iPad (9th Gen) - Basically the Same but Still the Best
Macworld|February 2022
"Another year of modest improvements, but at this price there’s no competition."
By Jason Cross

When it comes to tablets, at least budget tablets, there’s iPad and there’s everything else. The only real competition for Apple’s most affordable iPad (which starts at $329) is the Kindle Fire models and some deeply disappointing Android tablets that have retail prices in the $150 range and are often used as free giveaways when you buy service subscriptions or other more expensive tech gear.

If what you want is an inexpensive tablet with a good operating system and loads of tablet-optimized applications, you want the standard iPad (not the iPad Air or iPad Pro). This year’s model, the 10.2-inch “9th generation” iPad, has barely been upgraded from last year’s model (fave. co/34PjItD), which was barely upgraded from the previous year’s model.

Apple is treading water with its most affordable iPad, and that’s a shame, but that doesn’t make it a bad tablet. Far from it. For the price, this is a very capable device that will prove pleasant to use and will last for years. For basic needs like web browsing, playing casual games, email, video chats, and watching videos, this is a more than serviceable tablet. If you want an educational and entertainment device for your child, this is a great choice. Just don’t bother upgrading if you already have an iPad made in the last few years.

FASTER PROCESSOR, MORE STORAGE

There are basically two upgrades you’d notice over the 8th-gen iPad (fave. co/34PjItD). The new A13 processor is not one of them. Yes, it’s faster than the A12 in last year’s iPad, and as per usual it’s the processor from the two-years-ago iPhone.

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