Apple reveals new iPad line-up (and we’re really confused)

Product shot of the iPad Pro 2022
(Image credit: Apple)

Rumours of a new iPad line-up have been rife this last week, and so it came as no surprise to see Apple reveal two new tablets to it's iPad line-up. The understated nature of the announcement was very unlike Apple, however, with the products simply arriving on the tech giant's website. And the arrival of a brand new device, the iPad 2022, makes it all the more mysterious. 

But now that we know what the new products are, we've got questions, particularly about this new 10th gen iPad. It's bigger and more colourful than the standard iPad we know, and seems to be an additional device to the iPad range, rather than a replacement for the 10.2-inch tablet. From what we understand, Apple has no plans to discontinue the 9th gen iPad any time soon', so who is the new iPad 2022 for? And what can it do that its older sibling can't? Below we'll delve a bit deeper into both devices. 

Still confused? Our list of the iPad generations will help you make sense of the current Apple tablet line-up. And of course, if you want the latest and lowest iPad Pro 2022 prices, we've got the page for you.

The new 10th gen iPad 2022

Product shot of the iPad 2022 in four colours

The new iPad 2022 comes in four colours (Image credit: Apple)

First up, the new 2022 iPad introduces some pretty huge design changes for Apple's entry-level tablet. The display now uses Liquid Retina technology and it's bigger – 10.9 inches compared to the 10.2 inches of the last iPad. It also has flatter edges and narrow bezels on the vertical ends for a sleeker, more modern look. Meanwhile, the position of the webcam has been moved to the longer side of the screen for the first time.

The home button has gone, with Apple shifting Touch ID to the power button as we've already seen on newer iPad Pros and the iPad mini. As for colours, there are four options: blue, pink and yellow as well as silver.

Another big design change is the switch to USB-C connectivity instead of Apple's own Lightning port. That's something we'd been expecting to see since the European Union announced that USB-C would become mandatory for all devices, and will be largely welcomed. Less welcome, at least for people still using wired headphones, will be a decision to ditch the headphone jack. 

The device is powered by the same A14 Bionic chip used in the iPhone 12 (an upgrade from the A13 of the previous model), and for connectivity, the iPad 2022 supports Wi-Fi 6, and 5G if you opt for the cellular version.

As for cameras, the 10th-gen iPad boasts a 12MP ultrawide front camera with a 122-degree field of view and Center State support on the landscape edge and an improved 12MP rear camera with 4K video recording. The tablet also has landscape stereo speakers and dual microphones.

iPad 2022 product shot

The 10th gen iPad has a larger screen, flatter edges and narrower bezels (Image credit: Apple)

But there are some very confusing things going on with the new iPad. It still only supports Apple Pencil 1 rather than Apple Pencil 2, which was released four years ago and is now supported by all other new iPads. The switch to USB-C connectivity affects the Apple Pencil, with new devices having an adapter included to enable charging. However, users who already have the Apple Pencil and want to use it with this new device will have to buy an adapter at an additional ($9) cost. 

There's also a leap in price from the 9th to 10th gen iPad, going from $329 / £369 to $449 / £499. In fact, the price isn't very far from that of the recently released 2022 iPad Air, which adds an M1 chip and Apple Pencil 2 support for $599 / £669. 

So rather than replace the 2021 iPad 10.2, this appears to be a higher spec iPad... a function we thought the iPad Air was designed to perform. The big question we have, then, is who exactly is Apple aiming this at? And should we consider it a kind of 'iPad Plus', or as a more affordable iPad Air for people who don't need M1 performance?

The new size also means existing iPad cases won't be compatible. The iPad 2022 has its very own Magic Keyboard Folio at a cost of $249 / £279, both of which are available to pre-order (available to buy from 26 Oct) on now.

The new iPad Pro 2022

Product shot of the iPad Pro 2022

(Image credit: Apple)

Alongside the new standard iPad, Apple's also revealed a new generation of its top-end iPad Pro. This has come in for a less radical change, retaining the two size options we're familiar with: 11 inches and 12.9 inches. They get a boost in power, however, with the introduction of Apple's M2 chip (replacing the M1), promising even faster performance for demanding tasks like video editing.

New headline features include an Apple Pencil 2 'hover experience', which detects the pencil at up to 12 mm above the display, allowing users to see a preview of a mark before making it and to sketch and illustrate with greater precision. There's also the possibility of faster wireless connectivity with support for Wi-Fi 6E, plus Face ID, Thunderbolt 4 charging and a four-speaker audio system. 

As before, only the 12.9-inch tablet benefits from a Liquid Retina XDR display for enhanced brightness and contrast. Storage options for each go up to 2TB as before and the two colour options remain silver and space grey. The pricing here is what we're used to as well, with the new 2022 iPad Pro 11 starting at $799 / £899 and the iPad Pro 12.9 starting at $1,099 / £1,249. You can order the tablets from the Apple website now.

How can I order the new 2022 iPad and iPad Pro?

Orders for the 2022 iPad and iPad Pro are open now at Devices are due to be available in stores from Wednesday, 26 October.

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Kerrie Hughes
Freelance writer

Kerrie Hughes is a frequent contributor to Creative Bloq, and was once its editor. One of the original CB crew, Kerrie joined the team back in 2013 after moving from her role as staff writer on 3D World. Since then she's written regularly for other creative publications such as ImagineFX, Computer Arts and Digital Camera World. After a stint working for the police, Kerrie is back reviewing creative tech for creative professionals.