It’s easy to say that tablet devices have come a long way, but let’s be realistic – these days, the word tablet has also become synonymous with iPad, and there are now several different versions of Apple’s iconic tablet device that folks have adopted as a laptop replacement, additional screen, or use simply for pure entertainment. Creatives who run multiple drawing and editing apps look towards Apple’s iPad Pro model, whereas casual users who love reading on the train or take notes may gravitate towards the iPad mini, so where does that leave the standard iPad model?
Apple’s newly released iPad (10th-Gen) comes with several changes from last year’s 9th-Gen model and after taking it out for a test drive, including a week-long jaunt to Japan, we can safely say that the new Apple iPad is still the all rounder that serves the masses and those who love working on the go. It’s a great buddy when working in cafes, on travel for work and entertainment, or for days when you don’t need to lug a laptop into a brief business meeting.
At 24.8cm x 17.9cxm, this year’s model is slightly bigger than its predecessor and does away with the home button, so you have more screen real estate to look at. Alas, Face ID isn’t available, and uses Touch ID for biometrics instead, and it’s available as part of the Power button located at the top of the device, for when you need to unlock it, sign into apps and use Apple Pay. It also drops Apple’s Lightning connector, and uses a USB-C port for charging, which means that if you’re invested in the Apple ecosystem, you can use your existing accessories to power up the device.
The new model starts from S$679 and comes in a few fun colours, from Blue, Pink, Silver and Yellow. With the new Magic Keyboard Folio accesory, the iPad easily transforms into a notebook that’s light and convenient. Weighing a mere 477 grams, the iPad 10th-gen is comparable to the iPad Air in terms of portability, and can easily slip into a tote bag or a medium sized handbag with ease.
The Magic Keyboard Folio is an accessory specially for this model of iPad, and comes with a bendy kickstand that gives the tablet a much more comfortable viewing angle. It also features a soft-touch keyboard with a 14-key function row, just like the shortcuts typically found on the MacBook Pro keyboard. Though it’s not the most lap friendly, the Magic Keyboard Folio can still be propped up if you’re tall and have longer legs, and on airplane trays if you’re working and traveling at the same time. It can even balance on a hotel room pillow if you ever find yourself working way into the night too.
Equipped with the A14 Bionic chip, the 10th-gen iPad also promises a 10-hour battery life so it can sustain a full day of usage like emails, YouTube viewing, social media scrolling, video editing on iMovie communicating with friends on apps like Telegram and even when creating documents like a presentation on Keynote or writing up a draft on Pages. For light users, the iPad can even last three to four days without needing to be charged again.
Between the new Magic Keyboard Folio accessory and the A14 Bionic Chip, you actually find yourself with a semi iPad Pro – minus the new multitasking features like Stage Manager, though you can split screen on this iPad model as well.
Aside from its portability and convenience, the Apple iPad 10th-Gen’s new camera is another celebrated feature. In a long overdue change, Apple has now placed the front-facing camera in the bezel on the long edge of the screen. This makes using it for video calls in landscape orientation so much easier and less awkward. It also features a 12MP wide camera and a 12MP front camera with ultra wide too so you know whoever you’re on the line with will be able to get a good look at you with no issues.
Naturally, every video begins with the user at the center with Apple’s Center Stage feature, and with the camera now positioned in the middle of the long edge and not on the side of the screen, you’re able to maintain eye contact with whoever you’re conversing with. Considering how users are likely to use this iPad for work meetings, or even virtual lectures for class or FaceTiming with family, this simple hardware change makes all the difference.
When it comes to photography, the 10th-gen is definitely an upgrade from its predecessor. The previous model featured an 8MP wide camera, whereas we now have a 12MP wide camera. This means clearer photos – yes, even when you’re taking photos at night. You can also take videos in 4K. Personally, we would stick to the iPhone 14 lineup or a professional camera if you require the best photographs for work, but in the instance where you need an all-in-one when on the go, the iPad 10th-Gen is your one true friend.
Unfortunately, in every friendship, there are some pain points too, and with the iPad 10th-Gen, we specifically have two. Firstly, the iPad 10th-Gen is not compatible with the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil. We’re not sure why, that’s a strange move on Apple’s part. The changed USB-C port also means you can’t directly charge your Apple Pencil Gen 1 on it too, and you’ll have to buy an adapter if you want to charge your Apple Pencil on your iPad, which is an added cost that some may not be willing to front.
The iPad 10th-gen also does not feature a headphone jack. Sure, we’re in the day and age of wireless earbuds now but it is a nice-to-have feature if you’re someone who prefers wired headphones or headsets. This is no issue for users who already own a pair of AirPods Pro or the likes, but as mentioned, the choice for option would be great. Plus, what happens if your AirPods dies and you desperately need it to take a call on the go, to edit a video or simply can’t work without music? Bet the headphone jack would’ve been handy to have then.
In all, the iPad 10th-gen is a handy tablet to have if you’re looking for something that encapsulates all you need to work and play at home and during your travels. There are a few strange quirks like the lack of headphone jack and the ability to only pair with the Apple Pencil and not the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil, but we applaud Apple for its decision to change the position of the camera and provide a clean and crisp display with no home button to intrude your viewing pleasure.
Avid Apple users will find the iPad 10th-gen a rather compatible product that fits into their lifestyle like a snug glove. It’s got what you need and want in a MacBook and an iPhone to get your job done no matter where you are in the world. It’s lightweight and slim design makes it an easy companion too. Apple still has ways to go to completely remove the need for a laptop, but the 10th-gen is a close one that is heading towards the right decision.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
The Apple iPad 10th-gen is the best friend you need when working, playing and traveling – all at the same time.
Aesthetics - 8/10
Build Quality - 8/10
Value - 7/10
Geek Satisfaction - 8/10