Apple's iPad Lineup: Which iPad Version To Buy?
Years ago, an iPad used to be my suggestion to whoever asked me what tablet they should get. But now, the choices are not as simple since Apple has diversified its iPad ranges.
There are four distinct categories of iPads available for purchase, according to Apple's website and a whole slew of the older generation iPads floating around the internet.
I still recommend iPads over their Android counterparts because of Apple's software support. But bear in mind that the Android side also has a few things to offer as well.
That is a conversation for a later date, though. For now, let me breakdown the iPad lineup and hopefully help you decide which iPad is the best fit for you.
The most inexpensive tablet in Apple's arsenal is the iPad. Currently, it is in its 7th iteration. If you buy the latest iPad, it will be a slight upgrade over its predecessor from two years ago.
The latest version of the iPad now supports the first-generation Apple Pencil and an attachable smart keyboard. However, it still packs a chipset from four years ago. The 10.2'' display is nothing to write home about either.
So who should buy this phone? Well, if you are on the market for an inexpensive tablet for a couple of hours of bedtime use, then the iPad is the one for you. There is nothing wrong with the iPad. Even its old chipset is surprisingly smooth and can handle the use pattern of an everyday person.
For $329, the iPad is practically a steal, but the other contenders in this list might appeal to you more.
2. iPad Air
iPad Air is an upgrade from the regular iPad. At first glance, I don't think you will notice the 0.3'' larger screen over the iPad. They do practically look the same, but that is until you turn on the screen.
The iPad's laminated display brings the pixel higher for a better experience with the first generation Apple Pencil. The colors also look a lot better thanks to the True Tone display. It also packs a lot more power under the hood with an A12 Bionic chip.
This one is for the folks who want a smooth and powerful iPad but don't want to burn a hole in their pockets. Unless you run professional-grade graphic intensive apps, this iPad will handle anything that you can throw at it. I do wish that they had included speakers on the top as well.
The iPad Air costs $499 at Apple's website.
3. iPad Mini
The iPad Mini is a smaller iPad with a 7.9'' screen. It is very much like the iPad Air. It has a similar laminated display but with the pixels packed a bit tighter.
The iPad Mini has 326 pixels per inch as compared to 264 pixels per inch in the iPad and iPad Air. This presence of higher pixels translates to a slightly sharper display. But the rest of the display properties are similar to the iPad Air.
Due to its smaller size, it lacks a keyboard case, or as Apple likes to call them Smart Keyboard. Still, you can still pair it to a Bluetooth keyboard, and it also supports the first-generation Apple Pencil.
I'd suggest the iPad Mini for people who like to carry it around everywhere they go. It also packs the same powerful A12 Bionic processer.
Personally, this is the best size for gaming on an iPad because the others are simply too big.
4. iPad Pro
I saved the best for last. The massive 12.9'' and 11'' iPad Pros are the best tablets out there. There is no denying that the Liquid Retina display with ProMotion in iPad Pro is stunning. With the low latency input from the second-generation Apple Pencil, this is the closest you can feel to writing on a paper with a stylus.
I could go on about the incredible A12Z Bionic chip, 8-core graphics processor, great cooling, and everything else, but the thing that the kid in me loves about the iPad Pros are all the magnets. There is a magnet on the side of the iPad Pro that holds and wirelessly charges the Apple Pencil.
And there are also lots of magnets in the back to ensure a sturdy fit with the Magic Keyboard. The bottom line is, this is a very potent device with quite a lot of headroom for the future.
This incredibly capable machine is for the professionals out there who can make the best use of the magical Apple Pencil and need a lot of horsepower on-the-go.
By now, you have a general idea of what kind of iPad best fits your needs. If you are one of those people who do not mind having an older model or a used device, just stay clear of the first-generation iPad Air, any iPad below 4th generation, and any iPad Mini before the 3rd generation.
Anything apart from that, you can buy after proper inspection if you feel that the price is right.