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How to choose between iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air and iPad Pro



Whether you're shopping for your first iPad or upgrading from a previous generation, you might be confused if you decide which Apple tablet is best for you. That there are a lot of models out there makes it difficult. That most of them resemble it makes it even more difficult to shop with confidence.

Let's break it down.

Currently, Apple is selling five different models. To be most affordable to the most expensive, there is the 9.7-inch iPad, the new 7.9-inch iPad mini, the new 10.5-inch iPad Air, the 11-inch iPad Pro and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro . Thankfully, your chances of choosing a good tablet are greater than 1

in 5. Each of them is a really good tablet on its own, but it is important to find the right tablet for you.

What does "right" tablet mean? Many things. The right size, the right price (and not paying more or less than you should), the right amount of power and compatibility with the right accessories.

The more you know about each iPad model before you buy, the better. So, we've put it all out, drilling down and explaining each tablet's biggest sales outlets and drawbacks, starting with the most affordable option.


Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

iPad (2018)

  • Connector : Lightning [19659000] Screen size : 9.7 inches
  • Storage options: 32 GB, 128 GB
  • Headphone jack: Yes
  • Authentication: Print ID
  • ] Price : Starting at $ 329, but usually up to $ 80 of

Apple's 9.7-inch iPad is the best option, but don't suspect it's a bad tablet for it to be the point. Starting at $ 329 for the 32GB model (often up to $ 80 from those days), this is the cheapest way to get an iPad.

The sixth generation is the latest of Apple's longest running iPad models, and it doesn't offer any standout features you won't find in the other models. Conversely, there is not a large amount that this model cannot compare to the more expensive iPads, but the differences may be important to you, depending on your needs.

Both this model and the new iPad mini are the only iPads that lack the Smart Connector, a hardware connector that makes it easy to connect a keyboard. Connection via Bluetooth is not much of pain, but if you write a lot, it may be worth choosing instead of the iPad 499, iPad 4, the affordable iPad with that feature.

The device is built with outdated components – for example, it is equipped with the same A10 Fusion processor available in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. However, if you keep your expectations in check, it should deliver relatively good performance over the next few years.

This iPad was the first (outside Apple's iPad Pro series) to receive first generation Apple Pencil support (though all of them now support one of two versions of the pen). You can use either the first generation Apple Pencil or the Logitech crayon to draw or write on the tablet.

According to Dieter Bohn, who reviewed the 6th Gen iPad when released in March 2018, the speed difference was already clear between this model and the advanced options (which then included the current 10.5-inch iPad Pro) but "not so good that I think someone who buys this will bother – or maybe even notice. (We talk an extra half second to start an app.) "


Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge [19659021] iPad mini (2019)

  • Connector : Lightning
  • Screen size : 7.9 inches
  • Storage options: 64GB, 256GB
  • Headphone jack: Yes
  • ] Authentication: Print ID
  • Price : Starting at $ 399 [19659029] The iPad mini is iPad for people who want something that is a bit more discreet than Apple's other options. This model has a 7.9-inch screen, and although it's not a lockable size for most, it shares the difference between an iPhone and a larger tablet. If you like reading, watching movies or playing games and want something larger than your phone but smaller than a laptop, this is a good option.

    Apple's 2019 update injected a much-needed life into the tablet, which had not been updated since 2015. The latest version has an A12 Bionic processor, which means it is now in the same performance as Apple's 2018 iPhones, including iPhone XS and iPhone XR. The iPad mini starts at $ 399.99 for the 64 GB configuration; quadruple the internal layer costs $ 100.

    Despite the powerful internal hardware, the iPad mini is still hanging with the cheaper 9.7-inch iPad for its limited function. It also has first generation Apple Pencil support, and you have to leave it clumsy connected to its Lightning port to load. Also, as the cheapest iPad, there is no Smart Connecter, so you have to use Bluetooth to pair a keyboard. This is a little less grip – and honestly they can't even be registered as problems for some – but they are important to consider when pairing your options.

    Nilay Patel reviewed the new iPad mini and explains why this is the tiny tablet to hit:

    With the new iPad mini, you basically get the whole feature of the new iPad Air into a smaller package with more and more. better tablet tap support than anything else on the market. If you're the kind of person who wants a powerful little tablet, the new iPad mini is the best choice, full stop. It is basically the only one choice.


    Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

    iPad Air (2019)

    • Connector : Lightning
    • Screen size : 10.5 inches
    • Storage options: 64GB, 256GB
    • Headphone jack: Yes
    • Authentication: Touch ID
    • Price : Starting at $ 499

    The new iPad Air is the gateway to most of Apple's premium tablet features, and it is similar to the previous generation iPad Pro tablet in more than a few ways. First, the air screen is now 10.5 inches compared to the 9.7 inch screens available in older Air models. It also cribs older Pro's True Tone display, which automatically adjusts its color temperature to ambient lighting in your work space. The Smart Connector was also found in the air, making it easy to connect one of Apple's keyboard accessories (if you buy one, that is).

    Like the cheaper iPad options, Air is still limited to the first generation Apple Pencil that charges through its Lightning port. And while many features found in the older iPad Pro woke up to the new Air, the quad speaker installation did not have two speakers. If it's awkward, consider watching Apple's slightly older 10.5-inch iPad Pro, featuring four speakers and a ProMotion display that has a faster refresh rate. As long as you are okay with an older processor, you save a good amount of money. Best Buy today offers it for $ 499, and Apple sells refurbished iPad Pro tablets from $ 419.

    On the other hand, compared to more affordable iPad options , the new iPad Air is the most capable tablet in terms of features. It runs on the same A12 Bionic processor found in the new iPad mini, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. As such, it should remain a fast-paced tablet for years to come. And from $ 100 more than the new iPad mini, it's a great choice if you want a lot of screen properties.

    Here's a nice summary of what the new iPad Air brings on the tablet, directly from Dieter Bohn's review:

    With iPad Air, most features that most people really want from a Pro machine are available without paying Pro prices. The iPad Air floats in the middle of the iPad lineup, and if you can afford it, you should get it over the basic iPad.


    Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

    iPad Pro (2018)

    • Connector : USB-C
    • Screen size : 11-inch or 12.9-inch option [19659051] Storage Options: 64GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
    • Headphone jack: No
    • Authentication: Facial ID
    • Price : Starting at $ 799 for the 11-inch version; $ 999 for the 12.9-inch model

    Apple's latest iPad Pro is the largest design monitor than the iPad, but with a steeper cost than any other model: 11-inch tablet starts at $ 799, while 12.9-inch tablet begins The inch version starts at $ 999.

    Like the iPhone X, the latest Pro shoots directly onto the edge of the screen. Similarly, Pro authenticates your identity with Face ID instead of Touch ID, and since there is no home button, you navigate iOS exclusively with gestures.

    Both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models have a True Tone display that adapts the screen color temperature to the light in your environment, as well as the ProMotion feature that makes scrolling and other animations look smoother. Like the iPad Air and the previous generation iPad Pro, the 2019 iPad Pro has a Smart Connector port so you can easily connect one of Apple's keyboards without having to pair over Bluetooth. The tablet has four speakers, and it supports the second generation Apple pen that magnetically attaches to the side of charge.

    Perhaps the biggest difference between iPad Pro and other iPads is that it uses USB-C instead of a flash port. If you have a nice dongles and accessories that connect with Lightning, you have to pony up again for more. But if this is your first iPad, or if you are moving from an Android device, USB-C is not a bad way to go. It is already part of Apple's Macbook Pro and the new MacBook Air, and is rapidly on the verge of adoption around the technology industry. As a result, the prices of USB-C accessories are likely to be cheaper than the corresponding accessories that have Apple's MFi certification.

    In terms of performance, both the iPad 11 and the 12.9-inch iPad Pros have the A12X Bionic processor, which is one step ahead of the A12 Bionic found in Apple's other iPads (except the cheapest iPad option, using the older A10 Fusion processor). If you want to use the iPad Pro as a portable replacement, there is probably enough power here to do it. But, as Nilay Patel's review points out, Pro's ambitions are diminished with the use of iOS. And if all you want is a really good iPad, your experience with the iPad Pro will be no different than some of Apple's affordable tablets.

    If you are still unsure whether the iPad Pro is worth the price Excerpt from our review should clear things up:

    But if you are thinking of spending $ 799 on the cheapest 64GB 11-inch iPad Pro that replaces your laptop computer, you really should ask yourself what you need a computer to do. There is not one other tablet on the market that can compete with the iPad Pro hardware, and there are not many laptops that can either. But Apple's iOS approach keeps the hardware back in serious and meaningful ways, and while USB-C makes life with this new iPad Pro a little easier, it still has the same basic capabilities and limitations for last year's iPad Pro.

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