There’s lots to love about the new iPad, with its more Pro-like design and neat new color options. But that Pencil-to-dongle fiasco? Yeah, not a good look, as we explained in our iPad (2022) review.
Thanks to iFixit, the teardown team that helps you to see whether or not it's a good idea (or even possible) to carry out a DIY gadget fix, we’ve now got our clearest look yet as to why the iPad 10th generation isn’t compatible with the newer Apple Pencil 2, leading to that unfortunate first generation Pencil-to-USB-C-adapter mess.
And, as you might have already guessed, it’s down to a trade off in functionality.
Under the hood
In the new iPad, for the first time, Apple has placed its front-facing FaceTime camera in a landscape orientation. It sits next to the point where, on other iPads, the magnetic wireless charging connection for the Apple Pencil 2 would sit. As the video explains, moving the wireless charging coil further down the tablet’s edge would still leave room for the Pencil 2 to attach without hanging awkwardly over the end of the tablet… but that in turn would affect where the magnet placement would go.
Right now, there’s no obvious solution as to how to fit the Pencil connection and that landscape camera, and it seems Apple believes that the landscape camera’s improved usefulness is worth the trade off against the awkward dongle attachment.
As for the other edge, that isn’t an option for a magnetic connection to the Pencil 2 as it’s where the Smart Connector, used for connecting the Magic Keyboard Folio, lives.
For now then, it’s Pencil gen 1 or go home for one of the best iPads on the market. But at least the general repairability of the iPad, while not easy, is possible – though glued and soldered components still mean it's a task best left to the professionals.
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Gerald Lynch is the Editor-in-Chief of iMore, keeping careful watch over the site's editorial output and commercial campaigns, ensuring iMore delivers the in-depth, accurate and timely Apple content its readership deservedly expects. You'll never see him without his iPad Pro, and he loves gaming sessions with his buddies via Apple Arcade on his iPhone 14 Pro, but don't expect him to play with you at home unless your Apple TV is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system.
Living in London in the UK, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK, and Executive Editor of TechRadar, and has covered international trade shows including Apple's WWDC, MWC, CES and IFA. If it has an acronym and an app, he's probably been there, on the front lines reporting on the latest tech innovations. Gerald is also a contributing tech pundit for BBC Radio and has written for various other publications, including T3 magazine, GamesRadar, Space.com, Real Homes, MacFormat, music bible DIY, Tech Digest, TopTenReviews, Mirror.co.uk, Brandish, Kotaku, Shiny Shiny and Lifehacker. Gerald is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press, and also holds a Guinness world record on Tetris. For real.
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