Differences and similarities between the Apple 10th-generation iPad and the M1 iPad Air

Apple 10th generation 2022 iPadThe Apple 10th-generation iPad and the Apple M1 iPad Air are two of the most popular iPads currently available on the market. Despite their physical similarities, there are some key differences between the two that you should consider before deciding which one to buy.

When it comes to specs, the 10th-gen iPad is powered by the A14 Bionic processor while the iPad Air has the more powerful M1 processor. The M1 processor has two more high-performance CPU cores, double the GPU cores, more RAM, and media engines to speed up the encoding of H.264 and HEVC video. The iPad Air also has compatibility with the Apple Pencil (2nd generation), whereas the iPad only has compatibility with Apple Pencil (1st generation). In terms of the display, the 10th-gen iPad and the iPad Air both come with a 10.9-inch display offering a 2360 x 1640 pixel resolution.

When it comes to design, both iPads have a thin-bezel uniform design with flat edges and a Liquid Retina display. They also both come in a variety of colors, though the 10th-gen iPad’s hues are significantly brighter than the iPad Air’s shades. The iPad Air’s display also has an anti-reflective coating which the 10th-gen iPad does not. The iPad Air’s display is laminated while the 10th-gen iPad’s isn’t, eliminating the small gap between the display and the glass.

In terms of connectivity, both iPads have dual-band 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) support with a throughput up to 1.2 Gbps. If you buy the cellular-enabled version, both support 5G, but only the sub-6GHz bands. The only real difference is that the 10th-gen iPad supports Bluetooth 5.2, while the iPad Air supports Bluetooth 5.0. Both models have a USB-C port for charging and data transfers, though they’re not quite the same. The 10th-gen iPad’s port is limited to USB 2.0 data speeds of 480Mb/s while the iPad Air is significantly faster at 10Gbps.

The 10th-generation iPad starts at $449 for the 64GB WiFi version (with sales sometimes pushing the price down to $399) and ranges up to $749 for the 256GB WiFi + Cellular iPad. On the other hand, the iPad Air starts at $599 for the 64GB WiFi model (with sales sometimes pushing the price down to $499) and ranges up to $899 for 256GB/WiFi + Cellular.

More information can be found on our iPad Comparison Tool.

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