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iPad 2022 tipped to finally get a major design overhaul

iPad 2021
(Image credit: Future)

You may not recognize the iPad 2022, as it could have a new port, display and other reworked features when it allegedly arrives later this year.

Sources speaking to 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) have made several claims about how Apple will build on the current iPad 2021. Perhaps the biggest rumored change is that the new model, supposedly codenamed J272, will use a USB-C port instead of a Lightning connector.

Moving to USB-C would be great news as it would bring the base iPad up to speed with the rest of the iPad family, which has slowly moved from Lightning to USB-C over the past several years. More importantly, USB-C offers faster and more varied connection options for peripherals like chargers and displays that Lightning cannot.

Another big change the sources mention is that the iPad 2022 could gain a Retina display with the same resolution as the iPad Air 2022. However, while that likely means an increase in size from the current 10.2-inch panel (one previous rumor says it will be 10.5 inches), that doesn't necessarily mean the iPad 2022 will be the same 10.9-inch size as the Air. It'll likely also not have the same brightness or wide color gamut as the more expensive iPads, the sources elaborate.

On the inside, this revamped iPad is tipped to use the A14 Bionic chip (last seen in the iPad Air 2020 and the iPhone 12 series), and its cellular models are expected to be 5G compatible. The sources claim that we should see a 30% performance increase for the iPad 2022 compared to the A13 chip-armed iPad 2021,

What the sources can't say is whether the iPad will ditch the current home button-equipped design. The other changes could indicate a move to a full screen design though, perhaps with a Touch ID power button like the iPad Air and iPad mini

We have our fingers crossed that Apple doesn't increase the price if these design changes go through though. The $329 starting price of the current iPad makes it one of the best iPads despite its aging components. A price hike would likely be quite unpopular with buyers.

The final morsel of information from the sources claims that this new iPad should arrive in the fall. That fits in with when previous basic iPads have launched, so add it to your list of products we expect to see alongside the iPhone 14.

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.