Plummeting tablet sales on the Android side turned people to the Apple iPad ecosystem which offers a robust software experience that is complemented by abundant for-iPad apps that make use of the larger display area. The Apple iPad models launched in the past year or so have been positioned across price segments to cover most user needs.
In the next few months, the entire iPad lineup will receive the all-new iPadOS that brings a host of improvements to its productivity features. It moves a little away from iOS’s guarded file management system and tries to give a computer-like experience with its improved multi-window support. All the current iPad models will be getting this update which should make them better for both work and play.
Below mentioned are the Apple iPads that we can safely recommend for varied use cases after subjecting them to our thorough review process. You may go ahead and pick up any one of the devices, based on your requirement and budget, and you’ll surely not get disappointed.
iPad Pro (2020): 11 & 12.9-inch
The Pro tag in these iPads’ names should be enough of an indicator that we’re looking at top-tier models from Apple. The tech titan gave its Pro range a refresh back in 2018, and the new design philosophy has been maintained with the 2020 models. The two Pros build upon their predecessor to offer some additional hardware features, particularly in the camera department.
The most prominent addition has to be the dual-camera setup on the back, which gives you an extra lens to click images through. Right next to the camera pair sits a new LiDAR sensor that helps this powerful machine better understand the depth in your surrounding to improve AR applications. Apart from these cameras, not a lot appears to have changed on the outside.
Both the 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro gets a top-of-the-line A12Z Bionic chip that is marginally powerful than its predecessor in graphics performance. To efficiently make use of all that power, Apple now ships its tablets with iPadOS, which takes multi-tasking a notch higher and now even natively supports pointer input.
Without a speck of doubt, the iPad Pro range is among the best options in the tablet space. Recommending it to anyone isn’t tough at all, though its sky-high price could be a reservation.
The Cupertino-based company has an extensive range of tablets for 2019 and the newest iPad Air caters to the mid-premium segment with its more-sensible pricing. The tablet borrows most of its design elements from the previous-gen iPad Pro 10.5 which is why its design seemed lacking in our review. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing since those bezels have helped retain the Touch ID sensor, plus, you will also get the 3.5mm headphone jack.
It has a good display with most of the bells and whistles Apple offers while its performance, too, remains uncompromising with the use of the A12 Bionic chipset. For getting some work done, you can connect an optional keyboard cover or use the first-gen Apple Pencil to doodle a sketch or two.
Starting at 499 USD for the base model with 64GB storage, the iPad Air makes more sense for most buyers looking for a tablet for some medium to heavy use. It does lack stereo speakers that the Pro models flaunt but, apart from that, the existing ones leave nearly nothing to complain about.
Announced alongside this year’s iPad Air, the Apple iPad Mini is the smallest tablet from the company with its performance still comparable to the Air. It deploys the same A12 Bionic processor that can handle any app available on the App Store. Plus, the Mini will also be getting the iPadOS update later this year. It is a compact tablet that you can carry along without feeling the bulk, for maybe reading a book or replying to your mails.
This year’s update brought an improved display for the iPad Mini with features like True Tone for a better experience but Apple kind of marred it by not updating the overall design of the tablet. The small slate also got support for Apple Pencil, albeit the first-generation one, which makes it a fantastic note-taking machine.
We found its battery life to be satisfactory in our review and it should last you a day or two based on your use. The speakers are only on one side of the tablet, but their quality is quite good and similar is the case with its cameras.
iPad 7 (2019)
The 2019 edition of the budget iPad from Apple continues to be a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a tablet for around $300. While it seems to have maintained the form factor from its forerunner, the iPad 7 is technically closer to the iPad Air in terms of its physical dimensions. Apple is giving a lot more this year without raising the asking price of the device.
For one, you’re getting half an inch of extra display estate, and the display itself is high-quality, particularly for its price, though it still isn’t laminated. Apple has included its proprietary connector to the iPad’s side, like the Air has, to connect the first-party keyboard without the need for a pairing process or to charge the keyboard separately.
While we had a couple of minor gripes with this machine, everything else more than compensated for it. Even though Apple didn’t update the processor, the tablet’s performance continues to be reliable, even more so with the increased 3GB of RAM. Plus, it’s the first iPad to come running iPadOS that improves on several points to bring it closer to a computer’s compact vision.
Read: Our iPad 7 (2019) review
iPad 6 (2018)
Launched in 2018, the Apple iPad was an impressive tablet as its value proposition was unparalleled and unheard of in Apple’s world. In close to two years of its existence, the iPad 6 was discounted several times to $249, and now that it’s officially discontinued, you can find it for cheaper. In many parts of the world, the tablet still retails via official channels, from where you can grab one if there is a good deal going on.
Apple made it the first tablet outside the Pro lineup to come with support for the Apple Pencil which is a big deal given the price point the tablet is available at. It does have a dated design, which means you get the good-old Touch ID fingerprint scanner on one of the thicker bezels.
Its performance is tuned for day-to-day tasks and the tablet wouldn’t disappoint you in that department. Its battery life is decent enough to last you through a couple of days. Being an Apple product, the tab is supposed to receive all major iOS updates in the coming years. The display used isn’t laminated but that shouldn’t stop you from buying the tablet.
Read: Our Apple iPad Review
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