The newest entry-level iPad looks exactly like iPad Air 5. The ports and buttons are located in the same places. However, it’s incompatible with covers tailored for the Air. The reason is highly unusual.
iPad 10.9 2022 – highlights
▸ The newest entry-level iPad 2022 (10th generation) comes with a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, four speakers, USB-C port for fast charging and data transfer, as well as A14 Bionic chip.
▸ The most prominent features is an all-screen design, with the display being extended to all edges. The Home Button is gone. It’s replaced by Touch ID that’s integrated into the button placed on the right side of the top edge.
▸ The 2022 base iPad is available in three bright, fun colors (Blue, Pink, and Yellow), and a classic Silver.
▸ The 10.9-inch display has the same resolution (2360 × 1640-pixels), pixel density (264 ppi), and brightness (500 nits) as iPad Air 5, but lacks P3 Wide Color, and supports Apple Pencil 1 not 2.
▸ Apple iPad 10.9 is designed for landscape-first use. The front camera is placed on the right side of the display, prompting you to go for a horizontal view whenever possible. The landscape-first approach was first applied in Amazon Fire HD 8 released back in 2020.
▸ It’s not affordable any longer. With a price set at $449 for the cheapest variant (64 GB, Wi-Fi only), it’s $120 more expensive than its predecessor.
▸ For more details, check out the iPad 10.9 2022 product page on Amazon, in the official Apple Reseller Store.
iPad 2022 vs. iPad Air size and case compatibility
▸ Apple iPad 10.9 released in October 2022 looks stunningly similar to the iPad Air 5, which was launched in March 2022.
▸ The position of the main camera, USB-C port, volume buttons and Touch ID is exactly the same as in the iPad Air 5. The speakers are the same size and in the same places.
▸ The proportions and the curves are the same in iPad 10.9 (2022) and iPad Air 5 (2022).
▸ The dimensions are almost the same. And this time “almost” makes the difference. You won’t be able to use your iPad Air 5 case cover with the new base iPad.
iPad 10.9 (2022) has the following dimensions:
9.79 × 7.07 × 0.28 in / 248.6 × 179.5 × 7.0 mm
iPad Air 5 (2022) has the following dimensions:
9.74 × 7.02 × 0.24 in / 247.6 × 178.5 × 6.1 mm
▸ In short: iPad 10.9 2022 is:
– 1 mm higher than iPad Air 5
– 1 mm wider than iPad Air 5
– 0.9 mm thicker than iPad Air 5
▸ As a result, no third-party iPad Air 5 case with a tailored back shell to hold the device in place will be compatible with the new iPad 10.9. It will just be too tight, and you will have a hard time trying to put the case on or off.
▸ The original Smart Folio is being attached to the iPad with magnets (there is no plastic case around the tablet). The one you bought for iPad Air 5 won’t fit the 2022 iPad 10.9. The new model is thicker, so the front cover won’t lie flat on the display.
▸ Plus, 1 millimeter added to the width and height will make the edges vulnerable to scratches, not mentioning the drops.
▸ In the Apple online store, the Smart Folio for iPad 2022 is compatible only with this single model. And iPad 2022 is not included in the list of compatible models for the Smart Folio for iPad Air 5.
▸ My recommendation is to wait for third-party cases tailored for iPad 10.9, or – even better – go for a decent iPad sleeve.
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