New 10.9-inch iPad vs. iPad Air

The 10.9-inch iPad and the iPad Air 5 both hold their own in Apple's tablet lineup.  The key differences are the chipset, display lamination, FaceTime camera placement, smart connector location, and Apple Pencil support.

There's little difference between the 10.9-inch iPad and the iPad Air 5 at a glance other than color. The iPad measures 9.79 inches tall by 7.07 inches wide by 0.28 inches thick.

 The display is not laminated and only supports sRGB color spectrum. Both have 10.9-inch panels at 2360p x 1640p with 264ppi. They can get 500 nits at peak brightness.

The most differentiating aspect between the iPad and iPad Air 5 is the processor. M1 is one such processor that was made for Mac in 2020. It was later introduced in the iPad Pro and was added to the iPad Air in 2022.

The iPad has got an upgraded 12-megapixel rear camera. It has an f/1.8 aperture and can record in 4K at various frequencies from 24fps to 60fps, device-wise, this front-facing camera is similar to the iPad Air, 

The Smart Connector is used on the iPad Air and the 10.9-inch iPad, but it is in different places. This means that these products have slightly different supporting compatibility, despite having almost identical dimensions.

The situation with the Apple Pencil for the 10.9-inch iPad is complicated. The iPad Air 5 uses the Apple Pencil 2 for a dedicated magnetic charging pad on one side of the tablet. Apple did not include a magnetic charging pad for the Apple Pencil 2 on its 10.9-inch iPad.

Apple still sells the 10.2-inch iPad for $329, then the newer 10.9-inch iPad for $449. On top of that the iPad Air 5 is at $599, then the iPad Pro at $799.

The new 10.9-inch iPad is ideal for learning. Parents who have a little more money to spend can get their child a new-looking iPad with sharper performance, in fun colors for an iPad Air without the need for an iPad Air.