iPad 10 vs 9 vs iPad Air: How the series compares

While the 10th iPad comes with major upgrades, the 9th iPad remains in the lineup and there’s also the 2022 iPad Air to consider. However, the iPad 10 may offer a sweet spot for innovative features at an affordable price. Below we’ll break down all the similarities and differences between the iPad 10 vs 9 vs iPad Air to help you decide which is the best choice.

The 2022 iPad Air blurred the line between the cheaper iPads and the Pro models, prompting many to skip the 11-inch iPad Pro. But the entry-level iPad 9 carried the old design with large bezels and a Home button.

Now that the iPad 10 has arrived with Apple’s innovative bezel-less design and a price below the iPad Air with many of the same features, it’s likely to draw consumers away from both the iPad Pro and the Air.

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Let’s take a look at what you get with the iPad 10 vs 9 vs iPad Air. For all the charts below, the iPad 10 is in the middle with the iPad 9 on the left and the iPad Air on the right.

iPad 10 vs 9 vs iPad Air

Administration

iPad 10 vs 9 vs iPad Air performance

In its announcement, Apple focuses on the improvement from iPad 9 to 10. By upgrading from A13 to A14 Bionic, the company makes 20% faster CPU speed and 80% faster neural engine.

iPad 9 iPad 10 2022 iPad Air
Pig A13 Bionic A14 Bionic M1
CPU cores 6 6 8
GPU cores 4 4 8
Neural motor cores 8 16 16
Storage 64 or 256 GB 64 or 256 GB 64 or 256 GB
Aries 3 GB 4 GB 8 GB
USB-C ❌ βœ… βœ…
Cellular 4G 5G 5G

Meanwhile, the 2022 iPad Air is powered by the M1 chip. It features an eight-core CPU and a more powerful eight-core GPU. But, unless you regularly push your iPad hard with pro-level work like video editing, graphic design, etc., you may not need or may not even care about upgrading to the M1 chip.

Presentation

iPad 10 vs 9 vs iPad Air presentation

The iPad 10 sports almost the same display as the more expensive iPad Air. It is a 10.9β€³ Retina Liquid panel with a resolution of 2360 x 1640. Other features include 500 nits brightness, True Tone, and thin bezels.

The three main features you don’t get with the iPad 10 found on the iPad Air are the wide P3 color, anti-reflective coating, and a laminated display.

But for most people, the updated display of the iPad 10 will be great 😁.

iPad 9 iPad 10 2022 iPad Air
Presentation 10.2″ 10.9″ 10.9″
Resolution 2160 x 1620 2360 x 1640 2360 x 1640
PPI (pixels per inch) 264 264 264
Show the light 500 nits 500 nits 500 nits
True tone βœ… βœ… βœ…
P3 wide color ❌ ❌ βœ…
ProMotion (120Hz) ❌ ❌ ❌
Anti-reflective coating ❌ ❌ βœ…
A fully laminated display ❌ ❌ βœ…
Retina display standard βœ… – –
Liquid Retina display ❌ βœ… βœ…

Connections and accessories

The iPad 10 comes with an all-new Magic Keyboard that has some unique features beyond the more expensive Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro/Air.

However, one downside is that the iPad 10 is still limited to Apple’s first stylus. And that means a USB-C to Lightning adapter comes in the box for a seamless charging experience.

iPad Air works with all Apple accessories like iPad Pro. These include the second Apple Pencil, the Magic Keyboard, and the Smart Folio Keyboard.

The iPad 10 and iPad Air continue to use Touch ID but instead of being located in the Home button, it is found in the top button.

iPad 9 iPad 10 2022 iPad Air
Apple Pencil support 1st gen 1st gen 2nd gen
Magic Keyboard support ❌ ❌ βœ…
Magic Folio Keyboard support ❌ βœ… ❌
Bluetooth 4.2 5.2 5.0
5G ❌ βœ… (but not mmWave) βœ… (but not mmWave)
Wi-Fi 6 ❌ βœ… βœ…
Brusk βœ… ❌ ❌
USB-C ❌ βœ… βœ… 3.1 Gen 2
Thunderbolt ❌ ❌ ❌
Touch ID βœ… βœ… βœ…
Facial recognition ❌ ❌ ❌

Another update with the iPad 10 is the USB-C switch. Apple has not detailed in its technology specifications whether it uses USB 3.1 Gen 2 for the iPad 10 like the iPad Air, we will have to wait and see.

Like the iPhone SE 3, the iPad 10 and iPad Air do not have mmWave 5G support with cellular models. But since mmWave is the least visible version of 5G coverage, that’s probably not a problem for most people.

Color splash

iPad 10 colors

If the color of your last iPad is important, you have more options with the iPad 10 and iPad Air.

The iPad 10 comes in silver, pink, blue and yellow. iPad Air comes in grey, star, pink, purple and blue.

The iPad 9 only comes in gray and silver.

iPad 10 vs 9 vs Air battery life

The iPad 10 has the same battery life as the iPad 9 and iPad Air:

  • 10 hours of web or video use over WiFi
  • 9 hours of web usage with cellular

Storage and price

Here’s a breakdown of the price differences (MSRP) between these three iPads. However, while the iPad Air has been on the market for a while, it can sometimes be found at a discount.

iPad 9 iPad 10 2022 iPad Air
64 GB Wi-Fi $329 $449 $599
64 GB + cell $459 $599 $749
256 GB Wi-Fi $479 $599 $749
256 GB + cell $609 $749 $899

Cameras

iPad cameras

You get the same rear camera as the iPad 10 on the Air which uses a 12MP wide lens. With the iPad 9, you get a slightly less capable 8 MP rear camera.

Another nice change comes for the first time in an iPad – the 10th generation model gets a front-facing landscape camera that makes it more convenient for video calls.

iPad 9 iPad 10 2022 iPad Air
8 MP wide rear lens βœ… – –
12 MP wide rear lens ❌ βœ… βœ…
Smart HDR 3 for photos ❌ βœ… βœ…
Rear camera flash ❌ βœ… βœ…
4K video ❌ βœ… βœ…
Extended dynamic range βœ… βœ…
Slo-mo video 720p at 120 fps 1080p up to 240 fps 1080p up to 240 fps
12 MP Ultra wide front camera βœ… – βœ…
12 MP ultra wide Landscape camera ❌ βœ… ❌
2x optical zoom βœ… βœ… βœ…
Center Stage auto-tracking βœ… βœ… βœ…
Landscape two-speaker sound ❌ βœ… βœ…

And when it comes to speakers, you get the same landscape dual-speaker system on the iPad 10 and Air while the iPad 9 has a primary dual-speaker system.

iPad 10 vs 9 vs iPad Air result

New 10.9" iPad 2022

Why buy an iPad 10?

When you consider all the similarities and differences, the iPad 10 is likely to be a great choice for most people. At regular price, it’s $150 less than the iPad Air while still including almost all of the best features.

The iPad 10 is available now from Apple, Amazon, Best Buy, and more.

Why buy an iPad 9 or iPad Air?

If you want to choose the cheapest iPad with a 10β€³ screen for basic use and don’t mind the old design, the iPad 9 is a good fit.

If you know you’ll be pushing your tablet to the limit regularly, the iPad Air with the M1 chip might be more tempting. But really, if you areβ€”or might beβ€”a power user, the iPad Pro might be better with up to 16GB of RAM, up to 2TB of storage, a ProMotion 120Hz display, and Thunderbolt support.

However, if you can find an iPad Air on sale, that can make it even more impressive.

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