If you were thinking of buying an iPad, then this article is definitely for you. Nowadays, the iPad is sort of a small laptop having similar features in a smaller package. But how to know which iPad should you buy? Which one will suit your needs the best?
First of all, you need to know your budget. What is the price range you are focusing on? After the choice has been narrowed down, you should focus on your needs. Are you looking for something to support gaming, an iPad for business purposes, etc.?
Now, for some people, it’s essential how the device looks. So, you can also find something that looks good enough and has all the features you need for the price you can afford.
Let’s go through our short guide of the best iPads in 2021, and for sure, you will find the one!
Which iPad should I buy?
A question everyone who owns an iPad asked himself before buying one. Here is the list of the best iPads in 2021 that I was able to find that will satisfy even the most demanding users.
|Device Model||Year||Display size||Processor||Storage space||Camera||Battery|
|iPad Pro||2021||11” or 12.9”||Apple Silicon M1||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB||12MP rear, 10MP ultra-wide||10h|
|iPad Mini 5||2019||7.9”||A12 Bionic||64GB, 256GB||8MP rear||10h|
|iPad Air 4||2020||10.9”||A14 Bionic||64GB, 256GB||12MP rear||10h|
|iPad Air 3||2019||10.5”||A12 Bionic||64GB, 256GB||8MP rear||10h|
|iPad 10.2||2019||10.2”||A10 Fusion||32GB, 128GB||8MP||10h|
|iPad Pro 11||2020||11”||A12Z Bionic||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB||12MP wide, 10MP ultra-wide||10h|
|iPad 9.7||2018||9.7”||A10 Fusion||32GB, 128GB||8MP||10h|
Now I’ll show you a little bit more about each of the devices from the list, so you can choose the most suitable for you.
As per research, the best iPad overall is the iPad Air 4. It’s the most common iPad designed for an average consumer. However, the best from the Pro class is definitely iPad Pro 12.9 (2021). So, let’s see a bit more about it.
iPad Pro 12.9
If you are serious about your tablet and a demanding user, then iPad Pro 12.9 is definitely my recommendation. If you prefer to use an iPad over a laptop, a 12.9″ screen will be the most significant advantage of this model. Also, the screen itself is suitable for drawing, digital painting, and more.
This model comes with a new mini-LED display which allows it to reach a peak of brightness at 16,000 nits. Besides this, you have plenty of space to see a couple of apps side by side, thanks to the big screen. Also, there is a place for charging Apple Pencil in the built-in magnetic area. Therefore, the device is multi-functional.
The camera was upgraded on this device, so now you have a 12MP ultra-wide camera that can record 1080p video up to 60 FPS. A new feature called Center Stage allows your camera to follow you and always places you in the center of the screen when moving around during calls. Sounds cool, doesn’t it?
Most important, this iPad can support demanding apps and enable easier use for you. Instead of having your desktop or laptop always nearby, you can be perfectly equipped using iPad Pro 12.9.
The bad side of this device, since it’s fresh new, is the price. You’ll be able to buy it at an average price of $1,000.
iPad Mini 5 vs. iPad Air 3
As the winner of all the Mini’s, I’d like to point out the iPad Mini 5. This model has approximately the same power as iPad Air 3, but it comes in a more compact package. The screen of this iPad is only 7.9 inches. It has the same processor as Air 3 model, A12 Bionic, and both devices can have storage space of 64GB or 256GB. However, the Air 3 has a 10.5″ screen, which is the most significant difference. Depending on your preferences, you can choose the model more suitable for you. If you are an often traveler and need to use your iPad primarily for emails and business purposes, the size of the iPad Mini 5 is definitely an advantage. The device can fit in all the bags and even some pockets.
The bad side of the iPad Mini 5 would be the fact you cannot attach the smart keyboard to it due to size. If we talk about prices, the iPad Mini 5 is a little bit cheaper option with an average price of $450, compared to iPad Air 3 that will cost you around $550 depending on the place you buy it and the storage space available.
iPad Air 4
Here we come to the overall best iPad at the moment. The price corelates to features, and for the average user, this iPad model would be more than enough. This iPad is a significantly improved version of iPad Air 3 since it has a larger screen, 10.9″, and it’s better designed. The screen goes edge-to-edge, similar to iPad Pro models. The device supports USB-C and Apple Pencil second gen. Thanks to the A14 Bionic processor, it has 40% improved CPU performance and 30% improved GPU performance than devices using A12 Bionic.
Overall, the device can easily be compared to iPad Pro, except for the screen size. However, what remained the same as the iPad Air 3 model, the storage space of 64GB and 256GB.
Speaking of the price, on average, you’ll pay $600 for the new model of 64GB and $150 more if you want a 256GB of storage space.
iPad 10.2 vs iPad 9.7
Two very similar devices with the screen size difference. Both of them function on an A10 Fusion processor and have a storage space of 32GB or 128GB. As you can conclude, the 10.2 model has a 10.2″ screen, while the 9.7 model has that same screen size.
Another difference is that iPad 10.2 got another GB of RAM compared to the 9.7 model from 2018. The devices look similar, so here we do not see a huge difference.
Again, it’ll depend on your needs. Are you looking for a more compact device that can satisfy your basic needs or something a bit larger and a bit more substantial? The iPad 10.2 has a smart keyboard option, while the 9.2 model cannot be connected. This one can use only Apple Pencil.
The average price of iPad 10.2 is around $300, while iPad 9.7 will cost about $280. Even here, we do not see much of a difference.
iPad Pro 11 (2020)
Another iPad Pro worth mentioning is definitely iPad Pro 11 (2020). Like the new Pro model, the device can have a storage space of 64GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. This makes it different than all other models. The screen size is 11 inches, and the device has an aluminum frame.
The device is running on an A12Z Bionic processor, an improved version of A12.
This iPad comes with fast charging option and reverse charging. The average price is around $800, so I’d say it’s a good value for what you are getting. If you wish to have an iPad Pro but not ready to spend over $1,000, this model is an excellent option.
Note: All the above prices are average and depend on the store, condition (new or second hand), whether you chose to buy a device through your phone carrier, etc.
How to choose between iPad Mini and regular iPads?
Here’s one question I often hear. Should you buy an iPad Mini or a so-called regular size iPad? What is the main difference? Can the quality be lower due to the smaller screen size? Soon, I believe that iPhones themselves will have a larger screen than an iPad Mini. So, what is the reason to choose this particular model?
For example, if you have a kid or want to use this device for reading/educational purposes, iPad Mini can perfectly serve the purpose. Also, if you do not like large screens and that’s the reason you’re avoiding laptops, but your phone is too small, the iPad Mini is a perfect in-between solution.
As I already mentioned, if you are a frequent traveler, this iPad model can make your life easier since you need to take it out of your bag on any airport security check. It’s far easier to pack it back than larger devices. And it does not even require a special bag.
Can I use an iPad if I have a Windows-based PC?
Of course! You might miss some features, such as iMessages, but you can use your iPad even on your PC or a desktop that has a Windows OS installed. You simply need to download iTunes and connect your devices.
If you like some of Apple’s features, but not all of them, having an iPad and an Android phone can be a perfect win-win situation.
How to choose the right iPad?
As I already mentioned, after you define your budget, the choice will narrow down somewhat. Now, among the rest, you need to determine what you will use the iPad for. If you want to read the news, watch videos, etc., the basic model such as iPad Air 4 or even iPad 10.2 will be enough. If you’re going to use it for business, frequent emails, messaging, and web browsing, you should consider a bit more serious model. And in the end, if you’re planning to use the device as you would use a laptop, then the newest iPad Pro 12.9 series is designed for you.
If you want to purchase an iPad via phone carriers and get a bit of a discount or monthly payments, it’s also an option. You can check their offer here:
If you have any opinions or recommendations for choosing an iPad, I’d love to hear them! Please leave the comment in the section below!
Read more on our iPad data knowledge!