Updated for new iPad models: Which iPad is Best for You (Update 2022)
If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your iPad for the first time in several years, you may find that you have more options than you did the last time you bought one. The latest Pro models vary in size, and are added to the current 8th generation iPad, 5th generation iPad Mini, and 4th generation iPad Air.
As shown in the summary table below, current-generation iPad models can vary widely in price, processing power, accessory support, storage, and cellular options…
|Model||IPAD||ipad mini||iPad Air||iPad Pro 11 “||iPad Pro 12.9″|
|display size||10.2 inches||7.9 inches||10.9 inches||11 inches||12.9 inches|
|Healer||A 12||A 12||A 14||m 1||m 1|
|Minimum / Maximum Storage||32 GB / 128 GB||64 GB / 256 GB||64 GB / 256 GB||128 GB / 2 TB||128 GB / 2 TB|
|keyboard||smart keyboard||not available||Magic and
|pencil||first generation||first generation||second generation||second generation||second generation|
|cellular option||4G||4G||4G||5G network||5G network|
Choosing the right iPad for you isn’t as simple as it sounds, but this guide will help you figure out what you need by answering a few simple questions.
Should you get an 8th generation iPad?
As recommended in our guide to the best tablets, if you just want a great tablet and don’t have specific requirements, you won’t miss out on anything about a basic and affordable iPad. With an A12 Bionic chip and 3GB of RAM, your iPad can run iPadOS 14 and any app or game on the App Store with ease. With a resolution of 2160 x 1620, the 10.2-inch display has the same 264 pixels per inch as the most expensive models, and it also supports the first generation Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard.
The iPad starts at $329 for the Wi-Fi-only version with 32 GB of storage, and an additional $100 increases your storage to 128 GB.
Side note: black vs white edges
The basic iPad and iPad Mini are available in three colors: grey, silver, and gold. Only the Space Gray version comes with black placements. In well-lit environments, white edges stand out against any type of content but the brightest, and can be quite distracting when viewing dark content.
On the other hand, the black edges will show fingerprints more easily, which is a given once the device is selected. With the slimmer bezels, that’s not a problem, which is probably why all Air and Pro iPads come with black bezels.
Should you get an iPad Mini?
At 8 x 5.3 inches, the iPad Mini is one of the largest devices that most adults can easily hold in one hand. If you plan to use your iPad while standing, this may be the only reasonable option for you.
Regardless of the size, the Mini is a great device for the money: With a resolution of 2048 x 1536, it actually has the highest pixel density of all iPads (326 pixels per inch). The 7.9-inch display has all the features that basic iPads don’t have: it’s fully laminated, it has anti-reflective coating and a wide color gamut, and it uses True Tone technology to automatically adjust its brightness and color temperature.
The Mini has a 7MP front camera, compared to the iPad’s 1.2MP primary camera. It has the same A12 chip and 3 GB of RAM. It does not support Smart Keyboard, but it does support the first generation of Pencil. At $399 and $549 respectively, it has the cheapest iPad versions with 64GB and 256GB storage. It’s also the cheapest iPad that simultaneously supports Bluetooth 5.0 and dual-band Wi-Fi.
Should you get an iPad Air?
The fourth generation iPad Air is the true successor to the iPad Air 2 as one of the best tablets for media consumption, with its all-screen design and 10.9-inch screen (with rounded corners). With the A14 Bionic chip and 4GB of RAM, it will likely remain relevant for many years.
For those who also want to use Air for work, it’s compatible with both the Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio, as well as the second generation Pencil. It even has a USB-C connector.
Air is the iPad with the most color options. Another reason to get it is if you prefer Touch ID (built into the power button) over the Pro’s FaceID. Air starts at $599 for the 64GB version with Wi-Fi only.
Should you get an 11-inch iPad Pro?
The latest 11″ Pro is the best iPad for many types of professionals. If you’re a graphic artist, drawing on a 120Hz screen will be a different experience. If you’re an interior designer who wants to show your clients what their kitchen or office will look like, LiDAR is a must.
With the M1 chip, the iPad Pro received more horsepower than you’ll likely need, and the USB-C connector supports USB4 / Thunderbolt speeds. The Wi-Fi + Cellular version also supports 5G.
The bezels on the iPad Pro are thinner than those on the Air, and they are compatible with the same accessories. You also get a 12MP front camera and four speakers.
The 11-inch version starts at $799 for the Wi-Fi-only version with 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. For $899, you can increase the storage capacity to 256GB, and for $1,099 you get 512GB of storage and 16GB of RAM. If you want 1TB or 2TB storage, you’ll need to pay $1,499 or $1,899 respectively, which seems downright silly.
Should you get a 12.9-inch iPad Pro?
If you’re a video editor working on the go, the 12.9-inch Pro might be the device of your dreams. The Mini-LED display has a brightness of 1600 nits (1000 for the entire screen), its only competitors are the most expensive laptops.
It’s also a great backup camera, with optical zoom, extended dynamic range (up to 30fps), audio zoom, and stereo recording. Of course, it has all the advantages of an 11″ Pro except for its portability.
How about the price? Take the prices of the 11″ Pro and add $300 each. It’s $1,099 for the cheapest, Wi-Fi only, 128GB version. The cheapest version with 16GB of RAM is $1,399, and the 2TB version is $2199, or $2,399 with a phone option cellular.
Should you get a Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad?
Adding 4G to your iPad, iPad Mini, or iPad Air will cost you $130 regardless of whether you use this option. Adding 5G connectivity to the iPad Pro will make it $200 more expensive. Sure, you can turn your smartphone into a hotspot, but doing so will drain the batteries of both devices.
The more expensive your iPad, the more painful it is to replace it due to the lack of cellular connectivity. If you’re going to buy a Pro model with 1 TB or more of storage, those two hundred dollars won’t be a problem for you.