iPad 10.2-inch: hands-on with Apple’s new 7th-gen tablet

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The new 10.2-inch iPad, announced today at Apple’s annual iPhone event at its Cupertino headquarters, replaces last year’s entry-level 9.7-inch iPad, and it adds support for the first-generation Apple Pencil (the one with the fiddly cap and silly charging), the Smart Keyboard case, and an A10 processor.

10.2-INCH IPAD SPECS

Wi-Fi model weight: 1.07 pounds (483 grams)

Wi-Fi + Cellular model weight: 1.09 pounds (493 grams)

2160-by-1620-pixel resolution Retina Display at 264 pixels per inch (ppi)

A10 Fusion chip with 64‑bit architecture

Embedded M10 coprocessor

8-megapixel rear camera

1.2-megapixel front-facing camera

That puts this new iPad in the company of the iPad Air: it has a bigger screen, support for the Pencil and Keyboard, and it will run iPadOS, which adds multitasking upgrades, gesture changes, and other productivity-focused tweaks to the UI coming with its tablet OS overhaul.

But it’s also got years-old A10 Fusion chip inside, and its bezeled design and Touch ID authentication might feel outdated to those who’ve become accustomed to Apple’s flagship edge-to-edge displays and facial recognition tech. This iPad also comes with a Lightning connector instead of the more flexible USB-C port on the iPad Pro. Oh, and there’s a headphone jack.

Using it for a few minutes, it’s pretty clear what Apple’s trying to do here: there are now iPads with Pencil and keyboard support at a huge range of price points, and this new iPad (with, presumably, the added functionality and desktop-class browser in iOS 13) should stack up as a powerful, flexible competitor to a Chromebook or cheap Windows laptop.

But nothing about this design or spec sheet is ultra-cutting edge: it’s a bunch of Apple’s best stuff from years past in a familiar case with a slightly bigger screen. It’s hard to ask for more at $329 — but that’s probably the point.

 

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