I'm glad Apple's new iPads are confusing everyone else too

new iPad 2022 lineup and a confused emoji face
(Image credit: Apple / Future)

Apple revealed three new 2022 iPads this week with no launch event and only a press release to help make sense of them. We're still confused, but we're glad we aren't the only ones.

Since the new iPads appeared on Apple's online store on Tuesday, fans have been trying to make sense of the new lineup, which now features two entry-level iPads, one being notably more expensive than the other while not quite offering the specs you might expect. To see what all the fuss is about, check out the full list of the current iPad Generations as it now stands, or read on for all the bewildered reaction (and memes).

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple revealed three new iPads on Tuesday. There are two new iPad Pros, replacing last year's 11in and 12.9 tablets with largely incremental upgrades. They now pack the M2 chip rather than the M1 and introduce some new features such as an "Apple Pencil hover experience". There aren't many surprises there, and some people have been disappointed that they don't offer more of an upgrade from the 2021 tablets.

But most of the attention has been on the new entry-level iPad 10th gen, which is no longer so entry-level. The 2022 iPad isn't a replacement for last year's model, which remains on sale. Instead, it's a new higher-end iPad. That alone makes things confusing because there are now two tablets called iPad with different prices and specs. And it's the new price and specs that have really left people baffled. The 2022 iPad costs $129 or £140 more than the 2021 iPad 10.2.

That gets you a larger device (10.9 inches) with smaller bezels and flatter edges, a Liquid Retina display, an upgraded camera now on the horizontal side and new colours. It feels like it's intended to be a watered-down iPad Air (or basically the old iPad Air 4th gen), but the new iPad still only supports Apple Pencil 1. And because the tablet charges with USB-C instead of Apple's Lightning cable, you now need an adapter to use the Pencil.

iPad 2022 product shot

The new iPad 10th gen colours (Image credit: Apple)

People are also unimpressed with price hikes introduced on the existing iPad mini 6th gen and iPad Air 5th gen outside of the US. In the UK, Apple has quietly bumped the price of the iPad mini up from £479 to £569, and the starting price of the 2022 iPad Air from £569 to £669. That's presumably at least partly due to exchange rate changes, but a price increase of £100 is above the rate of inflation and seems intended to position the iPad Air and mini as more expensive than the new iPad 10.9.

So you've now got an iPad 10.2 from £369, an iPad 10.9 from £499, the iPad mini from £569 the iPad Air from £669 and the iPad Pro from £899. Got it? (hurry if you want the best iPad deals – some third-party retailers are still charging the old prices for now).

Apple Pencil plugged into new iPad

The new iPad 10th gen requires a dongle to use the Apple Pencil (Image credit: Apple)

The internet is now seriously confused about which iPad to buy, and who Apple's aiming each device at. We ran a survey in our newsletter this week, and while 16.7% said of respondents said they planned to preorder one of the new iPads, more than 80% said they were confused by the new lineup. Some have noted that the lineup seems to contradict Steve Jobs' own comments about the importance of keeping product lines simple to avoid confusion. Others are alleging that the Apple Pencil debacle is just a ruse to sell adapters.

Apple's CEO Tim Cook shared his excitement about the launch on Twitter (opens in new tab), and people were quick to share their confusion. "The iPad used to be a practical device for the non “pro” user and / or children. This iPad doesn’t know its identity," one person replied. "You recycled the iPad air 4th generation but your team manages to downgrade it?" someone else asked Cook. "I don't understand what I'm seeing," one person said simply.

The memes have begun too, with people on Twitter noting the new iPad Pros similarity to last year's models as well as the confusing options for the standard iPad.

See more
See more
See more
See more
See more
See more
See more
See more

You can preorder both the 2022 iPad 10th gen and the 2022 iPad Pros directly from Apple (opens in new tab) ahead of their release on 26 October. If you are convinced by the new iPad Pros and you've pre-ordered yours, make sure you also get yourself one of the best iPad Pro cases.

We also have a guide to the best iPad stylus if you're looking to use your tablet for drawing or notetaking. Or if you fancy looking for a bargain on last year's iPads, see the best current prices on the 2021 iPad and iPad Pro below.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.