Apple has taken the wraps off a new iPad. The iPad (10th generation) is definitely unlike any iPad of the past. It comes with an all-new design and the largest display ever seen on an iPad, as well as a totally-revamped design that seems very similar to that of the iPad Air. And, of course, it comes with better hardware overall, including improved cameras and a better processor.

But accompanying all this is a very hefty price tag.

ipad 10th gen vs ipad 9th gen

At $449/Rs 44,900, the 2022 iPad (10th generation) comes with the biggest starting price tag of any basic, suffix-less iPad. That is significantly more than the $299/Rs 30,900 at which its predecessor was launched and remains so, even after its recent price bump up to $329/Rs 33,900.

Interestingly, unlike in the past, Apple has not discontinued the previous iPad. As a result, anyone in the market for a “basic” iPad now has two iPads to choose from, the spanking new iPad (10th generation) and its predecessor, the iPad (9th generation). One brings modern design and better hardware, while the other is tried and trusted, and faithful with a much more affordable price tag.

Which of the two should you go for? Let us work that out for you:

Appearance: Classic or a breath of fresh Air

The biggest difference between the two iPads is in the design department. While the new iPad mimics the narrow bezels, straight sides, and flat back of the iPad Air and the iPhone 14 series, the iPad 9 (2021) has the classic curved sides and back of older iPads, as well as larger bezels and a trademark round home button under the display.

Which you prefer is really up to you. Both look premium with their blend of metal and glass, and both are lightweight, weighing under half a kilo. Interestingly, even though the new iPad has a larger display than its predecessor, it is actually more compact and slightly lighter – it is 248.6 mm tall as compared to 250.6 mm of the older iPad and weighs 477 grams as compared to 487 grams. The new iPad also comes in four colors (silver, pink, blue, and yellow), while the older one sticks to silver and grey. Which one you prefer is really a matter of aesthetics. We are giving this round to the iPad 10 (2022) mainly because of that lighter and less tall frame and those colors.

Winner: iPad (10th generation)

Display and processor: Bigger, faster than before

ipad 10th gen

We would normally have made these categories two different sections, but the differences here are quite stark. The 2021 iPad (9th generation) comes with an A13 Bionic chip and a 10.2-inch retina display of 2160 x 1620 px resolution.

The new iPad easily trumps this. It not only comes with a newer A14 Bionic processor but also with the largest display ever seen on a base iPad – a 10.9-inch retina display of 2360 x 1640 px resolution. The fact that the new iPad is lighter and weighs less than its predecessor in spite of this larger display simply makes this round even more one-sided.

Winner: iPad (10th generation)

Cameras: Winning on the back, tying in the front

From what we have seen, most people tend to use the front-facing cameras on the iPads a lot more than the rear ones. That is because while the front-facing cameras are handy for video calls, the size of the tablets makes the rear cameras difficult to use. Interestingly, both the new iPad and its predecessor are tied on the front camera – both have 12-megapixel selfie shooters, although the 2022 iPad (10th generation) has it on the landscape edge (the first iPad to have it there). Both front cameras also have the Centre Stage feature, which tracks the subject.

In the rear camera department, however, the 2022 iPad (10th generation) has a clear edge, with a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera with 4K video support as compared to the 8-megapixel ultrawide with 1080p video support on the previous iPad. We honestly feel that given the usage pattern of cameras on the iPad, this round is pretty close, but the newer iPad takes it mainly because of its rear cameras.

Winner: iPad (10th generation)

Sound: Wired for victory

When it comes to sound, both iPads have stereo speakers. We think the new iPad sounds a little better in terms of quality, but the iPad (9th generation) wins this round because it also comes with a 3.5 mm audio jack, something which now no other iPad has. This means that you can connect your wired earphones to it without needing any dongle. We can see media editors loving this feature.

Winner: iPad (9th generation)

Gaming and multimedia: Those bezels actually help

2022 ipad 10 vs 2021 ipad 9

In terms of gaming and multimedia, the new iPad has a clear edge over its predecessor as it comes with a better processor and a larger display. However, we found the iPad (9th generation) slightly easier to handle in gaming sessions, thanks to its slightly larger bezels, which allowed us to hold it without getting our hands on the display.

The difference in gaming performance does not seem massive from our early impressions, but we expect the new iPad to be better overall, thanks to its hardware edge. Mind you, that 3.5 mm audio jack does mean that you can attach wired gaming headphones to the iPad (9th generation) without a dongle!

Winner: iPad (10th generation)

Software: iPadOS rules

When it comes to software, both iPads are on iPadOS 16, and both run it very smoothly indeed (minus Stage Manager, which is the preserve of the Air and the Pros). Apple has a great track record in updating devices, so we expect both iPads to be updated for the next four to five years. The new iPad might get one more update thanks to its newer processor, but that would be only in the long run. As of now, this is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Apple Pencil Support: New iPad, old Apple Pencil, new dongles

9th-gen ipad accessories support

Both tablets come with support for the first-generation Apple Pencil. The iPad 2022’s larger display gives you more space to sketch and scribble, but the iPad 2021’s lightning port means that you can charge the Apple Pencil directly from it. No need to purchase the latest dongle from Apple – the Type C to Lightning one. You can just connect the Apple Pencil to the Lightning port. Charging Apple’s stylus off the new iPad will be a little more complex with the involvement of the dongle. Incidentally, the performance of the Apple Pencil on both displays is pretty similar.

Winner: iPad (9th generation)

General usage: Padding up for everyday tasks

Both iPads handle routine tasks like watching Web browsing, mail, using social networking, and messaging with ease. We did find the older iPad’s fingerprint scanner, located in the home button below the display, easier to operate than the one on the iPad 10, which has it on the power button on the top, which is more difficult to reach. The new iPad is less tall but a little wider than the iPad 9, and some people might not like the straight sides it brings along, but that is a matter of taste.

Battery life on both devices tops out at around ten hours, and both can support Bluetooth keyboards, although the iPad (10th generation) also brings USB Type C connectivity to the table. The larger display of the new iPad also makes it more suitable to step into the shoes of a notebook when needed. The difference between the two tablets is not really that great, so we are calling this one a tie.

Winner: Tie

Price: A matter of money

This is as one-sided as can be. The 2021 iPad (9th generation) starts at $329/Rs 33,900 for the 64 GB Wi-Fi edition, while the 2022 iPad (10th generation) starts at $449/Rs 44,900 for the same variant. In short, you can get an iPad (9th generation) and an Apple Pencil, and a Bluetooth keyboard for the price of the new iPad. Do we even need to spell out who wins this one?

Winner: iPad (9th generation)

So which one should you buy?

If budget is not an issue, then the 2022 iPad (10th generation) is a better option than the 2021 iPad (9th generation). You get a newer design, and even if you are not the type to be swayed by appearances, you get newer and better hardware.

However, if you do want to keep your expenditure to a minimum, the 2021 iPad (9th generation) remains a very good proposition. Some content creators also might prefer the older iPad just for the 3.5 mm audio jack, as many use wired earphones for editing.

That apart, we do think that the only significant challenge that the 2021 iPad (9th generation) poses to its successor is in terms of price. Mind you, that IS quite a challenge when you consider just how wide the price gap between those two devices is. If you are ok with a slightly smaller display and a barely noticeable dip in performance, then the iPad (9th generation) remains a great option. And you will not need a Type C to Lightning adapter to use an Apple Pencil with it!

Buy 2022 iPad (10th generation) – USA Buy 2022 iPad (10th generation) – India

Buy 2021 iPad (9th generation) – USA Buy 2021 iPad (9th generation) – India

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