The iPad is perhaps the most popular tablet worldwide. Apple, since the launch of the first iPad, has refreshed the lineup regularly by making incremental design changes and hardware improvements. In 2022, the iPad lineup is now bigger than ever. There are the top-of-the-line iPad Pros (M2) right at the top, below which sits the iPad Air 2022 (Review). This year, Apple also launched the iPad 10th generation but rather than replacing the iPad 9th generation model, it’s a new addition that sits between the lowest-priced iPad and the Air.
The new iPad (2022) is pricier than last year’s model, which continues to be on sale at a slightly bumped-up price in India compared to what it launched for a year ago. Apple has made many improvements in the iPad 10th generation model, which looks very similar to the iPad Air. However, don’t be fooled by the naming convention as this is by no means a budget iPad. Why? Simply because it starts at Rs. 44,900 for the base model. The iPad 10th generation has received many upgrades but with the higher price tag, should you consider buying it? Here is our review to help you decide.
iPad 10th Generation (2022) price in India
The new iPad 10th generation has a starting price of Rs. 44,900 for the base 64GB model with Wi-Fi connectivity. The Wi-Fi + cellular option costs Rs. 59,900. There is also a 256GB storage variant which is priced at Rs. 59,900 and Rs. 74,900, for the Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + cellular models respectively.
The iPad 10th generation supports Apple Pencil (1st gen), which can be bought for Rs. 9,500. However keep in mind that you’ll need the additional USB Type-C to Apple Pencil adapter (Rs. 900) for pairing and charging the Pencil with this iPad. There is also the Magic Keyboard Folio for iPad, which is priced at Rs. 24,900.
iPad 10th Generation (2022) design
The iPad 10th generation is now flatter than ever. It follows the iPad Air (M1)’s design language of a flat aluminium frame with slightly curved corners. The rear panel too is completely flat and comes in four new colours. Apple sent us the blue colour, but it’s also available in pink, yellow and silver options. While this might be subjective, I personally liked the blue variant of the iPad. It not only looks premium and modern at the same time, but also a lot less flashy compared to the yellow and pink colourways. The silver option is the most classic-looking one for those who do not want to attract much attention.
The body of the iPad 10th generation continues to have a matte finish, making it less prone to fingerprints and smudges. Due to the flat frame design, it does not feel as heavy compared to its on-paper weight of 481g for the cellular model. It is also only 7mm thick.
On the front, the bezels on the iPad are narrower, making room for more screen real estate. The new iPad now offers a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with a 2360×1640 resolution. The IPS LCD has sufficient brightness for indoor use at 500 nits, although I wish it was a bit brighter for outdoor use during the day. While the viewing experience is generally good, you will not get those deep blacks and rich contrast that you get from AMOLED displays. The iPad 10th generation does not support Apple’s ProMotion 120Hz refresh rate that is found in the more premium iPad Pro (M2) or the iPad Pro 2021 (Review).
With no home button, the Touch ID fingerprint authentication sensor has now moved to the power button on the top edge, similar to the iPad Air. If you’re used to the quicker and more secure Face ID authentication on iPhones and iPad Pros, Touch ID might feel a tad bit slow. The volume buttons are located on the right side (when in portrait mode), below which is the SIM tray (if you buy the cellular variant). Apple has also moved the front camera from the upper bezel to the right, making it ideal to use for FaceTime and video calls when the iPad is used horizontally.
The iPad 10th generation now features a USB Type-C port. While the data transfer speeds are not as quick as the more expensive iPad models, according to a report, it is still the same as the 9th generation iPad with the Lightning connector. This should not be a deal breaker for most casual users but it could be a deciding factor for more serious content creators.
The iPad 10th generation comes bundled with a 20W charging adapter and a braided USB Type-C to Type-C cable. There is also some documentation and two Apple logo stickers, which are pretty much the standard affair with new Apple products.
iPad 10th Generation (2022) specifications and software
The iPad 10th generation features the Apple A14 Bionic SoC, which is the same one that is found in the iPhone 12 series from 2020. Despite being a couple of years old, the A14 Bionic SoC based on the 5nm process is definitely no slouch. It has a six-core CPU and a four-core GPU. The SoC also features a 16-core Neural Engine.
Compared to the A13 Bionic found in the 2021 iPad, the A14 Bionic is claimed to offer a 20 percent increase in CPU and a 10 percent improvement in graphics performance. Those coming from the 7th generation iPad should expect up to three times the improvement in overall performance with the new iPad, according to Apple.
In terms of software, the new iPad gets the latest iPadOS 16 out of the box. While Stage Manager, the highlight feature of iPadOS 16, is not available on the iPad 10th-generation, it does get most of the other new features. For starters, the Messages app now lets your edit or recall recently sent messages, recover recently deleted messages, and mark conversations as unread.
Safari for iPad now adds shared Tab Groups, which lets users browse the web with others in a secure manner. While the basic calculator app is still not available, Apple has finally added the Weather app to iPadOS. The new iPad also comes with a new productivity app called Freeform, which offers a flexible canvas and full support for the Apple Pencil. Unfortunately, we did not have the Apple Pencil with us to try it out.
Other than the newly-introduced features in iPadOS 16, the iPad 10th generation also supports some of the traditional features such as Split View, which allows users to run two apps side by side. There is also the Slide Over feature, which lets you use apps in a small windowed mode.
To offer a more complete experience of a productivity machine, the iPad 10th generation can be magnetically attached to the Magic Keyboard’s Smart Connector on the frame of the iPad, which provides power and data. This means the keyboard never needs to be charged or paired. Once done, you can fold the keyboard behind the iPad or detach it entirely. The back cover has an adjustable, built-in kickstand for even more flexibility when watching videos or playing games.
iPad 10th Generation (2022) performance and battery life
The A14 Bionic in the 10th-generation iPad was able to handle pretty much everything I threw at it. I used the iPad with the Magic Keyboard Folio for my daily work, which mostly involved writing and publishing articles. The keyboard offers good key travel and is similar to the Magic Keyboard found in the MacBook Air (M1) (Review). The trackpad is also fairly large and supports multiple gestures, making it easier to navigate through the user interface (UI).
I typically used the Chrome browser with at least 10 tabs open almost all the time, along with Pages for writing articles. I had also connected my AirPods Pro 2nd-generation (Review) to the iPad while listening to songs on Apple Music. My use case might not be as intensive for the A14 Bionic SoC but in case you plan on using it in a similar way, then rest assured that the iPad 10th generation can handle this just fine. The processor also complements the larger screen when it comes to gaming. I played Call of Duty: Mobile, Asphalt 9: Legends and some lighter titles such as Hill Climb Racing on the iPad.
Call of Duty: Mobile ran decently well at the ‘Very High’ graphics and ‘Very high’ frame rate settings. There was barely any lag when playing a Team Deathmatch and multiplayer rounds for about 30 minutes straight. While the iPad 10th generation did not have any performance issues, I felt quite a bit of fatigue trying to perform hand-gymnastics in order to play such games. It’s best to use a wireless controller with the iPad for such games.
I also ran some benchmarks on the iPad. In Geekbench, the iPad 10th generation scored 1581 and 3994 points in the single-core and multi-core tests, respectively. The iPad scored 7,44,284 points in AnTuTu. For comparison, the iPhone 12 (Review) with the same SoC had scored 1,563 and 3,675 points in Geekbench and 5,68,462 points in AnTuTu, but this was with an older version of iOS. The M1 iPad Air on the other hand scored 1,001,016 points in AnTuTu and 1699 and 7206 points in Geekbench’s single-core and multi-core tests.
The iPad 10th generation has stereo speakers, which offer rich sound. For a true stereo setup, the speakers are placed on the top and bottom edges of the iPad (when held vertically). Even at full volume, there is no discernible distortion. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack, in case you were wondering.
In terms of battery life, Apple claims that the iPad 10th generation can last up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‑Fi or watching videos. The cellular variant has a claimed runtime of nine hours with the same use case. In our battery loop test, the iPad lasted for 9 hours, 54 minutes, which is very close to the claimed time.
On days when I used the iPad as my primary machine, I typically got a screen-on time (SoT) of 6 hours, 32 minutes. With 50 percent brightness and connected to Wi-Fi, the iPad was running multiple Chrome tabs and the Pages app. After playing games for about a couple of hours, the battery level dropped quicker than expected and lasted for about 5 hours, 43 minutes. This was only when I used the iPad non-stop, at a stretch. For the average user who has a medium to light use case, the iPad 10th generation should easily last for a couple of days. The 20W charging brick can fully charge the iPad within a couple of hours.
iPad 10th Generation (2022) cameras
The iPad 10th generation has two cameras — one on the back and one on the front. The rear 12-megapixel camera should mainly be used for scanning documents since the dynamic range is below average for photography, even though details and colours in photos were decent when used during the day.
The front camera houses a 12-megapixel sensor. The quality is quite good for both selfies and video calls. You can also enable the ultra-wide mode to widen the frame if more people are joining the video call. The iPad 10th generation also supports Centre Stage, which adjusts the frame to keep your face in the middle of it, or widen the frame automatically when it detects multiple people.
The iPad’s rear camera can record up to 4K videos at 60fps, whereas the front camera can record up to 1080p videos at 60fps. The overall video quality is pretty good.
The iPad 10th generation has received many upgrades compared to its 9th generation namesake. With an all-new design, this new iPad looks a lot more modern and premium. Minor, yet, welcomed changes such as a USB Type-C port and the landscape front camera contribute to offering a more convenient user experience. There are incremental upgrades to the display size and performance unit too, making the new iPad a more powerful device.
However, Apple has also priced it considerably higher at Rs. 44,900 for the base 64GB model. Our top-spec model with 256GB of storage and cellular costs quite a bit more. If you add the Magic Keyboard Folio, this pushes the price over Rs. 1,00,000.
Should you buy the iPad 10th generation as a laptop replacement? Unless you want a portable, lightweight machine with a touch display that supports the Apple Pencil, we can suggest getting the base model. It’s a good option for those who want an iPad that looks like the Air, but maybe don’t want to spend so much. The 256GB variant of the iPad 10th generation is a tough sell since for that price, you can get the base model of the iPad Air (M1) which has the M1 SoC and supports the 2nd generation Apple Pencil.
While the iPad 10th generation is a solid offering, its pricing in India makes it less appealing. The iPad Air (M1) can be found online for as low as Rs. 53,000 and if you can stretch your budget, it makes sense getting it over this iPad. There’s also the iPad mini 2021 (Review) which is a compact and powerful tablet that looks similar to the new iPad, but with a smaller screen and a higher price tag.