CNET reviews Apple’s entry-level 10.2-inch iPad: A good versatile tablet

Apple's 10.2‑inch iPad with full-size Smart Keyboard
Apple’s 10.2‑inch iPad with full-size Smart Keyboard

Scott Stein for CNET:

Yes, the iPad is a computer. And for $329 as a starting price, Apple has made the iPad its lowest entry point for a computer, period… After living for a year with the 11-inch iPad Pro and its beautiful speed and features, I’ve moved into the new $429 128GB 10.2-inch iPad and $159 Smart Keyboard to compare… If you’re looking for a good versatile tablet, this is it. It’s more than capable for browsing, doing basic work and playing games on Apple Arcade. It can use the multitasking abilities of iPadOS decently enough.

The 10.2-inch iPad also has a lot in common with the slightly more expensive 10.5-inch iPad Air. It’s bizarre that these two iPads are available at the same time. The 10.2-inch iPad is thicker, but its body is the same length and width. It also uses the same Smart Connecter Keyboard Cover and Pencil accessories from Apple, which together will cost nearly as much as the iPad itself.

The iPad Air has a faster A12 processor (same as an iPhone XR/XS), instead of the A10 in the 10.2-inch iPad, which is the processor the iPhone 7 used. To me, that matters. Is the A10 fine in the basic iPad? Yes, it’s fine. Weirdly, I miss the iPad Pro’s Face ID and its touch-to-turn-on display… My only concern is that the older A10 processor could end up showing its age as new versions of iPad OS arrive.

MacDailyNews Take: Just for future-proofing – we tend to use our iPads for a looong time – we’d recommend the A12-powered 10.5-inch iPad Air although it is a noticeable step up in price starting at $499 (but, of course, we’re so done with the Home button, so we’re iPad Pro people now). The entry-level iPad is a good all-around tablet. It’s something that most kids would absolutely love (and, parents, Christmas will be here before you know it)!

1 Comment

  1. Newest iPad mini should not be left out of consideration. Its screen, in terms of pixels, is the old 9.7-inch screen scaled down to 7.9-inch size. So I see almost as much as 10.2-inch screen (at a higher “better Retina” pixel density). iPad mini is powered by A12 like newest iPad Air, not A10. Also, storage starts at 64GB, not 32GB. Works with Apple Pencil. If for “most kids,” the smaller size (and lower weight) is ideal for smaller hands. I think it’s ideal for ME; I can firmly grip (not just cradle) it easily with one hand. Price is (only) $70 more at low end versus low end iPad. iPad mini is my favorite iPad. I even like having a Home button and “handles” (wider bezel) along two sides of screen. I was very happy when Apple released new upgraded-specs model a few months ago. 🥳

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