Apple iPad 2021 assessment: nonetheless the very best pill for most individuals | iPad

Apple’s up to date low-end iPad appears set to proceed its dominance of the market with newer chips, twice the storage and an excellent new video-calling digital camera.

The ten.2in iPad prices £319 ($329/A$499) – £300 for college students – making it Apple’s best-value pill, sitting beneath the £479 iPad mini and £579 iPad Air.

Not like most of its pill fashions, Apple has taken to updating the inner elements of the usual iPad every year whereas retaining its price and design the identical, guaranteeing its lengthy line of equipment akin to keyboards, circumstances and pens stay suitable.

As such the expertise of utilizing the 2021 iPad is the identical because the 2020 iPad, however with the up to date iPadOS 15 and some new additions that maintain it firmly in pole place.

Sooner chip, double the storage however identical battery life

The battery nonetheless lasts over 9 hours for video or basic function apps, which is de facto good in contrast with the competitors. But it surely additionally nonetheless takes as much as three hours to completely cost by way of lightning cable. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The iPad now has Apple’s A13 Bionic processor from 2019’s iPhone 11. It’s not Apple’s latest chip however it’s significantly extra highly effective than most lower-cost rivals and simply capable of deal with something you are able to do with an iPad. The pill now comes with twice the minimal of storage in contrast with the earlier model, at 64GB, which can be sufficient for individuals who primarily stream content material fairly obtain huge film libraries.

Centre Stage digital camera and higher display

Apple iPad 9th generation 2021 review
The low-end iPad now has Apple’s high-end video calling digital camera, which makes for an incredible improve on earlier efforts. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The brand new 12-megapixel wide-angle “Centre Stage” digital camera removes among the annoyance of video calls by routinely panning and zooming to maintain you and buddies in body with out having to consider it. It additionally has a lot better low-light efficiency, that means everybody will get a greater, simpler view, which can be notably helpful for distant schooling.

The display has had a minor however welcome improve with the addition of Apple’s “true tone” know-how, which retains colors trying true to life adjusting to ambient gentle. The show is in any other case nonetheless crisp and vivid and considerably higher than many cheaper rivals.


Apple iPad 9th generation 2021 review
The recycled aluminium case feels and appears simply pretty much as good as earlier iPads. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Apple doesn’t give a rated lifecycle for the iPad battery, sometimes 500 full-charge cycles in related units, however it may be changed for £99. The pill is mostly repairable, with an out-of-warranty service costing £246.44, which incorporates the display.

The iPad makes use of 100% recycled aluminium in its case, 100% recycled tin within the solder of its essential board, greater than 65% recycled uncommon earth components and at the very least 60% recycled plastic in a number of different elements. Apple breaks down the pill’s environmental affect in its report.

Apple additionally provides trade-in and free recycling schemes, together with for non-Apple merchandise.


apple ipad 9th generation 2021 review
The iPad has the outdated Contact ID house button however you can too use the extra trendy swipe gestures to get to the house display and up to date apps menu. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
  • The iPad solely has wifi5 and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, not wifi6 and Bluetooth 5 that has been obtainable on most new units for the previous couple of years.

  • The rear 8MP digital camera is barely improved, however nonetheless miles off an excellent smartphone digital camera.


The iPad (ninth era) prices £319 ($329/A$499) with 64GB of storage or £459 ($479/A$729) with 256GB. 4G-capable fashions price £120 ($130/A$200) extra.

For comparability, the iPad mini prices £479, the iPad Air prices £579 and the iPad Professional prices from £749, Amazon’s Fireplace HD 8 prices £90, the Fireplace HD 10 prices £150 and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 prices £519.


The ten.2in iPad remains to be the very best pill for most individuals providing an unbeatable mixture of worth, efficiency, software program and longevity.

It’s not flash and it has some older know-how, such because the lightning cable and wifi5, however its outdated design means equipment made for a lot of earlier fashions nonetheless match. Doubling the storage to 64GB is welcome, the quicker chip and higher show too, however it’s the Centre Stage auto-tracking video name digital camera that could be a greatest improve and can be notably helpful.

Execs: nice efficiency, good battery life, good display, iPadOS, loads of apps, good audio system, very lengthy help, recycled aluminium, Centre Stage digital camera.

Cons: older design, no USB-C, pretty gradual charging, no multi-user help, dearer than finances rivals.

apple ipad 9th generation 2021 review
You possibly can flip the iPad right into a extra conventional pc with keyboards, mice and styluses from Apple or quite a lot of third-party producers. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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