2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi 64GB) review – is 64GB good for an iPad?

2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi 64GB) review

Is 64GB good for an iPad? Which iPad should I invest? The tablet now boasts a 12MP ultra-wide front camera, and the recipients of the FaceTime calls we made during our testing said the image from this camera looked clear and detailed. The pandemic has led to a surge in the numbers of people using video calls, and Apple has acknowledged this by upgrading the front-facing selfie camera for the first time in several years. Know about more benefits and feature in 2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi 64GB) review.

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In the box

  • iPad
  • USB-C to Lightning Cable
  • 20W USB-C Power Adapter

Pros & Cons – 2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi 64GB)

Pros

  • Bright, vibrant screen
  • Good battery life
  • Excellent value
  • Great front-facing camera
  • True Tone display
  • Front camera a big upgrade this generation
  • Robust design
  • Speedy performance thanks to A13 Bionic
  • Upgraded selfie camera for video calls
  • True Tone added to display
  • Apple Pencil (1st Gen) support
  • Smart Connector for keyboards

Cons

  • No Face ID
  • Doesn’t support newer accessories
  • Lacks recalibrating speakers
  • Design feels dated
  • No support for Magic Keyboard/2nd Gen Apple Pencil
  • The same design – which is looking dated now
  • No touch-to-wake screen
  • Rear camera hasn’t been upgraded
  • Still uses Lightning connector

Specs – 2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi 64GB)

  • Item: 2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi 64GB)
  • OS: iPadOS 15
  • CPU: A13 Bionic
  • Storage: 64GB, 256GB
  • Display: 10.2-inch (2160 x 1620 pixels) Liquid Retina
  • Rear camera: 8MP wide (f/2.4)
  • Video: Up to 1080p at up to 30 fps
  • Front camera: 12MP Ultra Wide (f/2.4)
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi 6, optional 4G LTE
  • Battery: 32.4 watt-hour
  • Battery life: 11:59 (tested)
  • Size: 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29 inches
  • Weight: 1.07 lbs (Wi-Fi), 1.09 lbs (Wi-Fi + Cellular) 
  • Price: $329

2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi 64GB) Price

The Apple iPad 2021 is available for purchase via Apple’s website, in your local Apple store and at third-party retailers. Like the previous model, the iPad 2021’s price starts at $329 for the Wi-Fi model and $459 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular version, though anyone working in education can get a discount that brings the starting price for the Wi-Fi model down to $299.

The Apple iPad 10.2 (2021) will go on sale on September 24. It’s available for pre-order now, and we expect to see other retailers offering it soon.

The Apple iPad 10.2 (2021) price starts at $329 / £319 / AU$499 for the Wi-Fi only model with 64GB of storage, while for 256GB of storage the price goes up to $479 / £459 / AU$729.

If you want LTE connectivity as well, so that you can connect to the internet when there’s no Wi-Fi to hand, the 64GB model is $459 / £439 /  AU$699 and the 256GB model costs $609 / £579 / AU$929 .

For comparison, the cheapest iPad 10.2 (2020) was priced at $329 / £329 / AU$499 when it launched in September 2020, but it only came with 32GB of storage. The iPad 10.2 (2021) is £10 cheaper in the UK than the iPad 10.2 (2020) was at launch, while it’s the same price in the US and Australia. 

Apple has doubled the storage capacity of the iPad compared to previous generations, bumping the entry-level $329 model up from 32 to 64 GB and the $479 upgraded storage model up from 128 to 256 GB. If you splurge for the iPad with cellular connectivity and the upgraded storage, you’re looking at a $609 price tag. 

2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi 64GB) vs Apple iPad Air 10.9-inch

Apple iPad 10.2 inch (9th Generation)Apple iPad mini (6th Generation)Apple iPad Air – 10.9-inch (4th Generation)
Display10.2 inch Retina display with True Tone8.3 inch Liquid Retina display10.9 inch Retina display
Secure authenticationTouchIDTouch IDTouch ID
ChipA13 Bionic chip with Neural EngineA15 Bionic chip with Neural EngineA14 Bionic chip with Neural Engine
Camera8MP photos12MP photos12MP photos
Video1080p HD video recording4K video recording4K video recording
Apple Pencil CompatibilityApple Pencil (1st generation)Apple Pencil (2nd generation)Apple Pencil (2nd generation)
Smart Keyboard CompatibilityCompatible with Smart Keyboards and Bluetooth keyboardsCompatible with Smart Keyboard Folio and Bluetooth keyboardsCompatible with Smart Keyboard Folio, Magic Keyboard and Bluetooth keyboards
ConnectorLightning connectorUSB-C connectorUSB-C connector

2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi 64GB) review

Design

It still sports the same machined aluminum chassis, and comes in the same two familiar colors: silver and Space Gray. 2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi 64GB) has flat edges, rounded corners, and thin bezels of siblings like the iPad mini 6 or the iPad Pro 2021 (12.9-inch).  iPad is still a thin, light tablet, weighing just over a pound and measuring 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29 inches.

Light weight

Weighing in at 187g, the Wi-Fi-only model is 3g lighter than last year’s iPad 10.2, while the Wi-Fi + LTE version 3g heavier than its predecessor at 498g. It comes in just two colors: silver and gray.

Buttons & Ports

Along the right edge you’ll find the volume buttons and the SIM card slot on cellular models, while the power/wake button sits at right side of the top edge. On the far left of that top edge you’ll find a headphone jack, making the iPad 2021 the only iPad model which supports wired headphones. 

When held in the portrait orientation, the Home button is still prominently featured in the center of the bottom bezel, with a TouchID sensor built in so you can unlock the device with a fingerprint. 

USB-C Connector

This is also now the only iPad to still rely on a Lighting port for charging, rather than USB-C. As nice as the upgrade to Lightning was from Apple’s old 30-pin proprietary connector, it’s starting to feel silly to have to dig out a Lightning cable to charge the iPad instead of grabbing a ubiquitous USB-C cable.

Display

The 10.2-inch screen gets the True Tone technology found on every other iPad in the range, which automatically adjusts the colors and brightness to suit the ambient light to ensure the display is clear and easy to see, no matter where you’re using the iPad. 

Brightness

Look down at the iPad 2021 and you’ll find yourself staring into a 10.2-inch, 2,160 x 1,620-pixel panel that’s quite similar to the screen in last year’s model. It’s still rated for up to 500 nits of brightness, but this year the iPad’s panel has gained support for Apple’s True Tone tech, which automatically adjusts the screen’s white balance in response to ambient light.

Refresh rate

The refresh rate remains 60Hz, where the latest iPad Pro has been upgraded to a 120Hz display, which means the on-screen image refreshes faster for a smoother look and feel. However, if you’re after an affordable iPad, or you don’t spend hours scrolling through social media feeds, it’s not a feature you’re likely to miss. 

Camera in 2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi 64GB)

The really exciting camera news about the iPad 2021 is the fact that Apple’s upgraded the front-facing camera from the measly 1.2 MP sensor on last year’s model to an excellent new 12 MP TrueDepth ultrawide camera with support for Apple’s new(ish) Center Stage feature.

The Apple iPad 2021 has the same 8 MP rear camera as its predecessor, and it does a similarly solid job of capturing details and color. It works well enough to capture good photos both indoors and out, though if you own a recent iPhone or premium Android smartphone, it probably takes better photos.

Face ID

While the design looks slightly dated compared to the rest of the iPad lineup, it still feels like a sturdy bit of kit, which considering the price point is no mean feat. There’s no Face ID either, so you’re reliant on Touch ID, and we found the fingerprint scanner was quick to register our fingerprint and unlock the tablet. 

Center Stage

The iPad 10.2 also benefits from Center Stage, a feature that was introduced on the iPad Pro (2021), and which pans and zooms the camera automatically to ensure that you’re always in the center of the frame during video calls. It’s similar to a feature found on the Amazon Echo Show 10, and we were impressed at how well it works and the smoothness of the camera movements.

On the rear of the new iPad 10.2, Apple has retained the 8MP rear shooter with f/2.4 aperture, which makes sense as the rear camera is never going to be the big draw for a tablet.

A13 bionic chip

The Apple iPad 2021 has an A13 Bionic chip under the hood, the same chip that drives the iPhone 11 family of devices. It’s an improvement over the A12 Bionic in last year’s iPad, and what it means is that you should notice almost no lag when playing the latest games, noodling around in apps, or editing photos.

iPadOS 15

The facility to use two apps at the same time, and manually control how much of the screen each takes up, was introduced in iPadOS 14, but the feature is now easier to use thanks to the new Multitasking menu that appears at the top of any app.

Other features include the ability to move widgets around the screen – previously these were locked to a panel on the left-hand side of the home screen – and improvements to the Notes app. 

Audio

They get surprisingly loud, too, though to my ears the sound quality gets very tinny when you crank the volume up. The speakers along the bottom edge of the iPad 2021 sound good enough that I didn’t mind watching movies or playing games without good headphones.

Smart Keyboard

The iPad 10.2 will also work with Apple’s Smart Keyboard, enabling you to use it more like a laptop, and while the accessory lacks the clickable keys and the trackpad found on the Magic Keyboard, if you want an easier typing experience it more than does the job. 

Does 2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi 64GB) work with Apple Pencil 1st?

The 1st Gen Apple Pencil is more comfortable to use, and having one turns the iPad into a pretty decent digital canvas for doodling and painting. There are a bunch of intriguing iPadOS features that take advantage of the Apple Pencil too, including Scribble, which lets you write into any text field and see it converted into text right there on the page. It’s a small but neat feature that works in apps like Safari, Gmail, and Slack, making communicating across the Internet feel a bit more tactile. 

Battery life

Apple advertises the iPad 2021 as lasting up to 10 hours of use (surfing the web or watching video) on a full battery, or up to 9 hours if you’re on a cellular connection. But as is often the case, the company is commendably conservative in their battery life promises: in our tablet battery test, which tasks the slate with endlessly surfing the web over Wi-Fi with its display set to a brightness of 150 nits, the new iPad 2021 lasted a good 11 hours and 59 minutes. 

Is 64GB good for an iPad?

If you’re buying hundreds of iPads for education or enterprise and only need them to access B2B apps and web portals, this may be the iPad for you and your legions. The iPad Air is also a great starting iPad, considering that it has Pro-level features, and a nice middle-ground price. The iPad mini is great for those who don’t need a lot of space and want a small form factor.

  • If you hardly ever shoot or store photos and video on your iPad, you should be good with 64GB.
  • If you plan to edit and store photos or videos — especially 4K video — consider one of the larger storage sizes, like 512GB or 1TB.

Streaming services like Apple Music, Netflix, Amazon, HBO, and Spotify also offer local offline storage options for traveling, while cloud services also offer offline storage space if you have personal movies or music you want to enjoy.

  • If you do a lot of streaming and very little offline watching, 32GB to 64GB is acceptable.
  • If you want to be able to save a few movies and shows without having to delete other items on your iPad, 128GB is good enough.
  • Want to store a bunch of content offline? 256GB or 512GB is the size you want.
  • Building AR games from scratch or editing movies and don’t want to store anything in the cloud? The 1TB model makes more sense.

Apps

  • If you don’t have a ton of apps or games on your iPad, 32GB or 64GB can work.
  • If you have a fair number of apps and games, consider 128GB or 256GB.
  • If you plan to do any graphics-heavy design work, get a 512GB or 1TB model.

2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi 64GB) Performance review

When we put this tablet to the test using the Geekbench 5 multi-core CPU benchmark, which measures CPU performance, the iPad 2021 and its A13 Bionic chip earned a score of 3,387. 

I happily spent way too much time playing games like Asphalt 9, Genshin Impact, and World Flipper, with no noticeable slowdown or missed inputs. Editing and retouching photos in Darkroom feels nice and snappy on the iPad 2021, as does the process of quickly swapping back and forth between apps.

That’s a good score, and a notable improvement over the 2,685 its predecessor earned in the same test. It’s also better than competitors like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 (3,074), though even the iPad 2021 can’t quite match the performance of the A14 Bionic-powered iPad Air 2020 (4,262) or the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (4,878), with its 10th Gen Intel CPUs. Of course, the Surface Pro is more expensive than the iPad 2021, even after you factor in the cost of optional Apple accessories like the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil. 

Accessories

Accessory-wise, the iPad 2021 is, like its predecessor, compatible with Apple’s $159 Smart Keyboard and the $99 1st Gen Apple Pencil and not the company’s more-recent accessories. They’re decent add-ons, but it would have been nice to see Apple find a way to make the iPad compatible with its improved Magic Keyboard and/or the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil.

Our testing unit is a Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad 2021 with 256 GB of storage, which we used with a Magic Keyboard and 1st Gen Apple Pencil. To buy it all directly from Apple, you’d spend about $867 plus taxes and fees.

Should you buy then 512GB?

Let’s be frank: unless you plan to use an iPad Pro as a stuffed-full content portfolio or daily audiovisual work machine, it’s going to be mighty difficult to stuff it full of 512GB of content. It’s possible — but highly unlikely. Between that prospect and the 512GB’s starting $1099 price tag, we can’t recommend it to anyone but the heavy duty user; 256GB will be more than enough for most pros (especially if combined with cloud storage) at a far more reasonable price.

But as with the 32GB model, there are those few who need 512GB. For you, Apple offers this highest end of high-end iPads. Go forth and use it to its maximum potential.

Alternate of 2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi 64GB)

iPad Pro (2021)


  • Display: 11-inch Retina or 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display 
  • Biometrics: Face ID
  • Colors: Silver, space gray 
  • Weight: 11-inch: 1.03 pounds 12.9-inch: 1.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 11-inch: 9.74 x 7.02 x 0.23 inches, 12.9-inches: 11.04 x 8.46 x 0.25-inches
  • Processor: Apple Silicon M1 
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB or 2TB
  • Cameras: 12MP rear, 10MP ultra wide, 4K video. 12MP FaceTime ultra wide camera
  • Connections: Thunderbolt/USB 4 port 
  • Battery life: 10 hours

The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799 for the Wi-Fi model and $999 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $1,099 for the Wi-Fi model and $1,299 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

We spent some time with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and found it to be faster and more capable than any other iPad model we’ve tested to date. Another highlight of the larger iPad Pro is its Mini LED display that Apple calls Liquid Retina XDR, which is brighter and offer more color contrast. 

Apple’s 2021 iPad Pro lineup, unveiled in March, is by far the most capable and impressive iPad lineup we’ve seen. It’s also the most expensive, by a long shot. The design hasn’t changed all that much on the outside, but on the inside you’ll find Apple’s M1 processor. Yes, that’s the same exact processor that Apple is currently using in many of its Mac computers. 

The Thunderbolt 4 port enables faster syncing between the iPad and external storage devices, as well as more reliable connections to external monitors (hopefully in the future that means true external monitor support). 

The iPad Pro, combined with iPadOS, is as close as you can get to a laptop without actually buying a laptop. 

The Pro also supports the second-generation Apple Pencil, with a magnetic spot on the side to charge it. The Smart Connector is on the back of the iPad Pro, giving you the option to use it with the Magic Keyboard that includes backlit keys and trackpad, or Apple’s Smart Keyboard.

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