The iPad 2022 represents the biggest leap for the standard iPad in years, both inside and out. There’s finally a full-screen design (bezels be gone!), a faster A14 Bionic chip, USB-C charging and a much batter Magic keyboard with trackpad.
The cameras get an upgrade, too, and this is the first iPad with a front camera on the long edge, which makes for more natural video calls. Yup, this could be one of the best tablets of the year.
So what’s not to like? That would be the Apple Pencil. The old first-gen Apple Pencil.
That’s right, despite the sea of newness that the iPad 2022 represents, it’s stuck with a peripheral that debuted seven years ago. I’m not saying the optional $99 Apple Pencil is worthless, as you can use it to take notes, draw, perform fine photo edits and more. But think about the drawbacks.
First, there’s nowhere to put the Apple Pencil when you’re not using it with the iPad 2022. The iPad mini, iPad Air and iPad Pro all let you store — and charge — the 2nd gen Apple Pencil when not in use right on the flat edge of the tablet. Not so here.
Then there’s the cap for the first-gen Apple Pencil, which is so small it could easily be lost. The 2nd gen Apple Pencil doesn't have a cap at all. And then there’s what’s underneath the cap: a Lightning Connector.
“Wait, does’t the new iPad 2022 have a USB-C port?” you might ask. Why, yes it does, which means that in order to charge the 1st gen Apple Pencil you’ll have to use a separate USB-C to Apple Pencil Adapter. This is terribly inconvenient and yet another accessory you could easily lose.
The good news, I guess, is that if you buy an Apple Pencil it will come with this adapter. But if you happen to have an Apple Pencil held over from an older iPad, you'll need to spring $9 for the adapter. Lame.
All of this raises the question of whether you would buy the iPad 2022 at all if you plan on using an Apple Pencil often. And the answer I think is no.
Now I’m not saying that the new iPad isn’t worth the $449, as you’ll enjoy a ton of upgrades that make this a truly modern tablet. If you only plan on using an Apple Pencil occasionally, this slate could be worth the $120 premium over the 9th gen iPad.
But if you plan on using an Apple Pencil often, I would highly, highly recommend that you step up to the iPad Air. You’ll have somewhere to store the 2nd gen Apple Pencil magnetically, and you really won’t have to worry about charging the stylus — or using a separate accessory to do it.
As you’ll see in our iPad 2022 vs iPad Air 2022 comparison, there are other reasons to get the latter tablet, including a more advanced display and a more powerful M1 chip that enables features like Stage Manager for easier multitasking in iPadOS 16.
So don’t write the new iPad 2022 off as the best iPad for you. Just think long and hard about how you’re going to use your next iPad before you buy.