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iPad 2022 leaked renders just tipped new design

iPad 2021 in hand
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

New CAD renders supposedly of the iPad 2022 have leaked, revealing an updated tablet with flat sides and a larger display — but no sign of a headphone socket.

These images come by way of MySmartPrice (opens in new tab) (via Apple Insider (opens in new tab)), and — if genuine — they give us a fascinating insight into what the rumored device could look like. The renders have reportedly been sourced from a case maker working on accessories for the rumored 10th generation iPad, and at first glance, the device's front looks similar to its predecessor, the iPad 2021. But while the front camera and the Home Button we’re all familiar with are both present and correct, this new slate appears to have larger bezels on all four sides.

The back of the tablet pictured here, meanwhile, is virtually identical to that of the last-generation iPad, bearing a single camera. But, as MySmartPrice notes, it seems the iPad 2022 will have an LED flash and a camera island — features the current-gen iPad lacks. Per the leak, the new iPad would measure 9.7 x 7.0 x 0.27 inches. This would make it wider but slimmer than the current iPad, which measures 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29 inches.

One of the biggest takeaways from these renders is that Apple may be removing the 3.5mm headphone jack from the standard iPad, as it has on other iPhones and iPads; there's no sign of it on either the top or bottom of the device. 

In one regard, this would make sense, as most Apple devices now use USB rather than 3.5mm for headphones. But on another, it would be quite the shake up; after all, the entry-level iPad is the one that's most likely to be used in schools or by children in general — the demographic that's most likely to be using cheaper wired 'buds.  

On the other hand, the renders do also show speakers on the top and bottom of the slate, which suggests quad-speaker support. This would be a big upgrade and would actually put the iPad 2022 on a par with the iPad Pro (2021), and above the iPad mini 6 and iPad Air (2022), in terms of audio output, which would potentially make up for the loss of the 3.5mm jack. 

The power button rests at the top, meanwhile, while the volume buttons are on the side. However, one big mystery is the iPad’s charging port, which is covered by a red mark in the CAD renders. Recent rumors say Apple may ditch the lightning port and introduce USB-C support to the iPad

As with all rumors, take all of this with a healthy amount of skepticism. We can't say for sure that the renders are genuine and that the new iPad would indeed look like this. But based on these renders at least, it seems the upcoming iPad could have a mix of new and old design features. 

The overall design isn’t radically different, but a larger screen and flat sides certainly would be a departure from older models. But like previous standard iPads, the new tablet would retain the large Home Button — which would presumably also act as the Touch ID.

iPad 2021

The new iPad 2022 could have a larger screen than the iPad 2021 pictured above. (Image credit: Future)

Regarding the iPad’s specs, previous rumors have claimed the tablet will run on the A14 Bionic chip from the iPhone 12. This would mean there’d be a big performance gap between this and the iPad mini, which has an A15 chip like the iPhone 13 series. The gap would be even bigger when comparing an A14 iPad to the iPad Air and iPad Pro, both of which use Apple M1 chips with additional performance and extra abilities.

However, the A14 chipset would still apparently mean a 30% increase over the iPad 2021, which would help with running modern apps. The iPad 2022 will likely have iPadOS 16 support, but features like Stage Manager wouldn’t be possible on the slate if it does indeed lack the M1 chip.

The new iPad is expected to launch this fall. Considering how that season is right around the corner, we’ll hopefully hear more news between now and then. In the meantime, check out our iPad 2022 rumor hub for the latest on it.

Tony Polanco
Tony Polanco

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.