iPad (2022) Review: Apple’s expensive new iPad is a tough sell

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The iPad (2022) was launched in India last month as the first entry-level iPad in years with a redesigned body. It’s also the first base iPad model with a USB Type-C connector. The new, redesigned 10th generation iPad is powered by the company’s A14 Bionic SoC. which made its debut on the iPhone 12 series, giving it a significant performance boost over its predecessor. However, it’s also a lot more expensive compared to the 9th gen iPad, so should you consider it instead of the older iPad model (2021)?

On this week’s episode of the Gadget 360 podcast Orbital, host Akhil Arora talks to reviewer Pranav Hegde and senior reviewer Sheldon Pinto about Apple’s latest base iPad and how it stacks up against the competition.

The iPad (2022) is the first entry-level iPad in years with a major body redesign, and it’s also a step up from the iPad (2021) in terms of hardware and price, says Pranav. It’s the most confusing product in Apple’s lineup, he says, since you can’t really call it an entry-level iPad, he adds. Apple is still selling the iPad (2021), but it costs more now than it did a month ago.

While the iPad (2022) is quite expensive compared to its predecessor, you also get a few hardware upgrades. First off, the front camera is now on the side of the display when you hold it vertically. That means when you’re using your iPad for video calls in landscape mode, you’re facing the camera directly, rather than to the side like the older models.

iPad and iPad Pro (2022): The old, the new, and what we think of the iPhone 14 Pro

In the meantime, Apple has also exchanged its Lightning connector for a USB Type-C connector on the latest iPad model. The iPad Pro and iPad Air have already moved to USB Type-C connectors, which offer much faster data transfers compared to Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector. However, you now need a Lightning to USB Type-C adapter to connect your first-generation Apple Pencil to the iPad (2022). Although it sounds like a glitch, Pranav explains why this is the case.

You get a larger display on the iPad (2022), but it’s still an LCD with 500 nits of peak brightness. Visibility when viewing dark scenes in OTT apps isn’t the best, and you might struggle to see detail in the dark, he says. It should still be fine if you want to watch content on the go, or when there’s enough light, he says. Sheldon says if someone is looking for a tablet purely for entertainment purposes, they might want to consider an Android tablet.

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While you don’t get the new Stage Manager feature on the iPad models with M-series processors, you can still take advantage of the split-screen functionality that’s also available on competing Android tablets. Pranav says the new iPad can easily juggle eight apps, including two games, and by switching between apps you can pick up right where you left off.

When it comes to accessories, Pranav says the Magic Keyboard works like a charm. The keyboard accessory of the iPad is almost as good as the keyboard of the M1 MacBook models. He says he’s used the 2017 MacBook Pro model (with the butterfly keys that were known for attracting dust and dirt) and the M1 MacBook Air, and he says the Magic Keyboard in terms of performance lies somewhere between the two.

Apple introduces redesigned iPad with 10.9-inch screen, no home button, USB Type-C

According to Pranav, the new iPad lasts about two days with regular use. Of course, using a SIM card on the Cellular variant will result in additional battery drain, so users looking to use the tablet with the Wi-Fi model might see better battery life. You can also expect many years of software support for Apple’s latest iPad model, which runs on iPadOS 16 by default.

Should you consider competitor alternatives that run on Android? Sheldon says it should boil down to your use case, and if you’re just consuming videos on your iPad, you might as well buy an Android tablet. You can consider the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro which has an AMOLED display. It runs on Android 13 and has a proximity mode. However, unlike apps designed specifically for iPadOS, you don’t have access to many tablet-optimized apps.

You can listen to all of this and more in our episode in detail by clicking the play button on the Spotify player embedded above.

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