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The 10th-generation iPad is now available for a starting price of $449, but its predecessor, the ninth-generation iPad, remains available from Apple for the same $329 starting price.

iPad-9-vs-10-Feature-1.jpg

The 64GB and 256GB ninth-generation iPad models continue to be available for $329 and $479, respectively. They are still offered in the same Silver and Space Gray color options, meaning that there has been no change to the pricing or available configurations of the device.

The entry-level iPad is an important device in Apple's lineup, particularly for the education market, because it provides an accessible on-ramp to basic computing on the iPad at a low price point. Despite being successive generations of the same device, there are substantial differences between the ninth- and 10th-generation iPad that justify their $120 difference in price, which may make it difficult to choose which device is best for you.

So should you consider buying the ninth-generation ‌iPad‌ to save money, or do you need the ‌10th-generation iPad instead? This breakdown serves as a clear way to see all the similarities and differences between the two devices.

Similarities

  • Touch ID
  • Retina display (264 ppi) with True Tone and 500 nits max brightness (typical)
  • Apple silicon chip with 6-core CPU (2 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores) and 4-core GPU
  • Digital zoom up to 5x, 3x video zoom, slo-mo video support for 720p at 120 fps, and time-lapse video with stabilization
  • 12MP Ultra Wide front-facing camera (ƒ/2.4 aperture) with 2x zoom out, Center Stage, Retina Flash, Extended dynamic range for video up to 30 fps, Cinematic video stabilization, and 1080p HD video recording up to 60 fps
  • Two speaker audio
  • Up to 10-hour battery life
  • 64GB and 256GB storage options
  • First-generation Apple Pencil support

Differences


9th-Generation iPad (2021)
  • "Old" iPad design (like first-generation iPad Air, 2013)
  • 7.5mm thickness
  • Weight of 487/498 grams
  • Space Gray and Silver color options
  • Touch ID home button
  • 10.5-inch Retina display (2160-by-1620)
  • A13 Bionic chip (2019)
  • 8-core Neural Engine
  • 3GB RAM
  • 8MP Wide rear camera (ƒ/2.4 aperture)
  • HDR for photos
  • 1080p HD video recording at up to 30 fps
  • 12MP portrait Ultra Wide front-facing camera
  • Two-speaker audio
  • Lightning port
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Wi‑Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac); 2.4GHz and 5GHz; speeds up to 866 Mbps
  • 4G LTE connectivity (cellular models)
  • Smart Keyboard support
  • Starts at $329

10th-Generation iPad (2022)
  • "New" iPad design with flat sides (like iPad Pro, 2018)
  • 7mm thickness
  • Weight of 477/481 grams
  • Silver, Pink, Blue, and Yellow color options
  • Touch ID top button
  • 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display (2360‑by‑1640)
  • A14 Bionic chip (2020)
  • 16-core Neural Engine
  • 4GB RAM
  • 12MP Wide rear camera (ƒ/1.8 aperture)
  • Smart HDR 3 for photos
  • 4K video recording at up to 60 fps
  • Extended dynamic range for video up to 30 fps
  • 12MP landscape Ultra Wide front-facing camera
  • Landscape two-speaker audio
  • USB-C port
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax); 2.4GHz and 5GHz; speeds up to 1.2 Gbps
  • 5G connectivity (cellular models)
  • Magic Keyboard Folio support
  • Starts at $449


Overall, the 10th-generation iPad will be the more suitable device to buy for most people. With a faster chip and more memory, the 10th-generation iPad will be the better long-term purchase through annual software updates, not to mention 5G connectivity on the cellular models. Apple appears to be gradually transitioning to USB-C across all of its devices, so buying a device with this port instead of Lightning may be helpful in years to come. The design of the 10th-generation iPad is also considerably more future-proof, fitting in well with any of Apple's modern iPad or all-screen designs.

The larger display, better performance, USB-C port, and Magic Keyboard Folio support may also make the 10th-generation a more useful productivity-focused device. The landscape front-facing camera will be better for video calls, while the rear camera offers more advanced photography and videography capabilities. It is also worth noting that some users may simply prefer the 10th-generation iPad's modern design and vibrant array of color options.

By comparison, the ninth-generation iPad offers a good balance of the most important basic iPad features, but in an older design with slightly less advanced technologies. Prospective customers that simply need a new iPad at the lowest possible price are unlikely to care about many of these differences, so it may not be worth the extra $120 in some cases. Generally, where possible, it will be worth the upgrade to the newer model – especially if you plan to use the iPad heavily for years to come.

Article Link: iPad 9 vs. iPad 10 Buyer's Guide: Is the $120 Difference Worth It?
 
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jlc1978

macrumors 601
Aug 14, 2009
4,239
2,710
While the new features are nice; some of those touted as reasons to buy the newer one may not really matter to the average buyer of the base iPad; as TFA points out. Many are likely to use it for basic things - email, texts, web surfing, eReader, etc.; things that don't need speed, fast wifi or cellular. Chances are they are already using a phone for photos and are price conscious. My guess is if the features on the 10th gen are important they are comparing it with an Air; not the 9th gen iPad.
 

Lwii2boo

macrumors 6502
May 12, 2020
396
574
Paris, France
Pricing is pretty different in UK and UE vs US. Not even mentioning it is a bit of shame.
Prices are amplified by an extra ~20% for all ipads in UK/UE (even past one in current line up) which make in practice for those geographies any new iPad a bad deal and getting an unused/refurbished old one with third party dealers (old pricing is still used) a better deal.
 

KOTN91

macrumors 6502a
Nov 23, 2017
552
398
Of course it’s worth the difference. At least this new iPad has a new design and colours. The 9th gen, you might as well save some more money and buy a 2012 iPad 4 as that is more or less the same in terms of functionality as a 9th gen iPad (but not the 10th)
 

twolf2919

macrumors 6502
Aug 26, 2014
377
614
"Overall, the 10th-generation ‌iPad‌ will be the more suitable device to buy for most people" - I disagree. "Most" people use iPads to surf the web, watch some videos, and play the occasional game. For this usage, the faster CPU and higher RAM is really irrelevant. And, certainly, 'most' people don't use cellular, much less 5G.

So what it basically boils down to for 'most' people is whether they want to spend $120 for 0.4" bigger screen and square edges. 'Most' people wouldn't, I suspect.

I'm pretty disappointed in Apple. This 10th generation iPad should have remained at the $329 price point. I get inflation and all that, but faster CPU, better RAM and display have been the typical ingredients to simply get people to upgrade from their older version. Now those people who just want to upgrade their basic iPad probably won't because they know to upgrade at their usual price means buying last year's tech.
 

PsykX

macrumors 68000
Sep 16, 2006
1,931
2,120
Not if you use an Apple Pencil. Just get the 9th gen or a refurb air 4.
Yeah I mean at this point they should NOT have supported the Apple Pencil at all.
They get laughed at everywhere.

The decision to support Gen-1 instead of Gen-2 and to go for a USB-C port instead of the Lightning port required to charge the pencil seems like two teams at Apple who mis-communicated internally.
 

Orange Bat

macrumors 6502a
Mar 21, 2021
535
1,276
It’s simple: Want a basic iPad for casual content consumption, such as YouTube videos, checking email, playing simple games, etc? Then get the 9th gen. Want it as as supplementary machine for work or school, or want to add a simple keyboard? Then the 10th gen is the better choice. Do you want to do some art, light video editing, or just want a beefier machine? Then the Air and up are right for you.

There is now an iPad for everyone at various price points. I know a lot of people hate the new line-up, but I kinda love it.
 

danakin

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2012
263
580
Toronto
My $0.02
On the 10, I like the stereo speakers on either side of the iPad.
On the 9, I like having the 3.5mm headphone jack for higher audio fidelity.
The camera placement doesn't sway me, however, I can appreciate how it might be a material change for some.
Bezels? I genuinely don't care either way. Those on the 9 give me a place to hold the device without triggering the screen. The bezel-bashing gets old quick (again, just my take on things).

I don't see value for the price difference, but hey, that's why there's chocolate and vanilla.
 
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