JRE's video starts out normally enough. The iPad's display scratches at the typical hardness level (6 - 7 on the Mohs hardness scale) for modern phones and tablets, the paint on the aluminum frame scrapes off under the blade of a knife, and a flame held to the display causes damage to the pixels beneath the glass.
The back panel, also aluminum, can easily be scratched and turned into a charming portrait of Nintendo mascot Kirby.
Most dramatically, it doesn't take much force to snap the iPad in half, breaking around the trio of keyboard case connectors when flexed from the back.
The iPad 2022 did worse on this specific test than the last couple of tablets that JRE looked at, those being the iPad Pro 2021 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. In both his iPad Pro video and his Tab S8 Ultra video, we see identical body and display scratch and fire test results to what we saw on the new base iPad, but the bend test provided different outcomes.
The iPad Pro bent but didn't snap, and still functioned afterward. The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra did even better, refusing to budge beyond the glass separating temporarily from the metal frame around the edges.
Now it's fair to say that JRE's Zach Nelson puts his devices under an awful lot of stress during these durability tests, more than you'd likely encounter in everyday use. If you do happen to own a new iPad and are now terrified it's going to fall to pieces, rest assured that unless you sit on your tablet or regularly keep it in close proximity to sharp metal or open flames, you needn't worry about this test's results in real life. And if you still are, perhaps check out our best iPad cases guide for something to increase its strength.
We wouldn't tell you not to buy the new iPad because of these durability results. In our review, we found the redesigned iPad to be a pretty decent tablet, with improved performance, display and battery specs compared to the older iPad 2021. It even now has a USB-C port, even if it still only works with the Lightning connector-equipped Apple Pencil 1 via an inconvenient dongle.
Despite all this, the iPad 2022 made it onto our best tablets guide as a top slate for regular users. But if it isn't appealing to you, whether because of the bend test or anything else, take a look at our other entries for your ideal next tablet.