Apple iPad 9th gen (2021) review

GSMArena Team, 06 October 2021.


The 9th generation Apple iPad, also known as the iPad 10.2 (2021) is probably the Cupertino tablet that needs the least introduction. It has remained a staple of the company's lineup, technically dating back all the way to 2010. Way before any mini, Air or Pro hit the scene, as clearly evident by the formidable 9th iteration mark.

Currently, the "vanilla" iPad sort of anchors the iPad lineup because it's the cheapest option available, starting at $329 for the Wi-Fi-only version and $459 for the LTE model.

The next step up would be the shiny new iPad mini 2021 (6th generation), which starts at $499 and has been generating quite a bit of excitement, with its trendy design, A15 Bionic chipset and optional 5G connectivity, among other things.

The regular iPad, unfortunately, doesn't have any of that going for it. Apple hasn't redesigned the iPad since the 7th generation iPad 10.2 (2019). You are essentially getting the same device for the third year in a row. Sure, it gets a chipset refresh, a new selfie camera and some display tweaks. However, the design language is getting long in the tooth, with huge bezels, rounded corners and a home button being a far cry from the current iPad looks.

Then again, you might choose to call the design classic, which is fair to some extent. Users also get to benefit from the lower launch price. The iPad 10.2 (2021) is expected to be the model that less tech-savvy users will gravitate to, and, as such, it is crafted and equipped in a less fancy manner, providing just enough to meet these needs.

Apple iPad 10.2 (2021) specs at a glance:

  • Body: 250.6x174.1x7.5mm, 487g; Glass front, aluminum back, aluminum frame; Stylus support (1st gen only).
  • Display: 10.20" Retina IPS LCD, 500 nits (typ), 1620x2160px resolution, 12:9 aspect ratio, 265ppi.
  • Chipset: Apple A13 Bionic (7 nm+): Hexa-core (2x2.65 GHz Lightning + 4x1.8 GHz Thunder); Apple GPU (4-core graphics).
  • Memory: 64GB 3GB RAM, 256GB 3GB RAM.
  • OS/Software: iPadOS 15.
  • Rear camera: 8 MP, f/2.4, 31mm (standard), 1.12µm, AF.
  • Front camera: 12 MP, f/2.4, 122-degree (ultrawide).
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 1080p@25/30fps, 720p@120fps; gyro-EIS; Front camera: 1080p@25/30/60fps, gyro-EIS.
  • Battery: 8557mAh.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (front-mounted); 3.5mm jack; Siri natural language commands and dictation.

So, yes, you have to keep your expectations in check. There is nothing fancy about the iPad 10.2 (2021), and it's here to be the iPad for the masses - a job, which it seems to be well-equipped for.


First, let's see what the iPad 10.2 (2021) ships with. The box itself screams Apple all-around - a thick, white, two-piece design, with an early air-tight friction-fit.

On the inside, there are nifty internal supports and separators for sale transportation. Great to see. Better still, Apple seems to be sticking to its "green" promises, at least here, since every material in the packaging appears to be recyclable.

Our only complaint on that front is that the box seems to be way thicker than necessary, which is not particularly ecological in terms of materials, as well as shipping costs. You might call it nitpicking, but as long as there is a dedicated eco "talk-down" session at every Apple presentation, we're going to scrutinize every detail.

Apple iPad 10.2 (2021) review

We're not sure how the inclusion of a charger in the box relates to ecological messages and concerns, but we are glad to see one. It is a Power Delivery unit with a Type-C finale port on it, rated at 20W of current at either 5V@3A or 9V@2.22A. Not too shabby. Alongside it - a standard, white, fairly short Type-C to Lightning cable.

Reader comments

  • Urmom
  • 03 Nov 2023
  • EKU

Pls don’t lie lmao. The iPhone 12’s camera wipes the floor with this iPad

honnestly i used to buy android tablet but even with samsunt tab S series you have poor software support so i stop buying them you can add also medium level config (cpu/gpu) to that even with an a13 this ipad play all the game, is fluid, has g...

  • Damien
  • 08 Aug 2023
  • u44

I don't know what you're hearing but in the recordings the iPad sounds painfully anemic. Our phones sound better, along with most other tablets. I don't think it was recorded right maybe?