Is the new iPad 2022 worth the big price hike? Here's what you get

iPad 2022 colors
(Image credit: Apple)

The iPad 2022 Apple just introduced represents the biggest leap in terms of upgrades in at least five years. It also has the biggest leap in price.

Starting at $449 / £499 / AU$749, the new iPad 10th generation is a whopping $120 more than the iPad 2021, which starts at $329 / £369 / AU$549. And just this week in the US, the iPad 10.2-inch crashed to $269 on sale at (opens in new tab)Amazon (opens in new tab)

So what the heck are you getting for such a premium? After all, the US price of the new iPad is only $150 less than the iPad Air, Granted, the iPad 9th gen is sticking around with that old $329 price, but the new iPad is going to get all of the attention.

Let's break down the reasons for the hefty price and analyze whether the upgrades are worth it.

A bigger display with reduced bezels

iPad 2022 colors

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPad 2022 grows in size from 10.2 inches to 10.9 inches, and that's really the difference between something that's cramped and something that could double as your laptop. This is especially true when you attach the new Magic Keyboard Folio.

Another plus is the display now extends nearly to the edges, so you don't have to deal with huge bezels. You also get a higher resolution this time around at 2360 x 1640 vs 2160 x 1620 for the previous model.

Yes, you lose the Home button, but you can unlock the new iPad using the side-mounted Touch ID button. 

A faster chip 

iPad 2022 A14 Bionic performance playing racing game

(Image credit: Apple)

The new iPad 2022 packs in the A14 Bionic chip, which promises a 20% jump in CPU performance and 10% GPU boost versus the A12 Bionic chip in the 9th gen iPad. Apple also claims that this chip is up to 5x faster than the best-selling Android tablet (though that's a MediaTek chip).

Overall, you should expect smoother performance when editing video, playing games and jumping between apps. 

Much better for video calls

iPad 2022 Center Stage feature

(Image credit: Apple)

Here's a nice change of pace. The front-facing 12MP ultra wide camera on the iPad 2022 is positioned along the wide edge, so it's more natural for making video calls when in landscape orientation. Plus, with Center Stage support, you can move around during calls and the iPad will keep you in the frame.

Another perk, the iPad 2022 features dual mics for capturing audio and cutting down background noise. 

Faster Wi-Fi 

From a wireless perspective, the iPad 2022 is fairly future-proof, and that's because you get support for Wi-Fi 6 for up to 30% faster connections vs 802.11ac. (It's not the latest Wi-Fi 6E, though.)

On the cellular front, the iPad 2022 can tap into 5G networks for fast downloads and uploads on the go. 

Magic Keyboard Folio

iPad 2022 vs iPad 2021

(Image credit: Future)

If you want to use your iPad as a laptop, the new $249 / £279/ AU$399 Magic Keyboard Folio looks like a major upgrade over the lame $159 / £169 / AU$269 Smart Keyboard offered alongside the 9th gen iPad.

Yes, the new Magic Keyboard Folio is pricier, but you get full-size keys and 1mm of travel. As a result, the key feel should be much better. Plus, unlike last year's Smart keyboard the new Magic Keyboard has a built-in touchpad. 

iPad 2022 vs iPad Air 

iPad Air 5

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Those of you in the US might be wondering: If the iPad Air costs $150 more at $599, why not just go for that? The latest Air packs the same size display but an even more powerful M1 chip. You also get support for the 2nd gen Apple Pencil that magnetically attached to the tablet. The latest iPad 2022 sticks with the first Apple Pencil, so you can't attach it to the slate and you have to charge it via a weird USB-C-to Apple Pencil adapter.

It's worth noting that the iPad Air's Magic Keyboard costs $299, compared to $249 for the new iPad 2022 keyboard. But the Air's optional keyboard lets you more easily adjust the display angles. 

Bottom line

It's a good thing that Apple is keeping the older iPad 9th gen around for $329 / £369 / AU$549, because $449 / £499 / AU$749 is a lot of money for a tablet. Are the upgrades worth the premium? On paper, they could very well be, as you get a larger display, slimmer bezels, faster chip, USB-C support and a better video calling experience. 

However, once you add the Apple Pencil and keyboard, we're talking about $806 in the US. And that's getting close to MacBook Air territory. 

Stay tuned for our full iPad 2022 review to see if this mid-level tablet lives up to the price tag. 

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.