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7 Reasons to Avoid an Apple 10.2-inch iPad Today

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7 Reasons to Avoid an Apple 10.2-inch iPad Today

Key Points

  • When it comes to Apple’s 10.2-inch iPad model, it’s beginning to look very outdated with oversized bezels, and a Touch ID home button.
  • The 10.2-inch iPad runs on an older Apple A13 Bionic processor, limiting its performance compared to newer models.
  • Another concern is that it offers low storage capacity at its lowest price point, which can quickly fill up with apps and other media. 
  • The iPad 10.2-inch model is only compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil, missing out on the updates and improvements of the second-generation Pencil.

When it comes to the tablet world, the iPad still dominates and for all of the right reasons. Between great hardware, a huge selection of apps, and Apple’s promise to update for years, the iPad continues to be the biggest player in the tablet market. However, that isn’t to say that every iPad is worth the price of admission. The 10.2-inch iPad, in particular, is getting a little long in the tooth. 

The latest generation of the 10.2-inch iPad, the 9th generation, was released in September 2021 and hasn’t been updated since. Apple has introduced a successor with a refreshed iPad 10.9-inch model. However, the current 9th-generation model is still very much alive. 

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why this iPad might be worth skipping in today’s world.

Great Features at a Low Price
Apple iPad 10.2-inch (9th Generation)
$249.00
  • Beautiful 10.2-inch retina display
  • Powered by the A13 Bionic chip
  • Available with 64GB of storage, which allows for dozens of games and apps
  • Compatible with the 1st generation Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/16/2024 10:59 pm GMT

What Is the 10.2-inch iPad? 

Often regarded as the best iPad for most people, the 10.2-inch iPad was released on September 24, 2021. With the same design as the 7th and 8th-generation iPad, the release of this model called into question Apple’s willingness to modernize its entry-level iPad. While they have since done exactly that by introducing the 10th generation iPad with smaller bezels and without the home button, they also raised the price closer to $500. 

This begs the question of whether it’s worth saving a bit more and getting the newest iPad on the block with the 10th generation or still purchasing the 10.2-inch model. 

Well, here are some reasons to consider why you might want to avoid the 10.2-inch iPad today and look at other iPad models Apple has available. 

Reasons to Avoid an Apple 10.2-inch iPad Today

#1: Outdated Design

Love it or hate it, there is almost universal agreement that the design of the iPad 10.2-inch model is outdated. While an outdated design won’t affect functionality, it’s very much a reason to skip out on this purchase. You can find more features with the updated models, including the 10th generation iPad. Between the now oversized bezels and Touch ID home button, the look and feel of this 9th-generation iPad just feels old. 

There is no question this design worked for years and it really doesn’t hinder overall performance. However, there is just something about the current design that can’t help but make the 10.2-inch iPad feel old. Even if it still offers a classic charm, and the large bezels enable you to hold the iPad without impacting the screen, there is just something here that feels like it’s ready for something new. 

#2: Old Processor

When it comes to performance, the 10.2-inch iPad is running an older Apple A13 Bionic processor. This was great for its time but needs a performance boost to keep up with the rest of the iPad lineup. The A13 processor was first introduced back with the iPhone 11 in September 2019. Four years later it’s still being used in a tablet that remains part of Apple’s iPad lineup. 

There is no question that the A13 is more than good enough to handle everyday tasks like web browsing, streaming movies, playing some games, and reading ebooks, but you can’t expect anything more than everyday tasks. If you want to do anything more advanced with the iPad 10.2-inch 9th-generation model, you are unfortunately out of luck. 

While there is a good reason to believe anyone looking to purchase this iPad isn’t likely someone who is hoping to edit videos full time, that you have such limitations because of the age of this processor is worth noting. 

#3: Low Storage Capacity

For better or worse, application sizes in the App Store are getting larger instead of smaller. With that comes the need for increased storage capacity on our devices. Unfortunately, the iPad 10.2-inch model’s most popular size is also its smallest size. While 64GB of storage might sound like a lot, you’re losing out on a few GBs thanks to the operating system and then it becomes very easy to fill up the storage fast. 

While games are most likely to be the largest apps you install, they won’t be the only apps that can quickly grow to over 1GB in size. As you start to install these apps that you find handy, fun, or useful, you quickly realize you are running out of space. Add to this the storage you need for things other than apps like photos, movies, or music. You can quickly see why low storage capacity becomes an immediate concern. 

You can do better with the larger 256GB storage size, the only other available option in the Apple 10.2-inch iPad lineup. However, at the $479 MSRP price point for the 256GB model, you’re over the $449 price tag of the 64GB 10th generation iPad 10.9-inch model. Apple’s lineup gets a little confusing in this area as you can get a bunch of new features with the newer iPad model but still get stuck with 64GB of storage. This creates real uncertainty with consumers as to which iPad to buy. This is something Apple will hopefully rectify in the near future. 

#4: No Face ID

It isn’t for everyone but Face ID has quickly grown into Apple’s pre-eminent security tool to help its customers log into devices. Between the iPad and the iPhone, Face ID is used on Apple’s best devices with the exception of the iPad Air, which still uses a fingerprint reader. However, the lack of Face ID and the remains of the Touch ID only serve to remind potential buyers that the iPad 10.2-inch model is outdated. The lack of Face ID won’t impact overall use, but it’s an indicator that if you have the means to look at Apple’s more up-to-date iPad models that use a fingerprint reader or better yet, Face ID, you are better off. 

iPad 9.7 inch
The iPad 10.2-inch model is a strong introductory iPad but feels out of date compared to the rest of Apple’s iPad lineup.

#5: Apple Pencil 1

Works with 10th Gen iPad and Earlier
Apple Pencil (1st Generation)
$89.00
  • Features pressure sensitivity, tilt, and imperceptible lag
  • Works the same as a normal pencil, but instead of paper, draw and write on the iPad
  • Lightning adapter, USB-C to lightning adapter, and extra tip included
  • Uses lightning adapter to charge
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/16/2024 11:03 pm GMT

When looking at the various accessories available for the iPad 10.2, one of the most prominent is undoubtedly the Apple Pencil. In the case of this iPad model, it’s the first-generation Apple Pencil to be more exact. While this is still a very good pencil for many users, there is no doubt that if you really want to get the most out of Apple’s approach to using a stylus, you want an iPad compatible with its second-generation Apple Pencil. 

The second-gen offers a more pencil-like design and feels much more responsive overall. Now, this isn’t to say that the Apple Pencil 1 isn’t enjoyable to use with the iPad 10.2. However, if you are someone who enjoys the latest and greatest out of Apple’s lineup, this isn’t a combination you are going to love. 

#6: Non-Laminated Display

This is likely to be a reason to avoid the iPad 10.2-inch model that only technical people really understand, but the lack of a laminated display on this model is a miss. The Liquid Retina display on the iPad 10.2 is still really great visually, but it’s not laminated. This means it lacks the better overall feeling of touching and using the screen when compared to every other iPad in Apple’s lineup. 

A laminated display looks better overall because the display is fused to the glass that sits beneath it, so no air gets between the glass and the display. This is advantageous for fixing the iPad 10.2 if the screen cracks as there are fewer materials to replace. However, that alone doesn’t make up for the less enjoyable touch experience that is a result of the non-laminated display. 

#7: No USB-C

While not having USB-C won’t be a dealbreaker for some, those who have moved into a USB-C world are likely to look at iPads that accommodate the desire to only carry one plug around. In the case of Apple, the iPad Pro (11 and 12.9-inch models), iPad Air (4th generation or later), and iPad Mini (6th generation) are already using USB-C cables. The same goes for Apple’s latest smartphone, the iPhone 15, which uses USB-C across all four models available. 

Lightning cables have been around for a long time but if you are a forward thinker, looking at an iPad model that uses this cable standard will make traveling and charging a whole lot easier. 

Best Alternatives to iPad 10.2-inch 

#1 Best Overall: Apple iPad (10th Generation)

Best Overall Alternative
Apple iPad (10th Generation)
$349.00
  • 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display (2360 x 1640 pixels)
  • 64GB storage
  • Wi-Fi 6, Touch ID
  • A14 Bionic chip 
  • 12MP front/12MP back cameras
  • Compatible with Apple Pencil (1st generation)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/16/2024 10:27 am GMT

When it comes to the best alternative to the iPad 10.2 9th-generation, the answer is almost universally the same in the form of the Apple iPad 10th generation. 

Offering more colorful options, an improved Liquid Retina display, Wi-Fi 6, and the A14 Bionic chip, the Apple iPad 10th generation is a vast improvement over its predecessor. The most important consideration here isn’t necessarily the specs as much as it is the overall design. This feels like it fits much better in the more modern age of the iPad. 

Gone is the Touch ID home button that was a staple of the iPad lineup for so long and say hello to a fingerprint reader on the power button. Add to that the ability to work with the Magic Keyboard folio and you have turned the 10th-generation iPad into a laptop-like device. 

Of course, the most important update here is the larger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display. This offers a much-improved experience when reading, viewing, and playing. 

Best Android Alternative: Amazon Fire Max 11

Amazon’s Flagship Tablet
Amazon Fire Max 11 Tablet
$199.99
  • 11-inch 2K display
  • Octa-core processor
  • 128GB of storage
  • Dual 8MP cameras
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 12:24 am GMT

If you want to move away from the iPad world and into an equally budget-friendly Android alternative, the Amazon Fire Max 11 is the perfect solution. 

With a slightly larger display than both the 9th and 10th generation iPad models, you can take advantage of 2.4 million pixels at 2000 x 1200 resolution. This is more than enough detail to show off all of your favorite movies, shows, books, and games. 

To download all of the above, you’ll want fast internet and the Fire Max 11 comes equipped with Wi-Fi 6. Plus, you get up to 14 hours of battery life to stream movies. This is up to 4 hours more than Apple claims the iPad can offer. 

The Fire Max 11 also offers a separately purchased keyboard case so it too can turn into a laptop on the go. Best of all, you get full support for Amazon Alexa. You can use the tablet as a smart display for all of your Alexa-enabled devices. 

Reasons to Avoid an Apple 10.2-inch iPad Today Summary

RankDescription
#1The outdated design of the iPad 10.2 leaves a lot to be desired. 
#2The Apple A13 Bionic processor was released in 2019, so it’s already four years old. 
#3Starting at 64GB, the iPad doesn’t have a ton of room for downloads, photos, and movies. 
#4Without Face ID, you are still forced to use the Touch ID button. 
#5The inclusion of support for the first-gen Apple Pencil means you miss out on a lot of the second-generation Pencil updates. 
#6Not having a laminated display with the iPad 10.2 means you feel like you have to press harder on the screen. 
#7The world is moving to USB-C and the iPad 10.2 still offers a lightning cable connection. 

Wrapping Up

For anyone who wants to try what life is like with a tablet, the 9th generation Apple iPad 10.2-inch model can be a great starting point. However, its design and features are showing their age, especially when compared to how much more modern its successor looks. When you factor in limited storage at its lowest price point as well, there are definitely some strong reasons to look at other tablets.

  1. Apple iPad 10.2-inch (9th Generation)
    $249.00
    • Beautiful 10.2-inch retina display
    • Powered by the A13 Bionic chip
    • Available with 64GB of storage, which allows for dozens of games and apps
    • Compatible with the 1st generation Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/16/2024 10:59 pm GMT
  2. Apple Pencil (1st Generation)
    $89.00
    • Features pressure sensitivity, tilt, and imperceptible lag
    • Works the same as a normal pencil, but instead of paper, draw and write on the iPad
    • Lightning adapter, USB-C to lightning adapter, and extra tip included
    • Uses lightning adapter to charge
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/16/2024 11:03 pm GMT
  3. Apple iPad (10th Generation)
    $349.00
    • 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display (2360 x 1640 pixels)
    • 64GB storage
    • Wi-Fi 6, Touch ID
    • A14 Bionic chip 
    • 12MP front/12MP back cameras
    • Compatible with Apple Pencil (1st generation)
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/16/2024 10:27 am GMT
  4. Amazon Fire Max 11 Tablet
    $199.99
    • 11-inch 2K display
    • Octa-core processor
    • 128GB of storage
    • Dual 8MP cameras
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/17/2024 12:24 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the number one reason to avoid the iPad 10.2-inch model?

The number one reason to avoid the iPad 10.2-inch model is how outdated the look of the iPad is when compared to other tablets in Apple’s lineup. 

How much is the iPad 10.2 at retail?

The starting point for the 64GB model is $329, though it’s regularly on sale at Amazon for as low as $249.

What storage sizes are available for the iPad 10.2-inch?

As of October 2023, the iPad 10.2-inch only comes in either 64 or 256GB storage. 

What colors does the iPad 10.2 come in?

The 9th generation iPad is only available in either silver or space gray. 

Can you add additional storage on the iPad 10.2?

Unfortunately, whatever storage you get with the iPad out of the box is the maximum number you can have. 

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