In October, Apple unleashed a new 10th-generation iPad with an updated design and a higher price tag. However, that fancy new iPad wasn’t well received and didn’t even support the latest Apple Pencil. Thanks to an iFixit teardown showing the inside, now we know why thanks to some silly design flaws.
With this release, Apple’s “budget” tablet received an upgraded design that matches the Air and high-end Pro line. The screen is bigger, at 10.9 inches, looks good, comes in several fun colors, has a new location for the FaceTime camera, charges over USB-C, and more.
However, it still uses the older A14 Bionic processor, not an M1 or M2, and it doesn’t work with the 2nd-Gen Apple Pencil either. It looks a little better and has a new charging port, yet it costs $449. And if you want to use an Apple Pencil, you’ll need the original pencil and a lightning to USB-C adapter. It doesn’t magnetically attach or charge like other iPad models. Silly, right?
It turns out that’s all due to Apple moving the front-facing FaceTime camera to a new location. It’s now located on the side, up top, when the tablet is in landscape mode and used with a stand or keyboard. You don’t use the camera in portrait mode like other iPads.
No one asked for this, and I guess it’s marginally better, but the change wasn’t necessary and made the tablet lose a helpful feature. The lens and camera sensor takes up too much space, and Apple couldn’t add the magnetic charging goods to support the 2nd-Gen Apple Pencil. What a weird decision.
The designers decided that forcing a change to the front-facing camera was more important than supporting the latest accessories, stuck with an older processor, then increased the price.
As we said earlier this week, you probably shouldn’t buy the 10th-Gen iPad or the iPad Mini. Get the previous 9th-Gen iPad for $329, or jump up to an iPad Air. You’ll save some money or get a more useful iPad.
iPad 10.2-inch (9th-Gen)
If you’re looking for an affordable new tablet, the entry-level iPad for $329 is your best bet.