New iPad set to be thinner, lighter and cheaper, and launch in March

New iPad rumoured to be thinner and lighter than ever before
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple will launch a significantly "thinner and lighter" entry-level iPad this year, according to a new report uncovered by 9to5Mac

The Mac Otakara report, written for supply chain insiders, claims the 2021 iPad (9th generation) will sport the same svelte body as the latest-generation iPad Air 3, and that there are "no design changes" planned for the pricier 2021 iPad Pro. 

Apple's next budget iPad has been subject to a number of leaks and is tipped for Touch ID, Lightning ports, an 8MP camera, Apple Pencil support and a 10.2-inch True Tone display with an anti-reflective coating. 

But, today's news puts the spotlight firmly on the design of the device. If Mac Otakara's source is correct, the 2021 iPad will be noticeably thinner (7.5mm vs 6.3mm) and lighter (490g to 460g) than the 8th generation iPad.  

As for the iPad Pro, the same source claims Apple is prepping a refreshed Pro with an upgraded processor but no major design changes. The report doesn't refer to DigiTimes' claim that Apple could "possibly" launch a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a mini LED screen in the first quarter of 2021.

Analysts are predicting that Apple will unveil its full 2021 iPad line-up at an event in late March, but there's been no confirmation thus far. For reference the standard iPad is typically the low-cost, mainstream option ("delightfully affordable", says Apple); the current model debuted at £329 ($329, AU$499).

On the hunt for a new iPad? We've sought out today's best iPad deals, for your perusal. 


Read our in-depth review of the Apple iPad (2020)

Apple's first over-ear headphones rated: AirPods Max 

Everything we know so far about the rumoured AirPods 3

Prefer Android to iOS? Here's the latest on the Samsung Galaxy S21

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test