Apple’s 10th Generation iPad is a masterpiece of design, following in the footsteps of the iPad Pros or more clearly the iPad Air, Apple adds a bit of colour to the range which is enough to make up for some shortcomings that make it hard to justify the price.
At $749 the 10th Generation is $200 more than the 9th Generation which itself was so similar to its predecessor that it was hard to tell them apart.
But it’s vastly different in its design. Gone are the rounded edges – in are the square edges from the Pro, Air and even iPhones.
That makes it almost identical to the iPad Air, which either makes this hard to justify when the Air is just $200 more, or it makes the Air hard to justify when this is $200 less.
It lacks the wireless charger for the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation (more on that soon), and the rear mounted connectors for the Magic Keyboard. Instead the connectors are on the side for the Keyboard Folio.
TouchID is in the main (power) button as per the Air, and it’s USB-C charged like the Air and Pro models.
What it lacks that the iPad Air has is the laminated screen and wider colour range, which a keen eye might notice, but most importantly it has an A14 Bionic chip instead of the M1 processor – meaning it’s powered by a chip a couple of years old in iPhone terms, but one up on the 9th Gen.
Good for plenty of action, and gaming. Great for 99.9% of everyday tasks.
So, the Apple Pencil. This is the curious thing.
iPad supports Apple Pencil 1st generation. That’s ok – the differences are minimal to most users. If you’re keen on features of the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil, I’d suggest an iPad Pro is for you.
But, that leaves you with an Apple Pencil that both charges and pairs via a lightning port. Something the iPad doesn’t have in the 10th generation.
So you need a USB-C to Apple Pencil connector. This little “dongle” as it will likely be called, has two female connector ports, one USB-C one lightning. Plus a USB-C to USB-C cable into the iPad and the dongle, and your Apple Pencil into the other side and it will (after a decent 8-10 seconds) initiate a Bluetooth pairing request.
Once that’s done – the pencil works fine.
Until you need to charge it. Then you need that cable, the connector and power – to give it some juice.
It’s not horrible, but it’s strange. The connector is $15 if you already have an Apple Pencil. If you buy a new Pencil ($159) the connector comes with it.
iPad powered by A14 Bionic is without doubt enough for most if not all. The four colour options – in particular the Yellow, Pink and Blue are the real reason you’ll want it.
Light weight, slim, modern design, and performance that will see it last you years to come.
iPad 10th Generation goes on sale Wednesday, 64GB WiFi only $749, with 5G $999. 256GB variant is $999 or $1,249 with 5G.