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

Whether you're buying your first iPad, or upgrading from a previous generation, discovering what Apple-made tablet is best for you can be confusing. That there are a lot of models out there makes it difficult. That most of them look similar makes it even more difficult to buy with confidence.

Let's break it.

Currently, Apple sells five different models. In order from most affordable to 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. Fortunately, your chances of choosing a good tablet are greater than 1 in 5. Each of them is really a good tablet in its own way, but it is important to find the right tablet for you.

What does the "correct" tablet mean? A lot of things. The right size, the right price (and not paying more or less than it should), the right amount of energy and compatibility with the right accessories.

The more you know about each iPad model before buying, the better. Then, we have explained everything, analyzing and explaining the main points of sale and disadvantages of each tablet, starting with the most affordable option.

how to choose between ipad ipad mini ipad air and ipad pro

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

iPad (2018)

  • Connector : Lightning
  • Screen size : 9.7 inches
  • Storage options: 32GB , 128GB
  • Headset connector: Yes
  • Authentication: ] Price : starts at $ 329, but usually up to $ 80 off

The 9.7-inch iPad Apple is the low cost option, but do not confuse that it is a bad tablet. Starting at $ 329 for the 32GB model (although frequently up to $ 80 off these days), this is the most economical way to get an iPad.

The sixth generation is the latest of Apple's longest running iPad models, and it does not offer any outstanding features that you will not find in the other models. On the contrary, there is not a huge amount that this model can not compared to the more expensive iPads, although the differences may be important for you, according to your needs.

Both this model and the new iPad mini are the only iPad that lack the smart connector, a hardware connector that facilitates the connection of a keyboard. Connecting via Bluetooth is not that is a big problem, but if you write a lot, it may be worth opting for the $ 499 iPad Air, the most affordable iPad with that feature.

The device is built with obsolete components, for example, it is equipped with the same A10 Fusion processor found on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus . However, if you keep your expectations under control, you should offer relatively good performance for years to come.

This iPad was the first (out of Apple's Apple Pro line) to receive the first-generation Apple Pencil support (although all now support one of the two versions of the stylus). You can use the first generation of Apple Pencil or the Logitech Crayon to draw or write on the tablet.

According to Dieter Bohn, who reviewed the sixth-generation iPad when it was released in March 2018, the speed difference was already clear between this model and the high-end options (which at that time included the now-defunct iPad Pro from 10.5 inches), but "it's not so good that I think anyone who buys this will care, or maybe it will." (We are talking about an additional half second to launch an application). "

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

iPad mini (2019)

  • Connector : Lightning
  • Screen size : 7.9 inches
  • Storage options: ] 64GB, 256GB
  • Headphone jack: Yes
  • Authentication: Touch ID
  • Price : Starts at $ 399 [19659029] The iPad mini is the iPad for people who They want something that is a little more discreet than the other Apple options. This model has a 7.9-inch screen, and although it is not a pocket size for most, it divides the difference between an iPhone and a larger tablet. If you like to read, watch movies or play, and you want something bigger than your phone but smaller than a laptop, this is a good option.

    The Apple 2019 update injected some much needed life into the tablet, which it did not have. No update was received since 2015. The latest version has a Bionic A12 processor, which means it is now in the same performance stage as Apple's iPhones 2018, including the iPhone XS and the iPhone XR. The iPad mini starts at $ 399.99 for the 64 GB configuration; quadrupling internal storage will cost $ 100 more.

    Despite its powerful internal hardware, the iPad mini still hangs with the cheaper 9.7-inch iPad in terms of its limited feature set. It also has Apple Pencil first generation support, and you should leave it plugged into its Lightning port to load it. Also, like the cheapest iPad, there's no Smart Connecter, so you'll have to use Bluetooth to pair a keyboard. These are some minor complaints and, honestly, they may not even register as problems for some, but they are important when it comes to analyzing your options.

    Nilay Patel reviewed the new iPad mini and explains why this is the small tablet. to the beat:

    With the new iPad mini, you get basically the full set of features of the new iPad Air in a smaller package with more and better support for tablet apps than anything else on the market. If you are the type of person who wants a small and powerful tablet, the new iPad mini is the best option. It's basically option only .

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    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 : Begins at $ 499

    The new iPad Air is the entry point to most of the features of Apple's premium tablet, and it's similar to the iPad Pro tablet of the previous generation in more ways than one. First, the Air's display is now 10.5 inches compared to the 9.7-inch screens found on older Air models. It also includes the Pro True Tone screen, which automatically adjusts its color temperature to the ambient lighting of your workspace. The Smart Connector also made its way to the Air, which facilitates the connection of one of the Apple keyboard accessories (if you buy one).

    Like the cheaper iPad options, the Air is still limited to the first generation of Apple Pencil that is charged through its Lightning port. And while many of the functions found in the old iPad Pro made their way to the new Air, the configuration of four speakers did not, the Air has two speakers. If that's annoying, you should consider reviewing the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, a little older from Apple, which has four speakers and a ProMotion display that has a faster update rate. Therefore, as long as you are well with an older processor, you will save a good amount of money. Best Buy currently offers it for $ 499, and Apple sells restored iPad Pro tablets starting at $ 419.

    On the other hand, compared to the iPad options more affordable, 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 must remain a fast-acting tablet for years to come. And, starting at $ 100 more than the new iPad mini, it's a good option if you want a lot of real estate screen.

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

    With the iPad Air, most of the functions that most people really want from A Pro machine are available without having to pay Pro prices. The iPad Air floats in the middle of the iPad line, and if you can afford it, you should get it over the basic iPad.

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    Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

    iPad Pro (2018)

    • Connector : USB-C
    • Screen Size : 11-inch or 12.9-inch options
    • Storage Options: 64GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
    • Headphone Jack: No
    • Authentication: Face ID
    • Price : starts at $ 799 for the 11-inch version; $ 999 for the 12.9-inch model

    The latest iPad Pro from Apple is the largest design review yet for the iPad, but at a higher cost than for any other model: the 11-inch tablet starts with $ 799, while the 12.9-inch version starts at $ 999.

    Like the iPhone X, the latest Pro pushes the frames directly towards the edge of the screen. Similarly, the Pro authenticates your identity with Face ID instead of Touch ID, and since it does not have a start button, you will navigate on iOS exclusively with gestures.

    Both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models have a real-tone display that adapts the color temperature of the screen to the light of its surroundings, as well as the ProMotion feature that makes scrolling and other animations look like softer Just like the iPad Air and the iPad Pro of the previous generation, the iPad Pro 2019 has a Smart Connector port so you can easily connect one of the Apple keyboards without having to pair with Bluetooth. The tablet has four speakers and is compatible with the second-generation Apple Pencil that attaches magnetically to your side for charging.

    Perhaps the biggest difference between the iPad Pro and the other iPads is that it uses USB-C instead of a Lightning port. If you have a fleet of dongles and accessories that connect with Lightning, you will have to use them again to get more. However, if this is your first iPad, or if you are moving from an Android device, USB-C is not a bad way to do it. It is already part of Apple's Macbook Pro and the new MacBook Air, and is rapidly gaining adoption in the technology industry. As a result, the prices of USB-C accessories are probably cheaper than equivalent accessories that have Apple's MFi certification.

    In terms of performance, both the 11-inch and the 12.9-inch iPad Pros feature the Bionic A12X processor, which is one step ahead of the A12 Bionic found in Apple's other iPads (except the most popular option). cheap for iPad, which uses the older A10 Fusion processor). If you want to use the iPad Pro as a replacement for a laptop, there is certainly enough power to do so. Although, as Nilay Patel's review points out, Pro's ambitions are clouded by the use of iOS. And if all you want is a really good iPad, your experience with the iPad Pro will not be that different from some of Apple's most affordable tablets.

    If you're still not sure if the iPad Pro is worth its price, this extract from our review should clarify things:

    But if you're thinking of spending $ 799 on the 64-inch 64-inch iPad Pro inch to replace your laptop, you really should ask yourself what a computer needs to do. There is no other tablet on the market that can compete with the raw hardware of the iPad Pro, and there are not many laptops that can do it. But Apple's approach to iOS keeps the hardware serious and meaningful, and although USB-C makes life with this new iPad Pro a bit easier, it still has the same basic capabilities and limitations as last year's iPad Pro. .

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