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- Apple iPad lineup consists of the iPad, iPad Mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro models.
- The newest iPads are the standard 10.2-inch iPad and the 10.9-inch iPad Air.
- Apple’s standard 10.2-inch iPad is the cheapest, while the priciest is the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Although they’re not for everyone, the enduring popularity of tablets stands as a testament to their appeal. Tablets inhabit a middle zone between a smartphone and a laptop, giving you more computer-like capabilities for work and entertainment without the bulk.
Apple’s tablet family runs the gamut in pricing from as low as $329 for a standard iPad to around $1,649 for the latest iPad Pro with all the bells and whistles. So, whatever you’re looking to spend, there’s probably an iPad out there for you.
Below, we’ve rounded up all of the current iPad models available online right now so you can find the right Apple tablet for your needs and budget.
For more shopping advice, check out our full buying guide to the best iPads.
How much does the iPad cost?
- 10.2-inch iPad (2020): $329+
- iPad Mini (2019): $399+
- iPad Air (2020): $599+
- iPad Pro (2020): $799+ (price varies by size)
Apple announced a new 8th-generation 10.2-inch iPad during its launch event in September 2020.
It’s powered by Apple’s A12 chip, the same chip that powers the iPhone XS from 2018, which means it’s powerful enough for basic tasks like watching Netflix, checking email, and browsing the web. It’ll easily run advanced power-hungry games now, but this older chip will become outdated and slow over the years.
The 8th-generation iPad supports Apple Pencil and Apple’s Smart Keyboard, which connects to the iPad through a specific port and doesn’t require Bluetooth.
We’ve called the 10.2-inch iPad the best iPad for most people because of its excellent balance of performance and value, at least compared to its more expensive counterparts. In our full review, we praised the tablet for its long battery life, affordable price, and solid performance given the specifications.
On the flip side, buyers should be aware that the base model only comes with 32GB of storage, which is half the amount of space you get with the cheapest iPhone configuration. The 1.2-megapixel camera also isn’t very sharp, which may be important if you spend a lot of time on FaceTime or Zoom.
It starts at $329 from Apple for the 32GB Wi-Fi model. You can get the 128GB Wi-Fi model for $429, the 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model for $459, and the 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model for $559. These are the prices on Apple’s website; keep an eye on third-party sellers for deals and discounts.
iPad Mini (5th-gen, 2019)
The current iPad Mini is in its 5th generation, and was released in March 2019.
Running on the A12 Bionic processor, it shares many qualities with the eighth-generation iPad that was released in September 2020. Other than its more compact size, the biggest differences between the two iPads are that the Mini has a sharper 7-megapixel selfie camera, a more advanced screen with Apple’s True Tone tech and support for the P3 wide color gamut, and more storage at the high end.
However, the iPad Mini isn’t compatible with Apple’s Smart Keyboard, so you’ll have to use a Bluetooth keyboard if you want to get some work done on the Mini. But it is compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil, which as we wrote in our full review is particularly great for the iPad Mini since its size makes it feel similar to scribbling in a notebook.
Unless you want a smaller tablet with a better camera for video chatting, it’s not the best deal at $399 considering the standard iPad starts at $329. Still, it’s the best option for a small tablet, if that’s what you’re after.
iPad Air (4th-gen, 2020)
Apple announced the 4th generation of its iPad Air with a 10.9-inch display during its launch event in September 2020.
It runs on Apple’s A14 chip, which powers the iPhone 12 series. The new iPad Air also comes with an updated look that more closely resembles the iPad Pro, namely with the all-screen design and sharper squared-off edges. It was also updated to include USB-C instead of Apple’s proprietary Lighting ports and cables for charging and connecting to computers. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor has moved to the top button.
It supports Apple Pencil and Apple’s new Magic Keyboard that comes with a trackpad.
The iPad Air’s main allure has always been its light weight, but at 1-pound, the latest 4th-gen isn’t much lighter than other iPads. Still, we love the iPad Air’s larger display, sleeker design, long battery life, and Touch ID support. The biggest downside is that it only comes with 64GB of storage, which is low for a premium tablet.
With a starting price of $599, it’s an ideal iPad if you want current powerful specs for performance and longevity, but don’t want to spend as much as the iPad Pro.
iPad Pro (4th-gen, 2020)
The current and latest iPad Pro is in its 4th generation and was launched on March 18, 2020
The iPad Pro is the most high-end tablet in Apple’s iPad lineup. Because it has more advanced hardware such as Apple’s A12Z processor — which has more cores for computing and graphics processing — the iPad Pro is best-suited for those who intend to use their tablet primarily for work.
The iPad Pro really shines when paired with peripherals like the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard Folio, although the cost of Apple’s peripherals do drive up the overall price significantly.
The iPad Pro also comes with an enhanced rear camera with LiDAR depth sensing and a dual-lens system, making it more ideal for creative professionals than everyday users.
The 11-inch model starts at $799, while the 12.9-inch version calls for $999 to start.
We also recommend the Apple Pencil Stylus
The Apple Pencil officially works with every iPad Apple currently sells. The first-generation Apple Pencil works with the new iPad Mini and iPad Air, as well as the older 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the 2018 and 2019 standard iPads.
If you buy the new 11- or 12.5-inch iPad Pros, you should buy the second-generation stylus, which was made for those tablets and is even better than the original.
Over the years, we’ve tested a lot of styluses from companies like Adonit, 53, Wacom, and more. None of those styluses can hold a candle to the Apple Pencil. Whether you buy the first-generation Pencil or the second, you’re getting a stylus that was made by Apple in tandem with the iPad.
As such, the Pencil works with the iPads’ screens in special ways that no other stylus can. The result is improved pressure sensitivity and an impressively low level of latency. When you use an Apple Pencil, you actually feel like you’re using a normal graphite pencil.
There are a few differences between the first and second-generation Pencils: The newer model has wireless charging and magnetically attaches to the side of the iPad. It was made for the new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pros, while the first-generation Pencil is for the older 9.7-inch iPad and the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. The older Pencil charges with a Lightning port on the end and doesn’t attach to your iPad. It’s also a bit cheaper.
Choose whichever works for the iPad you buy.