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Which‌ ‌iPad‌ ‌Should I‌ ‌Buy in 2022?

Which iPad should I buy

Which‌ ‌iPad‌ ‌Should I‌ ‌Buy? That’s a question that plagues all Apple enthusiasts. Especially since these products are so expensive and we always want the best. Interestingly, there aren’t that many iPad models on the market. Apple had manufactured 4 base models of its iPads, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. 

Apart from these 4 models currently on sale, there is an increasing number of older used iPads on sites like eBay and though they all look the same, each one will be quite different from the other. Of course, there are much cheaper alternatives as well.

Let me take you through the current line-up of Apple iPads and its amazing features along with the important differences between each of them to help you make your choice on which iPad to buy?

After reviewing all the iPads thoroughly based on design, specs, performance, battery, and price. We zeroed in on the above four models as well. We further put these four through a series of stress tests to determine the best. We found that:

The best iPad to buy is the iPad Air. This iPad is balanced when it comes to performance and price. The M1 chip offers amazing processing power to help you execute multiple tasks with ease. Most importantly, the reasonable price makes it one of the most sought-after iPads.

Check out the latest iPad on Amazon!

Which‌ ‌iPad‌ ‌Should I‌ ‌Buy?

Most of us take the price of these gadgets into consideration before anything else. If you’re looking to pick up something affordable, then the 10.2” Apple iPad would be ideal as it is the cheapest device in the market at the moment. Check out our guide on Which‌ ‌iPad‌ ‌Should I‌ ‌Buy for all the details.

  • If you’re looking for something a bit more compact and portable then the right option will be the iPad Mini and for those looking at a slightly larger iPad with a lot more to offer, then the iPad Air will be the ideal choice.
  • I will only recommend the iPad Pro to pro-level users and don’t mind spending a lot on this high-end model because it is by far the most powerful iPad produced by Apple.

Let’s take a look at what each model has to offer.

iPad (9th Generation)

which ipad should i buy

The lowest-priced Apple iPad, the iPad 10.2” is a basic iPad for everyday users and does not cost much, at $329 for the Wi-Fi model it is ideal for those on a budget or if you’re looking to get some work done.

Which‌ ‌iPad‌ ‌Should I‌ ‌Buy

This latest iPad 10.2” is amazingly capable. Not only does it come with a super fast bionic A13 chip but it also supports both the Apple Pencil and the Magic Keyboard making all your tasks super quick.

Furthermore, you can really multi-task with the launch of iOS 14. For example, you can facetime and take down notes at the same time. The combination of the A13 chip and the OS results in some immersive graphics. You can play games with fluid movements. The games themselves are extremely detailed and offer amazing performance.

It also comes with an 8MP back camera that can help you take some amazing photographs. You can take complete advantage of the big screen and edit these photos to perfection.

Features

The iPad 10.2” has some really important features that make it one of the most desired products in their line-up. 

iPad
  • A decently sized 10.2” Retina display is basically a LED-backlit multi-touch display with IPS technology. The display has a pixel resolution of 2160 x 1620 and comes with 500 nits brightness making it ideal in low-lit rooms. Check out our guide on Which‌ ‌iPad‌ ‌Should I‌ ‌Buy for all the details.
  • The cameras on the iPad 10.2” are pretty basic but have decent sensors on them, the rear camera has an 8MP setup that uses HDR and Hybrid IR Filter and a Backside illumination feature to deliver crisp images. The FaceTime camera is a 12MP HDR camera that uses Retina Flash and True Tone technology to enhance the photos captured.
  • The iPad 10.2” runs on the new A13 Bionic chip and is powered by a built-in 32.4Wh Li-Po battery that can deliver up to 10 hours of usage on a single charge.
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Technical Specifications

DisplayRetina Display (10.2” IPS LED); 2160*1620px, 264ppi
Operating SystemiPadOS 15
Storage32GB/128GB
Camera8MP HDR Rear Camera
ProcessorA13 Bionic Chip
FaceTime HD Camera12MP with Retina Flash
ConnectivityWiFi / WiFi + Cellular
Sim Card CompatibilityeSim or Apple Sim (Nano)
Battery32.4Wh Li-Po built-in battery
Price$329

iPad 10.2

Pros

  • Most affordable iPad
  • Good performance
  • Large display

Cons

  • Large bezels
  • Poor cameras
  • No stereo speakers

iPad Mini

Which‌ ‌iPad‌ Mini ‌Should I‌ ‌Buy

At a slightly higher price of $499, the iPad Mini is a compact device that is built for speed and multi-tasking. The iPad Mini is extremely thin and lightweight making it easy to carry around and use in one hand. 

Available in both Wi-Fi and 4G LTE, the Mini is the lightest iPad in the market and with better features than the iPad 8.3”

Features

Though the iPad Mini can not actually be pocketed comfortably, it still is quite small with a larger display than the iPhones making them great to own.

  • The iPad Mini features a 8.3” Retina display with True Tone technology. This multi-touch LED has a resolution of 2048×1536 at 326ppi.
iPad Mini
  • Equipped with an 12MP main camera, the iPad Mini shoots in HDR while recording at 1080p HD. The FaceTime camera is a powerful 12MP lens with Retina flash and 1080p HD video recording functionality.
  • The iPad Mini runs on an updated A15 Bionic chip and an embedded M12 coprocessor delivers a smooth and flawless experience. The device is powered by a built-in 19.1 Wh Li-Po battery that delivers up to 10 hours of uninterrupted playtime.

Technical Specifications

DisplayRetina Display (7.9” LED); 2048 x 1536px, 326ppi
Operating SystemiPadOS 15
Storage64GB/256GB
Camera12MP HDR Rear Camera
ProcessorA15 Bionic Chip
FaceTime HD Camera12MP with Retina Flash
ConnectivityWiFi / WiFi + Cellular
Sim Card CompatibilityeSim or Apple Sim (Nano)
Battery19.1Wh Li-Po built-in battery
Price$499

Pros

  • Tiny compared to other iPads
  • Excellent performance
  • Supports Apple Pencil

Cons

  • Expensive when compared to previous iPad Mini
  • No keyboard support

iPad Air

iPad Air

The mid-range iPad set at $599, the iPad Air is the perfect iPad that sits nicely in between the iPad and the iPad Pro in terms of price but has similar specifications as the high-end iPad Pro.

The iPad Air uses a larger battery and a powerful processor compared to the earlier models and supports the Apple Magic Keyboard beside the Apple Pencil.

Which‌ ‌iPad‌ Air ‌Should I‌ ‌Buy

Features

Compared to what we’ve seen so far, the iPad Air is far better in terms of performance and usability. The features of the iPad Air are:

  • The iPad Air carries the signature iPad design with a 10.9” Liquid Retina display with True Tone technology. This wide-color, multi-touch IPS LED supports the Apple Pencil 2nd generation and uses rounded corners for the edges of the body. Check out our guide on Which‌ ‌iPad‌ ‌Should I‌ ‌Buy for all the details.
iPad Air
  • The Rear camera on the Air is a 12MP wide camera with Smart HDR and a backside illumination sensor for better low-light images. The FaceTime camera is 12MP and uses smart HDR and is capable of 1080p video recording.
  • The iPad Air runs on the latest and most powerful chipset from Apple, the M1 chip that guarantees high performance while multitasking. The device is powered by a 28.6Wh inbuilt Li-Po battery that delivers up to 10 hours of uninterrupted playback.

Technical Specifications

DisplayRetina Display (10.9” IPS LED); 2360 x 1640px, 264ppi
Operating SystemiPadOS 15
Storage64GB/256GB
Camera12MP Wide HDR Rear Camera
ProcessorM1 Chip
FaceTime HD Camera12MP with Retina Flash
ConnectivityWiFi / WiFi + Cellular
Sim Card CompatibilityeSim or Apple Sim (Nano)
Battery28.6Wh Li-Po built-in battery
Price$599
  • Amazing performance with M1 Processor
  • Premium design with small bezels and large screen
  • Affordable when compared to Pro models

Cons

  • Poor cameras compared to Pro models
  • 60Hz display

iPad Pro

Buy iPad Pro

The iPad Pro is a true champion as it acts as a portable workstation. The latest models of these iPad’s come with improved camera capabilities and two-size variants. 

Priced at $799 for the 11” model and $999 for the 12.9” model, the iPad Pro is not meant for all because of the steep price and its extremely powerful processor.

Features

The iPad Pro is available in the largest sizes imaginable and is by far the most powerful iPad launched to date. Here are its primary features:

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Which‌ ‌iPad‌ ‌Pro Should I‌ ‌Buy
  • Available in two sizes, the 11” and the 12.9”. Both variants come with a Liquid Retina display which is IPS LED multi-touch screen. The iPad Pro uses ProMotion technology and has a display brightness of 600 nits.  
iPad Pro
  • The Rear camera setup consists of a 12MP wide primary lens, a 10MP ultra-wide lens with a 125-degree field of view, and a LiDar Scanner. Capable of recording 4K, 1080p, and 720p HD videos, this setup is the most brilliant array on any iPad ever made to date. The TrueDepth front camera is a 7MP lens that supports portrait mode, portrait lighting, and Smart HDR.
  • In terms of processing speed, the iPad Pro uses Apple’s latest and fastest processor, the A12Z Bionic Chip which uses an embedded M12 coprocessor making every task seem fluid and lag-free. 
  • Both iPad Pro variants have different battery capacities; the 11” iPad Pro is powered by a built-in 28.65Wh Li-Po battery whereas, the 12.9” Pro uses a 36.71Wh Li-Po battery. Both devices carry a run time of approx 10 hours from a single charge.

Technical Specifications

11” iPad Pro12.9” iPad Pro
DisplayLiquid Retina Display (11” IPS LED); 2388 x 1668p, 264ppiLiquid Retina Display (12.9” IPS LED); 2732 x 2048p, 264ppi
Operating SystemiPadOS 15iPadOS 15
Storage128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Camera 12MP Wide HDR + 10MP ultra-wide Rear Camera 12MP Wide HDR + 10MP ultra-wide Rear Camera
ProcessorM1 ChipM1 Chip
FaceTime HD Camera12MP with Retina Flash12MP TrueDepth Camera with Retina Flash
ConnectivityWiFi / WiFi + CellularWiFi / WiFi + Cellular
Sim Card CompatibilityeSim or Apple Sim (Nano) eSim or Apple Sim (Nano)
Battery28.65Wh Li-Po built-in battery36.71Wh Li-Po built-in battery
Price$799$1099

Pros

  • Pro Motion display wth 120 Hz Refresh Rate is a treat
  • Excellent performance with the M1 processor
  • Cameras are impressive for a tablet

Cons

  • Expensive
  • 11 inch Pro model is not as impressive

How to Choose an iPad

These are the factors I consider before buying an iPad for my friends and family. 

Form factor

iPads can be found in different sizes. The size of an iPad can make or break the experience you have with it. Large screen iPads are great for productivity, while smaller ones are excellent for entertainment like movies and games. Some people prefer large screens over smaller ones, so choose based on your needs and wants.

Display Sizes: iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad and iPad MIni

In terms of screen size and weight, you can choose from 5 options,

iPad Mini (2021): 8.3 inches, 293 g

iPad: 10.2 inches, 487 g

iPad Air: 10.9 inches, 458 g

iPad Pro 11: 11 inches, 468 g

iPad Pro 12.9: 12.9 inches, 682 g

While larger screens offer an immersive experience for movies and TV shows, they sacrifice ergonomics and weight. You can see that the iPad Mini is super lightweight for a tablet of its caliber, while the iPad Pro 12.9 is almost double its eight. 

For some people, the iPad Pro 12.9 version can be unwieldy while the iPad Mini might be too small. This is why I prefer the iPad Air and the iPad Pro 11-inch versions. They strike a good balance between size and weight. 

On the other hand, gamers and people with small hands should go for the iPad Mini as it is ergonomically amazing. People who want all the screen estate for productivity should get the iPad Pro 12.9 version. 

Performance

While screen size, weight, and form factors are important, there are other factors that could affect your choice. Performance is an important factor when choosing an iPad but luckily Apple has made it easy. 

Processors: iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad and iPad MIni

All iPads perform well for tablets and their price. The iPad 10.2 is the slowest of the bunch given its cost, but it still performs well thanks to the A13 Bionic hip in it. It can handle anything you throw at it with ease. Games, videos, and browsing tabs are all taken care of without any issue. 

The iPad Mini is powered by an A15 Bionic chip, the same chip found in iPhone 13. This is also plenty enough for a tablet of its size. It can handle any game or program you throw at it. 

And finally, the iPad Air and iPad Pros feature an M1 chip which is just ridiculous. The M1 chips found in the iPad are so powerful that they can’t even use the full performance because of the limitations of the OS itself.

Nevertheless, all iPads perform great, but if you are a professional and want your iPad to handle heavy applications, getting the iPad Air or iPad Pro will keep you happy for a few years. 

Connectivity

All iPads offer the choice between WiFi-only or cellular+WiFi models, but only some support 5G.

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Connectivity: iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad and iPad MIni

If you are someone who needs cellular connectivity on your iPads and wants the best network speeds, then you should avoid iPad 10.2 model. All other iPads offer 5G support when you choose the cellular variants.

Price

Price will affect your buying decision the most. For some people, money won’t be a limiting factor and they can even get the iPad Pro 12.9 version. But for some, like me, we have to be frugal, so price is a limiting factor. 

Which‌ ‌iPad‌ ‌Should I‌ ‌Buy

The cheapest iPad, the 10.2-inch model costs just 329 USD but lacks features. On the other hand, the iPad Mini starts at 499 USD which makes sense as it is unlike any other tablet. 

The iPad Air is where things get interesting, it costs 599 USD and offers all the features you will need. It is my favorite iPad in the current lineup. 

The iPad Pros are expensive, with the 11-inch model starting at 799 USD and the 12.9 model costing an eyewatering 1099 USD. If you want the best, get the iPad Pro 12.9.

However, if you are looking at the iPad Pro 11, I would recommend going with iPad Air to save money on accessories. The iPad Air is 200 USD cheaper but offers almost the same experience. 

Why I prefer iPad Air over iPad Pro 11-inch

iPad Air is my favorite iPad model. They are everything I need and want in an iPad especially since the new iPad Air features an M1 chip. With the M1 chip, the iPad Air is just as powerful as the iPad Pro. iPad Air has a slim design with small bezels just like the Pro models. And all this for 200 dollars cheaper.

The only advantages to the iPad Pro are some better microphones, dual cameras, and LiDAR sensor along with the inclusion of a Thunderbolt/USB 4 port. iPad Pro 11-inch has a slightly better screen with 600 nits of brightness compared to 500 nits on iPad Air. You also get the option for more storage variants.

So if you are someone like me, then you would go with the iPad Air over the iPad Pro 11 inch. For me, the increase in brightness, a Thunderbolt port, and better cameras, don’t make enough of an impact. These small upgrades don’t make sense for a lot of people. Unless you need the LiDAR camera, you are better off with the iPad Air.

The new iPad Air is just as performant as the iPad Pro 11 inch, and ticks all the boxes that I need in a tablet. It is simply perfect and the price is the icing on the cake. If I had to recommend an iPad for everyone, then it will be the iPad Air. 

Can I use an iPad instead of a MacBook?

Recent iPads are so close to being a MacBook, it’s ridiculous. In some ways, iPads are even better than MacBooks. The new iPad Air and Pros come with the same processor as the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. 

iPads also have the support for external keyboards in the form of the Magic Keyboard and Smart Folio keyboard. With these accessories, you can use the iPad as a laptop. The only shortcoming for iPads is that they cant run some macOS-specific apps.

Apart from that one disadvantage, iPads are cheaper, have better cameras, are easier to carry around, and have long battery life. But the best advantage is that iPads have touch and Apple Pencil support while MacBooks don’t.

All this makes me think that iPads are better than entry-level MacBooks and you can use them as MacBook replacements for light tasks.

Overall Verdict

After having a look at all 4 models Apple has to offer, the 10.9” iPad is the perfect all-rounder with powerful computing speeds and a reasonable price point making it one of the most sought-after iPads. If you prefer something smaller with similar processing speeds, then the iPad Mini is the right one for you. 

  • However, if you’re looking for something that is designed to be truly powerful, large display, brilliant camera, larger battery, and the ability to use the 2nd gen Pencil along with the Magic Keyboard, then the right choice to make would be the iPad Pro or the iPad Air depending on your budget. 
  • The recent additions to Apple’s lineup have provided potential users with a wide array of options to choose from. I hope that this breakdown on which iPad to buy was informative and helped you decide on the iPad model to go for. Check out our guide on Which‌ ‌iPad‌ ‌Should I‌ ‌Buy? for all the details

Which is the best iPad to buy?

In terms of power, the iPad Pro is hands down the best iPad on the market at present. However, if you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, then the iPad Mini and the iPad 10.2” are ideal as they use the latest A12 Bionic Chip. Check out our guide on Which‌ ‌iPad‌ ‌to‌ ‌Buy‌? for all the details

Does the Apple iPad support the Apple Pencil?

Yes, but only the iPad Air and iPad Pro support the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil while the iPad 10.2” and the iPad Mini support the use of the 1st gen Apple Pencil. Check out our guide on Which‌ ‌iPad‌ ‌to‌ ‌Buy‌? for all the details

Should I wait for the 5G iPad?

Currently, there are no confirmed reports about the 5G iPad, rumours, however, say that the device will be 5G enabled and come with a new processor. But that’s all speculation as of now. Check out our guide on Which‌ ‌iPad‌ ‌to‌ ‌Buy‌? for all the details

Also Read:

iPad Air

Learn if you should buy the iPad Air. Check out our guide on which iPad should I buy.

Product SKU: AIA32536

Product Brand: APPLE

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 599

Price Valid Until: 2022-11-12

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.8