Apple has officially unveiled the 10th generation iPad. The latest iteration finally brings a design refresh, new colors, a better CPU, and 5G compatibility to earn a price jump in an ever-expanding iPad lineup. The company will continue to sell the iPad 9, and the iPad 10 sits right between the 9th generation and the M1 iPad Air. Check out our iPad 10 vs. iPad 9 comparison below to find out if the new iPad can justify its increased price tag.
iPad 9 vs. iPad 10: Design
The design overhaul on iPad 10 alone makes the iPad 9 a thing of the past. Apple has finally removed the iconic home button and large bezels at the top and delivered an angular design with flat edges and rounded corners. Unlike iPad 9, the 10th generation iPad looks and feels similar to the more expensive iPad Air and iPad Pro models. There’s no Touch ID-based Home button on the new iPad. Instead, the sensor has been integrated into the top button, just like on the iPad Air.
iPad 10 is marginally thinner (7 mm vs. 7.5 mm) and 10g lighter than the predecessor. Additionally, you no longer need to settle with the dull space gray and silver colors. iPad 10 brings a breath of fresh air with vibrant color options to choose from. You can pick the latest tablet in silver, pink, blue, and yellow shades.
iPad 9 vs. iPad 10: Display
The iPad 10 display is more in line with the iPad Air lineup. Apple has increased the display size from 10.2-inch to 10.9-inch Liquid Retina Panel. The increase in size brings a slight bump in the resolution (2360 x 1640 vs. 2160 x 1620), and the PPI (pixel per inch) and display brightness remain at the same levels. It does miss out on P3 wide color, anti-reflective coating, full lamination panel, and ProMotion, which you get on the iPad Air and iPad Pro lineup.
iPad 9 vs. iPad 10: A13 Bionic vs. A14 Bionic
iPad 10 packs an A14 bionic CPU. Similar to iPad 9’s A13, the A14 is a 6-core CPU with two performance and four efficiency cores to fly through tasks and enjoy smooth web browsing. A14 brings significant benefits to the Neural Engine (16-core in A14 vs. 8-core in A13). Apple promises 80% faster neural engine performance on iPad 10.
The performance boost won’t affect the battery life either. iPad 10 is rated to deliver up to 10 hours of web surfing on Wi-Fi or up to 9 hours of surfing the web using a cellular data network. The battery life numbers are similar to the iPad 9. While the software experience remains on both tablets, none of them are compatible with Stage Manager in iPadOS 16.
iPad 9 vs. iPad 10: Welcome Camera Upgrades
iPad 9’s 8MP wide camera gets a resolution bump to 12MP in the new avatar. It uses an f/1.8 aperture lens compared to an f/2.4 aperture for better low-light performance. You can shoot videos in [email protected] resolution, while the iPad 9 is capped at [email protected] Slo-mo video recording capabilities are also getting a boost from 720p at 120 fps to 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps.
Although we don’t recommend shooting images and videos with an iPad, it’s good to see Apple focusing on the camera in iPad 10. The front camera remains mostly unchanged from the iPad 9, though it is now meant for use in landscape orientation. There’s also Center Stage support to deliver a better video meeting experience.
iPad 9 vs. iPad 10: Connectivity
iPad 9 felt outdated with previous generation Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi 5. iPad 10 brings Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6 support. Apple has also replaced the Lightning connector with a universal USB-C port.
iPad 9 vs. iPad 10: Accessories
Unfortunately, iPad 10 is still only compatible with 1st generation Apple Pencil. Support for 2nd generation Apple Pencil starts from the iPad Air lineup. iPad 10 does support Magic Keyboard Folio, though. The same is missing from the iPad 9.
iPad 9 vs. iPad 10: Price
Major changes to the design, display, processor, camera, and connectivity bring a price increment too. The 64GB iPad 9 Wi-Fi variant costs $329 and $459 for the cellular one. Apple charges $120 more with iPad 10. The 10th generation iPad starts at $449 for the Wi-Fi and jumps to $599 for the cellular model.
We would have loved to see a bump in base storage to 128GB on the iPad 10. But it would have been tricky for Apple to justify the move as the more expensive iPad Air starts at the same 64GB space.
Is the iPad 10 worth buying over the iPad 9?
With its old design language, the iPad 9 always felt like an outsider in a modern-looking iPad lineup. The new iPad 10 slots perfectly between the iPad 9 and iPad Air. If you are on a tight budget or don’t need the M1 power, the iPad 10 can be the ideal pick without sacrificing design, display, and connectivity.