Compared: New iPad versus 2021 iPad

Posted:
in iPad edited November 2022
After a year since the last update, and over a decade with essentially the same design, the entry-level iPad now has an iPad Pro-like design. Here's how it compares to the older model.

2022 iPad (left) and 2021 iPad (right)
2022 iPad (left) and 2021 iPad (right)


For many years, Apple has positioned the "regular iPad" as an affordable model for educators and budget-conscious buyers. The new 10.9-inch iPad is more expensive than its predecessor -- which remains available at the same price it was at release -- but it's still a strong option compared to other mid-range tablets.



A few notable upgrades in the 2022 iPad versus the 2020 model include a bigger screen, a new design, no more Home button, a switch from Lightning, an updated rear camera, and more.




2021 iPad versus 2022 iPad - Specifications

Specifications2021 iPad2022 iPad
Price (starting)$329.00
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$449.00
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Storage64GB
256GB
64GB
256GB
Screen resolution (pixels)2160 x 1620 at 264 ppi
Retina
2360 x 1640 at 264 ppi
Liquid Retina
Screen brightness (nits)500500
Screen size (inches)10.210.9
ProcessorA13 BionicA14 Bionic
Apple PencilFirst generationFirst generation
Smart ConnectorYesYes
Dimensions (inches)9.8 x 6.8 x 0.299.79 x 7.07 x 0.28
Weight (pounds)1.071.05
Battery (hours)Up to 10Up to 10
Rear camera8MP Wide12MP Wide
Front camera12MP Ultra Wide
Center Stage
Landscape 12MP Ultra Wide
Center Stage
AudioTwo speakerLandscape two speaker
Video1080p at 25 or 30 fps (rear)
1080p at 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps (front)
4K at 24, 25, 30, or 60 fps (rear)
1080p at 25, 30, or 60 fps (rear)
1080p at 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps (front)
ConnectivityWi-Fi 5, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.2Wi-Fi 6, 5G, Bluetooth 5.2
PortLightningUSB-C
BiometricTouch IDTouch ID
ColorsSilver, Space GrayBlue, Pink, Yellow, Silver

2021 iPad versus 2022 iPad - Design, Size, Weight

This year, Apple has brought the design of the iPad Pro and iPad Air to the iPad lineup. It's a significant redesign using flat sides, which brings it more in line with the aesthetic of other Apple products.

New iPad stacked on the 9th-gen iPad
New iPad stacked on the 9th-gen iPad


Although the flat sides on the iPad Pro are also connected to the use of the second-generation Apple Pencil, the 2022 iPad sticks with the first-generation Apple Pencil, likely because the landscape camera occupies the internal space where the mount would be.

Since Apple moved from Lightning to USB-C for this release, the Lightning-based first-gen Apple Pencil cannot connect without an adapter, though Apple can supply one to connect the hardware together.

Touch ID on power button
Touch ID on power button


The Home Button with Touch ID moves to the top of the device, the same as the iPad Air's Touch ID power button.

The dimensions of the 2021 iPad are 9.8 inches by 6.8 inches by 0.29 inches. The Wi-Fi version weighs 1.07 pounds, and the Wi-Fi + Cellular model is 1.09 pounds.

The 2022 iPad is 9.79 inches by 7.07 inches by 0.28 inches, making it slightly larger overall but marginally thinner. It's also lighter at 1.05 pounds for the Wi-Fi model and 1.06 pounds for the Wi-Fi + Cellular variant.

2021 iPad versus 2022 iPad - Display

The 2021 iPad features a 10.2-inch Retina display based on LED technology. It has a 2,160 by 1,620 resolution at 264 pixels-per-inch. It maxes out at 500 nits of brightness.

The new display is larger
The new display is larger


The 2022 iPad has a larger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, which results in a bigger resolution of 2,360 by 1,640 and an equal pixel density of 264ppi. There's no change to the brightness, with it also managing 500 nits.

Both models include True Tone technology that adjusts the display's color temperature based on the ambient environment for more comfortable viewing.

The 2021 iPad included support for the sRGB color gamut, a standard color space that came out in 1996. It's the currently defined colorspace for the web, and the 2022 iPad supports it as well, instead of P3 wide color gamut in use by other Apple products.

As usual, neither iPad has support for ProMotion, Apple's display technology that exists on the premium iPad Pro.

2021 iPad versus 2022 iPad - Processor & Performance

The ninth-generation 2021 iPad has an A13 Bionic processor, while the 2022 model moves up to the A14 Bionic chip. Apple claims there is a 20% increase in CPU performance and a 10% improvement in graphics over the 2021 iPad.

The A14 Bionic has a 16-core Neural Engine, double the amount of cores in the A13. As a result, it boosts machine learning capabilities by up to 80%.

For a benchmark comparison ahead of Apple shipping the models, we could compare the 9th-gen iPad against the iPhone 12, which has an A14 Bionic chip, making it a reasonable analog.

Geekbench 5 results
Geekbench 5 results


The 9th-gen iPad's A13 Bionic manages Geekbench 5 scores of 1,325 and 3,304 for the single-core and multi-core tests, respectively. The iPhone 12's A14 scores a higher 1,571 in the single-core test, and 3,863 for the multi-core.

In our Geekbench 5 benchmarks, we saw the single-core score rise from 1331 to 1577, on par with the assumed 20% boost. For the multi-core, it went from 3485 to 4118, another roughly 20% gain.

For tasks such as editing videos, working on school projects, or playing a graphics-intensive game, the A14 Bionic easily handles them all on the iPhone, so the same chip in the iPad should be just as good.

2021 iPad versus 2022 iPad - Cameras

The rear camera on the 2021 iPad is an 8-megapixel Wide camera with an f/2.4 aperture, digital zoom of up to 5x, and HDR for photos.

Video recording with the rear camera on this model includes 1080p HD video recording at 25 fps or 30 fps; 3x video zoom; slo-mo video support for 720p at 120 fps; and time-lapse video with stabilization.

The 2022 model's rear camera is a higher-resolution 12MP Wide shooter with an f/1.8 aperture, a 5x digital zoom, and Smart HDR 3.

Video goes up to 4K 60fps, a big upgrade for the 2022 iPad, with slo-mo also boosted to 1080p at up to 240fps. You also get extended dynamic range for video up to 30fps, as well as a 3x zoom and cinematic video stabilization.

Updated rear camera
Updated rear camera


The front cameras of both models are 12-megapixel in resolution, though while the 2021 is Ultra Wide, the 2022 is Landscape Ultra Wide.

There's also a big change in terms of positioning for the front camera, with it no longer on the short "top" edge of the tablet, but instead halfway along one side.

Landscape camera
Landscape camera


For users, this means they will be able to "look" directly at the camera when in a FaceTime call and holding the iPad in a landscape orientation.

2021 iPad versus 2022 iPad - Connectivity

Wireless connectivity for the 2021 model is Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and Bluetooth 4.2. The 2022 iPad supports Wi-Fi 6, otherwise known as 802.11ax, and Bluetooth 5.2.

The cellular variant of the 2022 iPad brings 5G connectivity with mmWave support for faster networking speeds. The 2021 model is limited to 4G LTE, which is still reasonably usable while the faster 5G continues to roll out.

Both models support Nano-SIM cards and eSIM technology, so unlike the iPhone 14 in the U.S., you can still use a physical SIM if you want.

2021 iPad versus 2022 iPad - Power and Battery

At face value, both models offer users the same battery life, with up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi or watching video. Using a cellular connection reduces battery life for web surfing down to 9 hours.

It is fairly typical for Apple to try and keep the battery life for the iPad at 10 hours or thereabouts. However, this time Apple has less battery to play with.

While the 9th-gen model had a 32.4-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery, the 10th uses a 28.6-watt-hour version. Even with the disadvantage of a larger display, a generally power-hungry component, it seems Apple has managed enough power efficiencies to maintain its ten-hour claim, while also reducing the battery's capacity.

We'll see how this plays out when we have the unit in-hand.

2021 iPad versus 2022 iPad - Other Features

There is a new Magic Keyboard Folio for the new 2022 iPad, while the 2021 model only supports the Smart Keyboard. The Magic Keyboard Folio features full-size keys with one millimeter of travel for responsive typing.

The 2022 iPad supports the Magic Keyboard Folio with trackpad
The 2022 iPad supports the Magic Keyboard Folio with trackpad


The new 14-key function row allows easy access to tasks such as adjusting the volume or display brightness. The keyboard also introduces a large trackpad with multi-touch gestures for swiping, pinching, and scrolling.

The Magic Keyboard Folio is a two-piece design with a detachable keyboard and a protective back cover that attaches magnetically to the 2022 iPad. It uses the Smart Connector on the iPad, so it never needs to be charged or paired.

2021 iPad versus 2022 iPad - Colors, Capacity, Pricing

The 2021 iPad sticks with Space Gray and Silver, while the 2022 model comes in Blue, Pink, Silver, and Yellow. The capacity of both models are 64GB and 256GB.

Pricing for the 2021 iPad starts from $329 for the 64GB Wi-Fi model, moving up to $479 for 256GB. The Wi-Fi + Cellular variant is $459 for 64GB of storage, $609 for 256GB.

The 2022 iPad comes in new colors: blue, pink, yellow, and silver
The 2022 iPad comes in new colors: blue, pink, yellow, and silver


For the 2022 iPad, the Wi-Fi model starts at $449 for 64GB and $599 for 256GB. Prices for the Wi-Fi + Cellular variant start at $599 for 64GB and hit $749 for 265GB of storage.

2021 iPad versus 2022 iPad - What to Buy

Although the 2022 iPad is more expensive than the preceding model, it has powerful features that make it a good upgrade for existing customers and an attractive option for new buyers.

Apple said the A14 Bionic chip is up to five times faster than the best-selling Android tablet. As a result, users looking to upgrade from a seventh-generation iPad that uses an A10 chip will likely see up to 3x improvement in overall performance with the 2022 iPad.

Remote workers and others who participate in video conferences will love the front camera position on the side for landscape mode, since they're probably going to orient the iPad that way most of the time. Other new iPad features are 5G connectivity and Wi-Fi 6, which can power work and play on the go.

The upgraded 12MP camera on the rear can shoot 4K video, making it great for photographers and videographers with their iPad. Writers will love the Magic Keyboard Folio, which offers a better experience than the older Smart Keyboard.

The only real miss with the new batch is the continued use of the first-generation Apple Pencil. The use of an adapter to recharge and pair the Apple Pencil could become an issue, especially if users end up misplacing it.

Overall, the new iPad is a worthwhile upgrade, although at some price points depending on the configuration, people would do well to look at the iPad Air lineup, which has even more power than these cheaper iPads.

The 2022 model is immediately available to order and starts shipping on Wednesday, October 26.

Where to buy Apple's new iPad

Apple's new iPad 10th Generation is available for purchase from Apple resellers, with prices starting at $449. Those looking to tack on AppleCare can save $14.01 on the extended protection plan when ordering from Adorama with promo code APINSIDER using this activation link.

The iPad 9th Generation, meanwhile, is heavily discounted at Amazon, with prices at press time dipping to as low as $298.

You can find the latest iPad deals in our iPad Price Guide, which is updated throughout the day.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 1,026member
    The only differences I see as meaningful for a “non-pro” user are the landscape speaker and camera orientation, which are a big plus in my book, and the flat sides, which to me would be a minor drawback. Funny that they didn’t move the Pro front camera to the landscape orientation too, but I’m guessing it has something to do with the Face ID in the Pro models. I hope they will sort that out in the next iteration, and maybe go back to rounded or tapered edges on the Pro models now that flat has been around (no pun intended) for a while. 
    curtis hannah
  • Reply 2 of 12
    A comparison to current iPad Air would be interesting because they seem identical. Quick look at MacTracker shows that the only significant advantage of the iPadAir over the iPad Nothing is the M processor. 
    edited October 2022 curtis hannahwatto_cobrawilliamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,566administrator
    A comparison to current iPad Air would be interesting because they seem identical. 
    Wednesday.
    robin huberwatto_cobradewme
  • Reply 4 of 12
    I’ll pass. The plethora of poor design choices with this iPad lineup is a head-scratcher. 

    What’s going on with design at Apple?!
    grandact73williamlondon
  • Reply 5 of 12
    I’ll pass. The plethora of poor design choices with this iPad lineup is a head-scratcher. 

    What’s going on with design at Apple?!
    Can you be specific?
    dewme
  • Reply 6 of 12
    A comparison to current iPad Air would be interesting because they seem identical. Quick look at MacTracker shows that the only significant advantage of the iPadAir over the iPad Nothing is the M processor. 
    Checking Apples website, the processor, laminated display, and Apple Pencil gen 2 vs 1 support are the upgrades on the Air.

    Really don’t understand why they don’t just merge the 2 models at a $500 price now since I can’t see many people considering those upgrades worth $150 more. Also what is with coming out with the Apple Pencil gen 1 to USB C adapter, years after making people replace there’s on the Pro and Air lineup, seems like such a logical back step?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 12
    A comparison to current iPad Air would be interesting because they seem identical. Quick look at MacTracker shows that the only significant advantage of the iPadAir over the iPad Nothing is the M processor. 
    Checking Apples website, the processor, laminated display, and Apple Pencil gen 2 vs 1 support are the upgrades on the Air.

    Really don’t understand why they don’t just merge the 2 models at a $500 price now since I can’t see many people considering those upgrades worth $150 more. Also what is with coming out with the Apple Pencil gen 1 to USB C adapter, years after making people replace there’s on the Pro and Air lineup, seems like such a logical back step?
    I think the Air is the last of its kind. Next upgrade of the Nothing will likely cover the remaining distinctions. 
    curtis hannahbala1234
  • Reply 8 of 12
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 430member
    Does the new iPad have laminated display?
    watto_cobrawilliamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 12
    Though not a popular opinion, I believe the iPad line up makes a great deal of sense. It supplies enough feature changes from model to model to differentiate the products, yet enough overlap to make folks think they are getting real value for their purchase decision. 

    The M1 and M2 iPads are the more robust multitasking devices that are fully StageManger capable. The A13, A14, and A15 (mini) are media consumption/communication devices. The new iPad will also, with its landscape camera, likely be the device of choice for any iPad/HomePod camera connected unit.
    edited October 2022 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 12
    A comparison to current iPad Air would be interesting because they seem identical. 
    Wednesday.
    Thank you. I have request. An article on what path owners of old 27” iMacs can take to upgrade. My wife and I each have these aging Intel models. Because of aging eyes we need the bigger screen. I have been told that a Studio Display with a Mac Mini is the way to go. Two problems there. Nearly double the cost of a 24” all-in-one iMac, and our existing Macs have one terabyte drives that are well over half full and the Mini maxes out at 512GB. Not keen on a desk full of peripherals to do what our old iMacs do with one footprint. What are our options? If we do go the external drive route to accommodate our storage, what will happen when we attempt to set up our new rigs from iCloud back up? Will we get a message saying it can’t be done due to lake of storage? Trying to avoid some kind of catastrophe. Thank you. 
    curtis hannahwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 12
    A comparison to current iPad Air would be interesting because they seem identical. 
    Wednesday.
    Thank you. I have request. An article on what path owners of old 27” iMacs can take to upgrade. My wife and I each have these aging Intel models. Because of aging eyes we need the bigger screen. I have been told that a Studio Display with a Mac Mini is the way to go. Two problems there. Nearly double the cost of a 24” all-in-one iMac, and our existing Macs have one terabyte drives that are well over half full and the Mini maxes out at 512GB. Not keen on a desk full of peripherals to do what our old iMacs do with one footprint. What are our options? If we do go the external drive route to accommodate our storage, what will happen when we attempt to set up our new rigs from iCloud back up? Will we get a message saying it can’t be done due to lake of storage? Trying to avoid some kind of catastrophe. Thank you. 

    It’s still crazy Apple is discontinuing the 27 inch iMac considering it was their highest selling desktop. The Mac Mini is customizable to 2tb though and you can use a third party 4K display assuming you want to save money from the Mac Studio.
    dewmewatto_cobrawilliamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 12
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,633member
    A comparison to current iPad Air would be interesting because they seem identical. 
    Wednesday.
    Thank you. I have request. An article on what path owners of old 27” iMacs can take to upgrade. My wife and I each have these aging Intel models. Because of aging eyes we need the bigger screen. I have been told that a Studio Display with a Mac Mini is the way to go. Two problems there. Nearly double the cost of a 24” all-in-one iMac, and our existing Macs have one terabyte drives that are well over half full and the Mini maxes out at 512GB. Not keen on a desk full of peripherals to do what our old iMacs do with one footprint. What are our options? If we do go the external drive route to accommodate our storage, what will happen when we attempt to set up our new rigs from iCloud back up? Will we get a message saying it can’t be done due to lake of storage? Trying to avoid some kind of catastrophe. Thank you. 
    The Mac mini can be configured with up to 2 TB of storage. The main limitation with the current mini is on the memory being limited to 16 GB. Hopefully a new M2 mini will show up at some point soon and bump up the memory spec to at least 24 GB.

    There are plenty of display alternatives to the Studio Display out there if you can settle for 4K, including several that are larger than than 27”. If you have the space you could go with a 32” or larger 4K display, which you may find even more comfortable than your 27” iMac. If you get one with a built-in webcam and speakers you’ll be right back where you were with the iMac in terms of peripherals on the desk. If you mount the monitor on a VESA monitor arm you’d be donating the desk space that the iMac consumed to the mini footprint, so it would be closer to a wash but with the added bonus of being able to position the screen exactly where you want it. 

    If you look at some tech blogs you’ll see some folks complaining about display scaling with 27” 4K monitors putting a load on the M1 GPUs. The display scaling is what defines the desktop, windows, and font sizes when your screen has more pixels than you would want to view natively because they’d be unreadable for most people. The default display scaling on macOS is optimized for the 27" 5K Studio Display but a 4K display can be scaled to perfectly match the Studio Display. This means that dragging windows between monitors doesn’t alter the window or font sizes at all. Works great. I’m not sure how the scaling works out on a 32” 4K screen, but unless you’re doing serious GPU dependent tasks I think all scaling concerns are moot.

    I have a 27” Studio Display sitting right next to a 27” 4K display. Yes, the 5K Studio Display is crisper than the 4K display, but it is still far better than the 1440p display on my “old” iMac 27”. If you have an iMac 27” with 5K display I would contend that your iMac isn’t really that old. But it’s a personal thing. I'm just saying that going from a truly older iMac 27” with a 1440p screen to a new M1 equipped Mac mini with a 4K display is definitely going to be a major upgrade. If you already have a 5K iMac, the 4K screen will be a slight downgrade, but it will open up the possibility of moving up to a larger display for better viewing comfort.
    edited October 2022 watto_cobramuthuk_vanalingam
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