iPad 9th generation is by far the most affordable tablet launched by Apple in 2021 and here they don’t upgrade it with fancy features rather than looking to produce an iPad that we can carry everywhere and use for all case scenarios.
Whenever we talk about Apple’s device, anyone can tell in a blink of an eye that the device will be in the premium segment and we all probably agree on one thing Apple will be much more expensive than everyone else.
This has been going on for a long time, but keeping pace with the current market, Apple is also leaning towards the Affordable Market today and the biggest proof of this is the launch of devices like the iPad 9th Generation.
One thing is very clear Apple wants to rule in the affordable market too that’s why they produce more practical devices like the iPad 9th Gen that can outperform other Android Tablets.
iPad 9th generation is not a huge upgrade over the 8th gen but a more powerful A13 Bionic processor blended with their signature iPadOS 15 fills every corner from performance to usability. Additionally, you get an improved 12 MP selfie cam that gives you the same experience as the premium iPads.
Starting at $329 It’s just the right size and price for most people, the 10.2 inches tablet has enough juice to perform with newer apps and here Apple increases the storage to make it a more practical device. Although there are not so many changes from the outside still iPad 9th gen is a good choice.
This iPad works with the Apple Pencil first generation for sketching and is compatible with keyboards, mouse, and other peripherals so using it as a laptop has no issues. It might be beaten for design and features by the other tablets on the iPad list, but if you just need an affordable and reliable creative tool, Apple gets almost everything right here.
Price and Availability of iPad 9:
The iPad 9th Gen (2021) has 3GB of RAM and can be purchased in 64GB and 256GB options. You can also choose between Wi-Fi-only and the Cellular-based model which has a 4G functionality. One thing worth mentioning here you don’t have the option of 128GB.
The Tablet was announced on September 14, 2021, and made available for purchase on September 24th, the 10.2-inch iPad is now available in two color choices: Space Gray and Silver.
The entry-level version of it costs $329, which gets you 64GB of storage, and for those who want to store lots of images and videos, you have to pay $479 to get the 256GB version which should be enough for most users.
These prices are for the Wi-Fi-only version – you can also add 4G connectivity, but you’ll need to add $130 more to the price of whichever size you go for. You can buy the iPad 9th generation directly from Apple or choose other mediums like Amazon, or eBay for a cheaper deal.
|Dimensions||250.6 x 174.1 x 7.5 mm (9.87 x 6.85 x 0.30 in)|
|Weight||487 g (Wi-Fi) / 498 g (LTE) (1.07 lb)|
|RAM and Storage||3GB RAM and 64 or 256 GB internal Storage|
|Software||iPadOS 15 with the latest new features and strong security|
|Battery||Li-Ion, non-removable 8557 mAh (32.4 Wh), up to 10-hour multimedia|
|Sensors||Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, compass, barometerSiri natural language commands and dictation|
All models have a Digital compass, Wi-Fi, iBeacon micro-location
Wi-Fi + Cellular models have Built‑in GPS/GNSS, Cellular 4G
|Colors||Space Gray, Silver|
|Sound||Dual Stereo Speakers|
|What’s in the Box||
|Protection||Scratch-resistant glass, oleophobic coating|
|Price (International)||Starting from $329 and going up to $609|
Design and Display of iPad 9th Gen:
The size and the design haven’t been updated we have the same dimensions 250.6 x 174.1 x 7.5 mm like 8th generation iPad with one exception. Here we have the same large bezels at the top and the bottom and a home button with the older style touch ID.
The unibody aluminum tablet weighs 487 grams for the Wi-Fi-based model and little extra 498 grams for the 4G LTE model. The iPad is sturdy, slim, feels great to the touch, and the transitions between the display glass and the case are very smooth and streamlined.
And the only noticeable difference is that the silver model now comes with black bezels instead of the white ones on the iPad eight. We’re still getting a lightning port for charging and accessories, so we didn’t see a change there as we saw with the iPad mini six, where apple upgraded to a USB-C port.
For buttons and ports, we have a power on/off button on the top along with a 3.5mm headphone jack, there is a lightning connector at the bottom along with two stereo speakers. On right, we have a volume controller and a nano sim card tray for the LTE model. We have a smart connector at the left for connecting the keyboard.
The front of the iPad 9th gen is pretty oldish and has big bezels on top and bottom, it consists of a new 12 MP front cam and a Touch ID for unlocking the iPad. The back is pretty clean just has the same 8 MP cam at the top right corner and there is an Apple logo and iPad banding.
We’re getting the previous generation touch ID integrated into the home button for biometric authentication and it’s very accurate and works every single time for us.
And the only reason why I would like to see it replaced is the possibility of getting rid of the larger bezels and then either making the iPad itself smaller or more likely making the display larger and keeping the same footprint.
Speaking of the display, it’s a 10.2 inch 60 Hertz LCD retina IPS display with a resolution of 2160 by 1620, and 264 pixels per inch. It’s a non-laminated display, meaning that there is a gap between the display and touch layer and cover glass.
For most of us, non-laminated makes nonsense as we always look straight on screen but if you look at a certain angle or if you look at the edge of the display, where it appears as if the image is under a sheet of glass.
With a fully laminated display, like what we have on the iPad mini six, the iPad air four, and the iPad Pro, all three layers of the display are fused together so the image looks like it’s right on top of the display.
One advantage of a non-laminated display is that if you scratch or crack the glass, it’s less expensive to repair because you’re most likely only ruining the cover glass and the display remains intact. With a fully laminated display, the entire display assembly would have to replace.
Another major display feature included here is the Ture tone display, Which means there are sensors that can detect the color temperature of the light in your environment, and then they can make adjustments to how the image looks so that white always appears as white, rather than yellow or blue.
Now, overall, the display has worked well for me for watching videos, surfing the web, using different productivity apps, taking notes, and of course playing games.
Performance and Battery Life:
As far as processing power and performance, another one of the upgrades on the iPad nine is the A13 Bionic chip. Apple claims that it provides CPU GPU and neural engines that are 20% more powerful than the A12 chip we have on the iPad eight.
Although the A13 Bionic was two years old but faster than other midrange chipsets out in the market. A13 is used in iPhone 11 and has a nice processor for multitasking but if you’re planning for a heavy graphics-intensive workload then you should consider other high and models.
For multitasking, the A13 offers plenty of power, and when I was viewing content and using multiple apps at the same time, even though we didn’t get an upgrade in RAM, and we’re still getting three gigabytes, the iPad nine felt snappy and super responsive.
We haven’t had any issues when sketching, editing photos or videos, running apps side by side, switching between lots of apps, capturing photos, long-hour conference calls, and others. Unless you’re working on extremely processor-intensive tasks like 4K editing, the iPad has more than enough power to get the job done.
Now, an area where you may appreciate this added power is gaming. So personally I’ve had a wonderful experience gaming on the iPad, but I’m always going to want more power because games are becoming more resource-intensive as time goes on.
The new A13 chip combined with Apple’s outstanding history of long-term support for older devices means that it’s always a good idea to have a device that offers more processing power than you need right now.
We’ve played PUBG at extreme settings and the game performs normally without any stutter or lags. More graphics-intensive games like Alto’s Odyssey and Genshin Impact are running fine and even playing for long hours the iPad never heats abnormally.
The iPad has the sameLi-Ion, non-removable 8557 mAh (32.4 Wh) battery as its predecessor, and Apple claims you get up to10 hours of battery backup on the WiFi model and 9 hours on the Celuler+WiFi model when surfing the web or watching videos.
So far, it’s been really good, and of course, the battery life depends on things like what apps or games you’re playing and then the brightness of the display.
Played a lot of games, surfed, watched HD videos, took some photos, video-calling, drew, and took notes also charging the Apple Pencil (First generation), we got a little more than 9 hours of use between each charge.
Although for charging iPad has the old lightning connector a 20-watt adaptor with lightning to USB-C cable is included in the box. With this adaptor, the iPad nine takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to charge fully.
New 12 MP Front Camera with CenterStage:
Now, one of the few major upgrades to the iPad nine was the front-facing camera. The new ultra-wide 12-megapixel F/2.4 camera is a significant improvement over the 1.2-megapixel camera on the iPad eight. This camera has electronic image stabilization and can record 1080p videos at 60 fps.
The iPad’s 12MP ultra-wide front-facing lens has a 122-degree field of view and performs well in just about any lighting scenario. This makes for dramatically improved selfies, and more importantly, video call quality.
Not only does it offer a higher resolution at 1080p at 60 frames per second, but it also offers a feature that I’ve only had until now, at least on the iPad Pro, and it’s called the Center Stage.
CenterStage is essentially used the two-times zoom-out capability of the ultra-wide camera together with artificial intelligence to identify a subject and then track it as it moves through the frame. So as you walk around, it will look like the iPad is tilting or panning to follow you.
Now I use this feature for video calls with FaceTime, for zoom, and you can even use it with Tiktok, which I actually really like because it can help make your videos seem less static.
A quick tip: if you don’t see this feature working for you with Tiktok or any other compatible app, just open the app, swipe down from the top right to get the control center, and you’ll see a button for video effects, and you can enable center stage.
Now moving on to the rear-facing camera, we’re getting a wide 8-megapixel F/2.4 camera with a five-time digital zoom and HDR for photos. If you have an iPad eight, this is the same camera that you’ve been using.
New software the iPad OS 15:
The iPad 9th generation running on iPad OS 15 is by far the biggest change we see from the 8th generation and now iPad OS is being one inch closer to mac OS with its every upgrade.
And when it comes to multitasking and performance, the iPad OS 15 has all the new multitasking enhancements that I covered in my iOS 15- share and connect everything with everybody post where I cover most new features.
The iPads now offer more sophisticated multi-tasking, USB-C accessories compatibility, desktop-oriented Safari, Sidecar option, and expanded mouse, keyboard, trackpad, and Apple Pencil support.
It added features like Focus Mode for better productivity, Live text to pick up anything and get informed instantly, A much-improved Notification center redesigned Stock apps (Weather, Clock, Safari, Apple Maps), and many more.
Apart from that, you’ll find an app library on the rightmost home screen pane and apps will be added there automatically after installation. The dock is always visible across home screens and can accommodate up to 12 app shortcuts very convenient for multitasking.
Apple Pencil (First Gen) Support:
Apple pencil is a wireless stylus pen designed and manufactured by Apple inc and used on iPads. The 9th generation of iPad still has the lightning port means it still supports Apple pencil first generation which pairs and charges using this port.
The Apple Pencil is a pro-quality drawing tool, detecting tilt and pressure with precision, and Apple says that the latency is now 9ms – though you’ll actually see up to 16ms because it’s a 60Hz screen.
As far as usability, the first-generation pencil works great, but it’s less convenient to store and charge than the 2nd generation. To charge it, you’ll generally need to take the end off and plug it into the iPad’s Lightning port for a time, which is a bit of pain and you’ll need a flat surface to place it.
The Apple Pencil 2nd Gen solves all of these problems. It connects to the side of any other iPad model magnetically, and charges wirelessly.
With the Apple Pencil, you can handwrite and then copy and paste what you wrote into a text doc as plain computer text. And little drawings in your notes can be copied and pasted into something else too – and you can even then edit them. The response is great.
Additional features of iPad 9th generations:
- The stereo speakers are located at the bottom and produce a good quality sound, not the loudest but producing enough base and clarity.
- We’re still getting a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack at the top means you can use all your wired headset with iPad nine.
- The caller model supports 4G LTE with a physical nano sim or e-sim but the cellular network is only used for data and wifi calling purposes. It also supports Apple sim.
- In terms of connectivity, all models supported the dual-band WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.2 technology.
- For location service, all models use the Digital compass, Wi-Fi, and iBeacon micro-location, and the cellular-based model has the Built-in GPS/GNSS.
Should you buy the 9th gen iPad?
We think Apple has produced iPad devices for various types of audiences and for power users they had the iPad Pro or the iPad air. Those who want a device capable of doing all kinds of stuff at a more affordable price than the 9th gen iPad are definitely a good choice.
The 10.2-inch Tablet has a good true tone display with 500 nits of max brightness, the 64 Gb base model is built along with a more powerful A13 Bionic chipset, a Great Selfie camera perfect for Facetime calls with Centerstage activate, and can record videos at 60 fps, Famous touch ID, and the support of Apple 1st Gen Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard.
But there are some areas in which Apple deliberately retains the older parts to lower the cost like the Lightning port, cellular version limited to 4G, same design, large bezels, and considering the base $329 price we do not complain.
And most importantly the 64 GB base variant is very low for today’s standard and if you go for the 256 GB model which costs you 130 bucks more so in the middle somehow we are looking for the 128 GB, sadly which is absent.
Additionally, the Apple Pencil 1st gen cost you $99, and Smart Keyboard priced $159 more but thankfully other cheaper keyboards are woks fine with this iPad.
The iPad nine covers the most important parts which you can work and play efficiently but if you need more cutting edge features and more powerful hardware for your creative work then go for the iPad Air or a smaller iPad mini 6th gen.