Last Updated on September 13, 2023 by Ernests Embutnieks
My readers know that I love iPads and I often suggest buying refurbished iPads to get better deals and save some money.
Just FYI: I love iPad 9th gen, and I think it’s a good tablet despite what conclusion you might have drawn from the title. But I’m afraid there’s a problem I’ve noticed in the last couple of weeks that I want to address.
Yes, you guessed it right. It’s the battery is has started to drain faster.
I noticed that my iPad battery has started to tank big time. When I started using iPad 9th gen, I remember I could get around 8-9 hours of use time. Now it has tanked to 4-5 hours tops. Still, we can’t check the iPad battery health. That feature is still exclusive only to iPhones, but I figured it might have to do with the latest iOS 17. New iOS, apps require more processing power, which makes the iPad 9th gen sweat more hence the battery drain.
Just to clarify, I wasn’t anticipating the iPad 9 to match this incredible battery life, but I had hoped it would maintain its ‘all-day’ promise. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been my experience. Over time, I’ve noticed the iPad battery draining faster, to the point where I need to charge it in the early evening. And just to address any thoughts about beta testing, this battery decline began even before I installed the iOS 17 beta.
I can no longer go through entire day without charging my iPad 9.
|CPU||Apple A13 Bionic With Neural Engine|
|Storage||64 GB / 128 GB|
|Display||Retina IPS LCD 10.2 inches (1620×2160) ~265 ppi|
|Camera||8 MP rear-facing camera, 12 MP front-facing ultrawide camera|
|Wireless||WiFi / GPS / Bluetooth 4.2 / Cellular|
|Size||9.87 x 6.85 x 0.30|
What’s In The Box?
- iPad (9th Generation)
- Lightning to USB-C Cable
- 20W USB-C Power Adapter (Thank God!)
Pros & Cons Of iPad 9th Gen
Here’s a quick list of the pros and cons that the iPad 9th Gen that you should know:
- Pricing: The iPad 9th Gen is the cheapest iPad from Apple this year. But, it still provides great value for money, especially in the $300-$400 price range.
- Great Video Calls: The updated front camera takes the iPad 9th Gen, to the next level, especially with Center Stage. So, if you are a sucker for online meetings, the iPad is a great purchase.
- Has All The Essentials: The iPad 9th Gen has everything that makes the iPad the iPad. long-term software support, no lag or hitches, Apple Pencil support, and the ability to use a Smart Keyboard if needed.
- Dated Design: The iPad 9th Gen almost looks like the first iPad. There has been no improvement in design for a few generations now, and it shows. The bezels are quite thick, and it lacks the oomph you’d expect from a new tablet.
- Battery Life: The battery has started to degrade quite a bit. It used to last up to 9 hours now I can get 5-6 hours after 2 years of usage.
Features Of iPad 9th Gen
Here’s a quick look at all the features of the iPad 9th Gen:
The iPad has an IPS panel that gets to about 500 nits of brightness with a reasonable resolution of 2160×1620. The viewing angles are fine, and the colors have that unique Apple contrast, which makes them pop. You can’t use this iPad under direct sunlight due to the low brightness. However, I could easily use it indoors and also outside, given that the sun wasn’t directly gleaming at me.
While the 10.2” display is great, the bezels on either side really aren’t. The design looks dated especially from the front side, and there’s no real way for me to justify the design given that budget tablets from Lenovo have a much more modern aesthetic that’s more akin to the iPad Air than the iPad at the same price point, mind you.
The display also has TrueTone this time around. This adjusts the color of your display to match your surroundings giving you accurate color reproduction.
Keyboard / Touchpad
Apple’s first-party solution, the Apple Smart Keyboard is sold separately for about 150$. Let’s get some of the drawbacks out of the way, this keyboard is not backlit unlike the Magic Keyboard. Moreover, the keyboard does not offer full body protection. So, while the front is protected, the back is seemingly naked. So, I recommend wrapping your iPad if you are going to be using it.
You can stand the iPad on many angles with the newer Smart Keyboard, A complaint many had with the previous generation was that it would fall down due to the weight of the iPad. That isn’t the case here. The keys are covered by a nylon fabric which gives it an interesting feeling.
If you have been used to a Macbook keyboard, the iPad’s keyboard will feel right at home. You can also opt for keyboards with a touchpad such as the ones from Logitech for the iPad 9th Generation. But, from my experience, first-party solutions work better. But if you really need a touchpad, go for it.
Stylus (Apple Pencil 1)
Contrary to popular belief, there’s nothing wrong with the Apple Pencil Gen 1. Our only qualm with the stylus is the fact that you need to plug it into your iPad using the lightning connector in order to charge it. Granted that a singular charge takes only a few minutes, it still looks really odd.
Moreover, not every case, especially bumper cases, let the Apple Pencil be charged without you removing the case. This can turn into an extraneous hassle as well. In terms of drawing, note taking, and the general experience with using the stylus for the iPad, it is fantastic.
The previous iPad came with an A12 processor, this iPad bumps it up to the A13. Honestly speaking, you will not notice much of a performance increase.
When it comes to gaming performance, you will notice slightly better frame rates, compared to previous iPad. But since the iPad is locked at 60 Hz anyway, going higher doesn’t really make a difference. So, for the average Joe, who this iPad is intended for, they won’t even be able to notice the difference between the previous iPad’s performance and this one.
Is that something Apple should work on? Well, I don’t think so. The iPad stands in the budget category of tablets. It doesn’t need to be editing videos on the go like the iPad Pro. So, if it is able to go through daily tasks such as editing documents, playing videos, and taking notes without a hiccup, that’s fine enough.
Let’s get to the star of the show first, the iPad 9th Gen comes with a selfie camera. The front facing camera’s resolution has been improved with an ultra-wide angle lens that lets you use Center Stage.
As soon as you open the front camera on Facetime, you’ll immediately notice your face being at the well, dead center of the viewfinder. And, as you move around, the camera will pan, zoom in, and zoom out according to your location.
This isn’t the camera actually physically moving. Instead, its a neat little software trick that takes advantage of the 122-degree field of vision, which lets the camera crop and move to always keep you in the center. It is absolutely fantastic for video calls and even works decently well in low light conditions.
My biggest issue with the camera on the iPad? The rear-facing camera. It has remained the same from the previous generation. It has no LED flash, and generates noise even at the slightest of challenging conditions.
The iPad 9th Gen has the exact same battery life as the previous generation. I was able to get about 8-9 hours of screen time out of the tablet. In the first months, but after 2 years it has degraded, the apps have become more demanding and the battery can hold around 5-6 hours now.
Who Is The iPad 9th Gen For?
The iPad 9th Gen is a culmination of everything that makes the iPad great. Therefore, its meant as a great beginner device for a child, an excellent media consumption tablet for an adult, and a wonderful companion for a student who takes notes.
It also doubles down as a professional tool for artists and visualizers while also remaining light on the pockets. So, while it is indeed very boring, it does get the job done. And, rather eloquently, if I might add.
iPad 9th Gen vs iPad 8th Gen
- Storage: The iPad 8th Gen came with 32 GB and 128 GB as standard options, whereas the iPad 9th Gen bumps it up to 64 GB and 128 GB.
- Display: While the resolution between the two remains the same, the newer generations support the sRGB color space while also adding in support for True Tone.
- Processor: The previous generation ran the A12 Bionic while the newer iPad 9th Gen runs the 20% faster A13 Bionic, both having a Neural Engine.
- Camera: The iPad 9th Gen has a 12 MP ultra-wide front-facing camera with support for CenterStage, while the 8th Gen had a 1.2 MP front-facing camera. A huuuge difference!
If you have an iPad 8th Generation and don’t care for the newer camera, an upgrade doesn’t make sense. However, if you are choosing between the two, considering the minor price difference, the iPad 9th Gen is a better deal as its newer processor guarantees longer software support. Plus, the camera goes a long way in video calls and meetings.
iPad 9th Gen Alternatives
iPad is great. No doubt. Let’s take a look at some of the alternatives.
iPad 9th Gen vs Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
Full Article: Compare iPad 9th gen vs Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
- SD Card Slot: You can insert an micro-SD card into the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 while the iPad lacks the feature.
- Battery Life: The iPad outlasts the A8 by about 1-2 hours. While this may not seem like much, the iPad is also much more powerful.
- Processor: The iPad is able to handle more tasks than the Samsung; the A13 Bionic really helps it run circles over the Octa-core A8. So, if you want to be
- Cameras: Both the rear cameras are quite similar in terms of their performance. But the front camera on the iPad is so much better. You get access to Center Stage and also have a better microphone array which leads to crisper video calls.
- Speakers: We only have bottom-firing speakers on the iPad, while the A8 provides us with Dolby Atmos and four speakers providing for fuller sound.
In my opinion, the iPad 9th Gen is better than the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8. This is because it has a better battery life, is faster due to its chip, and also has a cellular version that lets you use the tablet on the go alongside great Apple Pencil support.
iPad 9th Gen vs Microsoft Surface Go 3
- OS: The Windows Surface Go 3 acts as a complete Windows PC. You can use it to install any supported Windows Programs and can do whatever you want to just like your desktop PC. On the other hand, the iPad runs iPadOS. It has made strides, but it is still iOS in disguise.
- Performance: The Intel Pentium and the i3 are both much faster than the Apple A13. While we don’t really notice any lag due to Apple using their own proprietary software, it still is worth noting.
- Battery Life: Being a Windows laptop, in essence, the Surface doesn’t have an amazing battery. It caps in at 7 hours, while the iPad lasts a respectable 9-10 hours.
- Design: The Surface Pro 3 looks futuristic, has a kickstand that ensures your tablet is able to hold its ground, and generally has thinner bezels. Whereas the iPad still rocks a dated design that can feel like an eyesore quickly.
The Microsoft Surface Go 3 beats the iPad if you don’t have a desktop PC / laptop since it is a combination of both. However, if you already have a PC, the iPad easily beats the Surface Go 3 because of its better battery life, more touch-friendly operating system, and integration with the Apple ecosystem.
Exploring Additional Features Of The iPad 9th Gen
|Does the iPad 9th Gen (2nd Gen) have facial recognition?||√|
|Does the iPad 9th Gen (2nd Gen) have wireless charging?||√|
|Does the iPad 9th Gen (2nd Gen) have a headphone jack?||√|
|Does the iPad 9th Gen (2nd Gen) have a SIM card slot?||√|
|Does the iPad 9th Gen (2nd Gen) have GPS?||√|
|Does the iPad 9th Gen (2nd Gen) have 5G?||√|
Is iPad 9 Suddenly The Bad Guy?
I have said some great things about iPad 9 over the years and I don’t regret that. It remains an awesome purchase. For anyone who wants a budget iPad.
All batteries perform worse, gradually, over time and it’s just natural that my iPad 9 has a significant battery drop, iPads don’t last forever. For some people, 5-6 hours of battery life is still more than enough.
It’s a capable device that’s priced reasonably. And, given that there’s not a lot of competition from Android’s end for a budget tablet, I can recommend this device to anyone who’s in the market for a cheap, functional tablet. That isn’t afraid to charge the tablet a bit more often than others.