If you’re an education user, the new 10th-generation iPad wasn’t made for you.
Since Apple began to differentiate the iPad lineup with the iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad Pro, the base model iPad slowly fell into the role of the beginner iPad and the iPad for education. The low cost of the base model made it a clear competitor with Google’s Chromebooks, and, since most kids end up with an iPad as their first “computer,” it’s easy for educators to deploy the tablet in schools as most students are familiar with the operating system.
However, with today’s unveiling of the new 10th-generation iPad, Apple may be starting to lean away from seeing the base model as that beloved education device. The company, in a press release and YouTube video, introduced the brand new iPad with a ton of new features and a ton of price increases to get the most out of it. You can watch the introduction video below:
The new 10th-generation iPad is, admittedly, a huge upgrade for the cheapest iPad. It features a new design language similar to the iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad Pro. That design upgrade has been long needed for the base model iPad as, until today, the device still came in what could be argued as the original design of the iPad ten generations ago. It also features a 10.9-inch display, USB-C, 5G, and the A14 Bionic processor.
The price and Apple Pencil support kill the excitement
All of those upgrades sound great for everyone until you land on two things: The price and Apple Pencil support. Let’s start with the price. The new generation of the iPad starts at $449. Four hundred and forty-nine dollars! That’s a $130 increase from the previous generation or a 36% bump. For schools that are surely working under strict budgets, especially public schools, this kind of price increase just to get into the ecosystem is likely to be daunting.
The second issue is Apple Pencil support. Despite taking on the modern design language of the rest of the lineup, the new iPad does not support the 2nd-generation Apple Pencil. And worse, because it now features a USB-C port, it doesn’t support the first generation of the Apple Pencil out of the box either. Instead, Apple will sell you an adapter that you’ll need to charge your pencil with the iPad.
Designer Ian Zelbo took to Twitter to share feedback from his mom, who is a teacher, on why the design of the new iPad makes it even worse for students and educators:
Granted, the adapter only costs $9, but Apple still should have gone the extra mile and just made the new iPad compatible with its latest Apple Pencil, especially with that enormous price increase.
Thankfully, educators will still get a discount through the education pricing program, but, even with this, students, teachers, and schools are about to experience quite the price hike if they want to future-proof their iPad lineup.
If you’re not a fan of the base model iPad, the company also announced a new iPad Pro featuring the M2 chip, so feel free to check that out instead.
More tablet coverage: See our review of the Amazon Fire HD 8 (2022) tablet