iPad 10th gen (2022): 3 reasons to buy and 2 big reasons to skip

iPad 10th gen
(Image credit: Future)

The new iPad 10th gen is completely different than its predecessor — in mostly good ways. It features a more modern and sleek design, bigger display and beefier A14 Bionic power. Plus, this iPad finally gets a good keyboard with trackpad, so it can double as a mini laptop.

As you can see in our iPad 10th gen review, there's a lot to like about this device, and it certainly belongs on our best tablet list. Then again, Apple is charging $120 more for this the iPad 10th gen versus the previous model, and it made a very strange design decision with its support for the old 1st gen Apple Pencil.

Is the new iPad worth the premium? Let's break down the pros and cons. 

Reasons to Buy iPad 10th gen

Bigger display with modern design

iPad 2022 display

(Image credit: Future)

A big upgrade over the previous 9th gen iPad, the new iPad 10th gen isn't just slimmer and lighter. It offers a larger 12.9-inch display (up from 12.2 inches) that nearly goes edge to edge.

That also means that the iPad 10th gen finally loses the Home button, letting you navigate with gestures. To unlock the iPad you use the Touch ID sensor that integrated into the power button. 

The new iPad also comes in a wide range of colors, including yellow, blue, pink and silver. 

Comfy Magic Keyboard with trackpad

iPad 2022 tying on Magic Keyboard Folio

(Image credit: Future)

If you want to type with ease, the iPad 10th gen offers an optional $249 Magic Keyboard Folio, which doubles as a case for the tablet. This keyboard offers a solid 1mm of travel, and I reached a speedy (for me) 71 words per minute.

You also get a roomy touchapd for navigation and cursor control and a 14-key function row with plenty of shortcut keys. 

I like that the kickstand is adjustable, and you can use the back cover on its own if you just want to watch movies or look at recipes without the keyboard. 

Strong performance and battery life 

iPad 2022 playing Asphalt 9 game

(Image credit: Future)

The iPad 10th gen is powered by an A14 Bionic processor, which proved plenty fast both in my everyday use and in benchmark tests. The A14 delivered smooth gameplay when driving around in Asphalt 9 and when exploring big open worlds and battling multiple enemies in Genshin Impact. 

Even with this might, the iPad 10th gen has plenty of staying power. On the Tom's Guide Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing at 150 nits of screen brightness, this tablet lasted nearly 11 hours on a charge. Anything above 10 hours is quite good. 

Reasons to Skip iPad 10th gen

High price

iPad 2022 back in yellow

(Image credit: Future)

The iPad 10th gen starts at $449 with 64GB of storage, which is pretty steep when you consider that the 9th gen model (which is sticking around) starts at much lower $329. And that doesn't include the price of accessories. The Magic Keyboard Folio costs $249, and the Apple Pencil will run you $99. 

So if you bought all three items you'd send just under $800. For that kind of money you could be an ultraportable laptop with a larger display.

1st gen Apple Pencil is a fail 

iPad 2022 Apple Pencil charging with USB-C to Apple Pencil adapter

(Image credit: Future)

Someone at Apple thought it was a good idea to support only the older 1st gen Apple Pencil for the iPad 10th gen. And that's a fail on a couple of fronts.

First, you can't magnetically attach the Pencil to the tablet as you can with the 2nd gen Apple Pencil and the iPad Air 2022 and iPad Pro 2022. And, by the way, the newer stylus automatically starts charging when you snap it on those other tablets.  

The other problem is that you can't charge the 1st gen Apple Pencil using the iPad 10th gen unless you use a separate USB-C-to-Lightning adapter. So that's two small devices you're likely to lose: the adapter and the cap for the Pencil itself. 

Bottom line

The iPad 10th gen is upgraded in many ways, but that doesn't mean it's the best iPad for you. I appreciate the full-screen redesign, as well as little things like the repositioned landscape camera for video calls. Add in faster A14 Bionic performance, long battery life and USB-C charging and you have a solid option.

However, the high price of the iPad 10th gen gives us pause, and not supporting the 2nd gen Apple Pencil was simply a bad idea. Some may be better off springing for the more premium iPad Air M1 for that reason, which offers even more power under the hood as well. 

Those on a tighter budget may want to stick with the iPad 9th gen — which is still available for $329 — but I would personally go for the newer iPad 10th gen because of the better optional keyboard. 

Mark Spoonauer

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.