Apple iPad 11th gen Preview: Our expectations

iPad 11th Gen preview

iPad 11th gen Intro

In 2022, Apple finally updated its base-level iPad to the new design standard that the Pros, Airs, and minis had — the all-screen front, the uniform bezel. The iPad 10th gen even introduced a new design element that is just now making it to the new Pros and Airs — the landscape selfie camera, which makes video calls less awkward. The iPad 10th gen also came with its own Magic Keyboard Folio, USB C port, and support for the Apple Pencil gen 1. A bonafide iPad — the core experience is there, the premium features are cut.

The defining trait of a base level iPad is that it doesn't have a high-quality laminated display, and it has a processor that lacks at least a couple of years behind the most current Apple mobile chips. The iPad 10th gen has an Apple A14 Bionic — that's the chip that came out with the iPhone 12 series in 2020. So, now, in 2024 — you may be thinking it's not a good idea to buy the iPad — maybe wait for an iPad 11th gen?

Good idea! Unfortunately, we kind of don't know when Apple intends to upgrade us to that. An iPad 11th gen was expected in October of 2023. Obviously — that didn't happen. So, there's a chance we might see in launch in late 2024 — with the next iPhone 16 series, or a month after them.

What new is expected about the device

  • New Apple A16 Bionic on board instead of Apple A14 Bionic

Table of Contents:

iPad 11th gen Specs

Not much to write home about

As mentioned, we currently expect that Apple might only update the processor of the iPad 11th Gen in comparison with its predecessor, so the rest of the iPad 11th Gen specs should look something like this:

Note: All specs above are preliminary. 

iPad 11th gen Design & Colors

No changes expected

Knowing Apple, it would take a good few years before the base iPad gets another redesign, and it'll be trickling down from the Pros. In other words — we don't foresee major changes in this area anytime soon. However, that's not something inherently bad: we loved the iPad 10th Gen redesign, which is as neat as they come. 

With fairly broad but uniform bezels all around, no curves in the exterior, and a sleek aluminum body, the iPad 10th gen provides an excellent foundation for all upcoming base iPads to build on, and we can't really find any major problems with the look or feel of the affordable iPad. 
A welcome change in contrast with previous iPads was the more diverse color roster, which substituted the traditional Silver and Space Gray for the much livelier Silver, Blue, Pink, and Yellow colors. Those surely added some much-needed life to the lineup, and we hope that the next iPad only adds to the available options.

iPad 11th gen Display

While most previous iPads boasted 10.2-inch displays, we got a 10.9-inch iPad in 2022. That's close to the 11-inch size of the Pros and the new Airs, and it seems like Apple finds it to be the perfect balance between compact and "big enough" for most tasks. With the iPad 10th Gen, we got a fairly large and bright screen, but alas, those are the few remotely nice things we could say about that 60Hz non-laminated display.  

While the new iPad Pros did get OLED panels, we don't think the base model will get that any time soon, if ever. The non-laminated panel does look lower quality than what you can see on Airs and Pros, but it's not horrible. The color calibration is still on point, and max brightness is sufficient. Unfortunately, however, any type of high refresh rate is still exclusive to the iPad Pro line. 

In terms of biometrics, Apple is most certainly sticking with a Touch ID module embedded into the side-positioned power button, which should offer a fast and no-nonsense experience. 

iPad 11th gen Camera

In case of emergency, take a photo

Yes, tablets should be your last resort when it comes to photography as they are rarely on the receiving end of any major camera niceties. It's unlikely Apple would update the camera of the iPad 11th Gen — the 12 MP resolution sits in that "good enough for a tablet" space. You can certainly use it if you need an emergency document scan, or need to flip the camera during a video call — it's not an iPhone 15 Pro Max level of excellence, but it can get the job done.

The FaceTime camera, which is essential for video calls, will likely remain similar in hardware and software specs. The ultra-wide lens, combined with Center Stage, which follows your face around, is a main feature of all iPads nowadays.

iPad 11th gen Performance & Benchmarks

Better, faster, stronger

As per the rumors, the only major upgrade that the iPad 11th gen will be scoring is none other but a jump to the Apple A16 Bionic, which should offer vastly superior performance and better efficiency in comparison with the iPad 10th gen's Apple A14 Bionic chip. The Apple A16 Bionic is a very, very capable mobile chipset that has been happily ticking inside the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, as well as this year's iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus

While the Apple A16 Bionic isn't on the same level as the Apple M-series of desktop-grade chips, it should deliver more than a decent uptick to raw performance. Battery life should also be affected positively, so the already enduring iPad would probably last much longer.

Storage-wise, the iPad 10th Gen came with a 64 GB base storage option, and you can upgrade to 256 GB for an extra $150. 64 GB is kind of stingy in 2024, but you know — Apple does have a track record of giving you really low storage on its cheapest devices. We think the story will repeat with the iPad 11th gen.

iPad 11th gen OS

The next base iPad will come with iPad OS 17 on board. This one comes with interactive widgets, lock screen personalization, live activities, the Health app for iPad, and more. 

As far as software support goes, we expect that the iPad 11th Gen will be updated until at least 2028.

iPad 11th gen Battery

No changes expected

The iPad 10 lasted quite a long time in our custom battery tests thanks to its large battery, efficient chip and non-power hungry screen. Since we don't foresee any major design changes, the iPad 11th Gen should have enough room for a similar 28.6Wh, or a ~7,600mAh battery inside. This should give us the familiar ~10 hours of screen-on time, which iPads usually hit with ease.

Charging-wise, the iPad 11th Gen will likely score 20 W charging, which could match the painstakingly long two-hour-and-twenty-minute charge time of its predecessor. 

iPad 11th gen Summary

The iPad 11th gen is expected to be a minor uptick to what the 10th game brought to the table. Just a bump in hardware, enough to keep up with the times — still a 2-year-old chip inside, so it won't have the bragging rights of being as powerful as the Air or Pro, but it will be good enough for a base iPad. In fact, it will be pretty good for a $350 tablet, period.

Add a Magic Keyboard Folio and Apple Pencil, and it will be a pretty fun and cool tool for students or tablet enthusiasts. The one downside — if you take your work on a tablet that seriously, 64 GB will feel a bit constricting. Unfortunately, the jump to 256 GB costs a $150 premium, at which point, you may consider looking at the $600 iPad Air (2024). That's Apple pricing ladder at work right here!

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