Apple iPad 10th Gen review: A long-overdue design refresh!

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Apple iPad (2022) preview: A long-overdue design upgrade
Apple iPad 10th Gen Intro

After years and years of getting left behind from all the fun and seemingly always getting the short stick, Apple's regular iPad finally received some much-needed love in late 2022. Without much fanfare, Apple gave its most basic slate a pretty big design makeover and erased years and years of reusing the same general design language that is, frankly said, quite outdated these days. 

After such a long period of neglect, the changes do seem groundbreaking as far as the iPad 10th Gen is concerned, even though its new-fanged design has been making the rounds on the more premium iPads for years.

So, the new iPad 10th Gen scores slimmer bezels all around, a slightly larger display, a much faster chipset with better performance, a USB Type-C port at the bottom (finally!), a new landscape FaceTime camera, 5G support, Wi-Fi 6, and so much more. Quite the extensive list of improvements in comparison with the iPad 9th Gen, but how do these affect the most important function of the affordable iPad formula—its price? 

Well, in hindsight we should have probably put "affordable" in inverted commas as the price of the iPad 10th Gen has increased. A lot. With a starting price of $449 for the base 64GB Wi-Fi model and topping up at an incredible $749 for the 256GB cellular model, which delves into iPad Air and iPad Pro territory, the standard iPad is now harder to recommend as an affordable slate, as the previous generation could be yours at an introductory price of just $329. Additionally, Apple still selling the previous generation isn't helping the case of the new iPad 10th Gen either.

Overall, the multiple improvements and upgrades on all fronts are definitely worth the price increase, but if you're really looking to stretch your budget, you might want to consider the older iPad 9th Gen.

Apple iPad (2022)

Apple iPad (2022)

The Good

  • Refreshed design
  • Fast and reliable Touch ID
  • Super performance thanks to A14 Bionic
  • Dual-stereo speakers
  • Reliable battery life
  • USB-C port, goodbye Lightning
  • 5G and Wi-Fi 6 support

The Bad

  • Non-laminated screen that's just okay
  • No more 3.5mm audio jack
  • A serious price hike

What’s new about the iPad 10th Gen (2022)

  • Refreshed design
  • Larger display 
  • Touch ID embedded in the power button
  • USB Type-C
  • Apple A14 Bionic 
  • Landscape FaceTime camera
  • 5G and Wi-Fi 6 support

Table of Contents:

Apple iPad 10th Gen Unboxing

Inside the iPad 10th Gen box, you'll find the tablet itself, your usual booklets and Apple stickers (two of them here), a 20W USB-C wall charger, and a braided USB-C-to-USB-C cable that's mostly similar to the one you'd find in the Apple Watch Ultra box. It's great to see that Apple hasn't decided to spare its tablets from the essential charging accessory. 

Apple iPad 10th Gen Specs

Fair improvements in all hardware areas

Head to our dedicated page for the full Apple iPad 10th Gen specs

Apple iPad 10th Gen Design & Colors

Finally, the overdue redesign is upon us!

Okay, it's been a while, but the vanilla iPad has been kept on the backburner for far, far too long as far as design changes come and go. No longer is this true with the iPad 10th Gen, which employs a design language that's much in line with the iPad Pro and iPad Air lineups. 

We're talking about uniform bezels all around that make the tablet look much more contemporary and modern, despite the fact that they still have a palpable thickness. The new FaceTime camera is tucked on one of the long bezels, so at least Apple has made the most out of the situation (and not resorted to a notch as on the latest MacBooks). 

Gone are the slightly curved lines at the back which greatly improved the ergonomics as the base iPad now features the same chamfered design that has been used on the more upscale iPads for years now. The non-laminated screen up front is encased in a premium-feeling aluminum unibody, which has all the essential Apple bells and whistles: volume buttons in the upper right side, dual loud speakers, and a power button at the top frame that also houses the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. Sadly, this redesign has marked the death of the 3.5mm audio jack from yet another Apple device.

And thanks to the new design, the iPad 10th Gen has a larger display fitted in a slightly more compact body, which is a definite win. Surely, you don't gain that much, but the combination between the larger new screen and the slimmer size of the new iPad is a great thing to have. However, as mentioned above, the screen is nor laminated, which means that there's some space between the screen itself and the glass on top. Pressing harder on the glass produces those iridescent ripples we've all seen. Not such a large issue, but still, far from the premium experience expected to have in late 2022. 

In terms of colors, Apple puts an end to the relatively bland color selection of the iPad 9the Gen, which was only available in only Silver and Space Gray. The new tablet is available in four colors, Silver, Blue, Pink, and Yellow, three of which are new for the lineup. 

Apple iPad 10th Gen Display

The iPad 10th Gen comes with a 10.9-inch display (0.7 inches larger than last year) with a 2360 x 1640-pixel resolution and a 264ppi sharpness, which sadly isn't enough to label it as Retina, but Apple went ahead and named it Liquid Retina instead.

Let's get one thing out of the way—this iPad doesn't have a particularly exciting display. It's a non-laminated, not very bright LCD screen with mediocre contrast that runs at 60Hz and it's not excessively sharp, so it's a far cry from Apple's mini-LED displays on its more premium tablets, and light years away from OLED displays which are superior in almost any way.

And yet, True Tone is supported, colors look natural and the viewing angles are good, and while multimedia consumption probably won't give you much enjoyment, it's an okay display considering the price point. 

Display Measurements:

Apple iPad 10th Gen Camera

Yep, there is a camera

The iPad comes with a single wide-angle camera, a 12MP PDAF F1.8 shooter that's quite the improvement over the 8MP F2.4 camera found on its predecessor. The new iPad can also shoot 4K@60fps videos now, so it finally joins the Big Boys' Club. The rear camera offers a maximum of 5X digital zoom, while the camera app itself provides a shortcut to a 2X digital zoom option. How's the image quality? Well, it's okay, and there's nothing inherently wrong with it, but let's be honest, you'll only reach out for the camera app on the iPad 10th Gen if all your other gadgets are low on battery.

iPad 10th Gen camera samples

What's more interesting here is the new FaceTime camera, which despite the lack of hardware improvements, still supports the awesome Center Stage feature. That one comes in pretty handy for video calls as it keeps you in the center of the frame at all times. The selfie camera is positioned on the long landscape edge of the tablet, making FaceTime and other video calls look way, way more natural as the front camera is no longer askew to the side. 

Apple iPad 10th Gen Performance & Benchmarks

It's no M1, but performance is top-notch

While the new iPad Air 5 enjoys the M1 chip and the latest iPad Pro models get the mind-boggling M2 chipset, the regular iPad comes with neither. In fact, it doesn't even get last year's Apple A15 Bionic, but has to make do with a humbler chip, the Apple A14 Bionic. That's the same one  that powered the iPhone 12-series, including the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, so rest assured the new iPad is definitely not lacking in terms of performance. 

Still, the A14 Bionic remains a beast to this day, and will plow through all the school or work-related tasks you may need to accomplish on your new base-model iPad. Gamers need nоt worry – this iPad isn't a slouch when it comes to intensive 3D mobile gaming either.

Performance Benchmarks:

Geekbench 5 SingleHigher is better
Apple iPad(2022)1585
Apple iPad Air(2022)1704
Apple iPad Pro 11-inch(2022)1845
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra1229
Geekbench 5 MultiHigher is better
Apple iPad(2022)3878
Apple iPad Air(2022)6796
Apple iPad Pro 11-inch(2022)8422
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra3356
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Apple iPad(2022)2266
Apple iPad Air(2022)4761
Apple iPad Pro 11-inch(2022)6929
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra2117
3DMark Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Apple iPad(2022)1952
Apple iPad Air(2022)3429
Apple iPad Pro 11-inch(2022)4660
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra1577

Yet, despite the excellent performance, some cool new features are missing on this here tablet, namely Apple's new Stage Manager interface experience, which is limited to M1-powered slates only. Bummer. Storage-wise, the tablet starts with 64GB of native storage, which is hardly enough these days, so picking the more expensive 256GB version makes more sense in the long run.

While the Apple A14 Bionic is still perfectly adequate, its age means that it likely won't get software update support for much longer than Apple's newer devices. Let's do the math: Apple usually supports its devices for at least five years depending on the chip inside, and the Apple A14 Bionic was released in 2020, so we can anticipate software support for the iPad 10th Gen well until 2025, or 2026 in the best case scenario.

Apple iPad 10th Gen Connectivity

The iPad 10th Gen has also scored 5G support for the cellular model, which is definitely a big improvement over the humble LTE support of the previous iPad. The jump to Wi-Fi 6 is also a good thing to have, especially considering that you're much more likely to use the device at home, where a Wi-Fi network is usually the main connectivity method of choice. 

Apple iPad 10th Gen OS version

Just like any modern iPad, this slate here comes along with iPadOS, and iPadOS 16 in particular. While it lacks many of the key features that made iOS 16 noteworthy, namely the fresh new lock screen customization, iPad OS 16 is an excellent update for Apple's largest mobile devices. It comes with Shared iCloud Photo Library, iMessage improvements, enhanced collaboration, and more. 

As mentioned, however, the two most intriguing new features—Stage Manager and lock screen customization—are missing on this iPad. 

The iPad 10th Gen was also updated to announced iPadOS 17. Apple unveiled its next-gen iPadOS during the annual WWDC 2023 event, and iPad owners should expect to start receiving it in autumn 2023. Some of the new features include interactive widgets, better home screen customization, Health app for iPads, and more.

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Apple iPad 10th Gen Battery

A reliable companion

Equipped with a 28.6Wh battery, which should be similar in terms of capacity to the 28.65Wh batter in the iPad Pro 11" (2021) that has a capacity of 7,538mAh, the iPad 10th Gen is a pretty durable slate. You can easily expect it to last you two days of regular usage, like some web browsing, half an hour FaceTime call, and a few episodes of your favorite show. 

On the PhoneArena browsing battery test, which involves automated web surfing and scrolling over a Wi-Fi network at 200 nits of pre-set screen brightness, the iPad 10th Gen endured for 10 hours and 30 minutes, a rather respectable result. In our dedicated 3D gaming test, it lasted for six hours and forty minutes and actually outlasted the M1-powered iPad Pro 11-inch. Finally, in the video streaming test, the battery was good for less than seven hours, which is an acceptable albeit not ideal result.

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:

Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPad(2022)6h 37 min
Apple iPad Pro 11-inch(2022)7h 34 min
Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPad(2022)10h 30 min
Apple iPad Pro 11-inch(2022)12h 57 min
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra7h 55 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPad(2022)6h 40 min
Apple iPad Pro 11-inch(2022)6h 17 min
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra6h 9 min

Apple iPad 10th Gen Charging Speeds

With the included 20W USB-C charging brick, it takes the iPad 10th Gen two hours and twenty two minutes to get fully charged. That's enough time to watch Goodfellas, The Shining, or Forrest Gump, which should put things in perspective nicely. And yet, charging the tablet for an hour brings it up to around 50%, which is fast enough and should get you covered for a while. 

Apple iPad 10th Gen Audio Quality and Haptics

Yet another huge upgrade over the previous budget iPads is here – actual dual stereo speakers that are positioned on the correct opposite sides of the tablet. The old budget iPads did have dual "stereo" speakers too, but both were on the same side of the device, which kind of defeats the purpose.

Now that this iPad has gotten the iPad Air redesign, both speakers are finally on opposite sides, and thus can deliver a true stereo experience. And based on the iPad Air, or even the previous budget iPads, we can expect some of the best sound on any tablet on the market – loud, punchy, full, with even a good hint of bass. So, for audio consumption in particular, this iPad is hard to beat.

Now, the downside of this redesign is – there's no longer a 3.5mm headphone jack, which was still around on the previous budget iPads. But, let's be honest, most of you have likely moved on to wireless headphones a long time ago. It's hard not to, seeing as how a lot of mid-rangers, and nearly all flagship phones no longer have plugs for wired ones.

Haptic feedback is not very pleasant: it's muddy and too old-school for our liking. Hopefully, Apple will be addressing that with future generations of the iPad.

Apple iPad 10th Gen Magic Keyboard Folio accessory

One of the brand new accessories launched alongside the iPad 10th Gen is the all-new Magic Keyboard Folio, which comes along with the same full-sized keys and travel as the Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pros. The keyboard case consists of two separate parts: the keyboard itself, which latches onto the tablet with the help of Apple's Smart Connector, and a back case, which magnetically attaches to the iPad and has a very convenient built-in kickstand, which turned out to be way more useful than I'd initially imagined it would be.

You can use each of these separately if you wish so, like using the kickstand backplate without the keyboard, but I wouldn't imagine the reverse would be convenient, as the kickstand is essential to the ergonomics when typing on the iPad.

There's also a super-convenient trackpad that supports multi-touch, and for the first time on an iPad keyboard, a function row that allows you to quickly and easily access the essential features of your tablet. Take adjusting the brightness, for example: normally, you'd have to swipe down your control center and adjust the brightness manually, which isn't terribly convoluted, but with the keyboard attached, you can simply tap the dedicated "brightness down" button and fine-tune the brightness quicker. The same applies to adjusting the volume, enabling Do Not Disturb mode, skipping or starting the current song, and even locking the tablet. Great utility.

The trackpad is also super useful and greatly helps the "iPad as a computer" case. It functions much like any regular trackpad you might have interacted with: tap or click for a left mouse button, double click or tap for a right mouse button, and various gestures to go with it. Oh, and there's a wildly useful 'Escape' key now, which comes as super convenient as you wish to quickly cancel an ongoing activity or a dialog. 

Apple iPad 10th Gen Competitors

The iPad 10th Gen is weirdly positioned within Apple's own ecosystem. Thanks to the price increase, it's now far away from the affordable status it predecessor had, and the fact that the latter is still sold means that you can probably get the iPad 9th Gen instead of this one and save some hard-earned cash if you don't really care about the redesign and slightly faster chip in the new slate.

Conversely, spending just $150 more can get you a M1-powered iPad Air with a whole lot of 8GB of RAM and a slightly better-looking laminated screen (and yet still a 60Hz refresh rate, so no ProMotion). This iPad is a performance monster, all things considered, and now has a similar design to the new iPad 10th Gen, so we'd say that the even higher price could be well worth it considering the jump in performance, especially if you're a heavier user. 

Finally, looking outside of the Apple ecosystem, you can consider Samsung's Galaxy Tab series, an exceptional alternative to the iPad lineup. While the Tab S8-models are premium slates gunning for the iPad Pro lineup, you can get the slightly aging Galaxy Tab S6 Lite for around $430 (or less with a trade-in), which is a similar pricing strategy to this here new iPad.

Apple iPad 10th Gen Summary and final verdict

So, the iPad 10th Gen is fresh and new, finally ditching the old-school design that has graced the lineup for years, and has scored some cool new tricks to boot, elevating it on a mostly equal playing field with the rest of the iPad lineup. However, it has also migrated from its usual super-affordable position, which remains the residence of last year's iPad 9th Gen, for a slightly more premium price point. It's still a great bang for the buck, don't get us wrong, but the value-for-money factor is not as good this time around. 

There's nothing inherently wrong with the iPad 10th Gen: it still gets the basics right and elevates the base iPad experience to new dimensions. For school or for not-so-professional use cases, the 10th-generation iPad is hard to beat, but so is the iPad 9th Gen, and for slightly more money, the iPad Air is really hard to pass up. 

Should you get the new iPad 10th Gen? If you're on a tight budget, you might want to consider the older iPad 9th Gen, which is still up for sale straight from Apple and will save you quite a lot of money. On the other hand, if price isn't such a factor but all the saucy improvements seem appealing, then you should definitely consider the iPad 10th Gen.


  • Refreshed design
  • Fast and reliable Touch ID
  • Super performance thanks to A14 Bionic
  • Dual-stereo speakers
  • Reliable battery life
  • USB-C port, goodbye Lightning
  • 5G and Wi-Fi 6 support


  • Non-laminated screen that's just okay
  • No more 3.5mm audio jack
  • A serious price hike

PhoneArena Rating:


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