There were speculations about Apple launching a redesigned version of the baseline iPad in October 2022. But the company had not scheduled an event. So, we were surprised and excited when Apple launched the 10th-generation iPad alongside the brand-new iPad Pro.
For one, the entry-level iPad had not received a significant design upgrade in over a decade. However, upon a second look and analysis, we realized it is far from perfect. So, let’s see why we think the iPad (10th generation) fails to deliver:
1. It’s No Longer a Budget iPad
We believe this reason is a no-brainer! Unlike the entry-level iPad (9th generation), the redesigned iPad (10th generation) is not an affordable option for most people.
For reference, the 9th generation iPad still costs $329, and you can probably get it for even lesser. At that price, the baseline iPad is perfect for students. On the other hand, the 10th-generation iPad will set you back at a whopping $449 (or $599 if you need a cellular model). As it happens, you can get other iPad models by spending a few more bucks.
Therefore, it is not a device that we can recommend to people who need a complete iPad experience without spending too much.
2. Doesn’t Support the Newer Apple Pencil
Even though Apple revamped the 10th-generation iPad, inheriting the design we have seen on the iPad Pro, Air, and mini, it does not have support for the Apple Pencil (2nd generation).
It means you are stuck with the original Apple Pencil that came out in 2016, which raises a couple of issues. Firstly, you miss out on features like magnetic charging and increased accuracy. And secondly, the Apple Pencil (1st generation) still uses a Lightning port for charging, which the 10th-gen iPad does not have.
As a result, charging the Apple Pencil and keeping it alongside the redesigned iPad can be difficult. And we honestly expected something from an iPad that costs $450. For reference, the iPad mini (6th generation), which costs only $50 more, supports Apple Pencil (2nd generation).
3. No Support for Stage Manager
The redesigned iPad (10th generation) is powered by an A14 Bionic chip, an improvement from the A13 Bionic on the iPad (9th generation). And it ships with iPadOS 16.
But the lack of an M1 or M2 chip means the new iPad will not have access to Stage Manager, one of the best features of iPadOS 16. We do not love this trend where Apple progressively increases the price of their entry-level products but restricts useful features to specific models.
We believe it is fair that people expect a better multitasking system like the Stage Manager when they pay a not-so-affordable price in the first place.
4. You Still Need Adapters
In a move that seemed progressive, the redesigned iPad (10th generation) uses a USB-C connector for charging and data transfer. But it does not entirely mean that you can live without adapters.
Since the original Apple Pencil has a Lightning connector, you need a USB-C to Apple Pencil adapter if you want to charge it. But that’s not all. Apple has not included this in the iPad packaging, but for some reason, you get the adapter if you buy a new Apple Pencil (1st generation).
So, if you already own the original Apple Pencil, you’ll have to pay an extra $9 to get the adapter. It is frustrating to see that you need the hassle of adapters even in 2022.
5. Not Compatible With Magic Keyboard
It seems Apple does not want people to have a smooth upgrade process. So, even though it has a compatible design, the 10th-generation iPad does not work with the existing Magic Keyboard.
Instead, the company launched another accessory—the Magic Keyboard Folio. While it costs only $50 less than the original Magic Keyboard, this new keyboard works only with the 10th-gen iPad. While we liked the two-piece design with the built-in kickstand, it does not justify spending another $249.
In case you’re wondering, the new iPad does not work with the Smart Keyboard, either. So, you must say goodbye to these accessories if you upgrade from a 7th, 8th, or 9th-generation iPad.
6. The iPad Air Is a Better Buy
Considering all these points above, we do not think the redesigned iPad (10th generation) is a reasonable deal for most people. Instead, we recommend spending some more and getting an iPad Air.
You will get a few upgrades by spending another $150 (less if you can find a deal on Amazon or elsewhere). In addition to performance improvements, thanks to the M1 chip, the iPad Air (5th generation) will support Stage Manager, Apple Pencil (2nd generation), and Magic Keyboard.
You can also consider going for an iPad mini, which you can find for the same price as the 10th-generation iPad. Even though it packs a smaller display, you still get Apple Pencil (2nd generation) support and the newer, more efficient A15 Bionic chip.
Choose the Right iPad for Your Budget
Ultimately, we have found enough reasons not to recommend the redesigned iPad (10th generation) to most people.
First, the package does not quite justify the amount you have to pay. And we think spending a few more bucks and getting a mid-range iPad is a better choice.