Apple 2021 iPad 9th Generation: Budget Tablet or Overpriced Disappointment?

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Apple’s 9th generation iPad recently landed on our desks, and let’s just say – this tablet delivers! Its 10.2-inch Retina display with True Tone is a visual feast. Photos pop with color, movies feel immersive, and apps look razor-sharp.

But the real magic lies under the hood. The A13 Bionic chip is a powerhouse, effortlessly handling everything from video editing to action-packed games. Plus, the 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage is a game-changer for video calls, keeping you perfectly framed even if you move around.

ipad 9th generation

On the flip side, we did notice the design hasn’t changed much from the previous models, and the price has gone up a bit. Also, while the battery life is decent, we found ourselves reaching for the charger a bit more often than we’d like when using it intensively. However, it’s not a deal-breaker considering the overall performance and ease of use. It’s just something worth noting.

Bottom Line

Overall, if you’re looking to upgrade your tablet, this Apple iPad is a solid pick. It’s a workhorse that manages to be a great value, especially for everyday use and entertainment.

Considering its robust features and the seamless Apple ecosystem integration, it gets our thumbs up and for the price, it is up there with one of the best on the market.

Apple 2021 iPad (10.2-inch iPad Wi-Fi, 64GB) - Space Grey (9th Generation)
Apple 2021 iPad (10.2-inch iPad Wi-Fi, 64GB) - Space Grey (9th Generation)
Apple 2021 iPad (10.2-inch iPad Wi-Fi, 64GB) - Space Grey (9th Generation)
TR Score

Experience the Classic iPad, Now Even Better

The 2021 Apple iPad (9th generation) delivers the essentials of the iconic tablet experience at an incredible value. Here’s what you’ll love:

  • Beautiful Display: Immerse yourself in the vibrant 10.2-inch Retina display, perfect for movies, work, or creative projects.
  • Powerful Performance: The A13 Bionic chip effortlessly handles everyday tasks, multitasking, and even some light gaming.
  • Center Stage Camera: Stay perfectly in frame during video calls with the 12MP Ultra Wide front camera and its automatic panning and zooming.
  • All-Day Battery: Enjoy up to 10 hours of browsing, watching videos, or working on the go.
  • iPadOS Magic: Experience the intuitive, smooth, and feature-rich iPadOS designed specifically for a seamless tablet experience.
  • Apple Ecosystem: Works flawlessly with your other Apple devices and accessories like the Apple Pencil (1st generation) and Smart Keyboard (sold separately)

Apple’s 2021 iPad 9th Generation 64GB & 25GGB (10.2-inch): Solid Performance, Surprisingly Appealing

Apple’s latest budget-friendly iPad surprised us! The 10.2-inch Retina display with True Tone is a stunner. Streaming shows? Colors burst off the screen. Everyday browsing? The text looks crisp. The A13 Bionic chip keeps everything running like a dream – multitasking feels seamless. Plus, if you’re big on video calls, the 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage is a total game-changer, automatically keeping you in the frame even if you’re on the move.

Okay, the design isn’t cutting-edge, but who cares when you get up to 256GB of storage? No more agonizing over which apps to delete. The stereo speakers pack a decent punch for blasting tunes or catching up on podcasts. And ol’ reliable Touch ID is still around for quick logins and secure Apple Pay.

Artists and notetakers rejoice – this iPad plays nice with the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. And hey, the battery didn’t disappoint either – easily powering us through a whole day of web surfing and Netflix binges. The one downside? It still uses a Lightning cable for charging, not USB-C.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for a no-nonsense iPad that nails the basics, this is a seriously strong contender.

Let’s Talk About That Retina Display with True Tone

This screen is a looker! Perfect for everyday stuff, like flipping through photos or catching up on YouTube. Colors pop, and everything looks sharp. True Tone is the real hero here, making the screen feel more natural by adapting to the room’s lighting. It’s a lifesaver if you read at night, reducing that harsh blue light.

One word of caution for the artistic types: True Tone might subtly shift colors while you’re working, something to keep in mind if color accuracy is key. But for most of us, this display is a major step up for our everyday content consumption.

The A13 Bionic Chip: More Power Than You Might Expect

This iPad surprised us with how snappy it feels. The A13 Bionic chip is the secret weapon here, and for the price, it seriously delivers. Apps open in a flash, multitasking feels effortless – even with a million tabs open, this thing didn’t slow down one bit.

Plus, that A13 chip is surprisingly power-efficient. We breezed through a whole day of editing videos and playing games, you name it – without worrying about the battery dying. Sure, it’s not Apple’s latest and greatest chip, so that whole “future-proofing” thing might be a concern. But honestly, for everyday use, this iPad has all the power most of us need.

Cameras: Great for Casual Use, Not So Much for Spielberg Wannabes

Let’s be real, the highlight here is that 12MP Ultra Wide front camera. Video calls get a major upgrade, and Center Stage is a lifesaver if you move around a lot while chatting. It adds a polished feel that makes your calls stand out.

The 8MP rear camera? It’s… fine. Snaps a decent photo or scans a document in a pinch. HDR gives your shots a little extra oomph with better colors. But if the lighting gets low, don’t expect miracles. The video is capped at 1080p HD, perfect for everyday stuff. But yeah, if you’re making the next Oscar winner, this ain’t your camera rig.

Overall, the cameras are a win for everyday use. It’s the always-have-it-on-hand factor that makes them worthwhile, even if they won’t blow your mind.

Accessories: Apple’s Ecosystem…with a Catch

Expanding this iPad’s powers is a breeze… mostly. This is where that whole Lightning connector thing gets annoying. If you want to plug in fancy keyboards, cameras, or whatever else, double-check they work with Lightning.

Apple stuff? Works like a charm. AirPods, and Apple Pencil (the 1st generation one), they just click and go. That’s the beauty of the Apple world. But, the Lightning connector means lots of non-Apple toys will need an adapter.

Luckily, the market’s got loads of Lightning-compatible goodies for this iPad. Cases, stands, docks…you name it. Just keep that adapter situation in mind!

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Beautiful 10.2-inch Retina display
  • Powerful A13 Bionic chip
  • Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage
  • Works with Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard (sold separately)
  • Great value for the price
  • Works well for note-taking, casual games, and media consumption
  • Durable
  • Does everything your phone does, with a screen big enough to see!
Cons
  • Limited Storage: The base model comes with 64GB of storage, which can fill up quickly with apps, photos, and videos. Higher storage options are available at increased cost.
  • Older Design: The classic iPad design features noticeable bezels, making the display look smaller compared to newer iPads with edge-to-edge screens.
  • Non-Laminated Display: The display lacks a fully laminated design, potentially leading to a slight gap between the screen layers. This can sometimes affect viewing angles.

What Other Buyers Are Saying: This iPad is a Crowd-Pleaser

We’re not the only ones smitten with this iPad! Turns out, it’s winning over folks from all walks of life. The big takeaway? You get serious bang for your buck. It’s got that Apple polish we all know, but at a price that makes even first-time tablet buyers take the plunge.

Gamers, listen up: plenty of satisfied customers say this iPad handles popular games like Roblox and Genshin Impact without breaking a sweat. And the setup? Cakewalk. Users love how easily it fits into their lives, whether as a kitchen helper for recipes or a travel buddy for the kids.

A couple of grumbles worth mentioning: Some folks weren’t thrilled that the charger doesn’t work with older iPhones. But hey, on the bright side, people are raving about the quick delivery and top-notch customer service. And that long battery life (we’ve binged entire seasons on this thing!) definitely adds to its value.

The Verdict: Should You Buy It?

We spent some serious quality time with this iPad, and we got the hype. If you want solid, everyday performance with Apple reliability, this is a no-brainer, especially for the price. Browsing the web? Check. Netflix marathons? Absolutely. Even keeping the kiddos entertained on road trips? You betcha. That long battery life is a lifesaver, trust us.

Sure, the cable situation might irk those with older Apple gear. And hey, the design might feel a bit old-school to some. But for newcomers and anyone who values function over fancy, this is it. Even gamers seem pleasantly surprised by how well it handles their favorite titles.

Apple 2021 iPad (10.2-inch iPad Wi-Fi, 64GB) - Space Grey (9th Generation)
Apple 2021 iPad (10.2-inch iPad Wi-Fi, 64GB) - Space Grey (9th Generation)
Apple 2021 iPad (10.2-inch iPad Wi-Fi, 64GB) - Space Grey (9th Generation)
TR Score

Experience the Classic iPad, Now Even Better

The 2021 Apple iPad (9th generation) delivers the essentials of the iconic tablet experience at an incredible value. Here’s what you’ll love:

  • Beautiful Display: Immerse yourself in the vibrant 10.2-inch Retina display, perfect for movies, work, or creative projects.
  • Powerful Performance: The A13 Bionic chip effortlessly handles everyday tasks, multitasking, and even some light gaming.
  • Center Stage Camera: Stay perfectly in frame during video calls with the 12MP Ultra Wide front camera and its automatic panning and zooming.
  • All-Day Battery: Enjoy up to 10 hours of browsing, watching videos, or working on the go.
  • iPadOS Magic: Experience the intuitive, smooth, and feature-rich iPadOS designed specifically for a seamless tablet experience.
  • Apple Ecosystem: Works flawlessly with your other Apple devices and accessories like the Apple Pencil (1st generation) and Smart Keyboard (sold separately)

You might just find yourself getting way more than you bargained for (especially if you catch a sale). It’s not the flashiest iPad out there, but if what you want is a workhorse tablet that doesn’t cost a fortune, this one gets a giant thumbs up from us, and clearly, from a whole lot of other happy customers too!

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