Which Apple iPad is best for you? iPad mini vs iPad vs iPad Pro

There may not be as much choice as smartphones when it comes to tablets, but there are still a number of decisions to be made. If you are reading this, it is likely you have already decided on the iOS platform, and you are now trying to figure out what size iPad is the right one for you and which one fits into how much you want to spend.

Apple offers a number of iPad options ranging from 7.9-inch displays to 12.9-inches in size. There are also a few older models, which although discontinued by Apple, are still available elsewhere, sometimes at good prices.

We have therefore included a couple of them in this round up so you can see the differences between all models available, old and new, to find the most suitable iPad for you.

Quick summary

iPad mini 2 gives you iOS on a budget if you are happy to sacrifice the latest specs and features. 

iPad mini 4 offers a small Apple tablet with updated specs and features compared to the iPad mini 2.

iPad 9.7 offers much the same design as the old iPad 9.7 but with slightly updated specs and support for Apple Pencil. It is significantly cheaper than the iPad Pro models.

iPad Pro 9.7 is worth buying if you can find it a lot cheaper than its successor – the iPad Pro 10.5. It supports the first generation Apple Pencil.

iPad Pro 10.5 has an older design than the iPad Pro 11, with Touch ID still intact. It’s cheaper than the new models, more powerful than the iPad Pro 9.7 and it is compatible with the first generation Apple Pencil.

iPad Pro 11 comes with a refreshed design offering super slim bezels, Face ID and excellent specs. It offers support for the second-gen Apple Pencil and it offers all the latest features in a more compact format than the 12.9 model.

iPad Pro 12.9 (2017) has been replaced by a newer design but it will be cheaper than the new model if you can find it. It’s a powerful device with support for the first-generation Apple Pencil and Touch ID.

iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) is the most expensive iPad available, as well as the most powerful alongside the 11-inch model. It is for those that want to treat their tablet more like a computer. It offers the same hardware as the 11-inch model but in a larger size and with a higher price tag.

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Apple iPad mini 2

  • Dimensions: 200 x 134.7 x 7.5mm, 331g
  • Display: 7.9 inches, 2048 x 1536 (326ppi)
  • Storage: 32GB (Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi & Cellular)
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours
  • Colours: Silver, Space Grey
  • Price: View offer for £280 on Amazon UK | View offer for $280 on Amazon US

The iPad mini 2 is the cheapest way to get your hands on an Apple tablet. It’s quite old now, having been succeeded by the iPad mini 4 a few years ago but it’s still widely available and it supports iOS 12. It’s the smallest iPad available, though not the slimmest or lightest.

The iPad mini 2 comes in silver and space grey colour options, so you miss out on the mini 4’s gold option, and there are also a couple of other things lacking, such as Touch ID and Apple Pay, as well as an anti-reflective coating on the display. There is also no slo-mo video or burst mode.

The A7 chip and M7 motion coprocessor sit under the hood, and you’ll find a 1.2-megapixel front camera coupled with a 5-megapixel rear camera, the latter of which is a slight downgrade from the iPad mini 4.

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Apple iPad mini 4

The iPad mini 4 is the more expensive addition to the small iPad club. It is ever so slightly larger than the iPad mini 2, but it is slimmer and lighter, and although it has the same size and resolution display, you get the addition of a fully laminated screen and an anti-reflective coating.

There is a newer, faster chip powering the iPad mini 4 compared to the mini 2, with the A8 processor and M8 motion coprocessor on board, as well as the addition of an 128GB storage option and gold finish. Officially, Apple only offers 128GB storage now, although older models are available elsewhere with less storage.

In terms of other extras, Touch ID is included on the iPad mini 4, as is Apple Pay compatibility, burst mode and slo-mo video. The only other difference to the older iPad mini 2 is the bump to an 8-megapixel rear camera.

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Apple iPad

The 2018 iPad sticks to much the same design as the old iPad Air 2 and the older iPad Pro models, although it’s slightly thicker and there is no fully laminated display or anti-reflective coating.

It offers the same display size and resolution as the 2017 iPad, but it steps up to a A10 chip under its hood for a speed bump over its predecessor. Aimed at students, this iPad can be loaded with school-focused features, such as the Schoolworks app, it supports Apple’s AR platform and it is compatible with the first generation of Apple Pencil too.

There is an 8-megapixel rear camera and 1.2-megapixel front snapper on this iPad, as well as Touch ID and it comes in silver, gold, and space grey colour options but not rose gold. A few features from the iPad Pro models are lacking, such as ProMotion and True Tone display technologies, compatibility with the Smart Keyboard and the speed increase you’ll get from the Pro models but the iPad 2018 is a lot cheaper than the Pro models.

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Apple iPad Pro 9.7

  • Dimensions: 240 x 169.5 x 6.1mm, 437g
  • Display: 9.7 inches, 2048 x 1536 (264ppi), True Tone
  • Storage: 32GB, 128GB, 256GB (Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi & Cellular)
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours
  • Colours: Silver, Space Grey, Gold, Rose Gold
  • Price: View offer for £509 on Amazon UK | View offer for $640 on Amazon US

The iPad Pro 9.7 is the same size as the old iPad Air 2, and it offers the same size display and resolution too, meaning the same pixel density. There are a couple of extra technologies over the Air 2, including True Tone.

It also has a wide colour gamut display, as well as first-generation Apple Pencil compatibility. The iPad Pro 9.7 takes its design cues from the larger older iPad Pro, meaning you’ll get the Smart Connector and four-speaker setup with this device but not the slimmer bezels like the new iPad Pro 11-inch and new 12.9-inch models.

The iPad Pro 9.7 has the A9X processor under its hood, and it significantly improves the camera experience compared to the iPad Air 2, with a 12-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera, both of which offer flash. You can also find it with a 256GB storage option but the only real reason to buy one is if you can find it a lot cheaper than the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.

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Apple iPad Pro 10.5

The iPad Pro 10.5 features a 40 per cent reduction in bezels and a 20 per cent increase in display size over the iPad Pro 9.7, but it has an older design compared to the new iPad Pro 11 and iPad Pro 12.9, both of which ditch Touch ID for more screen within the footprint.

The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is still available through Apple though and it comes with True Tone technology, a display that offers 600nits of brightness and a technology called ProMotion that allows it to support 120Hz refresh rates is also on board. Under its hood, it has the A10X Fusion processor with embedded M10 motion coprocessor is coupled with a 10 hour battery life, as well as the Smart Connector and four-speaker audio setup.

It also offers a 12-megapixel rear snapper and a 7-megapixel front camera. Apple Pencil compatibility is on board, but for the first generation not the second, and it also offers compatibility with the Smart Keyboard, while storage options range from 64GB to 512GB. Colour options include silver, space grey, gold, and rose gold like the older iPad Pro 9.7.

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Apple iPad Pro 11

The iPad Pro 11 succeeds the iPad Pro 10.5 with a completely new design. It offers more screen within a similar footprint to the 10.5, slimmer bezels, ditches Touch ID for Face ID and it squares off the aluminium edges for a more refined design.

You get less colour options with the 11-inch model than the 10.5 but Apple has included the A12X Bionic processor in the iPad Pro 11, and it also comes in a 1TB storage option. Like the 10.5-inch model, there are four speakers, though audio has been improved in the new model.

The iPad Pro 11 has a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 7-megapixel front camera capable of Portrait mode and Animoji features, and this tablet is also compatible with the second-generation of the Apple Pencil, which attaches magnetically and charges wirelessly. The Lightning connector has been replaced with USB Type-C too for the new iPad Pro, allowing for charging and out.

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Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2017)

  • Dimensions: 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9mm, 713g
  • Display: 12.9-inches, 2732 x 2048 (264ppi)
  • Storage: 64GB, 256GB, 512GB (Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi & Cellular)
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours
  • Colours: Silver, Space Grey, Gold
  • Price: View offer for £700 on Amazon UK

The iPad Pro 12.9 marked a new tablet territory for Apple with its 12.9-inch display when it first arrived in 2015. It then recieved a hardware update in 2017 and a complete design refresh in 2018. Since the design update, the 2017 model has been discontinued by Apple but you might be able to find it cheaper than the new model elsewhere.

The display technology is the same as the iPad Pro 10.5 in the 2017 model, meaning it offers the True Tone technology, wide colour gamut screen, and the ProMotion technology supporting faster refresh rates. You’ll also find the same cameras and other features (Touch ID and Apple Pay compatibility) as the iPad Pro 10.5. The iPad Pro 12.9 has the A10X Fusion chip under its hood, which is powerful but not as powerful as the A12X in the new model.

The iPad Pro 12.9 (2017) is compatible with the first generation of Apple Pencil and it offers a range of software features, including Adobe. It will be far too big for some and the new model does knock quite a bit off the footprint despite the same size screen but this is still a powerful tablet.

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Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2018)

Like the iPad Pro 11, the new iPad Pro 12.9 delivers a complete design overhaul with slimmer bezels, no Touch ID home button and flatter edges. This new design allows the 12.9 model to reduce in size compared to the old 12.9 model, despite offering the same size display, making it more manageable than the 2017 device.

Aside from the physical size and display size, the iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) has the same specifications as the 11-inch iPad Pro model with the A12X processor, up to 1TB of storage and USB Type-C over Lightning for charging in and out, as well as the same camera capabilities with Face ID.

The iPad Pro 12.9 is compatible with the Smart Keyboard as well as the second-generation Apple Pencil which attaches magnetically to the iPad Pro 12.9 and charges wirelessly when attached. It is still sold separately though, making this one pricey tablet.

source : http://www.pocket-lint.com

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