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iPad 9 (2021) release date, price, size, specs and latest news

iPad 9 2021
(Image credit: Apple)

The iPad 9 is on the way with a number of solid upgrades. The A13 Bionic chip is the new brain of the iPad 9, which also features more capable cameras.

The biggest of those camera tricks is Center Stage, which lets the iPad's selfie camera follow you as you move. True Tone tech is also improving the iPad display, so visuals look more accurate when ambient lighting changes.

We've rounded up everything there is to know about Apple's rumored iPad 9th generation tablet. Read on to learn more about the potential release date for the iPad 9, the specs, features and more. 

The 5 biggest things to know about the iPad 9

  • A13 Bionic chip offers 20% faster performance on CPU, GPU and Neural Engine
  • Low light and selfie photography is also improved
  • New 12MP selfie camera features the iPad Pro's Center Stage camera tricks
  • The iPad 9 costs $329 for all and $299 for those in education
  • It's coming out next week.

iPad 9 (2021) release date and price

iPad 9 2021 Price

(Image credit: Apple)
iPad 9 (2021) specs

Starting price: $329
Display: 10.2 inches (2160x1620)
Processor: A13 Bionic
Storage: 64GB, 256GB
Cameras: 8MP (rear), 12MP (front)
Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29 inches
Weight: 1.07 pounds
Port: Lightning, headphones
Accessories: Smart Keyboard, Apple Pencil (gen 1)

The iPad 9 (2021) arrives next week, which means it could ship as early as Monday Sept. 20 or as late as Friday, Sept. 24. We're tracking iPad 9 pre-order deals right now.

The iPad 9 costs $329, the same price as before. There's also $299 pricing for education. LTE connectivity costs an extra $130, and the storage upgrade from 64GB to 256GB costs $150 extra.

That 64GB capacity may not sound that exciting, unless you've bought an entry-level iPad before and been saddled with its 32GB of storage, which isn't enough.

iPad 9 (2021) performance

iPad 9 2021 performance

(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple A13 Bionic chip succeeds the A12 Bionic chip from the iPad 8 (2020). And Apple's claiming 20% faster performance — found in the CPU, GPU and Neural Engine activities.

Apple called out faster Live Text performance in the iPad 9, which is great for those taking advantage of the new iPadOS 15 (and iOS 15) feature that lets you easily pull text out of photos. You can also expect better gaming and multitasking performance. 

The entry-level iPad 9 has 64GB of storage (with a 256GB option). 

iPad 9 (2021) design

iPad 9 2021 design

(Image credit: Apple)

As rumors suggested, and Apple confirmed at its event, the design of the iPad 9 (2021) is staying the same. So, same 1.07-pound, 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29-inch frame, same machined aluminum case and those familiar Space Gray and silver color options. Want something cooler and more modern? The iPad mini 6 should catch your eye.

Which may sound boring, but it means it still supports the cases and keyboards people already own. There's still a Touch ID button underneath the Home button, too, as well as a Lightning port (when will USB-C make it to the iPad?) for charging and data transfer, plus the headphone jack.

iPad 9 (2021) display

Apple's also sticking with the same 10.2-inch, 2160x1620-pixel panel for the screen of the 2021 iPad. It's good, don't get us wrong. 

The one new thing Apple added is True Tone technology for automatic white balance adjustment for ambient lighting.

iPad 9 (2021) camera and special features

The big new special feature in the iPad 9 is the 12MP front-facing camera that supports Apple's Center Stage tech, first seen in the iPad Pro. It follows your face as you move, tracking you so you stay centered. 

The rear camera is an 8-MP sensor. 

iPad 9 (2021) battery life

Apple is claiming 10 hours of web surfing or local video playback which it says is "all-day battery life. We'll test it on our proprietary test to see how true that is.

iPad 9 (2021) outlook

The standard iPad is getting a very modest update, but the iPad mini 6's massive updates make the entry-level iPad look older than ever — as the design is still not changing.

We look to get it into our lab for testing. Stay tuned for our full review.

Henry T. Casey

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past six-plus years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.