Basic iPad 2021 features, Q&A, and full specs
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The newest 10.2-inch basic iPad sports the faster A13 Bionic processor and twice the storage, while keeping the prices of Wi-Fi variants at the same level – starting from $329.
The newest basic iPad model was announced during an Apple event on September 14, 2021, together with a range if iPhone 13 models and iPad mini 6.
Just like a year ago, the release of the new basic iPad model was a bit of a surprise. Everyone was expecting the announcement of the iPad mini 6 (what eventually happened).
The newest iPad is an upgrade from the 2020, with two major improvements: the new processor, which makes the device deliver up to 20% faster performance than the earlier model, and bigger storage options: 64 and 256 GB.
There is also a much better front camera (12MP Ultra Wide with 122° field of view and f/2.4 aperture), letting you make the most use of the so-called “Center Stage” technology.
Most of the features are the ones from the 2020 model. The display is the same and dimensions are the same (yes, your 2020 iPad case is compatible with the new model).
What changed, however, is the color of the front bezel. In the 2020 model, it was either white or black, depending on the main body color. The 2021 basic iPad comes in two colors – Silver and Space Gray – but the front in both variants is black.
Apple iPad 10.2 2021 – highlights
▸ The new entry-level iPad model released in 2021 is the 9th generation model overall.
▸ The basic 2021 iPad sports the same screen as the previous model – 10.2-inch LED-backlit Multi-Touch 2160 × 1620 px display with 264 ppi.
▸ Compared to the previous model, iPad 2021 comes with the bigger internal memory: 64 and 256 GB instead of 32 and 128 GB.
▸ Despite the same look, the newly released iPad is equipped with the new-generation A13 Bionic processor. As a result, the new iPad guarantees the 20% better performance than the 2020 model.
▸ Apple claims the new basic iPad is 3 times faster than the best-selling Chromebook and 6 times faster than the best-selling tablet powered by the Android operating system.
▸ Another improvement is the front-facing camera, which offers and ultra-wide view and the Center Stage technology.
▸ Center Stage is borrowed from iPad Pro 2021 models. The camera combined with machine learning uses the much larger field of view to keep you centered in the frame all the time.
▸ iPad 10.2 2021 has the same price as its predecessor, starting at $329, for the version with 64 GB of internal memory and Wi-Fi connection.
▸ The new entry-level iPad can be preordered on Apple website. It should also be added to the official Apple Reseller Store on Amazon in a matter of days or hours.
Basic iPad 2021 – questions and answers
What’s the main difference between the 2021 and 2020 iPad 10.2-inch?
It’s the performance. The new model is equipped with the new-generation A13 Bionic processor. As a result, the new iPad guarantees the 20% better performance than the 2020 model.
Does the 2021 iPad have more storage than the 2020 model?
Yes. it does. Instead of 32 and 128 GB, you can choose between 64 and 256 GB – twice the storage compared to the 2020 model.
Most importantly, the prices of the Wi-Fi variants are the same as for the earlier generation. it means that you can get twice the storage for the same amount of money: $329 for 64 GB and $479 for 256 GB.
Does the 2021 entry-level iPad has USB-C port?
Unfortunately, not. The device comes with an old Lightning connector. However, the 20W power adapter that comes in the iPad 2021 box is equipped with a USB-C port. You will be able to charge your iPad via Lightning to USB-C cable that’s also included in the box.
Which iPad 2021 storage variant is the best for me?
It depends on two factors: whether you use a cloud storage (such as iCloud or Google Drive) and whether you keep a lot of files on your iPad. If you want to download multiple Netflix movies to watch offline and if you have lots of own files (audiobooks, movies, photos), you’d better choose the bigger storage.
Is iPad better than other tablets on the market?
The first thing you have to embrace is the operating system – iOS. If that is not the main problem for you, and if you want to compare mainly the performance, Apple claims that:
- The 2021 basic iPad is 3 times faster than the best-selling Chromebook.
- The 2021 basic iPad is 6 times faster than the best-selling tablet powered by the Android operating system.
Can I use Apple Pencil with the new entry-level 10.2-inch iPad?
Yes, but keep in mind that only 1st-generation Apple Pencil is compatible with this model. You can check out the current price on Amazon – it’s usually up to 5% cheaper than in Apple stores.
Is iPad 10.2 2021 compatible with Magic Keyboard?
No, it’s not. If you think about using Magic Keyboard because of its touchpad, you can find a few good alternatives among third-party iPad keyboard cases with trackpad.
What generation is the basic iPad released in 2021?
Officially, it’s the 9th-generation iPad. However, if you want to search the web or online stores for news, tips, and accessories, using the phrase “iPad 10.2 2021” will bring more relevant results.
In the case of the basic iPad released in 2020, searching for “iPad 10.2” was more popular than “iPad 8,” and I expect users to continue defining the basic iPad with the size of its display.
Which entry-level iPad should I buy: the 2021 or older one?
If you need a tablet for simple tasks, such as browsing the web or writing emails, you can buy iPad 10.2 2020 (and save some money as the price will go down).
If you want to play games or intensively use your Apple Pencil, you should go for iPad 2021, as it’s better suited for complex tasks and tailored for the newest iPadOS operating system.
What is Center Stage in the basic iPad released in 2021
Center Stage, borrowed from 2021 iPads Pro, is a new feature that’s very helpful when you make many video calls.
The front ultra-wide camera combined with machine learning uses the much larger field of view to recognize and keep you centered in the frame all the time.
Can I use third-party stylus pens with iPad 2021?
Yes, you can use third-party styluses with your new iPad.
Most pens offer palm rejection and come with replaceable tips. They are usually a few times cheaper than Apple Pencil 2. Check out the most popular iPad compatible pens on Amazon.
What you have to keep in mind is that third-party pens can’t be recharged wirelessly by attaching them to the side of the iPad. You will need to use the cable.
Which model is better: basic iPad 2021 or iPad Air 4?
It all depend on what you are looking for. iPad Air 4 was released a year ago (in October 2020), and it combines the affordability of the basic iPad with advanced features of iPad Pro models.
Both models come with the same storage options – 64 and 256 GB. However, iPad Air 4 is equipped with a better processor – A14 Bionic chip with 64‑bit architecture – which should make it work much faster, especially if you want to take full advantage of advanced graphics or resource-heavy apps.
Will my current iPad case fit the new one?
Yes, it will. Dimensions, as well as location of ports and buttons, are the same. And there are plenty of awesome cases for basic iPad available, not only the boring folio stands or way too popular tri-fold covers.
Is basic iPad 2021 good for reading?
Yes, it’s a great reading device. Its display is large and crisp enough to read not only novels but also digital magazines, comic books, or textbooks. However, as the tablet is quite heavy, you may have a problem with one-handed use.
What is basic iPad released in 2021 best for?
Having in mind Apple Pencil support and all the benefits of iPadOS 15, the newest iPad is the best replacement for a good old notebook and good old newspaper.
When is the best time to upgrade to the new iPad?
Don’t wait for considerable price drops – you won’t see them this year. The best time to go for the new iPad is when your old tablet stops working correctly after upgrading to the newest system.
Does iPad 2021 have Face ID?
No, it doesn’t. To securely unlock the device, you can use Touch ID that’s a part of the Home button located under the screen.
Does the basic iPad released in 2021 have the 3.5 mm jack port?
Yes, the jack is here! There is no need to buy another cable or use Bluetooth earphones.
Is the 2021 iPad available in white color?
Unfortunately, not. Each of the color variants – Silver and Space Gray – comes with a black front.
Basic iPad 2021 10.2-inch – tech specs
Ready to go through the most important iPad 2021 specs?
The simple table below is intended to be easy to swallow, opposite to complicated and overwhelming tech specification lists you can find on leading tech blogs or Apple’s website.
|Screen||10.2-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology|
|Screen resolution||2160 × 1620 px|
|Pixel density||264 ppi|
|Storage capacity|| • 64 GB|
• 256 GB
|Processor|| • A13 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture|
• Neural Engine
|Rear camera||8MP, 5-elements lens, f/2.4 aperture, 1080p HD video recording|
|Front camera||12MP Ultra Wide camera, 122° field of view, f/2.4 aperture, 1080p HD video recording, Retina Flash, cinematic video stabilization|
|Body colors|| • Silver with Black front|
• Space Gray with Black front
|Battery||Built‐in 32.4‐watt‐hour rechargeable lithium‑polymer battery, non-removable|
|Battery life||Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‐Fi or watching video|
|Charging||Via power adapter or USB to computer|
|Weight|| • 17.18 oz / 487 g (Wi-Fi models)|
• 17.57 oz / 498 g (Wi-Fi + Cellular models)
• 9.8 × 6.8 × 0.29 in|
• 250.6 × 174.1 × 7.5 mm
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac); dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz); HT80 with MIMO|
|Bluetooth||Yes, 4.2 technology|
|Ports and connectors||
• Lightning connector|
• Smart Connector
• 3.5 mm headphone jack
|Sound||Two speakers at the bottom edge|
|Touch ID||Yes, integrated into Home button|
• Three‐axis gyro|
• Ambient light sensor
|In the box|| • Basic iPad 10.2-inch (2021 release)|
• Lightning to USB-C cable
• 20W USB-C Power Adapter
• Compatible with Apple Pencil 1 (sold separately)|
• Not compatible with Apple Pencil 2
|Smart Keyboard||Compatible, Smart Keyboard sold separately|
|Smart Keyboard Folio||Not compatible|
|Magic Keyboard||Not compatible|
|Launch dates|| • Announcement: September 14, 2021|
• Pre-orders: September 14, 2021
• Release: September 24, 2021
|Prices|| • 64 GB / Wi-Fi – $329|
• 64 GB / Wi-Fi + Cellular – $459
• 256 GB / Wi-Fi – $479
• 256 GB / Wi-Fi + Cellular – $609
Basic iPad 2021 – ports and buttons
Here is a simple visualization (courtesy of Apple) that shows the location of ports, buttons, and connectors. They are the same as in the previous generation. Combined with the same dimensions and shape, the 2021 basic iPad is compatible with case covers released for both 2019 and 2020 model.
Make sure to check out the latest overview of the best basic iPad case covers.
Entry-level iPad, 2021 release – product chart
If you have some more time to quickly go through what Apple wants to say about the most affordable tablet, here are the highlights from the official iPad 10.2 2021 product page.
Basic iPad 2021 10.2-inch, 9th generation
Silver / 64 GB
Power through any task
The A13 Bionic chip makes everything more responsive, from messaging to web browsing to using multiple apps at once. Up to 20 percent faster GPU gives you the graphics performance you need. Perfect for playing immersive games and more.
Your bright ideas on display
With incredible detail and vivid colors, the 10.2‑inch Retina display is perfect for watching movies, working on a project, or drawing your next masterpiece. True Tone adjusts the display to the color temperature of the room to make viewing comfortable in any light.
Shoots, edits, and shares
Center Stage makes video calls more engaging by automatically adjusting to keep you centered in the frame. And it lets you create fun videos for posting to popular social apps. In addition to Center Stage, the 12MP Ultra Wide front camera brings a huge boost in image quality for even better selfies and group shots.
Go limitless with wireless
Download files, stream movies, collaborate with colleagues, and upload content from just about anywhere. With Gigabit‑class LTE, you can connect even when you can’t access Wi‑Fi.
Write it down, type it up
Using Apple Pencil is as natural as putting pen to paper, but with capabilities that make handwriting as powerful as typed text. Take unforgettable notes, create a work of art, mark up screenshots, and much more.
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