5 reasons why you should buy Apple's new iPad (and 3 why you shouldn't) (2024)

5 reasons why you should buy Apple's new iPad (and 3 why you shouldn't) (1)

It's an entry-level iPad, but it looks pro. Credit: Stan Schroeder/Mashable

Apple's new, 10th generation iPad will be available for purchase on Wednesday, Oct. 26. It's very different from the entry-level iPad of yesteryear, with a new design that resembles the iPad Air and the iPad Pro.

But the starting price is also higher at $449, up from $329 which is the price for the old, 9th generation iPad that Apple still sells. So is the new iPad a good purchase? We've got some thoughts on that.


Yes, the price is higher than before. It's harder to justify spending $449 for an entry-level device. But what you're really measuring the new iPad against is the iPad Air, which launched in March, and starts at $599.

Here's why: The new iPad is a dead ringer for the iPad Air. The two devices have essentially the same design, with even bezels on all sides. Both have a 10.9-inch display, roughly the same cameras, and come with either 64GB or 256GB of storage memory.

I was able to compare the two side by side, though, and they are basically twins when it comes to look and feel. The new iPad doesn't feel cheaper in any way; in fact, if you get it in one of the bright new colors, it looks...well, new.

For more details, see our comparison between the two devices. There are differences between the iPad and the iPad Air; the Air has a better display and a far more powerful chip, among other differences.


Is the new iPad basically the same as iPad Air? The answer is no.

But if you want a modern-looking iPad that's powerful enough to do iPad things, you can now get one for $449, and the $150 you save can go towards a keyboard or a case. For many users, it'll be the right choice.


5 reasons why you should buy Apple's new iPad (and 3 why you shouldn't) (2)

Real pink. Credit: Stan Schroeder/Mashable

The new iPad comes in four colors: Silver, Blue, Pink, and Yellow, but these colors are different from your typical Apple gadget colors. The Pink and Yellow are particularly vibrant, and you can also get matching covers for each color. Let's put it this way: These are the least boring iPad colors ever.

Apple sent me a pink iPad to check out, and I can attest that it is, indeed, quite pink. The yellow variant I haven't seen in person, but it appears to be equally cheerful. This is something to think about given that the five colors on offer for the iPad Air are very subdued.

Magic Keyboard

Curiously, even though Apple updated both the iPad and the iPad Pro in October, only the iPad got a new, matching accessory: The new, Magic Keyboard Folio.

5 reasons why you should buy Apple's new iPad (and 3 why you shouldn't) (3)

This keyboard is a lot better than the one you get for the iPad Pro. Credit: Stan Schroeder/Mashable

Yes, it costs $249, and yes, that's too much. But it's the best iPad keyboard Apple ever launched, with an additional row of function keys on top and, mercifully, an escape button in the top left. It also folds differently to the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro (which, in its 11-inch variant, doubles as the keyboard for the iPad Air, but is not compatible with the iPad), and in my opinion it's a slightly better design as the keyboard is easier to open.

We're not saying the Magic Keyboard is a must-buy; in fact, it's probably overkill for the entry-level iPad. But if you do plan to buy one, know that the version for the iPad is currently the best one you can buy.

Front-facing camera in the right place

5 reasons why you should buy Apple's new iPad (and 3 why you shouldn't) (4)

It's hard to make it out, but the front-facing camera is where it should be: up top and center when the device is in landscape mode. Credit: Stan Schroeder/Mashable

For some reason, Apple's iPad Pro and iPad Air models still have the front-facing camera up top when you hold the device in portrait mode. The new iPad has the camera in the right place: On the side, so it's up top when the device is in landscape mode. Since you'll probably be doing most of your video calls with the iPad on a desk in front of you, this is the preferable place for the selfie camera.

Cheaper accessories

Yes, the Magic Keyboard for the iPad is too pricy at $249. But that's certainly better than the $299 you'll have to dish out for the Magic Keyboard for the 11-inch iPad Pro and the iPad Air.

The new iPad is only compatible with the 1st generation Apple Pencil, which isn't great, given that you'll need a dongle (mercifully included with the Pencil) to charge it. But that Pencil is also cheaper at $99 versus the $129 which is the price for the 2nd generation Pencil. It's not much, but if you intend to fully deck out your iPad with accessories, it adds up.

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Now that we've listed the reasons why you should buy the new iPad, here are a couple of reasons why you might consider skipping it.

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Apple Pencil confusion

5 reasons why you should buy Apple's new iPad (and 3 why you shouldn't) (5)

This....is not ideal. Credit: Stan Schroeder/Mashable

We mentioned it up there, but it's worth repeating: The new iPad is only compatible with the first generation Apple Pencil, which charges via a Lightning connector, and the new iPad has a USB-C connector. Yes, Apple now includes a dongle with the first generation Apple Pencil, but if you hate dongles (I do), and if you really plan to use Apple Pencil a lot, this could be a dealbreaker for you.

Apple sent me both versions of the Pencil and the dongle, and sure, the old Pencil combined with the dongle charged on the iPad just fine. But it's just so messy and un-Apple like, I'd rather avoid it if in any way possible.

No anti-reflective coating

The display on the new iPad may appear the same as the one on the iPad Air, but it's not. For one, it's not fully laminated, which makes the device slightly thicker.

5 reasons why you should buy Apple's new iPad (and 3 why you shouldn't) (6)

The display is not bad, but it has a couple of drawbacks. Credit: Stan Schroeder/Mashable

While that wasn't a big deal for me, there's another small detail that does matter: anti-reflective coating. The thing is, the new iPad's display doesn't have it, whereas the iPad Air does. And when I positioned the two devices next to each other, in a fairly dark room, the difference was pretty noticeable. In the sunlight, the difference is even bigger. It's one of those details that you don't notice until you try an improved version, and going back is hard. It's not a dealbreaker by any means, but if you plan to use the iPad outdoors a lot, it's something to consider.


Wait, what? Didn't we just say that the price was a positive?

Well, the price of the new iPad is $449, which is alright when compared to the $599 iPad Air. But it's the most expensive the entry-level iPad has ever been. It's a massive, 35 percent hike compared to last year's model. And that model, the 9th generation iPad, is still available in the Apple Store for $329. Given that it's an old model, you might even be able to get it for cheaper elsewhere.

Sure, the old iPad has the same old design and only comes in Silver and Space Gray colors, but if you really just need an iPad that performs the simple, tablet tasks and you want it for the least amount of money possible, maybe you should skip the fancy new one and save $120 in the process.

5 reasons why you should buy Apple's new iPad (and 3 why you shouldn't) (7)

Stan Schroeder

Senior Editor

Stan is a Senior Editor at Mashable, where he has worked since 2007. He's got more battery-powered gadgets and band t-shirts than you. He writes about the next groundbreaking thing. Typically, this is a phone, a coin, or a car. His ultimate goal is to know something about everything.

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5 reasons why you should buy Apple's new iPad (and 3 why you shouldn't) (2024)
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