Specs Appeal: Comparing iPad 10 to iPad 9 and iPad 8

The iPad 10 next to the iPad 9

The cheapest iPad targets a delicate audience that is not ready to shell out $799 for the iPad Pro or even $599 for the iPad Air. These users want to get the best from the iPad world without spending more than $400, which makes the 10th gen iPad with its $449 price tag an interesting generation upgrade.

If you own an older entry-level iPad and the new model tempts you with its vivid colors, all-screen design, and a more powerful CPU, this article will help you figure out all the differences between four generations of Apple's budget-friendly tablets. You can jump to the list of key changes or the table with the specs.

In a nutshell, the iPad 10 is the iPad Air 4 with some downgrades. It has the same all-screen design with symmetrical bezels, squared chassis, and rounded corners. Also, please welcome USB-C instead of Lightning. Another feature inherited from the iPad Air 4 is the A14 Bionic CPU, which makes the baseline iPad insanely powerful for its price category.

The iPad 10 in its four new colors

The iPad 10 is the first affordable iPad to feature 5G connectivity. Still, potential buyers should note that the tablet does not support mmWave, only sub-6 networks. On the upside, there is Wi-FI 6 support and Bluetooth 5.2.

Another noteworthy upgrade in the iPad 10 compared to its four previous generations is the cameras. The rear-facing camera can now record video in 4K 60 fps and 1080p 240 fps. We are not here to judge those recording videos with their iPads, but it is a considerable upgrade, nothing to scoff at.

Speaking of cameras, the iPad 10 has a unique feature: its front-facing camera now sits alongside the longer edge of the display, allowing perfect framing for video calls. We cannot tell whether a repositioned front-facing camera is worth $120 extra over the iPad 9, but it is still a considerable change for Apple's tablets.

The Apple iPad 10th gen

Despite having a new design, the iPad 10 still lacks a fully-laminated display, and it does not support the Apple Pencil 2. It is great news for those upgrading from older generations—your existing Apple Pencil will continue working. Unfortunately, there is one caveat: you need a $9 adapter to charge and pair the original Apple Pencil with the iPad 10.

Another thing potential buyers should consider is that the iPad 10 is incompatible with the Folio Keyboard for the iPad 9 and iPad 8. If you want to convert this tablet into a laptop-looking thing, prepare to buy new accessories, such as the Apple Magic Keyboard Folio.

The Apple iPad 10th gen tablet

If the $449 price tag feels too much to swallow, you can opt for the ninth-gen iPad, which remains in the lineup for $329. Granted, it has no fancy chassis or all-screen design, but it is still a powerful device that features a classic look with the Home button on the front. The iPad 9 will provide you with enough power for years (including iPadOS upgrades), plus you can get the iPad 9 and the first-gen Apple Pencil for the price of the new model. If the looks do not matter to you that much, we recommend picking the iPad 9 instead of the iPad 10.

The iPad 9 with the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio

Here are the key changes summed up in a list:

  • A bigger display with an all-screen design
  • Four new bright chassis colors
  • A newer and more powerful A14 processor with a faster Neural Engine
  • Newer Wi-Fi and Bluetooth standards plus optional 5G (sub-6 only)
  • A front-facing camera on the longer side of the display with Smart HDR 3 support for photos
  • A higher-res rear-facing camera with 4K video support
  • USB-C port and no 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Relocated Smart Connector, which means no support for existing folio keyboards
  • A $120 price hike
iPad 10 iPad 9 iPad 8
Display

10.9-inch Liquid Retina
All-screen design
2360x1640, 264 ppi

500 nits brightness
sRGB, True Tone

10.2" Retina
2160x1620, 264 ppi
500 nits brightness
sRGB, True Tone
10.2" Retina
2160x1620, 264 ppi
500 nits brightness
Processor Apple A14 Bionic
6-core CPU
4-core GPU
16-core Neural Engine

Apple A13 Bionic
6-core CPU
4-core GPU
8-core Neural Engine

Apple A12 Bionic
6-core CPU
4-core GPU
8-core Neural Engine
Memory TBA 3GB
Storage 64GB and 256GB 64GB and 256GB 32GB and 128GB
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
5G (sub-6), Gigabit LTE, 3G, GPS
Nano-SIM, eSIM
Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.2
Gigabit-class LTE, 3G, GPS
Nano-SIM, eSIM
Front Camera

Landscape Camera
12MP, f/2.4 aperture
Center Stage
Retina Flash, Smart HDR3
1080p video @ 60 fps

Portrait Camera
12MP, f/2.4 aperture
Center Stage
Retina Flash
1080p video @ 60 fps
Portrait Camera
1.2MP, f/2.4 aperture
Center Stage
Retina Flash
720p video
Rear Camera 12MP, f/1.8
Smart HDR 3 for photos
4K video @ 60 fps
1080p video @ 60/120/240 fps
8MP, f/2.4
HDR
1080p video @ 30 fps
720p video @ 120 fps
Battery TBA
Up to 10 hours of video (Wi-Fi)
Up to 9 hours of video (cellular)
8557 mAh (32.4 Wh)
Up to 10 hours of video (Wi-Fi)
Up to 9 hours of video (cellular)
Audio Two landscape speakers Two speakers on the bottom side
Security TouchID in the top power button TouchID in the Home button
Ports USB-C, Smart Connector Lightning, 3.5 mm audio jack, Smart Connector
Apple Pencil 1st gen Apple Pencil
Requires USB-C-to-Lightning adapter
1st gen Apple Pencil
Colors Silver, Pink, Blue, Yellow Space Gray, Silver Space Gray, Silver, and Gold
Price $449 $329

The iPad 10 is available for pre-order, with shipping scheduled for October 24, 2022. What do you think about Apple's latest "cheap" iPad? Do you think its upgrades justify the $120 price increase? Would you rather opt for the cheaper $329 iPad 9? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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