectively, and both provide more value than the iPad 10.

The Samsung tablet (left) provides more value simply because it’s cheaper and the performance is quite good.

The main advantage iPad has over the Samsung for creatives is there’s a larger variety of graphic design apps available from the Apple App Store. I’m talking about apps such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, Affinity Publisher, Vectornator and Amadine.

If all you do is just draw and you’re not into graphic design, layout, page design, or have to handle text, Samsung is the better choice. There are loads of capable drawing apps from the Google Play Store just as there are on from the Apple App Store.

The iPad aspect ratio is between 4:3 and 3:2. This aspect ratio is more usable in both vertical and horizontal orientation compared to Samsung’s 16:10 aspect ratio which suits landscape orientation better. And usually when the display is small, 4:3 and 3:2 aspect ratios work better because given a fixed width, you can see more content when using the tablet in horizontal orientation.

Conclusion

In this conclusion, I’ll try to clear up the confusion between the different iPad models.

apple, ipad, review, month

At the time of this review, these are the iPads available from Apple store:

  • iPad 9 (2021) with 3GB RAM, 64GB storage, A13 chip. US 329
  • iPad 10 (2022) with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, A14 chip. 449
  • iPad mini 6 (2021) with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, A15 chip. 499
  • iPad Air 5 (2021) with 8GB RAM, 64GB storage, M1 chip. 599
  • iPad Pro 11 (2022) with 8GB RAM, 128GB storage, M2 chip. 799
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) with 8GB RAM, 128GB storage, M2 chip. 1099

Apple wants to sell an iPad at as many price tiers as possible so that there’s an iPad for everyone regardless on their budget. This new and more expensive iPad 10 slots between iPad 9 (2021) and iPad mini 6 (2021).

When you consider the refurbished models direct from Apple which are 15 to 30% off retail launch prices, there are even more options and price tiers added to the list above.

iPad 9 and 10 both work great but they don’t provide good value for money.

The best configuration for the iPad 10 is with 256GB storage which is US 599. That is the same price as a refurbished iPad Air 4 (2020) with A14 chip, 4GB RAM and 256GB storage. Even the design looks the same but the iPad Air 4 (2020) has a laminated anti-reflective display with P3 colour support and supports Apple Pencil 2.

It doesn’t make sense to buy the iPad 10 with 256GB if you can get an iPad Air 4 (2020) with 256GB for the same price. The iPad Air 4 is obviously the better tablet. Oh, you care about repairability? Then get the iPad 10 then.

A refurbished iPad Pro 11 (2020) with Apple A12Z, 6GB RAM and 256GB storage is US 699. Compared to the iPad Air 4 (2020), you get 4 way speakers and 120Hz display.

Refurbished units can be returned units or faulty units which are repaired, checked and made available for sale again. They come with 1 year Apple warranty.

iPad 10th Gen | 1-Month Review: Who Is It REALLY For? ��

So even though Apple has tried to have as many price tiers as possible, they make it such that it’s more enticing to upgrade (e.g. to 256GB) so that you have to spend more.

If you really have limited budget and really want and iPad, the option is to go with the iPad 9 with 64GB storage for US 329, sometimes 279 on Amazon. But that tablet is already outdated the day it came out and it only has 3GB RAM. I feel bad even recommending that.

Availability

I hope my review is useful.

If you have intention to buy any of the tablets mentioned, consider supporting my blog by making your purchase through the Amazon affiliate links. I earn some money at not extra cost to you.

Below are the direct links to iPad 10 on Amazon: US | CA | UK | DE | FR | ES | IT | JP

Author

Laidred

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