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Apple’s redesigned iPad is mostly worth the higher price in 2023

Nonetheless, there are some concessions, as usual.

Since then, Apple has claimed that its most popular tablet is the $329 model of the iPad it debuted in 2017. It’s simple to understand why: When I tested the model from a year ago in the fall, I discovered that this quite basic gadget could perform practically all of the functions that my more expensive 11-inch iPad Pro is capable of. Yet, the standard iPad was beginning to appear dated in a world where Apple has removed the home button and reduced the bezels on all of its tablets.

Apple redesigned the iPad this year for its tenth edition, clearly drawing inspiration from the iPad Air. The screen, cameras, USB-C connector, optional 5G networking, and Touch ID-enabled power button are all the same size and an improvement over the model from the previous year.

It also includes an A14 chip, which is still a powerful piece of silicon even though it can’t compete with the M1 in the iPad Air and the M2 in the new iPad Pro. The first iPad keyboard the business produced with a function key row was even created by Apple, along with a redesigned keyboard and trackpad folio.

Naturally, Apple had to make some compromises to set this iPad apart from the Air. The screen isn’t quite as excellent as the one on the Air, and it lacks anti-reflective coating, full lamination on the front glass, and support for the larger P3 color gamut, among other concessions. However, it still only works with the original Apple Pencil, which is a significant letdown for anyone hoping for a better stylus experience.

The iPad is no longer the incredible value it once was because of all the improvements Apple made; it now costs $449, while the 9th-generation iPad from last year is still available for the same $329 price. Here are my initial thoughts after using the new iPad for a few days; I’ll be writing a comprehensive review of it soon.

Even though the new iPad is a tiny bit thicker and bigger than the Air, when I first picked it up, it felt completely familiar. It almost feels identical to the Air, but using this year’s model with the new Home button is obviously a completely different experience. Although while the 10.9-inch screen isn’t noticeably larger than the previous 10.2-inch screen, it is just large enough to facilitate multitasking.

Although the fully laminated display and 120Hz Pro Motion refresh rate of the iPad Pro are missed, I find that this iPad’s “air gap” is less noticeable than it was on any of the earlier basic models. Although this tablet’s screen is inferior to the iPad Air’s in terms of quality, the two devices are otherwise comparable models has been drastically cut down.

I feel a lot more productive on the new iPad than I did on the one from a year ago because to the larger screen and the new Magic Keyboard Folio with a touchpad. The trackpad may be small, but it’s much more practical to use while using the iPad with a keyboard than reaching up to tap the screen each time you want to move the cursor or switch between apps.

I can’t give Apple too much credit for finally getting things right because the row of function keys that the firm added to the Smart Keyboard Folio is something that should have been added to every other iPad keyboard the company has produced.

Nonetheless, having an escape key and a few other practical shortcuts available at all times is still convenient. With that and the trackpad, you can go longer than ever without touching the screen (which may make you wonder why you’re using an iPad in the first place, but I’ll reserve such metaphysical queries for my entire review).

The typing experience is also much improved over that of the previous Smart Keyboard cover, and the keys have a similar feel to that of the Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro and Air. Compared to last year’s model, I’m considerably more inclined to utilize this iPad for extended periods of time-consuming typing. Like most things, Nevertheless, Apple, this comes at a steep price – the new keyboard is an outrageous $249.

I had some reservations about the A14 chip on the new iPad because I had been using an M1-powered, 12.9-inch iPad Pro for the majority of the previous four months as a testing device for iPad OS 16. I needn’t have worried; even if sometimes actions like swiping up to see all my open apps felt a little less fluid than I’d like, overall the new iPad is holding up incredibly well so far.

The games I’ve played so far, such as Skate City, Spire Blast, and Mini Motorways, have all run flawlessly, and apps load quickly when I switch between them or pull up a few different ones at once in Split View. I can also swipe through my library of RAW photos in Lightroom without experiencing any lag modes for slide over.

Comparing the A14 to more powerful chips like the M1, the only major drawback I’ve found is that programmed frequently need to refresh their content. This is probably because there is less RAM on the A14. For instance, if I closed the file I’m writing this in and returned to Google Documents, I would typically need to reopen it because it wasn’t kept open in memory.

I need to test out the new cameras (including the front-facing camera that is landscape-oriented! ), explore more of iPad OS 16’s new capabilities, and relive my irritation with the original Apple Pencil before I can completely assess this new iPad. At first, I’m a little disappointed about the price increase, but I quickly realize that these changes significantly enhance the iPad experience. My current thinking is that it is worthwhile to spend the extra $120 to get this iPad rather than the one from last year, and that most people will even prefer it to the $600 iPad Air.