iPad 10 vs 9 vs iPad Air: which is better for the holidays?

While the 10th Gen iPad comes with a lot of great upgrades, the 9th Gen iPad remains in the lineup and the 2022 iPad Air is also worth considering. However, the iPad 10 can offer modern features at an affordable price. Below, we'll take a look at all the similarities and differences between the iPad 10, iPad 9, and iPad Air to help you decide which one is better.

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The 2022 iPad Air blurred the line between more affordable iPad models and Pro models, giving many people an incentive to ditch the 11-inch iPad Pro. But the entry-level iPad 9 retained the old design with large bezels and a home button.

Now that the iPad 10 has arrived with a modern Apple design with thin bezels and is priced below the iPad Air with many of the same features, chances are will turn buyers away from both the iPad Pro and Air.


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Let’ s figure out what you get with iPad 10, 9 and iPad Air. In all of the charts below, iPad 10 is in the middle row, iPad 9 is on the left, and iPad Air is on the right.


  • iPad 10 and iPad 10 vs. iPad 10. 9 vs. iPad Air
    • Performance
    • Display
    • Color Vibrance
    • iPad 10, 9 and Air battery life
    • Storage and pricing
    • Cameras
  • iPad 10, 9 and iPad Air. Conclusion < ul>
  • Why buy an iPad 10?
  • Why buy an iPad 9 or iPad Air?

iPad 10, 9 and iPad Air


In its announcement, Apple has focused on improving the iPad 9 to 10. With the A13 to A14 Bionic upgrade, the company is touting a 20% faster processor and an 80% faster neural engine .

iPad 9 iPad 10 iPad Air 2022
Chip< /strong> A13 Bionic A14 Bionic M1
CPU cores 6 6 8
GPU cores 4 4 8
< strong>Neural engine kernels 8 16 16
Storage 64 or 256 GB< /td>

64 or 256 GB 64 or 256GB
Cellular 4G 5G< /td>


The 2022 iPad Air, meanwhile, runs on the M1 chip. This includes a more powerful octa-core processor and an octa-core GPU. But, unless you're using your iPad for professional workflows like video editing, graphic design, etc., you probably won't need or even notice the M1 chip upgrade.

< h3 id=" h-display">Show

The iPad 10 has almost the same display as the more expensive iPad Air. It's 10.9 inches. 2360 x 1640 Liquid Retina panel. Other specs include 500 nits brightness, True Tone, and thin bezels.

The three main features you won't get with iPad 10 that iPad Air has are wide P3 color, anti-reflective coating and laminated display.

But for most people, the updated iPad 10 display will be a great choice 😁.

< td class="has-text-align-center" data-align="center">iPad 9

< td class="has-text-align-center" data-align="center">2360 x 1640


iPad 10 iPad Air 2022< /td>
Display 10.2″ 10.9″ 10.9″
Resolution 2160 x 1620 2360 x 1640
PPI (pixels per inch) 264 264 264
Display brightness 500 nits 500 nits 500 nits
True Tone
P3 wide color
ProMotion (120 Hz )
Anti-Glare ❌< /td>

Fully laminated display
Standard Retina display
Retina Liquid Display

Connection and accessories

iPad 10 is getting a brand new Magic Keyboard Folio that has a number of useful features on top of the more expensive Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro . /Air.

However, the downside is that the iPad 10 is still limited to the first generation Apple Pencil. Which means it comes with a USB-C/Lightning adapter for clumsy charging.

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< p>iPad Air works with all the same Apple accessories as iPad Pro. This includes the second-generation Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard, and Smart Keyboard Folio.

iPad 10 and iPad Air still use Touch ID, but instead of being on the Home button, it’ is in the top button.

< td class="has-text-align-center" data-align="center">❌

< td class="has-text-align-center" data-align="center">❌

iPad 9 iPad 10 iPad Air 2022
Apple Pencil support 1st generation 1st generation 2nd generation
Magic Keyboard support
Magic Keyboard Folio support
Bluetooth 4.2 5.2 5.0
5G ✅ (but not mmWave) ✅ (but without mmWave)
WiFi 6
USB-C ✅ 3.1 Gen 2
Thunderbolt< /td>

Touch ID
Face ID

Another iPad 10 update is moving to USB-C Apple hasn't stated in its specs whether it has USB 3.1 Gen 2 for the iPad 10 like the iPad Air, we'll have to wait and see.

Same as with the iPad Air. iPhone SE 3, iPad 10, and iPad Air do not support mmWave 5G on cellular models. But since mmWave is the rarest version of 5G coverage, this is probably not an issue for most people.

Splash of Color

If the color of your next iPad is important, you'll have more choices with iPad 10 and iPad Air.

iPad 10 is available in silver, pink, blue and yellow. iPad Air is available in Space Grey, Starlight, Pink, Purple and Blue.

iPad 9 only comes in gray and silver.

iPad 10 and 9 Time battery life compared to Air

iPad 10 has the same battery life as iPad 9 and iPad Air:

  • 10 hours of browsing the web or watching videos over Wi -Fi
  • 9 hours of web browsing on cellular

Storage and price

Here’here’ price difference (MSRP) between these three iPads. However, since the iPad Air has been on the market for a while, you can sometimes find it on sale.

< td>< strong>64GB Wi-Fi < td>256 GB Wi-Fi
iPad 9 iPad 10< /strong> iPad Air 2022
$329 $449 $599< /td>
64GB+cell $459 599 $ $749
$479 $599 $749
256 GB + cell $609 $749 $899


You get the same rear camera with the iPad 10 as on air, which uses a 12MP wide-angle lens. With the iPad 9, you get an 8-megapixel wide-angle rear camera, which is a bit less capable.

Another neat change, first seen on the iPad, the 10th generation model gets a landscape front camera that makes it more convenient for video calls.

< tr>

< /tr>

< td>12MP Ultra Wide Angle Front Camera

< td class="has-text-align-center" data-align="center">❌

iPad 9 iPad 10 2022 iPad Air< /td>
8MP rear lens
12MP rear lens
Smart HDR 3 for photos
Rear camera flash
4K video< /td >

✅< /td>

High Dynamic Range< /td>

Slow motion video< /td >

720p @ 120fps 1080p at up to 240fps 1080p at up to 240fps
Landscape 12MP Ultra Wide
2x optical zoom
Auto-track center scene< /td>

Landscape with two audio speakers< /strong>

In terms of speakers, on the iPad 10 and Air you get the same two-speaker system in a horizontal position, while on the iPad 9 you get a simpler two-speaker system.

iPad 10 vs 9 vs iPad Air conclusion

Why buy an iPad 10?

Given all the similarities and differences, the iPad 10 is likely to be a great choice for most people. Regularly priced at $150 less than the iPad Air, it still includes almost all the best features.

The iPad 10 is available now at Apple, Amazon, Best Buy, and more.

< h3 id="h-why-buy-ipad-9-or-ipad-air">Why buy an iPad 9 or iPad Air?

If you want to buy the most affordable iPad with 10″ screen for basic use and disregard the old design, the iPad 9 is a good fit.

If you know you'll push your tablet to the limit regularly, the iPad Air might be more enticing with the M1 chip. But in reality, if you are or can become a power user, the iPad Pro could be better with up to 16GB of RAM, up to 2TB of storage, a 120Hz ProMotion display, and Thunderbolt support.

However, if you can find an iPad Air on sale that might make it more attractive.

More on the detailed 9to5Mac comparison:

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