The "1-Minute" Review
- Design feels dated
- It does not support newer accessories
- Weaker speakers
Whether you're getting your first iPad or replacing an older model, the new 2021 iPad 10.2 is lovely. Is this latest release worth picking up? Let's see what reviewers think!
The design is identical to the previous iPad 10.2 (and the one before it), with thick bezels on the top and bottom. The upper bezel houses the front-facing camera, while the bottom has the home button and fingerprint scanner combo.
It's not the most stunning presentation, but it works, and the materials feel good in the hands.
Sadly there's no sign of Apple's Super Retina display technology or 120Hz refresh rates with the iPad 10.2.
However, they have added TrueTone that allows the screen to adapt lighting to your surroundings for easier viewing.
While it's not the best screen Apple offers, it's more than enough for extended reading, viewing photos or videos, and even playing games.
The new iPad 10.2 has an A13 Bionic chipset. While it's not the latest chipset available, it is slightly snappier than the previous iPad base model.
Still, the only competition you'll find in the tablet benchmarks is from other higher-end iPads.
Reviewers stated that they could efficiently multitask while using the tablet without lagging or trouble switching between tasks.
Software & Storage
Apple has increased the base storage option this year, starting at 64GB. If you need more space, there is also a 256GB option.
But as with previous iPads, there's no microSD slot. So choose wisely!
The iPad ships with iOS15 and should receive updates for years to come.
The most significant change in the new iPad is its 12MP front-facing camera.
In a world full of Zoom meetings and video chats, it's a welcomed change for reviewers.
It also supports Center Stage to make panning and zooming while in conferences simple and ensure you're always on screen for your meetings.
Reviewers reported getting the same reliable 10 hours of use with this iPad that you'll get with their previous baseline models.
Speaker quality was one area where reviews were surprisingly harsh. Where everything Apple releases are typically dialled in and made the best possible, the speakers on this model fell short for many reviewers.
Most reviewers said they were tinny, uneven, and lacking recalibration.
Another issue faced by reviewers was that the Apple iPad 10.2 was not compatible with the newer generations of accessories.
You're stuck using the first-generation Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard. On the one hand, this keeps prices more affordable. But you do miss out on some new features by not being able to use the latest accessories.
Specs at a Glance
- Aluminum design
- 10.2-inch display
- Apple A13 Bionic (7 nm+) Hexa-core 2.65 GHz processor
- RAM N/A
- Apple iOS 15
- 64GB/256GB of storage
- 12MP cameras
- Battery N/A
The Bottom Line
If you have a limited budget, haven't upgraded your iPad in a few years, or don't plan to do much creative work using your iPad, the iPad 10.2 (2021) is fantastic.
However, those who already have an iPad from the last couple of years won't notice huge improvements outside of the camera.
Tom's Guide says, "The Apple iPad 2021 is a well-made tablet with a dated design that offers a great screen, smooth performance, and good battery life for a reasonable price."
Engadget states, "If you've bought an iPad in the last two years, there's no need to upgrade — but people with one older than the fall 2019 iPad will find some significant improvements here. If you've never bought one before, the new iPad delivers a surprisingly deep experience, despite its aging design."
Prices (Where to Buy)
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