Here’s how to choose the best Apple iPad tablet for your needs

Apple simply shook up its iPad lineup for 2020. The pill continues to be a preferred possibility for distant studying and work and two of its fashions are getting efficiency boosts. The present lineup for Apple’s iPad contains the 2020 eighth-gen 10.2-inch iPad, fourth-gen 10.5-inch iPad Air and the second-gen 11- and fourth-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro fashions launched earlier this 12 months. There’s additionally the fifth-gen 2019 7.9-inch iPad Mini

Learn extra: The best 2020 iPad deals: The 10.2-inch model is back on sale for $250

The options and efficiency get higher as you progress up within the line. Whatever the iPad you go along with, although, all the present iPad fashions assist the newest model of iPadOS and work with one in all Apple’s Sensible Keyboards and both the first- or second-gen Apple Pencil. That is excellent news for anybody seeking to do greater than play Apple Arcade games, have a look at web sites and stream movies and music. Plus, all the present fashions assist mouse and trackpad use for a more MacBook-like experience

Apple/Screenshot by Josh Goldman/PJDM

That mentioned, iPads hold their value, and there is typically an enormous marketplace for older used and refurbished fashions. Availability dried up some over the previous a number of months with extra individuals working and studying from house. You will wish to be sure you’re getting the best deal before you buy an iPad

Learn extra: How to pick the best iPad keyboard trackpad case  

iPad 2020 vs. iPad Air 2020 vs. iPad Professional 2020 specs

iPad 2020 (10.2) iPad Air 2020 (10.9) iPad Professional 2020 (11) iPad Professional 2020 (12.9)
Show decision 2,160×1,620-pixel decision 2,360×1,640-pixel decision 2,388×1,668-pixel decision 2,732×2,048-pixel decision
Pixel density (ppi) 264 ppi 264 ppi 264 ppi 264 ppi
Rear digital camera 8-megapixel f2.4 12-megapixel f1.8 12-megapixel f1.Eight huge, 10-megapixel f2.Four ultrawide 12-megapixel f1.Eight huge, 10-megapixel f2.Four ultrawide
Video recording 1080p at 30fps 4K at 24, 30 or 60fps; 1080p slo-mo at 120 or 240fps 4K at 24, 30 or 60fps (huge); 60fps (ultrawide) 4K at 24, 30 or 60fps (huge); 60fps (ultrawide)
FaceTime front-facing digital camera 1.2-megapixel photographs; 720p video 7-megapixel photographs; 1080p video 7-megapixel TrueDepth; 1080p video 7-megapixel TrueDepth; 1080p video
Processor A12 A14 A12Z A12Z
Dimensions 9.8×6.8×0.29 inches 9.7x7x0.24 inches 9.7x7x0.23 inches 11×8.5×0.23 inches
Weight 1.08 lbs. (Wi-Fi); 1.09 lbs. (LTE) 1 lbs. (Wi-Fi); 1.01 lbs. (LTE) 1.04 lbs. (Wi-Fi); 1.04 lbs. (LTE) 1.41 lbs. (Wi-Fi); 1.42 lbs.(LTE)
Battery As much as 10 hours use over Wi-Fi; as much as 9 hours over mobile As much as 10 hours use over Wi-Fi; as much as 9 hours over mobile As much as 10 hours use over Wi-Fi; as much as 9 hours over mobile As much as 10 hours use over Wi-Fi; as much as 9 hours over mobile
Headphone jack Sure No No No
Connector port Lightning; Apple Sensible Connector USB-C; Apple Sensible Connector USB-C; Apple Sensible Connector USB-C; Apple Sensible Connector
Apple Pencil-compatibility Sure; first technology Sure; second technology Sure; second technology Sure; second technology
Unlock with Contact ID Contact ID Face ID Face ID
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.0 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.0 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.0
SIM card assist for mobile mannequin Nano-SIM; eSIM Nano-SIM; eSIM Nano-SIM; eSIM Nano-SIM; eSIM
iPad Keyboard compatibility Sensible Keyboard Magic Keyboard, Sensible Keyboard Folio Magic Keyboard, Sensible Keyboard Folio Magic Keyboard, Sensible Keyboard Folio
Audio Two-speaker Two-speaker 4-speaker 4-speaker
Capability and value: Wi-Fi fashions $329 (32GB) / $429 (128GB) $599 (64GB) / $749 (256GB) $799 (64GB) / $899 (256GB) / $1,099 (512GB) / $1,299 (1TB) $999 (128GB) / $1,099 (256GB) / $1,299 (512GB) / $1,499 (1TB)
Capability and value: LTE fashions $459 (32GB) / $559 (128GB) $729 (64GB) / $879 (256GB) $949 (64GB) / $1,049 (256GB) / $1,249 (512GB) / $1,449 (1TB) $1,149 (128GB) / $1,249 (256GB) / $1,449 (512GB) / $1,649 (1TB)


The least costly iPad can also be the one we’re probably to advocate for individuals in search of a brand new iPad for the household and basic use. For 2020, Apple put in a sooner A12 processor for the 10.2-inch iPad, giving it a efficiency increase over the earlier mannequin. That is the identical processor operating the third-gen iPad Air. It is also the final remaining full-size iPad with a headphone jack.

That mentioned, the last-gen mannequin remains to be a very good choose. It may possibly deal with the newest iPadOS simply fantastic and may carry out all the fundamental iPad duties for a while. Regardless in case you go along with the previous or new mannequin we now have one phrase of warning: The bottom 32GB of storage can replenish quick, so we advocate going with the 128GB model if attainable.

Read our iPad 2020 review.

Sarah Tew/PJDM

Apple simply introduced the replace to its iPad Air with a supercharged new processor, the A14. The 2020 Air is the primary machine to make use of this chip and for the reason that new Air will not be out there till October we’re unsure the way it will carry out. Nonetheless, it is just about a given that it will be an enchancment over the A12 within the 2019 Air. 

The 2020 iPad Air will get a much bigger 10.9-inch show however its slimmer bezels make it about the identical dimension because the 2019 10.5-inch Air. Contact ID is embedded within the energy button now, which ought to make unlocking straightforward. It additionally helps Apple Pencil 2 now in addition to Apple’s Magic Keyboard and Sensible Keyboard Folio. Plus, it has higher cameras, sooner Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.Zero and switches from a Lightning port to a extra common USB-C port. However with all of the enhancements, it begins at $100 greater than the prior technology. We’ve not examined the brand new mannequin but, however it is a must-get iPad for anybody in search of a fancier iPad. 

The third-gen Air remains to be value contemplating, nevertheless, particularly if yow will discover it at a lower cost now. The 2019 iPad Air is so much just like the 10.5-inch iPad Pro from 2017. Beginning at $499, it is constructed round a 10.5-inch Retina show just like the 2017 Professional however has an up to date A12 Bionic processor just like the one powering the iPhone XS. If you need higher efficiency and extra space for storing — there are 64GB or 256GB choices — it is best to take into account stepping up the Air. Plus, whereas it is bigger than the entry-level iPad, it truly weighs a hair much less.

Read more.

Scott Stein/PJDM

Whether or not you are a digital artist or have waited years for an iPad that blurs the road between pill and MacBook, the 2020 iPad Professional is what you need. Except for completely different display sizes (and respective resolutions) and weight, the 11- and 12.9-inch Professionals are the identical. Should you’re contemplating the iPad Professional as a laptop computer substitute, you may probably wish to spring for the 12.9-inch model for the numerous enhance in workspace. As for efficiency, this has all the newest and best parts Apple’s iPads have to supply. If machine longevity is vital, you may wish to pay the premium for the 2020 iPad Professional.

Read our Apple iPad Pro 2020 (12.9-inch) review.

Óscar Gutiérrez/PJDM

The littlest iPad does not look any completely different than it did in 2015, however for 2019 it obtained a sooner A12 processor and Apple Pencil assist. These additions make the 7.9-inch Mini — starting at $399 (£399, AU$599) — a wise alternative for individuals who need a smaller machine for notetaking and sketching whereas additionally supplying you with higher efficiency for video games and extra display area than your telephone for studying and movies (and you will not be consuming into your telephone’s battery life, both). Whereas its huge bezels make it look a dated in comparison with the remainder of the lineup, not less than it has Contact ID and a headphone jack to go together with them. 

It is value noting, although, that the processor is now the identical one discovered within the new 10.2-inch iPad, which begins at $329 with 32GB of storage. You do get 64GB within the base Mini and, though it is smaller, it does have a higher-quality show and Bluetooth 5.0. Nonetheless, it appears to be like like your principally paying additional to get the identical efficiency in a smaller physique.

Read our Apple iPad Mini 2019 review.

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Joshua Goldman