Which Ipad Air To Buy
The iPad Pro comes in two sizes and a variety of capacities all the way up to a massive 2TB. While both models have an M2 processor, the 11-inch iPad Pro is a very different proposition to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the latter has a superior Liquid Retina XDR display, which can support 1000 nits max full screen, 1600 nits peak brightness. Both screens offer ProMotion technology, which means that the refresh rate can be really high so that users experience smooth scrolling and better gaming performance.
which ipad air to buy
But that iPad has effectively been superseded, despite the fact that it is still on sale. The 10th generation iPad introduced in October 2022 has a bigger 10.9-inch screen, a 12MP rear-facing camera (rather than 8MP), an A14 rather than A13 processor, and 5G. Plenty of reasons to justify spending a little more to get the newer model. How much more you will need to pay depends on where you live. In the U.S. the 10th gen iPad costs from $449, $120 more than the 9th gen model. For U.K. readers the 2022 iPad costs $499, which is 130 more than the 9th gen model. That $120/130 may we worth spending if you want a bigger screen, better camera and newer processor.
This generation of iPad mini launched in September 2021. The iPad mini is available in two storage capacities (64GB, which will be plenty for most people, or 256GB), and four colors: silver, gold, Space Gray and a new purple version.
Cons: Small screen, which may not be great for those who get eyestrain or who like immersive films and games. Outside the U.S. prices have gone up significantly since the initial launch.
The 2022 Air is powered by an M1 processor, powerful and energy-efficient processors you may remember from their widely praised performance in the Mac. The M1 pushes the iPad Air far ahead of the iPad mini and standard iPads with their A-series chips. Like all recent iPads it features an all-screen design, with no Home button. As with the 10th-gen iPad and the iPad mini, biometric security is handled by a fingerprint sensor in the power button rather than Face ID, which is reserved for the Pros. It has superb cameras (the front-facing 12MP camera and Center Stage), supports a wide range of Pro accessories, and now features 5G.
The A13 Bionic chip, which debuted on the iPhone 11, makes it one of the most powerful tablets for the price, and there are other welcome upgrades, like 64 GB of storage and True Tone, which adjusts the color temperature of the display to match the ambient lighting to look more natural. The real highlight is the front camera, which is 12 megapixels and supports Center Stage, the iPad Pro feature that moves the camera around during video calls so you always stay in the frame. (The camera placement is still a bit awkward.) It's worth highlighting that this iPad doesn't have a fully laminated display. That means there's an air gap between the screen and the glass, which can make interactions with the Apple Pencil feel a smidge imprecise.
Apple released a slew of new features with iPadOS 16. But there are a few that are only available on M1 and/or M2-powered iPad models, while others are exclusive to the iPad Pro. The iPad Air (2022, 5th gen), 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021, 5th gen), and 11-inch iPad Pro (2021, 3rd gen) have an M1 chip, while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2022, 6th gen) and 11-inch iPad Pro (2022, 4th gen) have an M2 chip. Below, we break down which features are available on what iPad model. Check our iPadOS 16 feature roundup for more details.
If you're purchasing a new iPad, there are a variety of accessories you can buy to help you get the most out of your tablet. Below, we've highlighted some of our favorites, all of which you can find in our Best iPad Accessories guide.
Logitech K380 Bluetooth Keyboard for $40: If you prefer an external keyboard, it's hard to go wrong with the Logitech K380. It's lightweight and portable and can be connected to up to three devices via Bluetooth (with dedicated buttons to switch between them). The keyboard is powered by AAA batteries, which lasted us around four months, so you don't have to worry about carrying a charger around.
The last wave of iPads added more choice, but no clear stand-out best product. The 10th-gen iPad, released last fall, is more expensive than the ninth-gen iPad, which remains on sale. The 10th-gen model has a better-placed front-facing camera for video chats, a larger screen, a faster processor and USB-C charging, but needs its own cases and a weird dongle for charging the first-gen Pencil. It's a great pick if it's ever on sale, but expensive otherwise.
Meanwhile, the iPad Pros got better M2 processors, faster Wi-Fi 6E and 5G connectivity in late 2022, and a new "Pencil hover" tool for proximity-based previews of art tools. But its design remains the same and the front camera placement hasn't been fixed, which remains frustrating for anyone who was hoping to use the iPad Pro for work-based video chats when in landscape mode. Also, iPadOS is no closer to replacing your Mac, although Stage Manager's external monitor support offers a little more multiscreen multitasking.
There's a $120 starting price gap between the $329 entry-model ninth-gen, which remains in the line, and the new $449 10th-gen version. That gives the older model a bit of an edge over the new one, despite the latter's slightly larger display, side camera, better processor and USB-C connection -- especially if you only really need one of those upgrades, like the camera relocation. If you need all those upgrades and can afford it but don't need an M1 CPU, the step-up model makes sense.
Whichever model or screen size you go with, all the current iPads support the latest version of iPadOS (a version of iOS specifically for iPads) and either the first- or second-gen Apple Pencil -- though the most recently released 10th-gen model's Pencil support is less than elegant. Let's just say there's a dongle involved, which is rarely a good thing. Apple is supporting external monitors as an extended desktop for iPads with an M1 chip or better via a software update to iPadOS 16 that's coming later this year, but the feature, called Stage Manager, remains buggy and feels experimental.
No matter what iPad you buy, there are ways of connecting keyboard cases, Bluetooth and otherwise, although your options will vary. That's good news for anyone who wants to do more than stream videos and music, browse websites and play Apple Arcade games. Plus, all the current iPad models support mouse and trackpad use, for a more MacBook-like experience. The Apple Magic Keyboard is compatible with the iPad Pro and iPad Air, but not the 10th-gen iPad (which has a new Magic Keyboard Folio case instead).
The step-up new entry-level iPad has a whole new design and now has USB-C, a faster A14 chip and a larger display. Its best feature, though, is a repositioned front-facing camera that finally centers video chats properly in landscape mode, which is how most people use their iPads when they're connected to keyboard cases. If you're someone who needs to Zoom a lot on an iPad, this is worth the extra price over the ninth-gen model if you can afford it. The downside is the bizarre lack of support for the Pencil 2, requiring you to use a first-gen Pencil and a USB-C charge dongle (not included) for sketches and note-taking.
Sort of. Its processor is as powerful as a MacBook Air's, and it works with Bluetooth keyboards and Apple trackpads. But it's held back from acting as a true replacement by iPadOS; that means, among other things, no useful dual-monitor support (it can only mirror, not extend, to a second display) and no support for full desktop applications. Though you might pooh-pooh the latter -- after all, Apple says you can do it all with an iPad -- for most school and work requirements, you'll find at least one thing you need to do on a laptop. For instance, even if I could do my job on an iPad Pro (and it's not even close), in order to access some corporate locations I have to run the VPN, which is only available on company-issued systems.
Right now, the last new iPads came out in the fall. We usually expect new iPad models in the spring and the fall, although Apple has shifted those time frames in the past. The last few years have seen the iPad Air come in the spring, so you might want to hold off on that one. The entry-level iPad and iPad Pro models tend to arrive in the fall, but not always. Meanwhile, Apple lays out where iPadOS is going at its annual developer conference (WWDC), which usually happens in June. iPads can go on sale at many retailers throughout the year, but the fall shopping season and over the summer tend to be key sale times.
The Pro also supports the second-generation Apple Pencil, and there's a new hover feature thanks to the M2 chip. The feature works like this: once the tip of the Apple Pencil gets near the iPad Pro's display, and when it's within 12 millimeters, parts of the interface come to life in apps that support the new feature. The Smart Connector is on the back of the iPad Pro, giving you the option to use it with the Magic Keyboard, which includes backlit keys and trackpad, or Apple's Smart Keyboard.
Apple's latest update to the iPad Air is more of a catch-up announcement than anything. The fifth-generation iPad Air keeps the same design we saw Apple bring to the Air in late 2020, but it now boasts an M1 processor and 5G connectivity. That's a lot of performance for the cost, which starts at $599.
If you still want an iPad but want to pay less and don't mind older versions, you can buy a renewed iPad through Amazon's Renewed Store, which sells sell high-quality like-new products that are refurbished and pre-owned.
Apple sells a cornucopia of iPad models, from the big, beautiful iPad Pro to the svelte iPad Air. And with the iPad Pro (2021) and iPad Air (2022) both sporting Apple silicon, there are even meaningful differences in performance and price depending on which size of iPad Pro you buy. Many rank among the best tablets you can buy, but picking which is best for you can be tricky. Of course, with Apple reportedly developing touchscreen MacBooks for the first time ever, the line between MacBook and iPad may be getting a lot thinner in the future. 041b061a72