Now this is a modern iPad. The new iPad 2022 finally takes Apple’s base model tablet into the future. Or at least the present. The large bezels, ancient Home button and Lightning port have gone poof, replaced with a larger 10.9-inch display that nearly goes edge to edge, a power button with Touch ID built in and USB-C charging.
But those are just some of the changes to the new iPad. You also get a thinner and lighter design with flatter edges (like the iPad Air and iPad Pro), a faster A14 Bionic chip and a fairly comfy optional Magic Keyboard Folio with trackpad. The bold color options are nice, too. Add it all up and you have one of the best tablets around.
So what’s not to like? For one, I hate that Apple stuck with the 1st gen Apple Pencil (which still has a Lightning port), and while I appreciate the new landscape position of the front camera, the back camera is a bit underwhelming. The starting $449 price is also on the high side.
My iPad 2022 review will break down all the pros and cons so you can decide if this is the best iPad for you. And check our my quick reasons to buy and skip iPad 10th gen overview for my quick take on this device.
iPad 10th gen review: Price and release date
The new iPad 2022 goes on sale October 26. The base model starts at $449/£499/AU$749, which is a $120 increase on the cheapest iPad 10.2-inch model. If you'd like 5G cellular connectivity, that starts from $599/£679/AU$999.
For that money, you still get a rather stingy 64GB of storage. There's the option to upgrade to a much roomier 256GB, but that'll cost you an extra $150 on either model.
It’s worth noting that the iPad 10.2 (2021) remains on sale at Apple at the lower $329/£369/AU$549 starting price. Our iPad 2022 vs. iPad 2021 comparison goes over the differences between the two models.
Also, as of November 18, you can get the new iPad for $50 off for Black Friday.
iPad 10th gen review: Specs
|Row 0 - Cell 0||iPad 10.9-inch (2022)|
|Display||10.9-inch (2360 x 1640) Liquid Retina|
|OS||iPadOS 16 (pre-installed)|
|Front camera||12MP with 122-degree FOV|
|Video quality||Up to 4K|
|Wireless||Wi-Fi 6, optional 5G|
iPad 10th gen review: Design and colors
“Finally!” That’s what I said to myself when I picked up the iPad 10th generation for the first time. Apple has expanded the display from 10.2 inches to 10.9 inches, and in the process banished the old Home button.
The result is a screen that goes nearly edge to edge, though the bezels are still very much noticeable. Another plus is that the iPad’s Power button has Touch ID built in, so you just need to rest your finger on the button to unlock the iPad.
I made sure to register my index finger on both hands so I could easily unlock the device both in portrait mode (where the button is on the top right) and in landscape mode (top of left side). Touch ID worked seamlessly every time.
Measuring 9.79 x 7.07 x 0.28 inches and weighing 1.05 pounds (1.06 pounds for cellular), the new iPad 2022 is thinner and lighter than the 9th gen iPad (9.x x 6.8 x 0.29 inches, 1.07 pounds, 1.09 pounds cellular).
Apple is definitely spicing things up with the iPad 2022 colors. I tested the yellow model, which is quite bold and is a cross between yellow and gold. You can also pick pink, blue and silver. Blue is my favorite of the bunch.
iPad 10th gen review: Display
The 10.9-inch display on the iPad 2022 won’t blow you away, but it’s a good panel for the price. When watching the trailer for Wakanda Forever, I liked the rich colors in the scene where Namor emerges from the water, with his gold and navy blue armor around his neck.
I also enjoyed flipping through pictures in the Photos app. I could make out tiny water droplets on a flower as I zoomed in (and this was a photo I shot with the new iPad 10th gen).
On our lab tests, the iPad 2022 registered a max of 504 nits of brightness, which just about matches Apple’s 500-nit claim. That’s good, but you may have trouble making out this panel in direct sunlight as I did. By comparison, the iPad Pro 2021 hit a max of 1,588 nits, but that’s a much more expensive tablet.
In terms of colors, the iPad’s display covered 101.2% of the sRGB color gamut and 71.7% of the more demanding DCI-P3 color space. The iPad Air’s panel hit a higher 111.8% and 79.2%, respectively.
Interestingly, though, the iPad 10th gen’s colors were slightly more accurate on the Delta-E test, where lower numbers are better. The new iPad scored 0.21 to the Air’s 0.29.
iPad 10th gen review: Magic Keyboard
The Magic Keyboard Folio for the iPad is an excellent accessory to buy if you want this slate to double as a mini laptop. While expensive at $249, the keys offer a good 1mm of travel and snappy feedback.
I was surprised after I went to 10fastfingers.com to perform a typing speed test. I averaged 71 words per minute with 96% accuracy, which is just as fast as my pace when using the 14-inch MacBook Pro. However, some of the keys are shrunken on this layout given the overall small size of the tablet, including the Return and Delete keys.
Another plus is that there’s a 14-key function row at the top of the keyboard, so you can easily see all your open apps at once as well as adjust the brightness and volume.
The Magic Keyboard Folio comes with a kickstand that’s easy to adjust, and I found typing fairly stable even with the iPad 2022 in my lap, though it bounced around a bit. I like how easily the protective back panel attaches magnetically to the iPad, but it slipped off a couple of times and feels like it could be more secure.
You can also remove the keyboard if you simply want to use the back panel as a stand for, say, watching a movie.
iPad 10th gen review: Apple Pencil
Apple Pencil support is easily my biggest frustration with the new iPad. Frankly it’s a real head scratcher for a company that prides itself on smart design. The iPad 10th gen doesn’t support the latest 2nd gen Apple Pencil, so if you want to be able to draw, take notes and more on this iPad you’ll have to pay for the $99 1st gen Apple Pencil.
There’s a couple of major issues here. First, there’s nowhere to house the Apple Pencil when not in use. The iPad Air and iPad Pro let you magnetically attach the 2nd gen Apple Pencil to the top flat edge of their chassis for easy storage, and they both charge the Pencil while connected. In addition, the removable cap on the 1st gen Apple Pencil is easy to lose.
It gets worse. In order to pair and charge the 1st gen Apple Pencil, you need to use a separate USC-C to Apple Pencil adapter. And that’s because the Pencil still uses an old Lightning connector instead of USB-C. The good news is that Apple will include this mini dongle if you buy the 1st gen Apple Pencil. The bad news is that this awkward solution is needed at all.
It would have been much easier if Apple simply would have added Apple Pencil 2nd gen support to the iPad 2022.
At least the Apple Pencil works well. My artistic colleague used the Pencil to drew an ornate flower illustration with ease, and I like that I can write into any text field and the iPad will instantly transcribe my scribbles into text. Plenty of third-party apps take advantage of the Apple Pencil, including Pixelmator, GoodNotes and ProCreate. I especially like how ProCreate senses pressure sensitivity from the Pencil for fainter or darker lines.
iPad 10th gen review: Performance and 5G
No surprise here. The A14 Bionic chip that powers the iPad 2022 is plenty fast — and it should be given that this is the same processor inside the iPhone 12. When playing a game like Genshin Impact, the animations were fluid and the iPad held up well when I tried to fend off three enemies at once using my sword. I only saw a bit of sluggishness while climbing up a rock.
On Geekbench 5, which measures overall performance, the iPad 2022 scored 1,580 on single-core and 4,400 on multi-core, which is a marked improvement over the 1,384 and 3,387 turned in by the 9th gen iPad. However, the iPad Air with its M1 chip scored a much higher 1,707/7,151.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||iPad 2022||iPad 2021||Pad Air M1|
|3DMark Wild Life Unlimited||8,579/51.4 fps||8,000/47.9 fps||17.966/107 fps|
|Video transcoding||29 seconds||27 seconds||22 seconds|
Turning to graphics, the iPad 2022 scored 8,579 and 51.4 frames per second on the 3DMark Wild Life test. Compare that to 8,000 and 47.9 fps for the 9th gen iPad. So you’re getting a slight graphics bump here. The iPad Air, not surprisingly, earned a higher 17,966 and 107 fps.
Oddly, the new iPad finished our video transcoding test in Adobe Premiere Rush a little bit slower than the iPad 9th gen, taking 29 seconds versus 27 seconds, though both times are fast. The iPad Air needed just 22 seconds.
Our review unit came with a 5G cellular connection for Verizon, so we tried it out on the Ookla Speedtest app. Near my home in central New Jersey, I saw only 38 Mbps downloads and 4.09 Mbps uploads, but downloads exceeded 100 Mbps in midtown Manhattan. 5G performance really depends on your location and signal strength.
It's worth noting that the new iPad's USB-C port only offers USB 2.0 data transfer speeds. Various outlets discovered it tops out at around 480 Mbps, which is the same kind of speed offered by Lightning.
iPad 10th gen review: Cameras
The iPad 2022 packs a sharper back camera, going from 8MP on the previous model to 12MP on the new tablet. And the 12MP front camera gets a welcome shift from the top edge to the long edge, which makes for more natural video calls in landscape mode, especially when your iPad is docked in the Magic Keyboard Folio.
The rear main 12MP camera is a mixed bag. Outdoors, the iPad 2022 captured a bright and detailed image of this flower. You can make out small water drops on the petals, and the iPad artfully blurs out the surrounding leaves. This is something I would want to share.
Indoors, the iPad 2022 fares well when there’s a decent amount of ambient light, but I noticed some graininess in this photo of a witch’s boot on a fireplace mantle. It may not be a fair comparison, but the iPhone 14 Pro Max produces a brighter photo with significantly less noise.
You can forget about Night mode on the iPad 2022, because there isn’t one. This is a bummer. And there’s no flash either, though the iPad Air 5th gen lacks these features, too.
Up front the iPad 2022 features a 12MP camera with a new landscape location above the long edge of the display. This makes the iPad better for video calling. Even in a dimly list room the iPad delivered a fairly sharp image of my face and hair, even if there's some noise in my shirt. The iPad is smart enough to light up the display, too, which doubles as a pseudo flash.
iPad 10th gen review: Battery life and charging
The iPad 2022 should last you most of the day on a charge, so you can probably leave the included 20W charger behind. On the Tom’s Guide Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing at 150 nits of screen brightness, the iPad 10th gen lasted an excellent 10 hours and 57 minutes over Wi-Fi.
The iPad 2021 lasted a longer 11:59, but we’re still in the process of testing and the iPad 2022 may close the gap with further runs once we average the results. The iPad Air lasted a shorter 10:09.
We’re glad that the iPad 2022 offers USB-charging, as it did result in faster recharge times in our testing versus the previous model. The new iPad got to 26% in 30 minutes, compared to 19% for the Lightning-equipped iPad 9th gen. It’s not a huge leap, but I’ll take it.
iPad 10th gen review: iPadOS 16
Let’s rip the Band-Aid here and remind shoppers that the new iPad 2022 does not support the hallmark feature of iPadOS 16. That would be Stage Manager, which makes it easier to multitask by putting your recently used app on the left side of the display.
But there are other notable iPadOS 16 features that you’ll be able to take advantage of. For example, in Messages you can edit a message after you send it or unsend the message. And you can copy, translate or lock up text directly from a video frame.
My favorite iPadOS 16 feature I used on the new iPad is the ability to lift a subject from the background in an image (similar to iOS 16). You just press and hold on the subject within a photo and you can drag and drop it somewhere else, like in an ongoing message.
Other refinements in iPadOS 16 include apps that are better optimized for the larger iPad display. You’ll see things like customizable toolbars, the ability to view folder size in Files and a more consistent Undo and redo experience along with find-and-replace in apps.
iPad 10th gen vs iPad Air M1
Personally, I’d opt for the iPad 10th gen because I don’t really have much use for the Apple Pencil. But if you plan on using the Pencil for drawing or note-taking often, I’d spring for the pricier $599 iPad Air, because it supports the newer 2nd gen Apple Pencil that attaches to the tablet for storage and charging.
The iPad Air also packs a faster M1 chip and supports the new Stage Manager multitasking feature. Just keep in mind that the accessories for the Air are more expensive. You’ll pay $129 for the Apple Pencil and $299 for the Magic Keyboard, compared to $99 and $249 for the new iPad 2022’s equivalent add-ons.
Our iPad 2022 vs. iPad Air 2022 face-off goes into greater detail on the differences between Apple’s two tablets.
iPad 10th gen review: Verdict
The iPad 2022 is a tablet that looks and feels new, and that’s a welcome change over the last few iterations. I appreciate the sleeker design and bigger display, though some may miss the headphone jack from the 9th gen iPad. I also like the Touch ID-enabled power button, repositioned front camera and USB-C charging, as well as the upgraded A14 Bionic chip and 5G connectivity.
However, $449 is a lot of money to spend on this tablet. Yes, Apple is keeping the $329 iPad 9th gen around, but it still stings to see a $120 jump from one generation to the next. My bigger issue is with the Apple Pencil situation; it’s just way too awkward to charge this thing, and there’s nowhere to store the stylus when not in use.
Do I think the iPad 2022 is worth the splurge over last year’s model? Mostly, as this is a more future-proof tablet. Overall, the iPad 10th gen is one of the best tablets, but I can’t unequivocally say that it’s the best tablet for most people because of the higher price and Apple Pencil blunder.