Apple offers six iPads.  Here's how to choose the right one for you

Apple offers six iPads. Here’s how to choose the right one for you

Earlier this week, Apple introduces a redesigned iPad and updates to iPad Pros. They will likely help the company boost sales during the ever-important holiday shopping season. But that also means that the company now sells six different iPads, and you might find it a bit difficult to decide which one is best for you or a loved one.

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
  • The iPad Air
  • The regular iPad redesigned
  • The iPadmini
  • Or last year’s regular iPad

It might seem like a daunting list, so here’s a guide to help you figure out which iPad best suits your needs, ranked in order from cheapest iPad to most expensive model.

iPad: you just need a tablet

Apple iPad

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 great all-day battery life and is perfect for basic tablet needs like movie streaming, reading, reading emails, web browsing, social media scrolling, and FaceTiming.

It’s the cheapest, but it doesn’t look like it. This is the iPad I currently use. It’s the right choice for you if you want to save some money and not do complex tasks like video editing. There are, however, a few drawbacks.

The screen and cameras aren’t as good as 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 that supports 5G cellular networks, so you’re stuck on slower networks if you choose that model. This is the “I just need a tablet” tablet.

iPad 2022: You just need a tablet, but you want new features

Choose this iPad if you need a great tablet and can spend a bit more for the latest entry-level version available. It’s currently available to order online and will be in stores on October 26.

The new entry-level iPad (10th generation) has had a major redesign and starts at $449, a bit more expensive than 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 need to press and hold this button to unlock it.

Another big change is the position of the front camera. It’s now on the long side of the tablet, instead of the short side, which should help you look more camera-focused during video chats. It’s also available 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 cameras. And, if you need it, you can also buy a 5G cellular version.

But here’s a downside you should be aware of: the new iPad only works with the old Apple Pencil. And it only charges and pairs via the old Lightning port. So you have to buy a $9 dongle if you want to charge this pencil with the new iPad. It’s silly that Apple hasn’t added support for the new second-generation Apple Pencil, which charges and pairs via magnets on the side of other iPads.

It doesn’t hurt, it’s also available in 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.

It’s a great iPad for kids considering it has a smaller 8.3-inch screen and weighs just over half a pound. I’ve even seen doctors use it because it fits perfectly in a white coat pocket.

Like the new iPad, the mini has a 12-megapixel wide camera and an ultra-wide 12-megapixel front camera, which work with Center Stage to keep you in focus during video calls. Apple also sells a 5G cellular 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 entry-level 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. Just stick it on the magnet on the side of the iPad.

iPad Air: the middle of the pack

ipad air

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 over the A14 or A15 chips found in other iPads. It’s a great mid-size iPad for people who might do some video editing and gaming, but don’t need the better displays, cameras, and extra processing speed of the M2 chip found in the Pro models.

The iPad Air has Center Stage, which helps you stay in frame during video calls, meaning you can move back and forth across the room while FaceTime chatting 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 possible in a tablet.

Apple’s new iPad Pro in 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes.

Apple

The new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro are the highest-end iPads available, with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro offering a brighter, more colorful screen 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.

It’s the iPad for serious gamers, video editors, photographers, (generally creative) designers, and anyone who just wants the best iPad money can buy. The larger 12.9-inch iPad screen might make it appealing to people who prefer using a tablet rather than 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 boost over the M1 processor used in last year’s iPad Pro. This could be beneficial for people trying to gain as much speed as possible when rendering videos. There are also other upgrades.

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 12mm above the screen surface. Apple says this will allow artists to draw more accurately and speed up handwriting-to-text conversions. 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 a maximum storage of 2TB, the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro will cost you $2,399.

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