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iPad 10th Generation Leaks. Will It Be A Game Changer for Small Businesses?

The budget version of the iPad typically gets minute annual updates but this year looks set for a major overhaul and a brand new and unique design, which could make it the absolute perfect tablet for small business owners. Let’s take a closer look.

10th Gen iPad Leaks
Will this all-new design become the 10th Generation iPad?

BUDGET iPAD HISTORY

iPad 9th Generation
Current 2021 iPad 9th Generation

The current iPad (officially the iPad 9th Generation) is the latest in a long line of incrementally upgraded entry-level iPads. The current model is available from just €399 and for that you get the A13 Bionic chip (the one from the iPhone 11), 64GB of storage, and essentially an 8 year old design! The chassis of the iPad is almost identical to that of the old iPad Air 2 from 2014. It was marginally updated to match the physical footprint of the 2019 iPad Air (itself a watered down 2017 iPad Pro) but where both of those had a 10.5” display, the standard iPad only received an extra bezel-y 10.2” - which it is still lumped with. And it’s not even laminated either.


The budget iPad has historically, as just touched on, received a watered-down version of a 1-2year old iPad Air design and feature-set - indeed the current model is identical to the 2019 Air other than the smaller worse screen. Though impressively it did come packed with Apple’s incredible Centre Stage feature on the front camera - a feature previously reserved for the top end iPad Pro models.

iPad Air 3
The Current iPad uses essentially the same chassis as the iPad Air 3 from 2019, but with a slightly smaller 10.2" screen

With that in mind, many Apple insiders and fans highly expected that the 10th Generation iPad would essentially come packaged in the same chassis as the 2020 iPad Air 4th Generation - itself an almost carbon copy of the 1st generation 11” iPad Pro. That though, does not seem to be the case, if the latest leaks are to be believed.


LEAKED 10TH GEN iPAD

A raft of recently leaked CAD files, shared on Mysmartprice show that the 10th Generation iPad will indeed be getting a new, squared-off design, very much following in Apple’s neo-classical aesthetic of recent years, although it will not be a repurposed 4th Gen iPad Air chassis. Instead, this new 10th Gen iPad will come with either a 10.5” or 10.9” display (the same laminated panels from the 2019 iPad Air 3 and 2020 iPad Air 4, respectively) in a squared off body with flat sides and touch ID in a home button.

iPad 10th Generation Leaks
New Leaks show a brand new design that retains the original Home Button but aligns with Apple's squared-off design language

Yes, a home button. An original one, at that. The recent iPad Air and iPad mini models also retain the touch ID sensor but have it moved to the lock button, very inconveniently. In my opinion, if you’re keeping touch ID and can’t put it under the screen, having an OG home button is still the way to go! It’s as-yet unclear from the leaks if this new iPad 10th Gen will stick with a Lightning connector or finally make the jump to USB-C. Although, seeing as the basic iPad and the iPhone are now the only major Apple products still using Lightning, and bearing in mind the European Union will essentially force Apple to at least change the iPhone to USB-C in 2023, it would surely make more sense to make the jump to C on this new iPad 10th Generation.

The new iPad is also likely to come with the iPhone 12’s A14 Processor, 5G support, an improve 12MP rear camera with a flash.


iPad Air 4
Original leaks and rumours suggested the next standard iPad would utilise the body of the 2020 iPad Air 4

WHY THIS IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS OWNERS

If you’re a small business owner, chances are you have a laptop or desktop computer to run everything day to day. (Side note, if you’re looking for something new check out our YouTube video on the new M2 MacBook Air). However, having a quality, powerful tablet to complement and/or supplement that computer is totally invaluable and will change how you do business. But, tablets are expensive! Especially powerful ones, and especially powerful iPads. Yes, the 9th Gen iPad is under €400 but it’s not exactly powerful, it can’t use a Magic Keyboard or 2nd Gen Apple Pencil, and that unlamented screen makes even using the original Apple Pencil a pretty rubbish experience.

iPad 10th Generation Leaks
New flat-edge design suggests compatibility with Apple Pencil 2, which requires a flat edge to connect to and charge

This 10th Gen iPad looks set to completely revolutionise that. Speaking as the owner of 4 A14-based Apple Products (iPhone 12 Pro Max, M1 iPad Pro, M1 MacBook, M1 Pro MacBook) it is arguably Apple’s very best chipset to date. Packed with incredible power and efficiency as well as amazing photo and video editing encoders and image signal processors to wildly improve photo quality. The flat sides of these leaked designs also suggests the new iPad will be compatible with the 2nd Generation Apple Pencil, which requires flat sides to charge and pair from. This combined with a better screen will allow for much more comfortable writing, drawing, note taking, document editing, etc using the newer Apple Pencil.

iPad Mini 6
The new iPad mini 6 was the latest model to receive the new flat-edge design. Leaving only the standard iPad using the old design.

If this iPad keeps a low price under €450 it will be an absolute no brainer for anyone looking to supplement their computer. Having a quality tablet will allow you to travel or commute and still work with relative ease, allow you to more easily take notes and mark up reports & PDFs, create and manage workflows on Excel or other CRM software, consume video content without lugging around a laptop, etc. Also, thanks to the upcoming iPadOS16, you’ll also be able to utilise features like Freeform to collaborate with coworkers much easier - which again will be made even better by having a 2nd Gen Apple Pencil useable with such a cheap tablet.

iPad 10th Generation Leaked Image
Artist rendering of how the new iPad 10th Generation may look

If you currently run your business from an iMac or MacBook, your iPad can double as an extended display for those computers using Universal Control and again, it’s looking likely you’ll soon get that amazing feature on a useably sized screen (not the minuscule iPad mini) at an affordable price (€700 for the iPad Air is a total rip off).


There will surely be many more benefits of this 10th Generation iPad, should these leaks come to pass, which I’ll of course cover in much more detail if and when it does come out. But for now, those are my initial thoughts on these leaked 10th Generation iPad designs and how I think this will be an absolutely perfect tablet to help Small Business owners better run their businesses.

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