Apple's 2022 iPad vs Apple iPad 9th gen: what's different?

The differences between the two entry level iPads start with the price tag

iPad 9th gen vs iPad 10th gen
(Image credit: Future)

The new iPad is here, but rather confusingly the old one is still here too – and that means Apple is selling both the 9th generation iPad and the brand spanking new 10th generation iPad at the same time. Here's how they differ.

9th gen iPad vs 10th gen iPad: price and availability

The 10th generation iPad is available for pre-order now and will ship from 26 October. Prices start at $449 / £499 / AU$749, rising to $749 / £859 / AU$1,249 for the 256GB model with Wi-Fi and Cellular connectivity.

The 9th generation iPad has been on sale for over a year. Prices start at $329 / £369 / AU$549 and the most expensive model, again with 256GB and cellular connectivity, is $609 / £699 / AU$1,029.

9th gen iPad vs 10th gen iPad: design

The most obvious difference is in the colours: where the 9th gen comes in silver or grey, the 10th gen is available in blue, pink, silver or yellow. The newer model has narrower bezels because the Touch ID sensor has moved to the sleep/wake button, as in the iPad Air.

The 10th gen has a slightly larger display – a 10.9" Liquid Retina display compared to the 10.2" Retina display in the 9th gen – and both support the first generation Apple Pencil, albeit with an adapter for the 10th gen. That’s because it has a USB port rather than the Lightning port of the 9th gen. The resolution is 2360x1640-pixels at 264 pixels per inch (ppi); on the previous generation it's 2160 x 1620 at the same pixel density.

The newer iPad can be connected to the Magic Keyboard Folio; the older one works with the Apple Smart Keyboard. 

9th gen iPad vs 10th gen iPad: processor and battery

The 9th generation iPad has Apple's A13 Bionic chip and the tenth has the A15 Bionic. 

The battery in the newer iPad is smaller – 28.6WH to the previous model's 32.4WH –but Apple claims identical battery life for both: up to 10 hours of Wi-Fi web use or video playback. 

9th gen iPad vs 10th gen iPad: cameras

The new iPad has a 12MP main camera with an f/1.8 aperture and 5x digital zoom. It can record 4K video at up to 60fps. The front facing camera is also 12MP.

The main camera on the 9th generation iPad is 8MP with f/2.4 and 5x digital zoom; video recording is 1080p up to 30fps. The front camera is 12MP.

Both devices support Centre Stage, which keeps you in the frame in FaceTime video calls.

9th gen iPad vs 10th gen iPad: other key features

Wi-Fi in the 9th generation is up to 802.11ac, and in the new iPad it's Wi-Fi 6. The new Cellular models are 5G, an upgrade from the 4G of their predecessors. 

Both iPads can be connected to external displays, but only the 10th generation offers native DisplayPort via its USB-C connection. The 10th generation iPad's AirPlay streaming can run at up to 4K. 

Both models run iPadOS 16.

9th gen iPad vs 10th gen iPad: which one should you buy?

Normally we'd recommend getting the newest one, but that price hike for non-US buyers is pretty huge and that's going to be a key factor for many potential buyers. For your money you are getting a slightly better display, a sleeker design and a better processor, as well as USB-C over lightning and an improved camera, so it's an easy win for the newer iPad in terms of specifications. But you might want to keep an eye out for iPad deals to lessen the financial blow.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).