Best iPad 2024: next-level performance

IPads have a central processing unit, memory, a display, and a rear and front camera.

There’s no doubt that the best iPad are some of the best computers you can buy. The newest iPads can do a lot more than just stream movies and let you read e-books. They are powerful enough to do things like graphic design and video editing, and you don’t have to be an Apple fan to get the most out of them. Given how many iPads are out there in 2023, it’s likely that you can find one or more that fits your budget and needs. Even though iPad prices have gone up in recent years, Apple continues to sell older models for a long time after they’ve been replaced.

The iPad also continues to gain useful features like widgets on the home screen, trackpad support, new Apple Pencil features, and more Mac-like features as a result of Apple’s ongoing updating and improving of the iPadOS, setting the tablet lineup apart from the iPhone. Because Apple has a large number of them and because they are not distinctly marked with sequential numbers, their names are confusing. But navigating all of these options can be challenging.

Factors to consider when choosing an iPad

When choosing an iPad, there are several factors to consider to ensure it meets your needs and preferences. Here are the most important factors you should keep in mind:

Planned Use: Figure out what you want to do with the iPad. Whether you want to use it for browsing, work, entertainment, or creative work, the model and specs you need will depend on how you plan to use it.

Size and portability: iPads come in different sizes, from the small iPad Mini to the bigger iPad Pro. Think about the trade-off between portability and screen size. Larger screens let you do more things at once and watch more media, while smaller ones are easier to carry around.

Power and Performance: Look at the processor and RAM. For demanding tasks like video editing, gaming, and doing more than one thing at once, you need a more powerful processor and more RAM. The iPad Pro models have the most powerful features.

Capacity of storage: Figure out how much space you need for apps, media, and files. There are different ways to store things on an iPad, and you should choose one that fits how you use it. Keep in mind that some apps and media can take up a lot of space quickly.

Display Quality: The quality of the display is important, especially if you want to use the Apple tablet to watch videos or make art. Think about things like the screen’s resolution, brightness, color accuracy, and whether or not it supports features like ProMotion (high refresh rate).

Compatibility with Accessories: Check to see if it is compatible with the extras you might want, like an Apple Pencil for drawing and taking notes or a keyboard case to help you get more done.

Battery Life: Think about how long the battery will last on one charge. It’s important to have a battery that lasts longer if you want to use your iPad on the go or for long periods of time without access to a power source.

Budget: iPads cost different amounts of money. Set a budget based on how much you need and how important each feature is. Keep in mind that models with more features and a higher price tag tend to cost more.

Best iPad Comparison Table

The table shows the strengths of each iPad model in a clear and concise way. It shows the balance between portability and performance, which meets the needs of a wide range of users. From the cheap iPad to the powerful iPad Pro, the lineup has different levels of computing power, screen quality, and compatibility with accessories. No matter what you want to do with your iPad—for fun, for work, or for both—there’s a model that’s perfect for it.

FeatureiPad Pro 12.9 (6th gen)iPad (10th gen)iPad Air 10.9-inch (5th gen)iPad mini (6th gen)iPad Pro 11 (2022)
Display12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display10.2-inch Retina display10.9-inch Liquid Retina display8.3-inch Liquid Retina display11-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
ProcessorM1 chipA13 Bionic chipA15 Bionic chipA15 Bionic chipM1 chip
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB64GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB64GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Camera12MP Wide camera, 10MP Ultra Wide camera8MP Wide camera12MP Wide camera, 10MP Ultra Wide camera12MP Wide camera12MP Wide camera, 10MP Ultra Wide camera
VideoCinematic mode, 4K video recording at 24fps, 30fps, or 60fps1080p video recording at 30fps or 60fps4K video recording at 24fps, 30fps, or 60fps1080p video recording at 30fps or 60fps4K video recording at 24fps, 30fps, or 60fps
Battery lifeUp to 10 hoursUp to 10 hoursUp to 10 hoursUp to 10 hoursUp to 10 hours

iPad Pro 12.9 (6th generation)

Best iPad
FeatureSpecifications
Display12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with ProMotion (120Hz refresh rate)
ProcessorM1 chip
RAM8GB or 16GB
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB
Rear camera12MP Wide camera
Front camera12MP Ultra Wide camera
Battery lifeUp to 10 hours of video playback
Check Price

The best iPad Pro has an Apple M2 chip as well, making it just as powerful as Apple’s line of Macbook laptops. You get more capable graphics and quicker memory access with the M2. Even with the long list of additions, the design is still incredibly thin and light.

Due to its exorbitant cost, it is only available to serious professionals who require its multimedia capabilities. The new iPad includes a camera system that can record Apple ProRes video in addition to the Pencil’s advanced hovering abilities. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is truly unmatched.

Pros

  • Large, high-resolution display
  • Powerful M1 chip
  • Support for 5G cellular connectivity
  • LiDAR Scanner for augmented reality
  • Support for Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil (2nd generation)

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy and bulky
  • No expandable storage

iPad (10th generation)

Best iPad
FeatureSpecifications
Display10.2-inch Liquid Retina display
ProcessorA13 Bionic chip
RAM3GB
Storage64GB, 128GB, or 256GB
Rear camera8MP Wide camera
Front camera12MP Ultra Wide camera
Battery lifeUp to 10 hours of video playback
Check Price

The base model iPad, an established tablet from Apple, is arguably the best deal among the bunch. With a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone and smaller bezels than previous models, you get all the same features as the more expensive Pro and Air models in a portable design. With the A14 Bionic processor, USB-C support, 5G support for on-the-go tasks, and a new 12MP ultra-wide camera, Apple updated the iPad in the fall.

Additionally, it supports the Magic Keyboard Folio designed especially for this iPad, which has a 14-key function row and an adjustable kickstand. Additionally, it comes in fresh hues that differ from the timeless silver and space grey that we’ve seen for so long. Pink, blue, yellow, and the typical Apple silver are among the colours. This is one of the best iPad.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Long battery life
  • A13 Bionic chip
  • Support for Apple Pencil (1st generation)
  • Wide color gamut display

Cons

  • Smaller display than other iPad models
  • Not as powerful as other iPad models
  • No 5G cellular connectivity

Apple iPad Air 10.9-inch (5th generation)

Best iPad
FeatureSpecifications
Display10.9-inch Liquid Retina display
ProcessorM1 chip
RAM8GB
Storage64GB, 256GB, or 512GB
Rear camera12MP Wide camera
Front camera12MP Ultra Wide camera
Battery lifeUp to 10 hours of video playback
Check Price

Although it is less expensive than the best iPad Pro, the iPad Air has less starting storage. It adds a Center Stage front-facing camera, a 5G option, and an M1 processor that is comparable to the iPad Pro’s. Although it lacks the 10th generation iPad’s better front camera, it supports the Pencil 2 and has an improved processor and screen.

The only areas where it falls short of the 11-inch Pro are a slightly slower processor, faster connectivity, and new Pencil 2 hover support. Depending, you might still think the Pro is worthwhile. But keep in mind that the 2021 iPad Pro is the superior buy if it’s on sale for less: It has an improved rear camera, Face ID/lidar, a faster Thunderbolt USB-C port, and a display that refreshes more quickly.

Pros

  • Powerful A15 Bionic chip
  • Support for 5G cellular connectivity
  • Wide color gamut display
  • Support for Apple Pencil (2nd generation)
  • Center Stage feature for video calls

Cons

  • Not as large or as powerful as the iPad Pro 12.9 (6th generation)
  • No LiDAR Scanner

iPad mini (6th Generation)

Best iPad
FeatureSpecifications
Display8.3-inch Liquid Retina display
ProcessorA15 Bionic chip
RAM4GB
Storage64GB, 256GB, or 512GB
Rear camera12MP Wide camera
Front camera12MP Ultra Wide camera
Battery lifeUp to 10 hours of video playback
Check Price

The iPad mini is exactly what it says it is: a smaller version of the iPad. With an 8.3-inch display that is easier to use with one hand, it is easily the smallest and lightest of every current iPad. We gave the iPad mini an evaluation score of 89. With squared-off edges, thin bezels, no Home button, a Touch ID sensor in the power button, stereo speakers, reliable cameras, and a USB-C port, it closely resembles the iPad Air in terms of design.

Although it offers the same maximum brightness, lamination, anti-reflective coating, and wide colour gamut, its display is technically sharper. It does support the second-generation Apple Pencil but lacks a “Smart Connector” to connect to Apple’s keyboards. Currently, this is one of the best iPad that you can buy right now.

Pros

  • Small and portable
  • Powerful A15 Bionic chip
  • Support for 5G cellular connectivity
  • Wide color gamut display
  • Support for Apple Pencil (2nd generation)

Cons

  • Small display
  • Not as powerful as other iPad models
  • No LiDAR Scanner

iPad Pro 11 (2022)

FeatureSpecifications
Display11-inch Liquid Retina display with ProMotion (120Hz refresh rate)
ProcessorM1 chip
RAM8GB or 16GB
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB
Rear camera12MP Wide camera
Front camera12MP Ultra Wide camera
Battery lifeUp to 10 hours of video playback
Check Price

The iPad Pro 11 (2022) is a nice professional tablet, but it’s not as impressive as the iPad Pro 12.9 (2022). The screen on the 12.9-inch iPad is better and brighter, and the 11-inch iPad doesn’t use mini-LED to dim the screen. The Apple M2 chip inside makes it just as powerful as a laptop.

We think that most graphics pros and other people who want a pro tablet will be better off with the iPad Pro 12.9 (2022), even though it costs a lot more. If that’s too expensive, the iPad Air (2022) looks great and works with the Apple Pencil 2. If you still need the Apple M2 chip’s pro cameras and ProRes shooting but want to save some money. The iPad Pro is a great tablet that looks and feels like Apple’s best, but is a bit smaller.

Pros

  • Powerful M1 chip
  • Bright and colorful Liquid Retina XDR display
  • Support for Apple Pencil (2nd generation) and Magic Keyboard
  • ProMotion technology for smooth scrolling and gaming
  • Available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB storage options

Cons

  • Starting price is higher than other iPads
  • No Touch ID (Face ID is used instead)
  • Weight and thickness are slightly larger than other iPads

How to buy the best iPad for you

Choosing the right iPad for your needs can be both fun and hard because there are so many models, features, and specs to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a device to help you work, have fun, or be creative, these steps will help you make a good choice:

Think About How You Want to Use It: Before you buy an iPad, you should think about how you want to use it. Do you use it for work, play, or creative projects? Different models have different levels of performance and different options. Figure out if you need a powerful processor, a big screen, Apple Pencil support, or just a device for browsing.

Choose the Right Size and Display: iPads come in different sizes, from the small iPad mini to the larger iPad Pro. Think about where and how you will use it. If being able to take it with you is important, a smaller model might be best. When doing things like making graphics or watching movies, a bigger screen is better. Choose Retina displays if you want sharp images with bright colors.

Performance and Storage: The chip inside the iPad affects how well it works. Most newer models have faster processors, which makes it easier to switch between apps and do other things at the same time. Also, pick an iPad with enough space to hold all of your files, apps, and media. If you need more space in the future, you might want to look into cloud storage options.

Check Compatibility with Accessories: Make sure the iPad model you choose is compatible with the accessories you want to use, like the Apple Pencil, Smart Keyboard, or certain apps. Not all iPads can use these accessories, so make sure yours can before you buy. These add-ons can make a big difference in how your iPad works.

Set your budget: iPads cost different amounts. Set your budget and then decide which features are most important. Even though the newest models have the most up-to-date technology, older models can still be powerful and useful for many tasks, and they often cost less. Compare the price to the features you need to find the best deal.

FAQs

Which generation iPad is best?

iPad (10th generation)
The base model iPad from Apple is a tried-and-true tablet that might be the best value in the group. You get the same features as the more expensive Pro and Air models in a lightweight design with a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone and thinner bezels than the previous generation.

Which iPad is popular?

When both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models are taken into account, almost 44% of the people surveyed chose the iPad Pro. The iPad with a 10.2-inch screen came in second with 26%, and the iPad Air came in third with 19%.

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