The announcement of Apple's brand new 10th generation iPad was met with some bafflement last week. With an almost identical feature set to the iPad Air (and that includes the price), its place in the line up is a little confusing. But things could have been very different.
Seasoned Apple leaker Mark Gurman has claimed in his Power On newsletter that Apple was initially considering launching a plastic-backed iPad as its most budget entry – and what's more, in an uncharacteristically generous move for Apple, the keyboard could have been included in the box. (Looking for the best iPad experience around? Check out the best iPad Pro deals (opens in new tab).)
According to Gurman (as spotted by MacRumors (opens in new tab)), Apple was at one stage planning a version of the iPad featuring "a plastic back and plastic keyboard", and the whole thing would ship for under $500. Right now, the 10th generation iPad plus the Magic Keyboard Folio will set you back nearly $800.
Clearly, the plan was scrapped – the new iPad features an aluminium back like every other model, although it certainly features the most vibrant colour scheme yet (that hot pink is what iPhone fans have been crying out for). But a plastic version could have harked back to the iPhone 5C, which Apple famously described as "unapologetically plastic".
And the best thing would have been the price. A sub-$500 iPad with a keyboard sounds like an absolute steal, especially considering the surprisingly high price of the 10th generation iPad. At the same time, a plastic version would probably sacrifice durability for value.
Oh damn. Missed opportunity. https://t.co/Vec8PniEWzOctober 24, 2022
Overall, the idea sounds cheap but imperfect – whereas the iPad 10th generation is expensive and imperfect. While we're big fans of the bigger screen and new keyboard, the lack of Apple Pencil 2 support is pretty much unforgivable in 2022. And did we mention that it costs nearly $500? For the full lowdown, check out our iPad 2022 review (opens in new tab).
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