How to choose the model that suits you
Earlier this week, apple introduced a redesigned iPad and updates to iPad Pros. They are likely to help the company boost sales during the ever-important Christmas shopping season. But it also means that the company now sells six different iPads, and you might find it a bit difficult to choose the one that suits you or a loved one best.
If you’re considering buying a new iPad, that means you have to choose between:
- The new 12.9-inch iPad Pro
- The new 11-inch iPad Pro 11-inch
- iPad Air
- The redesigned regular iPad
- iPad mini
- Or last year’s regular iPad
It can seem like a daunting list, so here’s a guide to help you decide which iPad is best for your needs, listed in order from the cheapest iPad to the most expensive model.
iPad: All you need is a tablet
Source: Apple Inc.
The ninth-generation iPad was introduced in September 2021. It starts at $329 and is the cheapest option in Apple’s current lineup. It has good all-day battery life and is perfect for basic tablet needs like streaming movies, reading, catching up on emails, surfing the web, scrolling through social media and FaceTiming.
It’s the cheapest, but it doesn’t feel like it. This is the iPad I’m currently using. It is the right choice for you if you want to save some money and not perform complex tasks like video editing. However, there are some drawbacks.
The screen and cameras are not as good as some of the other iPads. It has a dated A13 processor, first introduced in 2019, and it only works with the older Apple Pencil. Apple doesn’t sell a model with support for 5G cellular networks, so you’ll be stuck with slower networks if you choose that model. This is the “I just need a tablet” tablet.
2022 iPad: You just need a tablet, but want some newer features
Choose this iPad if you need a great tablet and can spend a little more on the latest entry-level version available. It is currently available to order online and will be in stores on October 26th.
The new entry-level iPad (10th generation) got a major redesign and starts at $449, quite a premium over the $329 iPad.
It has a larger 10.9-inch screen and no longer has the home button. Now the power button on the top of the iPad has Touch ID functionality. So you just press and hold the button to unlock it.
Another big change is the placement of the front camera. It’s now on the long side of the tablet, instead of the short side, which should help you focus more on the camera during video chats. It also comes in new colors including white, yellow, red and blue.
The new iPad is powered by the slightly older A14 Bionic chip, but it offers faster performance and longer battery life compared to the cheaper iPad. It has a sharper front camera and rear camera. And if you need it, you can also buy a 5G mobile version.
But here’s one drawback you should know about: the new iPad only works with the older Apple Pencil. And which only charges and pairs through the old Lightning port. So you have to buy a $9 dongle if you want to charge the Pencil with the new iPad. It’s silly that Apple didn’t add support for the newer second-generation Apple Pencil, which charges and pairs through magnets on the side of other iPads.
It doesn’t hurt that it also comes in some fun colors. Yellow iPad, anyone?
iPad Mini: You need a super portable tablet
Apple iPad Mini 2021
Todd Haselton | CNBC
The sixth-generation iPad mini, which starts at $499, was released in September 2021. If you value portability, this is the choice for you.
This is a great iPad for kids given that it has a smaller 8.3-inch screen and weighs just over half a pound. I’ve even seen doctors use it as it fits perfectly in a white pocket square.
Like the new iPad, the mini has a 12-megapixel wide camera and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide front-facing camera, which work together with Center Stage to keep you in focus during video calls. Apple also sells a 5G mobile version of the iPad mini, which means you can download apps, music and movies if you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection. And it has a faster chip than the new iPad above.
The iPad mini works with the $129 second-generation Apple Pencil, which is more comfortable to use than the dated first-generation. And it is convenient to charge. You just attach it to the magnet on the side of the iPad.
iPad Air: Middle of the pack
Source: Apple Inc.
The latest iPad Air, which starts at $599, debuted in March 2022 with Apple’s M1 chip, which is a big upgrade from the A14 or A15 chips found in the other iPads. It’s a great middle-of-the-road iPad for people who might do video editing and gaming, but don’t need the better screens, cameras, and extra processing speed of the M2 chip found in the Pro models.
iPad Air has Center Stage, which helps you stay in the frame during video calls, meaning you can move back and forth around the room while chatting on FaceTime, and the camera will follow you.
You can buy a 5G cellular version of the iPad mini, which means you can download apps, music and movies faster when you’re away from Wi-Fi networks.
Like iPad Pro and iPad mini, iPad Air works with the 2nd generation Apple Pencil, which is more comfortable to use and charges when attached to magnets on the side of the tablet.
iPad Pro: You need as much power as you can get in a tablet.
Apple’s new iPad Pros in 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes.
The new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros are the best iPads available, with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro offering a brighter and more colorful display than the 11-inch version. The new models, updated with Apple’s M2 processor and more, are currently available to order online and will be in stores on October 26.
This is the iPad for serious gamers, video editors, photographers, designers (creatives in general) and anyone who just wants the best iPad money can buy. The larger screen of the 12.9-inch iPad may make it attractive to people who prefer to use a tablet instead of a laptop.
The M2 chip is the biggest update to the new iPad Pros. It’s the same processor that was introduced in the MacBook Air earlier this year. Apple said the M2 offers about a 15% speed increase over the M1 processor used in last year’s iPad Pro. It can be beneficial for people trying to get as much speed as possible while rendering videos. There are some other upgrades as well.
Both new iPad Pro models support Apple’s new Hover feature. With Hover, the screen can now detect the tip of the Apple Pencil up to 12 mm above the surface of the screen. Apple says this will allow artists to sketch with more precision and make handwriting-to-text conversions faster. The iPad Pro works with the $129 second-generation Apple Pencil.
The 11-inch version starts at $799 with Wi-Fi, while the 5G cellular model starts at $999. The 12.9-inch model starts at $1,099 with Wi-Fi and the 5G cellular version starts at $1,299. If you opt for the maximum storage of 2TB, the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro will set you back $2,399.