Because Apple has introduced so many iPad models in the previous several years, it might be difficult to choose from the best iPads for you. It used to be that if you wanted an iPad, you could get one in any color and storage capacity you desired. That isn’t the case now.
A wide variety of iPad models are available from Apple’s store, ranging from the large, gorgeous iPad Pro to the thin, lightweight iPad Air. Because the iPad Pro (2021) and iPad Air (2022) are both powered by Apple silicon, the performance and pricing of the iPad Pro vary significantly based on the model size.
We’ve put up an easy-to-read overview of each tablet’s benefits and disadvantages to help you determine which one is best for your requirements. Using our in-house testing and reviews, we want to steer you clear of any purchases you could come to regret down the road.
We’ve compiled a list of the top iPads available right now, all of which are compatible with the latest version of the iPad operating system, iOS 16. We’ve also included a full analysis of the various iPad models in our comparison table. What kind of iPad do you need? The iPad vs. iPad mini vs. iPad Air vs. iPad Pro comparison guide.
And if you’re searching for a tablet that can be used by the whole family, check out our guide to the best iPads for kids.
A great deal of praise has been given to the iPad Air 4, but the iPad Air 5 has now taken its place. A starting price of $599 for the new iPad Air 2022 makes it accessible to a wide range of consumers.
The iPad Air 2022 is now nearly as fast as the iPad Pro, thanks to the inclusion of M1. There is still a considerable power differential between the Air and the Pro, but that gap has narrowed significantly. If you’re looking for the best iPad for your money but don’t want to spend a ton of money, then the new iPad Air might be a better option.
As a whole, the new iPad Air is near-perfect in tablet form. This sleek, powerful tablet is hard to put down, even if it could need a few tweaks. This tablet is probably the best option for the vast majority of individuals.
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The greatest became much better when Apple inserted its M1 chip inside the iPad Pro 2021. This processor continued Apple’s practice of packing a lot of power into their svelte tablets by setting Geekbench and Adobe Premiere Rush records. Apple’s Liquid Retina XDR display, which has a maximum brightness of 1588 nits, is only available on this 12.9-inch tablet. It also has a new video conferencing gimmick dubbed Center Stage, in which the camera follows and monitors you as you move around during calls.
In addition, the fundamentals remain excellent. Quad speakers, an optional Magic Keyboard, and 10+ hours of battery life make the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2021 one of the most powerful tablets on the market. Although the XDR display is extremely brilliant and requires HDR material to thrive, Hulu and HBO Max have yet to adopt it. Because of its larger screen and heavier docking keyboard, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2021 costs more than the MacBook Air. However, creative professionals looking for the greatest tablet for their next masterpiece may choose the iPad Pro 2021.
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None of the flat-edged iPads described above are as portable or light as the new iPad mini (which, if we’re being honest, should be called the iPad Air mini). Additionally, it is compatible with Apple’s second-generation Pencil as well as USB-C. In addition, its A15 Bionic CPU is lightning-fast, and its battery life is remarkable for a tablet this size.
However, due to its small size, the iPad Mini 6 is our favorite. Because this model doesn’t look like an iPad, you don’t have to compromise on your chosen screen size, unlike the other models. Having an iPad that’s more suited to reading novels and comic books means you’ll be able to fit more of your other belongings on a tiny desk. There isn’t a Magic Keyboard-style Apple keyboard, but that wouldn’t be practical at this size anyway.
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Although the 12.9-inch iPad Pro has a brighter and larger screen, the 11-inch iPad Pro is better suited to a wider audience. Additionally, it’s lighter and better suited to last year’s Magic Keyboard, thanks to its longer battery life. In addition, it costs $300 less than its larger sister. Additionally, the Apple M1 chip’s incredible performance makes it possible to run even the most demanding video and picture processing applications.
The 11-inch iPad Pro 2021 is a powerful workhorse, but it’s also a terrific way to unwind after a long day. The excellent (optional) Magic Keyboard offers one of the best tablet typing experiences because it provides the simplest and smoothest tablet typing experience possible thanks to its brilliant and colorful display and four speakers.
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For the most part, it accomplishes everything you’d expect from a standard iPad in the new 9th generation. The display, sound, and battery life are all excellent, and the overall performance is much quicker than before. The iPad 2021 is worth a look, even though it appears exactly like the previous iterations. This iPad has a 12 MP front-facing camera, compared to the 1.2 MP sensor on earlier versions, so you’ll see a noticeable improvement in how you seem in video conversations. Center Stage (Apple’s latest feature to keep you in the frame while you move around on video chats) makes that lens even smarter.
iPadOS 15 is growing smarter, and features like LiveText (which allows you to copy and paste text from photos) are better with a speedier processor, so the A13 Bionic chip is a good addition. However, if you want the superb second-generation Apple Pencil or wish Apple would cut down the bezels, the new iPad isn’t as amazing if you want to stick with wired headphones and Lightning cords.
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These “downgrades” are not actually issues for the great majority of people, and you might be forgiven for not recognizing that you’re still using that two-year-old tablet. All of the apps you need are still supported.
That means that you get the same stylish design, the same attractive screen, and the same reasonable battery life. Consequently,
On top of that, the iPad Air (2020) is a very appealing alternative for consumers looking for a cheap mid-range tablet after two years of promotions and price reductions
Our tablet has more color possibilities than most of the other gadgets on this list, making it a favorite of ours.
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WHAT ARE THE BEST IPADS?
The name “iPad” has become synonymous with tablets for a good reason: the standard iPad comes with a brilliant screen and excellent audio. However, when it comes to selecting the best iPad for the majority of users, we recommend the iPad Air 2022. With the newest Apple Pencil and an attachable keyboard that doesn’t set you back an arm and a leg, this is the ideal iPad for those on a budget. A strong M1 processor is also included, giving it performance that is nearly on par with that of the more expensive iPad Pro.
People who need an all-around gadget for both business and entertainment will find the iPad Pro to be the finest option. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2021 is the only iPad presently sporting a mini-LED display. It’s not cheap, beginning at $1,099, but it’s the most gorgeous iPad on the market if you can afford to pay.
According to reports, the iPad Pro and other models may one day have OLED panels, but are they worth the wait? As long as you have a need for an iPad, you should go ahead and get one right now, as long as you can afford it.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST IPAD FOR YOU
The vast majority of Android and Windows tablets are already eliminated from consideration if you know you intend to buy an iPad. Just a few questions are all you need to do now.
What do you intend to accomplish with this iPad? ” How often will it be used for light amusement like reading Reddit or viewing YouTube videos? How often will it be used to research movies and TV shows for trivia? There is no need for Apple to introduce its new M1 processor if the iPad Air or the less priced basic iPad is sufficient for your purposes.
However, if you want to use this tablet for artistic purposes, such as a laptop replacement or a device for editing images and films, you should consider purchasing a new iPad Pro. Apple’s M1 processor powers both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch editions of the iPad Pro’s 2021 generation.
If you can afford it, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is the only iPad with Apple’s eye-catching mini-LED display, which the company touts as a professional-grade screen that enhances the quality of your images and movies. Consider that HDR material is still scarce in the iPadOS environment, and that’s why it’s so impressive.
Exactly how much space do you require?
Due to the fact that it is not upgradeable after you purchase it. If you’re going to buy a tablet, you may as well pick one that has enough capacity to get you through the first few months of use. Ideally, you’ll want at least 128 GB of storage if you’re going to save a lot of high-resolution films and applications on your iPad. Anything less is a waste of money.
Do you need access to a mobile network?
iPads that can connect to mobile networks allow you to utilize Internet-reliant apps whenever and wherever there is a signal. You may be good with a modest Wi-Fi-only iPad if you aren’t intending on taking it on the road.
HOW WE TEST IPADS
To begin, we run as many benchmarks as the iPad will support in order to determine the device’s speed in comparison to the speed of the competition. Using colorimeters and light meters, we can determine just how vivid and dazzling the displays on these tablets may become. Our in-house battery test measures how long it takes for a tablet to run out of battery power while browsing the web with brightness set to 150 nits.
After that, we’re just like you – surfing the web, watching YouTube videos, playing games, and sending emails, to name a few. Whenever practical, we attempt to write our tablet evaluations on the devices themselves, preferably with an attachable keyboard. You can’t write a great book on a glass screen, I can tell you that.
CAN I USE AN IPAD INSTEAD OF A MACBOOK?
Kinda. It works with Bluetooth keyboards and Apple trackpads and has a MacBook Air-level CPU. iPadOS prevents it from being a genuine replacement by not supporting two monitors (it can only reflect, not extend) or full desktop apps. Despite what Apple claims, you’ll need a laptop for most education and employment needs. Even if I could accomplish my job on an iPad Pro (and it’s not), I need to operate the VPN, which is only available on company-issued computers.
iPadOS has several constraints from mobile applications. In other circumstances, it may be because developers are still constructing apps and haven’t brought them to full featuredom. Adobe Lightroom is a wonderful “light” Lightroom, but Adobe intended it from the outset to be mobile-first, thus it lacks several capabilities vital to pros, such as wired tethered shooting, local file storage, and intelligent raw+JPEG handling.
If you’re looking for a MacBook, see our review of Apple MacBook Air.
HOW MUCH STORAGE DO YOU NEED?
The iPads range from 64GB to 2TB. What’s your capacity?
You can’t upgrade an iPad’s storage afterwards, so get as much as you can afford. Spend a few more pounds today to avoid buying a new iPad in six months.
Music, images, and videos consume storage space in that order. Video aficionados require 128GB or more storage if they wish to retain several movies or TV series. (If you’re buying an iPad for kids, you’ll need capacity for numerous episodes of their favorite program on a lengthy car trip.)
Large photo or music libraries are also difficult to manage, but iCloud Photos and iTunes Match may help (if you pay the fees for iCloud storage).
iPad 10.2-inch (2020) is excellent for beginners and light users. Since Apple improved it in September 2020, we’re more comfortable recommending it.
We suggest the iPad Air for most individuals (2022). The upgrade in March 2022 made it closer to the Pro variants, with an M1 CPU and 5G capabilities, at a much cheaper price. It’s still more costly than the iPad, iPad mini, and most competing tablets.
The iPad mini is best for travelers. The smaller screen makes games and entertainment less immersive.
FAQs for Best iPads
Q: What are the Best iPads available in the market? A: The Best iPads refer to top-rated and highly recommended tablet devices designed and manufactured by Apple. These iPads offer exceptional performance, stunning displays, versatile features, and access to a vast ecosystem of apps and services.
Q: What factors should I consider when looking for the Best iPads? A: When choosing the Best iPads, consider factors such as display size, storage capacity, processing power, battery life, compatibility with accessories, support for Apple Pencil, Face ID or Touch ID, camera capabilities, and overall user satisfaction.
Q: Which iPad models are considered the Best iPads? A: The Best iPads include various models, such as the iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini. Each model offers different features and specifications to cater to different user needs and preferences.
Q: What is the difference between the different iPad models? A: The different iPad models vary in terms of display sizes, processing power, camera capabilities, audio quality, support for accessories like the Apple Pencil or Magic Keyboard, and overall performance. The iPad Pro is typically the most powerful and feature-rich, followed by the iPad Air and iPad mini.
Q: Can the Best iPads replace a laptop or desktop computer? A: The Best iPads, particularly the iPad Pro models, offer powerful hardware and software capabilities that make them suitable for a wide range of tasks. While they can serve as a laptop replacement for many users, the suitability depends on individual needs and preferences.
Q: Are the Best iPads compatible with the Apple Pencil? A: Yes, the Best iPads, including the iPad Pro, iPad Air, and certain iPad models, support the Apple Pencil. The Apple Pencil provides a precise and responsive input method for drawing, note-taking, and other creative tasks.
Q: Can I use the Best iPads for gaming? A: Yes, the Best iPads are capable gaming devices, offering powerful processors, high-quality displays, and access to a vast selection of games on the App Store. They can provide an immersive gaming experience, especially for casual and mobile gaming.
Q: Do the Best iPads support multitasking? A: Yes, the Best iPads offer multitasking capabilities, allowing you to run multiple apps simultaneously, split the screen for multitasking, and use features like Slide Over and Picture-in-Picture for enhanced productivity.
Q: Are the Best iPads compatible with external keyboards? A: Yes, the Best iPads support external keyboards, such as the Apple Magic Keyboard or third-party Bluetooth keyboards, providing a more laptop-like typing experience and enhancing productivity.
Q: Can the Best iPads connect to cellular networks for internet access? A: Yes, many of the Best iPads offer cellular models that can connect to cellular networks, allowing you to access the internet on the go. However, cellular connectivity requires a separate data plan.