Apple iPad 10.2 vs iPad 9.7 – Now On Sale For $249

So Apple announced the new form factor iPad 10.2 yesterday, and slightly due to Apple's presentation, some people are confused about what this new Apple iPad 10.2 is supposed to be or represent. But it's actually pretty easy and straightforward.

The new iPad 10.2 (also called the 7th gen. iPad) replaces the iPad 9.7 (aka the 6th gen. iPad). The last Apple iPad 9.7 was launched in 2018 as the entry level iPad for $329 with 32GB storage. Apple has figured out that the new 10.2 form factor suits the future better, with the new iPadOS, the new desktop interface and browsing experience, and things like a full-size keyboard, which is why it features a Smart Connector.

In terms of size, the iPad 10.2 is only 10.6mm longer, and 4.6mm wider, so there is very little between them in terms of size, and the new iPad 10.2 is only 14 grams heavier at 483 grams.

Apple iPad 10.2 vs iPad 9.7
iPad 9.7 on the left – iPad 10.2 on the right

And while the 10.2-inch screen is 0.5-inches larger than the 9.7-inch screen which drags resolution up from 2048 x 1536 to 2160x 1620, the resolution per inch (ppi) is the same high 264, and so are the display panels with 500 nits brightness on both.

Both iPads also support the same 1st gen. Apple Pencil stylus, and all the other hardware is also the same, from the Apple A10 Fusion processor, to the 1.2MP front and 8MP rear cameras, stereo speakers, 10 hour battery life, connectivity specs, and sensors.

That's not actually a bad thing in itself, because despite these iPads being entry level iPads, they have very high performance for tablets, with a typical Geekbench 4 benchmark score coming in at 3560 in single-core, and 6075 in multi-core scores.

To put that into perspective, now that the Apple iPad 9.7 is on sale for $249 before inventory is emptied out, that's more than double the performance of what you could get on an Android tablet for the same price, not to mention that Apple will support these tablet themselves with regular security updates and OS updates for years to come.

So even at $329 the new Apple iPad 10.2 is cheap, but of course the iPad 9.7 is even cheaper at $249 right now, while still having most of the same specifications.

– Tom Bowen