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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 virtually pioneered the tablet market and still leads the way with its excellent iPad lineup.
Apple hardware can get pretty expensive, but the good news is that compared to other tablets, iPads actually aren't terribly pricey anymore. There is certainly a plethora of cheap Android tablets available today, including the very budget-friendly Amazon Fire lineup, but you'll typically pay around the same price for most iPad models as you would for a sufficiently name-brand Android tablet.
Apple's tablet family runs the gamut in pricing from as low as $249.99 (on sale) 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.
Updated on 09/21/2020 by Antonio Villas-Boas: Added new information regarding the newly-released iPad and iPad Air. Checked all prices and links for accuracy.
Apple announced a new 8th-generation 10.2-inch iPad during its launch event in September 15, 2020.
It's powered by Apple's A12 chip, the same chip that powers the iPhone XS from 2018 , which means it's ideal for standard apps for a few years, at least. It'll easily run advanced power-hungry games now, but this older chip will become outdated and slow over the years.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.
The iPad 10.2-inch looks to be the best iPad for most people's needs due to its excellent balance of performance and value, at least compared to its more expensive counterparts. 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.
The current iPad Mini is in its 5th generation, and was released in March 2019.
Running the A12 processor, it's essentially a smaller version of the 8th-generation iPad that was released in September 2020.
It's not a great deal at $399 considering the standard 8th-gen iPad starts at $329 — you'd expect the smaller model to be less expensive than the larger model, similar to how iPhone pricing works. Still, it's the best option for a small tablet, if that's what you're after.
Apple announced the 4th generation of its iPad Air with a 10.9-inch display during its launch event on September 15, 2020.
It runs on Apple's A14 chip, which powers the iPhone 11 series. The 4th generation iPad Air also comes with a redesign to look more like the iPad Pro series, 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.
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.
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 the power of a high-end laptop, the Pro models are expensive, but the Pro is built for those who are looking for something that's more than just a tablet.
The iPad Pro really shines when paired with peripherals like the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard Folio.
The iPad Pros come with enhanced rear cameras with LiDAR depth sensing, Apple's newest A12Z Bionic processor, and support the Magic Keyboard — now with a trackpad — that gets the iPad Pro closer than ever to replacing your laptop.
The 11-inch model starts at $799, while the 12.9-inch version calls for $999 to start.
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, I'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. You won't even notice a lag because it's imperceptible. 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 second-gen model has wireless charging and magnetically attaches to the side of the iPad and it was made for the new 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pros, while the first-gen Pencil is for the older 9.7-inch iPad and the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. The first-gen 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.— Malarie Gokey
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