Apple iPad 10th Gen Review – SI Showcase

Apple iPad 10th Gen Review – SI Showcase

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Apple unveiled the latest iPad without a fancy event or much fanfare. Instead, the tablet was announced via a press release and was immediately made available for pre-order, with the official launch starting on Wednesday, October 26.

The new iPad borrows the same design we’ve seen Apple use on more expensive models and has made the leap to USB-C, but it comes at the cost of a price increase. Instead of Apple’s fixed price of $329 for the entry-level tablet, the iPad now starts at $449. To be clear, the ninth-generation iPad is still available for purchase, keeping its starting price of $329 intact.

iPad users have never had more options when it comes to Apple’s tablet, and a case can be made whether that’s a good thing or not.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about Apple’s latest iPad, whether you’re in the market to upgrade your iPad or you’re ready to pick up your first tablet. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive in.

A trickle-down design

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The 2022 iPad is the recipient of years of design changes and tweaks that appeared on high-end models like the Air or Pro. Apple first ditched the home button, debuting a flat-sided design and a USB-C port with the 2018 iPad Pro. Without a home button and the Touch ID sensor used to recognize fingerprints to unlock the tablet or log into apps that it carried, Apple moved the biometric sensor to the top button on the 2022 iPad Air.

And now all of these features are in use with the standard iPad, complete with blue, silver, pink and yellow color options. Apple sent me a blue review and I think it looks good, but if I were to buy myself an iPad I’d definitely go with the yellow option. It just looks fun.

The 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display matches the screen size of the current iPad Air and looks better than last year’s iPad.

There’s one feature making its iPad debut that’s sure to leave iPad Air and iPad Pro users feeling a twinge of jealousy. Instead of keeping the front camera in its traditional place, located on the left side of the iPad screen when using the tablet in landscape orientation, the front camera is now centered above the screen.

By moving the horizontal 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera to the center of the tablet, it’s far easier to stay in the middle of the video stream that feeds into video calls, whether it’s on FaceTime or Zoom.

I’ve used the iPad for a handful of video calls over the past few days, and I can say that I prefer the camera’s new placement, simply because it’s a more natural placement. Most of us are used to seeing ourselves centered in our video feed thanks to our laptop’s webcams, and now owners of the new iPad will have the same experience.

Center Stage boosts the front-facing camera’s chops as an ideal video call setup, a feature that moves the camera feed to follow you as you move around, zooms in on you if someone leaves the frame, or zooms out to include more of the room when another person is spotted.

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At the bottom of the iPad, you’ll find a USB-C port instead of Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector for charging the iPad and transferring files at USB 2.0 speeds. The switch to USB-C was inevitable, and frankly I’m surprised it took Apple this long to make the change on the standard iPad.

Inside the iPad box is a 20W wall adapter and a USB-C to USB-C cable. In my testing with a more powerful wall adapter, I saw the iPad draw just under 30W of power at times, so you may want to pick up a faster wall adapter to ensure you get the fastest charging speeds.

When the iPad is in landscape orientation, the top edge is where you’ll find the volume up and down buttons. On the left edge is where the Touch ID sensor is now located, pulling dual function as sleep/wake and the power button.

Although the sensor is narrow and long, I rarely have problems with it recognizing my fingerprint and unlocking the tablet or signing me into an app. The biggest adjustment for me personally is remembering to just rest a registered finger on the button to wake and unlock the tablet.

For the first day or two, I would press the button which would often cause the iPad to unlock and start showing the home screen, but then instantly lock. It’s a comical dance the first couple of times, but after that it’s really annoying. So if you end up with a new iPad, remember this – rest your finger on the button until it unlocks and you see the home screen. Don’t press it!

Let’s talk about the Apple Pencil situation

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Although the iPad now has almost the same design as the iPad Air, iPad Mini, and iPad Pro, Apple made the decision to stick with the original Apple Pencil for iPad, and not add support for the second-generation Apple Pencil to the latest. tablet.

My current theory, as well as many others, is that Apple had to make a decision between using the second-generation Apple Pencil or moving the front-facing camera. Why? Because the latest Apple Pencil attaches magnetically to the side of the iPad housing. And when connected, it charges wirelessly. That side of the iPad housing is the same place where the new front camera is found.

There simply isn’t enough room in the iPad housing for both camera hardware and Apple Pencil hardware to coexist. So Apple prioritized the front-facing camera and kept first-generation Apple Pencil support.

And, frankly, the experience between the two Apple Pencil models, while different, is similar enough that only an avid artist or someone who takes a lot of notes on the iPad will notice. Personally, I don’t use the Apple Pencil very often. Although I’ve started taking meeting notes in Microsoft’s OneNote app, and despite the design difference between the two Apple Pencils, with the second-generation model having a flat edge on one side, I didn’t really notice a difference in experience.

However, there is a small problem. Launched in 2015, the first generation Apple Pencil has a lighting socket under the cap on the non-business side for initial pairing and charging. With previous iPad models, there was no problem because you could remove the cap, plug the pencil directly into the tablet and think nothing of it.

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However, now that the iPad uses USB-C, you can’t connect the Apple Pencil directly to the iPad. Instead, you’ll need to buy a $9 USB-C to Apple Pencil adapter if you already own an Apple Pencil. The adapter will be included in the box for the $99 Apple Pencil.

The adapter and Apple Pencil orders don’t ship until the first week of November, and that date keeps getting pushed back, complicating the whole situation even more.

I can say that I’ve already misplaced the adapter a couple of times and I’ve only had the iPad for a few days. The Apple Pencil’s battery lasts for 12 hours of use, so it’s not like you’ll need it every single day – unless it’s a very old Apple Pencil, in which case the battery life isn’t going to be what it should be.

Perhaps the decision to stick with the first-generation Apple Pencil was Apple just playing nice so that those upgrading from an older iPad wouldn’t have to buy a new Apple Pencil; especially when you consider the education industry and the number of iPads and Apple Pencils already in use there.

A semi-pro experience

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The Apple Pencil and the conundrum it brings aren’t the only productivity accessory the iPad supports. Alongside the iPad, Apple unveiled the $249 Magic Keyboard Folio for iPad. Made of two parts, the keyboard with trackpad part magnetically connects to the iPad’s Smart Connector on the lower edge of the housing. And there’s a back cover that also houses a stand that can be folded out, also connecting to the iPad using magnets.

Because the keyboard uses the Smart Connector, there is no battery in the keyboard, making it light and thin, and best of all, you don’t have to worry about charging it.

The keyboard is not too cramped to type on, as is often the case with keyboards made for devices with smaller screens. And Apple managed to fit a function row with keys for routine tasks such as volume adjustment, media playback, multitasking and locking the tablet. The keyboards Apple currently makes for the iPad Air and iPad Pro lack a number of function keys, although Pro users have been asking Apple for one since release.

When using the iPad with the Magic Keyboard Folio, the overall experience feels very much like the iPad Pro. Indeed, the iPad does not support the fancy Stage Manager multitasking features that the iPad Pro and iPad Air receive with the launch of iPadOS 16.1, but you can still use three apps simultaneously on the iPad screen and the A14 Bionic processor does not skip a beat.

Much of my use involved launching a YouTube video and then minimizing the app to trigger picture-in-picture mode. I would then open Safari on one side of the screen, and have Tweetbot open on the other half of the screen, while sliding an app like Messages or Slack on and off the screen. There were a few occasions during testing when I marveled at how much you can get done on the iPad, forgoing the need for a faster and more expensive iPad Air or iPad Pro.

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My favorite part of the Magic Keyboard Folio is the back cover with the fold-out kickstand. I found myself removing the keyboard frequently and using the iPad as a tablet, rather than leaving it connected to the keyboard. It was a liberating experience.

Apple claims up to 10 hours of battery life with constant web browsing or videos. I found it to be accurate, as is often the case with iPad battery life estimates. I have had to charge the iPad about every other day.

At one point, I connected an Xbox controller to the iPad, launched Xbox Cloud Gaming, and played a game of Fortnite. Over the next 20 minutes or so, I watched the iPad battery drop from 100% down to 95%, as I secured a Victory Royale – my first on an iPad.

One aspect of the $449 iPad model I’m not a big fan of is its 64GB of storage. The review sample I received is the $599 256GB version, and after a quick check I can see I’ve already used 87.4GB – just from installing the basic suite of apps and services I use daily.

I wish Apple would have doubled the base model’s storage to 128GB for $449; I imagine I’m not alone in filling up 64GB of storage without much effort.

Bottom line: Is the 10th generation iPad worth it?

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Apple’s iPad lineup has never looked better, thanks in part to the tenth-generation iPad and all its fancy new colors. At the same time, the tablet selection has never been more crowded, and as a byproduct of that – confusing. Price points range from $329 to $1,099 for the ninth-generation iPad all the way up to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, respectively.

At $449, this year’s iPad delivers an exceptional tablet experience, just as we’ve come to expect from Apple with every update and release. But the price is high enough that it might persuade those upgrading from an older tablet or buying their first iPad to spend a little more for the $599 iPad Air with a faster processor, improved display and second-generation Apple Pencil support.

So who is the new iPad for? Great question. I still haven’t quite figured it out, but I can say this: I’ve been enjoying using the tenth-generation iPad for the past few days. From a great screen and solid performance to excellent battery life and the new Magic Keyboard Folio that makes it the perfect device for students or an inbox triaging machine for everyone else, there’s a lot to love.

Prices are accurate and in stock at time of publication.

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