The introduction of the 10th Gen entry-level iPad or the iPad 2022 on 18 October 2022 seems to replace the earlier 9th Gen iPad or the iPad 2021. However, both devices can still be purchased on the Apple website and in authorized stores, as well through third-party online and offline retailers. The newer iPad has notable upgrades but the older one remains a capable iPadOS device suitable for average users. Which one is better?
Comparing iPad 2022 and iPad 2021: What is the Difference Between the 10th Gen and the 9th Gen iPads?
A14 Bionic Chip vs A13 Bionic Chip
One of the notable differences between the iPad 2022 and iPad 2021 is the chips used in each device. The 10th Gen iPad sports the Apple 14 Bionic chip used in the iPhone 12 line of smartphones while the 9th Gen iPad has the older Apple 13 Bionic chip that was sued in the iPhone 11 line and 2nd Gen iPhone SE.
Nevertheless, between the two, the A14 is the better chip. It has 12 percent better CPU and about 15 percent better GPU performances than the Apple A13 chip. Furthermore, it also has a transistor count of 11.8 billion compared with the 8.5 billion transistor count of the A13, thus making it more powerful and power efficient at the same time.
Screen Display and Overall Design
Both the iPad 2022 and iPad 2021 sport a 10.2-inch Liquid Retina display based on in-plane switching LCD technology. The pixel density is also almost similar with the former having a 2360×1640 resolution and 264 PPI and the latter having a 2160×1620 resolution and 264 PPI. These screens also peak at 500 nits of maximum brightness.
A notable difference between the two is the overall design. The iPad 2022 now has smaller and equal bezels on all sides similar to the iPad Air, the iPad Pro, and the iPad Mini. It looks more modern and sleeker than its predecessor. Furthermore, the front-facing camera of the iPad 2022 is now centered in a landscape-oriented position.
Connectivity Hardware and Features
Another notable advantage of the iPad 2022 over the iPad 2021 is the newer connectivity hardware and features that provide future-proofing. For example, it ditches the Lightning port and now charges and connects via a USB-C port. This allows universal charging and connectivity without the need to purchase separate adapters.
Furthermore, the 10th Gen iPad is also equipped with Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6 for faster and better wireless connectivity while its cellular model has sub-6 GHz 5G network connectivity. Note that the 9th Gen iPad has the older Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi 5 and its cellular model only supports 3G to 4G/LTE network connectivity.
Rear and Back Camera Specifications
The iPad 2022 now has a 12MP wide rear camera that has 1.8 aperture and supports Smart HDR 3 and 4K video recording. This is the first time Apple uses a better camera on an entry-level iPad. The previous iPad 2021 has an 8MP standard rear camera with 2.4 aperture and supports standard HDR and up to 1080p video recording.
Another key advantage of the 10th Gen iPad over the 9th Gen iPad is its front-facing camera. Aside from its new placement, the camera is a 12MP ultra-wide shooter with support for HDR and 1080p recording. Note that this is almost the same as the previous generation but its placement and better image processing from the A14 make it superior.
Price Points and Other Costs
Price is an important factor when choosing between the iPad 2022 and the iPad 2021. Remember that both are available via Apple stores and third-party retailers. The 10th Gen iPad retails for USD 499.00 for the 64GB model and USD 599 for the 256GB model. The 9th Gen iPad retails for USD 329.00 for the 64GB model and USD 479 for the 256 GB model.
The iPad 2022 is more expensive which makes it a mid-range tablet device. Its price is closer to the iPad Air and iPad Mini. The cost of owning one increases when using additional accessories such as the 1st Gen Apple Pencil, which retails for USD 99.00, and the new Magic Keyboard Folio for iPad, which retails for USD 249.00.
Choosing Between the iPad 2022 and the iPad 2021: Which Entry-Level iPad Should You Buy and Use?
Of course, based on processing capabilities alone, the iPad 2022 or the 10th Gen iPad outperforms the iPad 2021 or the 9th Gen iPad. Its A14 Bionic chip is more technically advanced than the A13 Bionic chip used on its predecessor. The overall design also gives a more current vibe than the outdated look of the iPad 2021.
Price is an important factor. There is a reason why the iPad 2021 has been named by several reviewers and tech enthusiasts as the best entry-level tablet device for 2021 and 2022. It is considerably more affordable but packs processing capabilities suitable for average and even above-average users and use cases.
Those who already own the 9th Gen entry-level iPad should not upgrade to the 10th Gen. The processing capabilities of its successor are negligible for average users and day-to-day use. However, those who come from older generations of iPad and even entry-level to mid-range Android tablets are better off purchasing the iPad 2022.