The budget 10.2-inch iPad enters its ninth generation with a slight processor bump, 64GB of base storage, and a True Tone display. This is the last iPad in Apple's lineup with a Lightning port and Home Button.
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Apple announced the ninth-generation 10.2-inch iPad during its "California Streaming" event, where it also revealed the iPhone 13, iPad mini 6, and Apple Watch Series 7. Upgrades were minor, as is usual for the budget tablet, moving to A13 Bionic and True Tone.
This device is less about flashy features and more about what Apple withheld to keep the price down. Despite that, the 10.2-inch iPad still benefits from all the features of iPadOS. It can take advantage of the first-generation Apple Pencil and Logitech Crayon, and it works with Apple's Smart Keyboard accessories and third-party keyboards with built-in trackpads.
10.2-inch iPad Features
Apple designed the 10.2-inch iPad as an affordable model that still covers the basics. Despite hardware compromises, its modern chipset, display, and security can make it a desirable device for users wanting an iPad that doesn't break the bank.
This iPad is targeted at students and children, though it can also serve as an entry point for budget-conscious users, including artists. The total price of the 10.2-inch iPad and Apple Pencil is less than an iPad Air 4.
Display and Design
The ninth-generation iPad uses the same 10.2-inch screen size we saw in its predecessor. The non-laminated display means content appears further from the surface, so there's a slight gap between the tip and the stroke line when using Apple Pencil.
It has a 2160 x 1620 resolution at 264 pixels per inch. It has a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating but lacks features like P3 color gamut and anti-reflective coating found in more expensive iPads.
The tablet measures 250.6mm tall, 174.1mm wide, and 7.5mm thick. It weighs 487 grams for the WiFi model and 498 grams for the cellular variant.
The most significant upgrade in the ninth-generation iPad is the A13 Bionic processor. The new silicon gives it a decent performance boost over the A12 chip in the eighth-generation iPad. Apple says its GPU is 20% faster than the one found in the previous model.
An upgraded Neural Engine means faster performance for many tasks like asking Siri questions or using the new Live Text feature in iPadOS 15. Many aspects of the operating system rely upon machine learning capabilities driven by the A13.
Apple Pencil Support
The 10.2-inch iPad supports the first-generation Apple Pencil. When used with the ninth-generation iPad, its responsiveness is roughly the same as on the original 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The 10.2-inch iPad does not support the second-generation Apple Pencil due to requiring the flat sides and conduction charging found in today's higher-end models.
This model's Apple Pencil support means it's the cheapest way to get a powerful drawing tablet. While it lacks some higher-end technologies like P3 color or laminated display tech, this device can still be compelling for digital artists on a budget.
The ninth-generation 10.2-inch iPad includes the Smart Connector, supporting Apple's Smart Keyboard accessory and third-party keyboards. Very few third-party accessory makers utilize the smart connector, usually connecting their accessories via Bluetooth instead.
The budget iPad is the last in Apple's lineup to use the legacy Smart Connector, with newer models opting for magnets and a connector on the back of the device. However, the years of identical case design and Smart Connector location keep old accessories viable, useful for a budget-friendly device.
- The ninth-generation iPad ships in 64GB and 256GB storage tiers
- Apple offers the tablet in silver and space gray color options
- The iPad has an 8MP rear camera with f/2.4 aperture
- The front-facing camera supports Center Stage with its 12MP ultra-wide sensor
10.2-inch iPad Pricing
Interested parties can purchase this iPad with or without cellular support. Here is how pricing breaks down:
- 64GB with WiFi - $329
- 64GB with WiFi + cellular - $459
- 256GB with WiFi - $479
- 256GB with WiFi + cellular - $609
10.2-inch iPad Prices (Late 2020)