iPad (2022) : Is It Worth It?
Apple’s entry-level iPad has long been a classic, providing good performance at a reasonable price. The latest iPad from Apple features the same overall design as the iPad Air, with an edge-to-edge display with a Touch ID power button rather than Face ID integration. It also uses USB-C instead of Lightning for charging, making it more useable.
However, the new iPad has a few questionable decisions in addition to a RM500 price increase – the base model now costs RM2099. Well, last year’s iPad is still available for RM1599.
While I believe Apple made major enhancements to the 10th-generation iPad, I’m not sure how many consumers looking for a low-cost tablet will find these upgrades worthwhile.
|-Only supported the 1st gen Apple Pencil
|-Long battery life
|-Screen quality can be better
|-USB Type-C charging port
|-Keyboard folio is costly
|-Keyboard folio support
|-Landscape-oriented front-facing camera
Unlike last year’s iPad, which looked virtually identical to the basic tablet Apple has been selling since 2017, this year’s device has been entirely overhauled. The Home button has been removed, Touch ID has been relocated to the lock button, the bezels have shrunk, the display has grown larger, the edges have been rounded off, and a front camera has been relocated to the iPad’s horizontal edge.
The Apple A14 Bionic Chip
The new iPad is virtually the exact same as the 2020 iPad Air on the inside. It features Apple’s A14 CPU, 4Gb ram, and storage space of 64GB or 256GB. That means it has a two-year-old CPU, but it is certainly strong enough to do whatever you would wish to do on an iPad like this, from the newest games and video viewing to surfing, office tasks, and even picture editing in applications. Sure, the A14 lags behind the M1 in the iPad Air and the M2 in the iPad Pro 2022, but the great majority of iPad purchasers will be satisfied.
The base iPad has always been about endurance, and if you use the iPad as a normal tablet for 2-3 hours each day, it will comfortably survive up to 2-3 days. That is also true with the iPad 2022 (10th generation), if you keep to Wi-Fi connectivity. With more video calling or using it with the keyboard folio, the iPad’s endurance will drop. But luckily, you can also recharge it with any USB-C charger in your reach.
When compared to last year’s iPad, the screen here is much larger, but not noticeably better. It has the same 10.9-inch screen as the iPad Air (up from 10.2-inch), which makes multitasking with many applications seem a little less cramped. A larger screen in a body that is practically the same size is always a welcome upgrade. However, its display misses many of the features seen on the Air. The display is not laminated to the front glass, lacks an anti-reflective treatment, and does not support the P3 broad color gamut.
Nevertheless, the new iPad’s display is excellent for regular use. It has no issue with HD media from Netflix or YouTube, and it is usually more than bright enough for indoor use. It does suffer outdoors, though, and even in bright rooms lighted by daylight. (This is where the antireflective coating would have come in handy.)
One of the most significant upgrades to the entry-level iPad is also one of the most subtle. Apple ditched its exclusive Lightning connector in favor of USB Type – C (This was already the case with the iPad Pro and iPad Air.) USB-C has become the standardized connector for many electrical products throughout the world. In the packaging, Apple offers a USB-C-to-USB-C cable.
On the positive side, Apple developed a new Magic Keyboard Folio for the iPad, which works together with the landscape camera to transform the iPad into a Mac replacement. It is a two-piece device that functions as both a cover and a keyboard, as well as having a built-in stand. Apple also introduced a function row, which was previously unavailable on the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro.
Surprisingly, the 2022 Apple iPad only supports the 1st generation Apple Pencil from 2015, not the 2nd generation. The original Apple Pencil has a shiny, spherical design that people may find awkward to handle and way too slippery—but that’s not the real issue. The problem is how you should charge the Apple Pencil. The top of the original Apple Pencil has a male Lightning connection. To connect an original Apple Pencil to the previous iPad, just plug the Pencil into the Lightning connector. This is no longer feasible due to the new iPad’s USB-C port. Connecting must now be done through the iPad’s Bluetooth menu (although in a few simple steps).
Apple has reformatted the Apple Pencil to includes both Lightning and USB-C charging plugs, but if you lose one, you’re out of luck. Apple’s decision-making in this case is, to put it mildly, strange. Why not simply upgrade the iPad to the second-generation Pencil? Worse, the Magic Keyboard Folio lacks a secure location to store the Apple Pencil.
The iPad comes with iPadOS 16.1, Apple’s newish tablet software that is also available on most other devices. It adds several of the iPhone capabilities introduced with iOS 16, such as the ability to automatically trim out objects from photos, which is quite impressive.
However, the basic model iPad does not receive a few of the more advanced features included in iPadOS 16.1 that are intended to transform the tablet into a PC replacement, such as the new Stage Manager window multitasking system, which is exclusive to the iPad Pro line and the M1 iPad Air.
It won’t make a difference for tablet-type stuff, for which most people will presumably use the iPad. Based on Apple’s past record, you may expect up to eight years of software support.
Should you buy it?
In a variety of ways, the new iPad surpasses its predecessor. By that standard, it’s very likely worth the additional money Apple is asking for. A larger screen, stronger cameras, a more powerful CPU, and a more contemporary design are all excellent and, in some cases, much-needed enhancements.
While the iPad 2022 isn’t flawless – in fact, its mash-up of features makes it tough to classify – there are some evident improvements over its predecessor here, most notably in terms of design and speed. We would have liked to see further upgrades to the screen, but it is still enough for watching films or gaming, and the battery life is outstanding.
If you are on a limited budget, the iPad 2021 still provides excellent value and should not be overlooked, but if you have a little more money to spend, the iPad 10 will be well worth it.
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