- Slow charger included with tablet
- Limited storage options -- 32GB or 128GB
- No Face ID
While Apple refreshed most of their iPad lineup last year, one tablet was left out -- the standard iPad. Their entry level option is finally seeing some much-needed love and while it looks mostly the same, there are some big differences to be found. But is the tablet worth buying? Let’s look at the details...
Classic metal and glass iPad design with larger bezels and a fingerprint scanner and home button below the display. While reviewers didn’t dislike the design, many found it dated in an age of bezel-free displays and thin form factors.
The older design also means you’ll bring back Touch ID at the cost of Face ID.
Top Ten Reviews says, “This iPad is still ‘Apple’ sleek but it looks like an older revision and is no longer in line with the design of the company's most recent products.”
As the model name suggests, the tablet includes a spacious 10.2-inch display -- nearly as large as Apple’s entry level iPad Pro. Reviews indicate that the screen impresses in terms of color, contrast, and brightness. The Retina display also won’t disappoint when it comes to picking up fine details in images or keeping text crisp for reading emails and texting friends.
But despite the size, the tablet lacks some of the visual tech -- including HDR and True Tone support -- that makes Apple’s 2019 iPad releases so stunning. So if you’re looking for the best visuals Apple offers, the iPad 10.2 might be a pass.
Trusted Reviews says, “... This remains a decent screen – especially for the price. It’s colourful and vibrant, offering excellent viewing angles and great responsiveness.”
Much like the tablet’s design, the tablet’s performance borrows from iPads of the past. Powered by the same processor used in the previous iPad 9.7, the tablet isn’t the fastest Apple has to offer.
But it still sits near the top of benchmarks and reviews had no problems with everything from gaming to video editing.
Trusted Reviews highlights this in their review, saying, “If you’re looking for a tablet to really get the most out of Apple Arcade then I’d suggest you consider the iPad Air.”
Available in both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + mobile network models, the iPad 10.2 is compatible with gigabit LTE networks for snappy downloads and HD streaming anywhere you have a strong enough signal. Just keep in mind that those data connections will add to the cost of ownership over the life of the tablet.
Software & Storage
The iPad 10.2 runs the latest version of iPadOS. Storage options are limited, with only 32GB and 128GB models available. If you have any concern about 32GB being enough, splurging on the 128GB model is recommended as the iPad does not support memory expansion through microSD cards.
Tablets have never been known for their stellar cameras and the iPad 10.2 is no exception. The 8MP rear camera is good enough for quick snapshots and recording, but the sheer size of the tablet makes it less than ideal for photography. The 1.2MP front-facing lens fares well in video chats and can take the occasional selfie, but don’t expect to use it for vlogs or streaming.
iMore speaks to this point, saying, “... I can't recommend you use these as your primary cameras to capture your most important memories, not unless they're absolutely the only option you have.”
Apple is always secretive about their battery specs, but they quote 10 hours of screen time per charge and reviewers largely agree.
The tablet also features fast charging, but unfortunately the charger included with the tablet is a lower-powered slow charging variety. So unless you plan to charge overnight, be sure to budget for an upgraded charger.
The tablet impressed reviewers in terms of audio quality with its stereo speakers. If you’re looking for more immersive audio, you can also connect your favorite cans to the tablet’s 3.5mm headphone jack.
Even though it’s the entry level model, the iPad 10.2 offers support for two of Apple’s most popular tablet accessories:
- 1st Generation Apple Pencil
- Smart Keyboard
This means you can use the tablet for more than media consumption, typing up reports, drawing pictures, taking notes, and more. Just remember that none of these ship with the tablet. So, you’ll want to include them in your budget if they are essential purchase considerations.
Specs at a Glance
- Metal and glass chassis with fingerprint scanner
- 10.2-inch Retina IPS display running at 1620-by-2160 pixels
- A10 Fusion processor
- iPadOS 13
- 32GB and 128GB models
- Optional 3G/LTE support
- 8MP rear camera with 1.2MP front-facing lens
- 10 hours per charge
- Stereo speakers
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- Smart Keyboard support
- Apple Pencil (1st Generation) support
The Bottom Line
Overall, reviews for the iPad 10.2 are stellar. While it doesn’t offer the latest and greatest Apple offers, it brings performance that runs circles around most of the Android competition while keeping that premium feeling and simple usage Apple is known for.
Top Ten Reviews says, “The iPad 2019 (or 10.2 model) is still the best budget tablet on the market...”
What Hi-Fi says, “The 7th generation iPad is a joy to use, and delivers movies and music with consistent naturalism. Make no mistake, this is an excellent portable media machine.”
Prices (Where to Buy)
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