iPad 2022 review: Apple’s terrific tablet has left us confused

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Apple iPad 2022 review (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Apple’s new iPad 2022 is a terrific tablet that’s also incredibly confused

What we love

  • Premium design and great screen
  • Powerful enough for most users
  • Solid battery life
  • Good cameras in a better position
  • Nice choice of colours
  • Function keys come to the case

What we don’t

  • Apple Pencil won’t charger without adapter
  • £130 more than 9th Gen
  • Only starts with 64GB storage
  • Stage Manager feature won’t work
  • iPad line-up now too confusing 

The new iPad is a terrific tablet but we can’t help feeling a little confused by it. It’s now £130 more expensive than its 9th Gen predecessor, which remains on sale, it’s not compatible with the brilliant new Stage Manager display sharing feature that’s just launched in iPadOS 16 and then there’s the Apple Pencil. For some reason, it only works with the original stylus that includes a Lightning connector. That’s a problem as this latest iPad features a USB-C port so the Pencil can’t be charged without an adapter – and that’s not even included in the box!

We’ve been using the new iPad for almost a week and there’s no doubt that this is a very nice device. It looks great, has a stunning 10.9-inch edge-to-edge display, improved cameras that now keep you in shot when making video calls and there’s very long battery life.

You also get a USB-C charger in the box, decent speakers and speedy Wi-Fi 6 technology for much faster downloads.

Alongside the tablet, Apple has launched a nice new keyboard case for the iPad which gets full function keys and a nifty design that makes it perfect for work and play.

It’s pretty hard to fault the actual iPad itself but there are definitely some strange decisions from Cupertino that now makes the iPad line-up all a bit baffling.

Had this new tablet fully replaced the older iPad 9th Gen at a similar price we wouldn’t be scratching our heads. But with that device still on sale and the more impressive iPad Air just £169 more, consumers are going to need to do a serious amount of homework before making their next choice.

Apple iPad 2022 review

The new iPad gets a premium design that’s built to last (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

New iPad 2022: Full review

Apple is back with an all-new entry-level tablet that gets a striking design, improved performance, long battery life and better cameras. However, with a much higher price tag is this new iPad worth splashing out on?

Express.co.uk has been using this latest device ahead of its official launch and here’s our full iPad 2022 review.

Apple iPad 2022 review

The iPad 2022 gets an edge-to-edge 10.9-inch screen (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Design and display

The new iPad 10th Gen looks almost identical to the more expensive iPad Air and iPad Pro and that’s definitely no bad thing. This tablet looks terrific with the 10.9-inch Retina display losing the chunky bezels and pushing the screen closer to the edge of the aluminium chassis. The Touch ID fingerprint scanner has now been moved inside the power button which sits on the side of the device. Although it’s slightly heavier than the Air the new iPad very comfortable to hold and supremely portable.

The whole device feels super premium and, to boost its appeal, Apple has launched it in a number of fun colours including yellow, blue and red.

Turn this tablet on and the display also dazzles. Colours pop from the Retina panel and you get 500 nits of brightness which means things look clear even in the midday sunshine.

We’ve been whizzing around the web, watching movies and playing games on this device and we have no complaints with content looking pin-sharp and packed with detail.

If we had one criticism about the screen it’s the fact that there’s no 120Hz ProMotion technology included which means things do look slightly stuttery when compared to the display found on the iPad Pro models.

Apple iPad 2022 review

This new tablet now costs £130 more than its predecessorr (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Speed and battery

Tucked under the hood of the new iPad 2022 is Apple’s A14 Bionic chip which is certainly no slouch. It’s actually the same processor that powers the 2020 iPad Air – a tablet we’ve been loving since launch and a device that still works brilliantly two years after it first arrived in stores.

The A14 Bionic makes the new iPad 2022 around 20 percent faster than the 9th Gen model and there’s definitely not much that it won’t be able to handle including memory-hungry gaming and 4K video editing.

However, despite having plenty of power there is one glaring issue. Apple has just released its iPadOS 16 upgrade which includes a number of useful updates such as better multitasking, improved messaging and the introduction of the popular Weather app to tablets.

There’s also now the option to plug the iPad into a second display, via a feature called Stage Manager, which makes these tablets feel a little like a desktop PC. But before you start getting too excited, this Stage Manager update only works with tablets that are powered by Apple’s M1 and M2 chips and not any devices with the firm’s A-range of processors inside.

If you’re not bothered by linking the iPad up to a bigger screen then this isn’t an issue but for anyone who thinks this might be useful, don’t consider buying the new iPad 2022.

Although that’s not great news things do get better when it comes to battery life. We’re still fully testing this new device but on first impressions, it appears it will easily last all of your next long-haul flight and there should still be some life left in the tank once you land.

Unlike the iPhone, Apple still pops a charger in the box although this won’t refill things as fast as using a MacBook power pack.

The new camera

For anyone who loves making endless FaceTime calls to their friends and family, there’s good news. Apple has now moved the camera on this new iPad to its rightful place on the long edge of the screen.

Almost all of Apple’s other iPads feature the front-facing lens on the top of the tablet which makes it really hard to focus on at when making calls in landscape mode as you’re constantly needing to look to side if you want to stare directly into the lens.

It’s a good move from Apple and that’s not all as this 12-megapixel full 1080p snapper gets Apple’s clever Center Stage, which automatically pans and zooms to keep users in view as they move around on video calls.

On the rear case, there’s also a single lens which produces perfectly good photos and can even shoot video in full 4K resolution.

Apple iPad 2022 review

The keyboard now detaches when you’ve finished those emails (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Updated keyboard case

For those wanting a laptop-style experience from their iPad, Apple has released a new Magic Keyboard Folio accessory. This clever case includes a trackpad, qwerty keyboard and there’s finally a full set of function keys which means you can turn down the brightness or pump up the volume without ever touching the tablet.

An adjustable kickstand pops out of the back and can be set to any angle plus the keyboard section of the case can be removed for those times when you simply want to watch a boxset on Netflix.

It’s a very good accessory but we do have a couple of niggles. Firstly, unlike Apple’s Magic Keyboard, the keys aren’t backlit which isn’t ideal for anyone wanting to send emails late at night.

That Magic Keyboard also features an extra USB-C port for charging when the tablet’s port is being used by another accessory – that’s not something you’ll find on the Folio case.

Finally, when you close things up, the section of the case that covers the screen doesn’t feel that secure with it wobbling around and twisting. That’s not ideal, especially when shoving the iPad in your rucksack and heading out for the day.

The Apple Pencil

Now here’s where things get very confusing. The new iPad is compatible with the Apple Pencil stylus which allows users to scribble on the screen without using their fingers. However, owners only get access to the original digital pen and not the latest version which now includes easy wireless charging and an improved design. That may not sound like a big problem but the 1st generation Pencil features a Lightning connector on one end which needs to plug into the bottom of the iPad to refill its battery. That would be fine, except the new 2022 iPad now comes with a USB-C port which means the Pencil doesn’t fit!

To combat this bizarre decision, Apple has developed an adapter to help owners boost the Pencil’s battery. Hooray, we hear you say. Well, we might shout the same thing except for the fact that this vital accessory isn’t free to those buying the Pencil with Apple charging an extra £9 to buy it.

We understand that Apple is clearly trying to make sure the iPad 2022 doesn’t match the better specs found on the more premium iPad Air (a tablet that is compatible with the 2nd Gen stylus) but the whole decision is very hard to fathom.

Apple iPad 2022 review

There’s a kickstand on the case for watching movies (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

The latest iPad 2022 gets plenty of nice bonus features such as fast charging via USB-C and the speedy Touch ID fingerprint scanner which is easy to reach on the top of the tablet. Apple allows more than one finger to work with this sensor so you can register both hands for even easier unlocking.

There are also some very good stereo speakers which are compatible with Apple’s immersive Spatial Audio technology and anyone with a Wi-Fi 6 router will be able to take advantage of much faster and more reliable downloads.

It also ships with iPadOS 16 pre-loaded which helps improve messaging, adds extra email features, introduces the new Weather app to these tablets and makes multitasking on the display feel more like a MacBook.

Sadly, as we mentioned earlier you can’t use the Stage Manger’s display mirroring in iPadOS 16 as that needs an M1 or M2 chip to work.

Apple iPad review

Apple iPad 2022 review (Image: APPLE)

Price

If you were hoping for a bargain from Apple you’re going to be disappointed. The popular iPad 9th Gen, which remains on sale, can be picked up for around £360 and is clearly excellent value for money.

Sadly, iPad 10th Gen isn’t getting close to matching that price with Apple asking consumers to cough up £499 – a whopping £130 more.

That’s for the 64GB model and, with no 128GB version going on sale, anyone wanting more memory will be left facing a bill of £679 for the 256GB device. This is even before they’ve considered adding the Apple Pencil (£109), the charging adaptor (£9) or the Keyboard Folio case (£279).

It’s a lot of money and things get even more complicated due to the iPad Air. The latest version, (which costs £669) features a better screen, faster M1 processor and new Apple Pencil support. However, you’ll also find the 2020 model – which is one of our favourite iPads ever – at a cheaper price than the iPad 10th-gen.

If you’re going to use this new device every day for the next few years £499 is pretty good value but we can’t help feeling that Apple should have killed off the 9th Gen model and reduced the price of this new upgrade as that would have made things a lot less confusing for consumers.

Apple iPad review

The iPad now comes in a new range of colours (Image: APPLE)

iPad 2022 review: Verdict

With a stunning new edge-to-edge screen, more power under its aluminium body, improved cameras and refreshed keyboard accessory, this is the entry-level iPad upgrade many have been waiting for. It’s brighter, faster and finally ditches the ageing bezels which makes it look so much better than before.

With all of those new features and improved design, this should be a very easy tablet to recommend but it’s not that simple. Don’t get us wrong, this new device is very good and owners will love using it but there’s a list of things to know before taking the plunge.

Firstly, it’s way more expensive that the 9th Gen iPad – which remains on sale via Apple Store.

Then there’s the A14 Bionic processor which isn’t compatible with Stage Manager’s screen sharing – that’s one of the best new features in iPadOS 16!

This is the entry-level iPad upgrade many have been waiting for

You also won’t be able to use the most recent Apple Pencil with this tablet either as it only works with the original stylus. To make matters worse, that accessory can’t be refilled via the iPad’s USB-C port without buying a £9 adapter.

It’s also worth noting that the original 2020 iPad Air, which includes many of the same features and design as the new 2022 iPad, is still on sale at a cheaper £419 price.

We’re huge iPad fans and genuinely like this latest tablet from Apple but can we wholehearted recommend it? For the first time in years, that’s a tricky question as there’s now so much choice in Apple’s lineup we’ve been left a little bemused by it all.

If you take the plunge you won’t be disappointed just good luck trying to make the decision to buy it in the first place.

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