Which iPad is the best?
The Apple iPad is one of the most popular tablets in the world. What draws people to the iPad is its simplicity and easy-to-use interface. An iPad allows you to do everything you usually do online — from shopping to browsing and streaming videos — on with a few swipes of your fingers. There are thousands of apps you can download, with new options entering the App Store every day.
Recent upgrades to the iPad Pro have seen it turn into a laptop/tablet hybrid thanks to its hardware and upgraded CPU chip. Whether you want it for streaming Netflix or finishing college notes, the iPad has something to offer most everyone.
What to know before you buy an iPad
There are different sizes and styles of iPads available for you to choose from. You want to make sure that you choose one that works for your lifestyle and meets your needs. There are four main types of iPads for you to choose from.
This miniature iPad has a 7.9-inch screen and is the smallest option available in the iPad lineup. It’s smaller than the other iPad offerings and does not have the top-of-the-line internal hardware you get with larger models. It’s still an ideal choice for casual use, light gaming or for welcoming children into the world of digital devices.
The original iPad has a 9.7-inch screen and is arguably the most popular model as it balances performance and price. It’s fast enough to work for most people and supports the current version of Apple Pencil.
The iPad Air is the bridge between the standard iPad and the iPad Pro. It’s got a little of everything, with a larger 10.5-inch screen and an A12 Bionic chip for faster processing — all while weighing 1 pound. It’s a better-than-average iPad but not as powerful as the Pro.
The supersize version of the iPad is available in three different sizes, all bigger than the original — with 10.5-, 11.0- and 12.9-inch options. The iPad Pro acts as a hybrid between a tablet and a computer with a powerful CPU and a stunning display.
Features to look for in an iPad
Apple has its own proprietary CPU line. The iPad is currently using the A12 chip; the iPad Air uses the A14; and the iPad Pro uses the newest and highest-performance M1 chip — right from Apple.
Every iPad model comes with multiple cameras, allowing you to take photos and accept video calls. The camera quality varies across the different models. You’ll get an 8-megapixel camera with the iPad mini, while the iPad Pro has a 12MP camera for a professional-quality image.
Apple Pencil compatibility
When the Apple Pencil was released, it was a game changer for iPads. You can use the Apple Pencil as a traditional stylus but with extra functionality, allowing you to change the pen styles with just a tap.
How much you can expect to spend on an iPad
An iPad is an investment. You can also expect to pay a premium for the fact that you’re buying it from Apple, meaning it’ll cost you more than a comparable tablet by another brand. You can expect to pay anywhere from $400-$1,900 for your iPad. The starting price ranges from $400-$650 for a standard iPad or iPad mini. Mid-range iPads are valued between $650-$1,100 – with most standard iPads falling into this price category. The most expensive iPads are the Pro range that are priced between $1,100-$1,900.
Best iPad FAQ
Which iPad is suitable for children?
A. Although there isn’t officially a children’s version of the iPad, all the models are a popular choice for kids. If you’re planning on buying an iPad for your child, we recommend buying a smaller model – like an iPad mini – so that it can fit into their hands easier. You’ll also want to make sure to add parental control to the iPad.
Do iPads have headphones jacks?
A. Older iPad models that you can buy second-hand may have a headphone jack, but the newer models do not. Apply has been migrating away from headphone jacks and switching out to a mixture of Lightning and USB-C ports for their iPads. You’ll want to put up a pair of Bluetooth headphones or a type that will work with the socket in your iPad.
What is the best iPad to buy?
What you need to know: The tablet that every diehard iPad fan has been waiting for. You’ll pay a larger price tag for this larger screen option.
What you’ll love: It includes a new FaceID sign-in option with a liquid retina display that makes the screen appear even larger. It has a flawless performance and works with the 2nd generation Apple Pencil.
What you should consider: While this iPad has improved performance, third-party apps like Excel can still be buggy.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top iPad for the money
What you need to know: You get almost double the performance of last year’s 10.5-inch iPad due to its powerful processor, making it one of the most popular tablets on the market.
What you’ll love: The AI2Z chip performs well, giving you a sharp and detailed screen. It charges quickly and works with the 2nd Generation Apple Pencil.
What you should consider: The screen is as vulnerable as previous models, meaning you want to be careful not to drop it.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you want an improved version of the iPad without paying the premium price for an iPad Pro, this is worth considering.
What you’ll love: It has a slimmer design and comes with three color options, while the iSight camera takes high-quality photos.
What you should consider: It’s more expensive than the original iPad Air, but it’s worth considering if you want to upgrade to a new model.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
David Heiling writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.