iPad 10's USB-C Port Hiding Severe Limitation
As noted in initial reviews of the 10th-generation iPad, the device's USB-C port is much slower than that of all other new iPad models. It is limited to USB 2.0 speeds of up to 480 Mbps for data transfer. This means that despite being equipped with a USB-C port, the 10th-generation iPad has equivalent data transfer speeds to its precedessor, the ninth-generation iPad, with the Lightning connector.
As such, the only practical improvement with the port is its form factor and universality, rather than any performance gains. The drawback is notable given that USB 2.0 speeds with a USB-C port are fairly unusual and the Lightning connector has been widely criticized for its slow transfer speeds.
All other iPad models with USB-C ports have faster data transfer speeds. iPad Pro models with the M1 chip or newer are compatible with Thunderbolt 3 for data transfer speeds up to 40 Gbps, the fifth-generation iPad Air is capable of transfers up to 10 Gbps, and the fourth-generation iPad Air and latest iPad mini reach speeds up to 5 Gbps.
Apple does not mention the slower USB-C port on the new iPad's tech specs page, but MacRumors has independently confirmed that the device is limited to USB 2.0 speeds. This limitation might not matter to most customers in this iPad's target market, but it is still important factor that might steer some customers who rely on faster wired transfers toward the iPad mini or iPad Air. AirDrop is also an option for faster wireless transfers.
The new iPad starts at $449 in the United States, while the iPad mini and iPad Air start at $499 and $599, respectively. Other key new features of the 10th-generation iPad compared to the previous entry-level model include a larger 10.9-inch display with slimmer bezels, flat edges, the A14 Bionic chip, a USB-C port, a Touch ID power button, a landscape-positioned FaceTime camera, 5G support on cellular models, Wi-Fi 6, and support for a new two-piece Magic Keyboard Folio accessory with a row of function keys. The device is available in Blue, Pink, Silver, and Yellow finishes.