So the 10th generation iPad checks all of the good boxes, hence making sense on why this is the top-selling tablet from Apple. But there are some features that make me go, hmm? Because it got me wondering who is this tablet actually for? And who should be buying it? Well, let’s dive in deep to find out after using this tablet after a month.
Build Quality & Design
The 10th generation iPad comes with the all familiar feel and design quality, it has the aluminum chassis and adopts the rounded corners and hard edges that are in the iPad Mini, iPad Air and the Pro lineup.
The display has been updated to align with today’s flagship specs. But we’ve got a bezel that is in line with the year 2010s – a bit more on that later.
On the sides, we got the stereo speakers and a USB-C port. Yup – you heard me right, it’s USB-C and not Apple’s Lightning connector, the final iPad to have this. So this means that you’ve got universal compatibility with USB-C chargers and can be connected to an external display as well.
Other than that, you got the single camera sensor at the back and one in the front, which has been moved to the landscape orientation, which was a brilliant move, and I hope that they will be doing the same for the Pro lineup in the future because now it is way more natural when you use it in video calls.
And another final feature that has been brought into the iPad is the Touch ID sensor on the button for easy unlocking.
As for the display, the larger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display is pretty good when it comes to the size and resolution. The extra visual real estate makes using apps less cramped and more visually pleasing.
But the 500 nits brightness means that you can’t be getting the Pro level brightness on the iPad, and when you compare it side by side, you will see a huge difference between them, but I think that this issue won’t be such of an issue if you don’t really use the tablet under a bright sunlight all the time.
And I feel that this brightness value also played a huge part in getting better battery life, which I will go into that later.
The display’s color accuracy isn’t too bad, it is pretty accurate with some websites getting Delta-E values of about 0.2 in their very own testing. That is pretty respectable and also means that the display should be good enough to do some design work.
It also supports HDR, which allows you to view details even in darker scenes in videos, where the iPad had a great experience when watching content on Netflix, Disney+ and of course on YouTube as well.
Now, if we pause and look at the display technology, this 10th Gen iPad is suitable for someone looking for a familiar, no-frills device and someone looking for a new tablet for their entertainment needs. However, that may not be enough for some of the features that we will be looking into later.
As for the cameras, the new iPad has 12-megapixel sensors on the front and the back of the tablet. The main sensor at the back comes with Autofocus, Auto image stabilization, and up to 5x digital zoom.
It also supports 4K video recording at a maximum of 60 fps, compared to the previous generation iPad that could only record up to 1080p, so if you really like to use the tablet’s rear camera, that is pretty decent specs.
Then on the front, the camera comes with some features that make sense for video calls which include an ultra-wide sensor with a 122-degree field of view. It has 1080p video recording for the front camera.
And speaking of video calls, it also supports Apple Center Stage, which is nice that Apple has included that in this so-called entry-level iPad as well.
So, as a total package, it seems like this iPad has the cameras down-packed where it is more than capable compared to most tablets out there.
Let’s take a look at some of the video footage and pictures from the camera. When you put it side by side with the iPad Pro and the iPad Air, and you will surely see a difference, but again, it is better than most of the competitions out there. So it does come down to whether or not you need a tablet to take photos or videos or you can just stick to your phone when it comes to that.
Apple’s iPadOS has always been feature packed and has lots of features that help you to be productive on the go. However, this 10th Gen iPad does not support iPadOS 16’s Stage Manager, where it does supercharge the multitasking features on the iPad, which has quick access to your recently used apps, and there is no window resizing feature as well.
But that is the only feature which is not available on the 10th Gen iPad. The rest of the features, such as the Live Text or translating text, even on a video frame, and editing messages and un-sending messages is all available in the 10th Gen iPad.
And the feature to lift subjects and objects in pictures by simply long tapping, and then you’ll be able to copy that image into another software, is also available on this 10th Gen iPad.
And during my usage, I had no bugs or any optimization issues when using it, which fully confirms further why iPadOS has always been the best OS on a tablet. And yes, also beating Android tablets. And being an Apple software, at least it has 5 years of software updates.
So, the new iPad comes with the A14 Bionic chip, the same processor that Apple has used in the iPhone 12 series.
Now, you may be wondering, Ha? iPhone 12? Isn’t the latest iPhone the iPhone 14, bruh?
Well, since I was comparing the OS from an Android tablet earlier, guess what, this A14 Bionic chip is 5x faster than the best Android flagship tablet, and it is also 80% faster compared to the previous 9th gen.
So, it is plenty capable when it comes to performing heavy tasks like photo or even video editing as well. And yes, I was pretty impressed with the performance and the software is smooth, performs very well when it comes to multitasking, where it was snappy, fast, and very responsive indeed.
Creative Work & Apple Pencil
So I thought I would use the iPad as how I would use my iPad Pro. Now, I used my regular on-the-go video editing software LumaFusion since DaVinci Resolve won’t be available on this iPad, so keep that in mind, because of the non-existent M1 chipset on the tablet.
Now, of course, I did not edit my high-resolution 6K footage; instead, I tried to edit some 4K and 1080p videos. To do this, I used the brand-new Magic Keyboard Folio and also the Apple Pencil as well.
So it goes without saying that the iPad could handle 1080p workloads better than 4K video files. That said, if you’re in a time crunch – this particular iPad may not be your first choice when it comes to heavy video editing.
But I have to say that working with the Magic Keyboard Folio is still a pretty good experience. It is very responsive, literally has zero setup, of course the only setup is connecting with the smart magnetic connector.
The new Magic Keyboard Folio for the iPad does not come with the floating arm like the other Pro versions of the Magic Keyboard; instead, it opts for a more conventional kickstand approach, and while I did miss the whole ergonomics of the Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro, especially with the whole floating feature, which makes it easier to use it while it is on my lap.
This new Magic Keyboard Folio had a perfect key travel of 1mm, with a satisfying click when typing on the keyboard, where it was pretty responsive; and here is where I preferred this over the Pro Magic Keyboard.
Now, I also loved how there are dedicated function keys at the top row, and the trackpad was nice and large, making it the largest trackpad compared to the Pro Magic Keyboard as well. And the fact that I could use the keyboard and the kickstand individually was also a huge plus.
Now, speaking of creative work, let’s address the whole Apple Pencil fiasco, shall we?
Now in case you have been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about how this new 10th Gen iPad only supports the 1st generation Apple Pencil, which has higher latency and less sensitivity than the latest generation Apple Pencil.
Now, I seriously swear that all of that was not really noticeable. In fact, you’d barely even realize the difference, especially if you are not doing some very high-quality shading or some drawing work on the iPad.
Since I use the Apple Pencil only with the new Magic Keyboard Folio, once I am done using it, I just put it in between the keyboard and the iPad, but yes, it would be nice that if it could be placed magnetically on top of the iPad, instead of the bottom, where the magnets were not as strong as how it should be compared to the Pro, so keep that in mind that you might lose the Apple Pencil, or you might drop it if you place it underneath.
Then the common complaint is of course the fact that it charges via the Lightning port, and since this new iPad has the USB-C port, you will need to use the adapter, which the good news is that it does come inside of the Apple Pencil’s box. (Apple Pencil box? That would be a very interesting product, right?)
So has it been an issue for me using it daily? Absolutely not, and I feel that most people just love to actively find something not “perfect” and then just dwell on it instead of knowing whether or not it really affects you every single day, and for me using this for a month, it did not affect me at all.
Then going into the battery, the 10th Gen iPad has a pretty respectable battery life, which Apple guarantees up to 10 hours of usage with the WiFi version and about 9 hours with the Cellular version. And based on my usage and test, I was pretty surprised that I got close to 11 hours and sometimes even more on this particular iPad, so that was sweet.
Who is it for?
So, let’s try to answer the question on who is this particular iPad for. Well, earlier on I said that the display and design make the 10th Gen iPad perfect for the on-the-go worker and even some creatives.
While yes, the display and camera features do support those creative professionals, but it’s not the most ideal when it comes to heavier editing and exporting videos, where you will be better off using the M1 chip for the iPad Air or even the Pros.
However, if you’re an artist looking to get into the NFTs or experimenting with apps like Procreate, then you can consider getting this iPad as it should be able to take your workload and also help you to start off your creative journey.
It’s also perfect for students for their work and also the occasional gaming on the device. Parents who are hesitant to get a full laptop as it is more than capable of taking on your child’s classes and also the overall classwork.
And of course, the new colors should also make it easier for your child to get excited about school, especially with the new color variant of yellow, which I preferred compared to this silver color version.
Lastly, this could also be best for your aging parents as well. It’s simple to use and comes with features they can take advantage of to stay in contact, especially if the Apple Pencil and the Magic Keyboard becomes a secondary concern.