Today is the official launch day for the 10th-generation iPad and the M2iPad Pro models that Apple announced last week, and we picked up one of each of the new tablets to give MacRumors readers a look at what’s new.
The updated 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models are not particularly exciting, as Apple has not introduced any design changes or major feature updates. We did not get the rumored MagSafe charging, the reverse wireless charging, or any other notable additions.
Apple added an upgraded M2 chip, which is the same chip that’s in the MacBook Air. It brings up to a 15 percent improvement in CPU speeds and up to a 35 percent improvement in GPU performance compared to the M1, but the M1 was already pretty robust, so casual users are not going to notice the upgrade.
There is a new Apple Pencil hover feature that allows the display to detect the Apple Pencil when it’s 12mm away from the screen for new sketching, drawing, and interface functionality, plus there’s WiFi 6E support for faster connection speeds, but that’s it. There’s no reason to upgrade if you have an M1 iPad Pro, and it’s even a questionable upgrade if you have an A12Z or A12X model.
The low-cost iPad got a much bigger update, but it’s unfortunately not as low-cost anymore, with pricing that starts at $449 instead of $329. It no longer has thick bezels and a Touch ID Home button, with Apple instead transitioning to the same Touch ID power button used for the iPad Air and the iPad mini.
There is more available display area (it now measures in at 10.9 inches) and a range of bright colors to choose from, plus it is equipped with a faster A14 Bionic chip. There’s an improved 12-megapixel rear camera and it is the first iPad with a landscape front-facing camera, which is useful if you use it in landscape mode with a keyboard.
The low-cost iPad has also gained USB-C and 5G connectivity, plus Apple designed a Magic Keyboard Folio for it, so it’s actually quite a bit like the iPad Air. In fact, Apple has made the iPad line a bit confusing with the addition of the iPad because it is so similar to the iPad Air. It’s essentially an iPad Air without an M-series chip.
If you have a prior-generation low-cost iPad, it is without a doubt a notable upgrade, and it continues to be $150 cheaper than the iPad Air.
What do you think of the new M2 iPad Pro and the 10th-generation iPad? Let us know in the comments below.