Alternatives to the overpriced iPad 10 (2022)

Apple announced the new iPad 10 (2022) on 18 Oct 2022.

Prices for the models with 64GB and 256GB are US$449 and $599 respectively. That’s not inclusive of the $99 Apple Pencil gen 1.

Apple is still selling the iPad 9 (2021) and prices are US$ 329 (64GB) and $479 (256GB).

iPad 9 uses Apple A13 chip and has 3GB of RAM. iPad 10 uses Apple A14 and should have either 3 or 4GB of RAM.

What Apple has done here is to have iPads at as many price tiers as possible. These are the starting prices for the iPad lineup currently:

The easiest way to describe the iPad 10 (2022) is it’s an iPad Air 4 (2022) with many features removed.

These are key specifications for the iPad 10 (2022):

  • 10.9-inch LCD Liquid Retina display
  • 12MP landscape ultra wide front camera
  • 12MP back camera
  • Apple A14 chip
  • USB-C connector
  • Touch ID
  • Apple Pencil gen 1 support
  • Storage 64GB to 256GB
  • Wifi and LTE models

There’s mention of how much RAM is included. I’ll update this article with that info in the future.

Display is not laminated

The display is a 10.9-inch sRGB IPS LCD with 2360 x 1640 resolution. It has True Tone and goes up to 500 nits brightness.

It does not support P3 colour space like the more expensive iPad Air, mini and Pro. It’s not a big deal because the sRGB LCD Apple uses still looks good.

Note that the display is not laminated. So there will be a gap between the glass and LCD beneath. This gap can create parallax but thankfully on a small display it’s usually not an issue.

Most tablets nowadays come with laminated displays. In fact, laminated displays is no longer a feature. Apple did not include a laminated display so that there’s differentiation between the iPad models.

Apple Pencil gen 1 cannot by charged by the iPad

Older iPads can charge Apple Pencil gen 1 by connecting the stylus directly to the lightning port of the tablet.

iPad 10 (2022) uses a USB-C port but Apple Pencil gen 1 still uses lightning interface, and you can’t attach the stylus magnetically to the side of the tablet for charging and pairing.

So to charge and pair Apple Pencil gen 1, you will need a USB-C to Apple Pencil Adapter (above) which is thankfully including in the box. That adapter is also available separately for US $9.

Selling a separate accessory to charge the pen is not new. Huawei M-Pencil 2 has an adapter for charging if you want to use that with the MatePad 10.4. Microsoft Slim Pen 2 needs an adapter or the Microsoft Keyboard case for charging when used with the Surface Pro.

What this means is if you may need to bring that charging adapter out if you want to charge the Apple Pencil. And Apple Pencil does not attach to the side of the tablet so you’ll have to find some way to store the stylus — just get a case with stylus slot.

64GB storage is not enough

iPadOS can take up 13-15GB of storage. After considering storage formatting, you my be left with 47GB. And after you install apps, you’ll have even less storage.

The tablet is already quite pricy at US $449 and it only comes 64GB storage capacit (47GB effective).

The tablet with 256GB storage capacity is $599.

For that price, you may want to consider a refurbished iPad Air 4 (2020) 256GB for $599, iPad Pro 11 (2018) 256GB for $539, iPad Pro 11 (2020) 256GB for $599. And these three are better tablets that the iPad 10 (2022).

Comparing to older and refurbished models? Are you kidding?

My reviews are not just about reviewing the product itself. I want to give you a fuller picture by comparing with other products you can buy with the same amount of money.

What are the alternatives to the iPad 10 (2022)

I don’t think it’s worth your money to get the iPad 10 (2022). You can get better tablets with $449 or $599.

Here are the alternatives…

If you want to draw, consider the Samsung Tab S6 Lite (2022) aka Tab S6 Lite Refresh which is US $429 on Amazon at the time I write this. You can add a 256GB micro SD card for less than US $35. The Samsung S Pen is included so you don’t have to spend more.

Many artists prefer iPads because Apple Pencil has fantastic drawing performance. The Samsung S Pen has pretty good drawing performance too.

Procreate is an extremely popular and useful drawing app available only on the iPad. But there are many capable drawing apps from the Google Play Store too. The main advantage of the iPad for artists and designers is actually not the many drawing apps available but the larger variety of graphic design apps available such as Affinity Designer, Adobe Illustrator, Vectornator and Amandine.

If you don’t draw

If you’re not an artist or designer, and you’ll just looking to buy a tablet for general usage, there are so many options out there that will provide more value for your money.

The Samsung Tab S6 Lite (2022) is good one.

Huawei MatePad 10.4 (2022) is worth considering also. Here in Singapore, you can find the base model with Kirin 820, 4GB RAM and 64GB storage with micro SD card slot for SGD $258 (~US $200). There’s Google Play Store which you can install with the help of the Gspace app. The tablet has Huawei M-Pencil 2 support but that stylus is also charged and paired with a separate accessory. The iPad is not going give you two times more value for two times the price.

Xiaomi Pad 5 (2022) with Snapdragon 860, 6GB RAM and 128GB storage is priced at US $300++. Xiaomi Smart Pen is around US $70. This is one of the best value Android tablet of 2021, and maybe 2022. There’s no micro SD card slot though.

The Samsung Tab S7 FE (2021) with Snapdragon 750G, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage and micro SD card slot can be found for less than US $450. This is a 12.4-inch tablet with Samsung S Pen included. Between this and the Tab S6 Lite (2022) I’ll go with this for the larger display.

As someone who has reviewed so many drawing tablets, I don’t think iPadOS is a selling point over Android OS. The selling point is the Apple Pencil and the graphic design apps, and if you don’t need those two, then there really isn’t a strong compelling reason to go with iPad.

Competition in the tablet market is extremely competitive. There are so many tablets better than the iPad out there nowadays, and many are at more affordable prices.

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