Apple’s new iPad ($449+) — also known as the “10.9-inch iPad” or “10th-generation iPad” — is not. most of them A cheap iPad sold by Apple. That distinction still belongs to the 10.2-inch iPad ($329), which hasn’t been updated this year. But it’s the second-cheapest iPad — and, as of this month, one of only two updated models.
After testing the new iPad for the past few days, I can say that it certainly feels like an upgrade for an entry-level iPad. But it’s very similar to the iPad Air ($599) and has a lot in common with the iPad mini ($499+).
Admittedly, the new iPad is a little odd, as it sits in a crowded middle ground with Apple’s other mid-range iPads. In fact, with this new iPad (along with the new M2 iPad Pro), Apple is offering more iPads than ever before. So it’s not easy to decide if this iPad is right for you, and you need to know how it compares to Apple’s other iPads.
How does the new iPad compare to Apple’s other iPads?
10.9-inch iPad ($449+) and 10.2-inch iPad ($329+): These are the two cheapest iPads that Apple currently sells, but they have very different designs. The new 10.9-in The iPad is similar to the iPad Air — it has a fuller display without a Home button, squared edges, a USB-C charging port, and Touch ID integrated into the side power button — while the 10.2-inch iPad has an older design. Charges via Home button and Lightning.
Both are compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil, but only the new iPad is compatible with Apple’s new Magic Keyboard Folio. The new iPad also has a slight edge in processing power (A14 Bionic vs A13 Bionic).
10.9-inch iPad ($449+) and 10.9-inch iPad Air ($599+): The new 10.9-inch iPad shares many design features with the iPad Air (and iPad mini). The main differences: the Air has more processing power (it has an M1 chip rather than the iPad’s A14 Bionic), a better display (it’s fully laminated and has an anti-reflective coating), and is compatible with the second-generation Apple Pencil. .
Thanks to the M1, Air also supports iOS 16’s Stage Manger, a new multitasking feature that lets you overlap and resize windows.
10.9-inch iPad ($449+) and iPad mini ($499+): The iPad mini is similar to the newest iPad Air, but it has a smaller 8.3-inch display — the smallest of all iPads — and it lacks the M1 chip; instead it has an A15 Bionic processor (which is still an upgrade over the new iPad’s A14 Bionic). It’s compatible with the second-generation Apple Pencil (not the new iPad), but not the Magic Keyboard for iPad (not the new iPad either, but compatible with the Magic Keyboard Folio).
The new iPad is the most affordable way to get the Mac typing experience on a tablet
Despite being very similar, the new iPad isn’t compatible with the same accessory ecosystem as the iPad Air. That means it’s not compatible with the Magic Keyboard for iPad Air and iPad Pro, which is expensive but great because it gives you the same typing experience as the newest MacBooks — with the same scissor keys. Sure, there are newer Bluetooth keyboards that you can use, but it’s not the same.
Fortunately, Apple has introduced a new folio keyboard, the Magic Keyboard Folio, which brings the same Mac typing experience — the same scissor keys — to the new iPad. In fact, this means that the new iPad is the cheapest iPad that can type like a Mac.
As always, it’s not cheap. The Magic Keyboard Folio costs $249, which pushes the price of the new iPad to at least $698 (depending on the storage configuration you choose). And no Apple Pencil ($99). Suddenly, this new “budget” iPad doesn’t seem so “non-budget”.
The new iPad still supports the older Apple Pencil
If the 10.9-inch iPad supported the second-generation Apple Pencil, which magnetically attaches (and charges) to the top of the iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad Pros, it would solve many people’s problems with it. . The decision to only support the first-generation Apple Pencil is surprising, as the new iPad can’t charge it on its own; it has a USB-C charging port and relies on the original Apple Pencil Lightning.
Apple has come up with a solution to this problem – in the form of a $9 dongle. It’s a slightly awkward solution, but the device is so small that you can easily lose it. The good news is that it comes with this dongle in the box. (If you bought this new iPad but already have a first-generation Apple Pencil, you can buy the device from Apple for $9.)
Solution: The new 10.9-inch iPad
Apple is positioning the new 10.9-inch iPad as a great option for those who have an older entry-level iPad and want to upgrade. very big, but no super big take a step. It offers a modern look and feel without being as expensive as the iPad Air or iPad mini. It’s also the cheapest iPad that works with the Magic Keyboard accessory (thanks to the new Magic Keyboard Folio) and thus can give you a Mac-like typing experience.
Sure, the 10th generation iPad is a great tablet, but so are the other iPads Apple sells (which are years ahead of the best Android tablets). And if you want to get the most out of this iPad, you’ll want to spend an extra $350 for the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard Folio — that’s close to $800, which isn’t cheap. So, before you buy, you need to know what you will be using it for and if one of Apple’s other iPads will fit those needs.