Apple iPad review: The 10th generation tablet finally has a modern design | iPad | Tech Reddy

Apple iPad review: The 10th generation tablet finally has a modern design |  iPad

 | Tech Reddy


Apple’s flagship iPad has received a much-needed modern design, with a larger screen and a range of new accessories, but also a steep price hike.

The 10th generation iPad starts at £499 ($449/A$749). Apple is still selling the older ninth-generation iPad for £369, while the similarly sized iPad Air costs £669 after a price hike due to poor exchange rates.

The price is certainly less tempting than previous models, but this is the first time Apple has updated the design of its affordable tablet in about seven years. It looks similar to the current iPad Air clone and inherits the sleek, flat body used by other iPad models since 2018.

The Touch ID fingerprint scanner is on the power button on the top edge of the iPad.
The Touch ID fingerprint scanner is now on the power button to unlock the iPad. Photo: Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian

Gone are the home buttons and large bezels, allowing a larger 10.9-inch screen to fit into a body the same size as its predecessor. Small and light enough to fit easily into a bag, it’s a great improvement.

It has stereo speakers when held in landscape, perfect for watching movies. There is a modern USB-C port for charging and connecting peripherals. The automatic panning and scanning webcam has been moved to the top edge when held in landscape for the first time on an iPad, which is much better positioned for video calls. Gone is the 3.5mm headphone jack, which means you’ll need a USB-C adapter if you want to use wired headphones, so that’s not good news.

Compared to the iPad Air, the screen isn’t as good, with slightly poorer colors and no anti-reflective coating, making it difficult to see in direct sunlight.

The gap between the LCD and the screen glass on the iPad.
Unlike more expensive models, the screen isn’t fully laminated, meaning there’s a gap between the LCD display and the cover glass, which is especially visible from the edge or when using a stylus. Photo: Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian

Oddly enough, the new iPad doesn’t share the same accessories as its predecessor or the iPad Air and Pros. It supports the first-generation Apple Pencil stylus, not the second-generation used by other iPads. It has a new smart connector on one end that connects to the new Magic Keyboard Folio rather than Apple’s other keyboards.

Technical conditions

  • Screen: 10.9 inch 2360×1640 Liquid Retina Display (264ppi)

  • Processor: Apple A14

  • RAM: 4 GB

  • Storage: 64 or 256 GB

  • Operating system: iPadOS 16.1

  • Camera: 12 MP rear, 12 MP selfie

  • The connection: Wifi 6 (5G optional), Bluetooth 5.2, USB-C, Touch ID, Smart Connector

  • Dimensions: 248.6 x 179.5 x 7 mm

  • Weight: 477g (5G version: 481g)

A14 chip with a good 10 hour battery life

The USB-C port is on the bottom edge of the iPad.
iPad takes 2 hours and 22 minutes to fully charge using the included 20W power adapter. Photo: Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian

Internally, the new iPad is identical to the 2020 iPad Air. It has Apple’s A14 chip, 4GB of RAM, and either 64GB or 256GB of storage. So it’s got a two-year-old chip, but it’s powerful enough to handle anything iPad can do, from playing the latest games and watching videos to browsing, office tasks, and even photo editing. Apps like Affinity Photo.

The battery lasts for 10 hours, and can be used for general light browsing and video viewing. I could use it as a laptop replacement and reliably handle more than eight hours of work, similar to other iPad models. Doing so is a bit cramped on a 10.9-inch screen.


The back panel of the iPad is pink.
The iPad is available in a range of bright colors, painted here in pink, and appears to be made from recycled aluminum. Photo: Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian

Apple doesn’t provide an expected life expectancy for the battery, but it should last more than 500 full charge cycles and can be replaced with at least 80% of its original capacity for £129. The tablet is generally repairable, with an out-of-warranty service cost of £329, including the screen.

The tablet contains recycled aluminum, copper, gold, tin, plastic and rare earth elements. In its report, Apple breaks down the tablet’s environmental impact and offers exchange and free recycling schemes, including non-Apple products.

iPadOS 16.1

In the Magic Keyboard Folio, an iPad was used instead of a laptop on the table.
The Folio includes a keyboard and a detachable keyboard backplate, which Microsoft and others use to make it a laptop surrogate. It’s good, but the price is £279. Cheaper third-party options from Logitech and others might be more attractive. Photo: Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian

The iPad ships with iPadOS 16.1, the new software for Apple’s tablets, and is available on many other models. It offers many of the features added to the iPhone with iOS 16, including the ability to automatically crop objects from photos, which is pretty cool.

But the base iPad model lacks some of the advanced features in iPadOS 16.1 designed to turn a tablet into a PC, including the iPad Pro line and the new Stage Manager window multitasking system limited to the M1 iPad. Air.

For tablet-type things that most people might use an iPad for, it makes no difference. Based on Apple’s past experience, you can expect up to eight years of software.

The price is

The 10th generation iPad starts at £499 ($449/$749) with 64GB of storage. 5G-capable models cost an extra £179 ($150/A$250).

In comparison, the ninth-generation iPad costs £369, the iPad mini £569, the iPad Air £669, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 £249 and the Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus £180.


The 10th generation iPad is a great tablet, but a bit pricey for it, especially in the UK.

Finally, it brings Apple’s low-end tablet to another line with its modern design. It’s responsive, durable, and well made. It’s great for video calls, watching videos, browsing, emailing, shopping, and more. And it has access to more apps and services – more than competing Android tablets.

But the best part of £500 is hard to recommend wholeheartedly. Shop around and you’ll find the 2021 iPad for around £330 – still a reasonable price for a good tablet, especially in this economy, and it’s the best version for just watching videos, using apps or playing games. Those looking for a more capable machine would do well to buy the iPad Air with the M1 chip, which you can find for under £600.

This new iPad falls somewhere in the middle – a great tablet should cost closer to £400. Maybe you should look for a sale.

Advantages: modern design, good performance, good battery life, good screen, stereo speakers, USB-C, iPadOS with long support, lots of apps, recycled aluminum, great webcam.

Disadvantages: expensive, no multi-user support, relatively small storage in the original model, no way to add more, screen gap, incompatible with accessories made for other iPad models.

The first-generation Apple Pencil is connected to the new iPad using a USB-C cable and a Lightning adapter.
Because the first-generation Apple Pencil charges and pairs via the Lightning connector, you need a USB-C adapter and cable to use it with the new iPad, which is also something that can easily get lost. Photo: Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian


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