Which iPad Should I Buy?

Last Updated on November 9, 2022 by Ernest and Saad

The Apple iPad has revolutionized the way we look and think about tablets. With iPadOS 16 recently coming out and the classic iPad getting a re-design, now’s the time to take a look at the offerings and decide which iPad you should be investing in.

To answer that question, we’ve listed down the unique selling points of each iPad, why they’re worth it, and whether they’re better to other iPads in the list. But, before we get started, here’s a quick table that highlights the differences between each iPad.

10th Gen
iPad 10.9
6th Gen
iPad Mini
5th Gen
iPad Air
(4th Gen/6th Gen)
iPad Pro (11 / 12.9)
Product Title
Product Title
iPad 10.9
iPad Mini
iPad Air
iPad Pro (11 / 12.9)
CPU
CPU
A14 Bionic
A15 Bionic
iPad M1
iPad M2
Screen Size
Screen Size
10.9”
8.3”
10.9” 
11 / 12.9”
Apple Pencil Compatibility
Apple Pencil Compatibility
Apple Pencil 1
Apple Pencil 2
Apple Pencil 2
Apple Pencil 2
Storage Sizes
Storage Sizes
64 / 256 GB
64 / 256 GB
64 / 256 GB
128 / 256 / 512 GB / 1 TB / 2 TB
Authentication
Authentication
Touch ID
Touch ID
Touch ID
Face ID
Battery Life
Battery Life
9-10 Hours
9-10 Hours
9-10 Hours
9-10 Hours
Headphone Jack
Headphone Jack
No
No
No
No
Backlit Keyboard
Backlit Keyboard
No
No
Yes
Yes
USB-C
USB-C
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Thunderbolt
Thunderbolt
No
No
No
Yes
Screen Refresh Rate
Screen Refresh Rate
60 Hz
60 Hz
60 Hz
120 Hz Pro Motion
mmWave Support
mmWave Support
No
No
No 
Yes
Cellular
Cellular
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Apple Pencil Hover
Apple Pencil Hover
No
No
No
Yes
Fully Laminated Display
Fully Laminated Display
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Color Space
Color Space
sRGB
P3
P3 
P3
The best all-rounder iPad
iPad
8/10 Our Score

The 9th Gen iPad and the 10th Gen iPad look extremely different. The bezels have been reduced, we’ve got more colors, and the front camera is in landscape now with a redesigned keyboard (that has an Escape key!) present in it. However, we also lost the headphone jack on the iPad finally, quite a sad sight.

The classic iPad comes with an A14 Bionic, which is more than enough for daily tasks. It also features Center Stage with an ultra-wide camera. Moreover, you also gain access to the newly designed Magic Keyboard, which resembles more like a Macbook’s keyboard than any other.

The Touch ID sensor is here to stay; we’re seeing that Apple thinks of Face ID as more of a Pro feature. For most, this really isn’t a deal breaker. You are also met with 10 hours of battery life, a decent two-speaker array, and passable rear cameras that get the job done.

All in all, the iPad 10.9 inch is a complete package for almost everyone that wants an iPad.

Is The iPad 10.9 Inch Worth It?

Yes, the iPad 10.9 inch is the default iPad everyone should try. With a variety of colors, great battery life, and stellar performance, given the price – there’s not a lot this iPad can’t do. I mean, think about it. What do you use an iPad for? Watching movies, some light casual browsing, multi-tasking, and sending emails, right? If that’s the case, the iPad will be able to breeze through all of this.

So, as you read through this guide, keep the iPad under consideration at all times. And, depending on the new feature you see in the next iPad we’ll be mentioning, decide whether it is really worth shelling out the extra cost.

For the budget-conscious professional
iPad Air
8.8/10 Our Score

The iPad Air is at a weird spot in this year’s Apple iPad lineup. It is definitely not as feature-rich as the iPad Pro. But it doesn’t bring a lot to the table compared to the price bump you have to endure from the 10.9-inch iPad.

Previously, you’d buy the iPad Air because of the inclusion of the USB-C connector, the smaller bezels, and the updated design. But now, the iPad Classic comes in with all of those features as well. The only differences you’ll be seeing now are the M1 chip on the iPad Air, which provides better performance, support for the second generation of the Apple Pencil, and the Magic and Smart Keyboard Folio.

If the iPad 10.9 inch is meant for the note-taker, the iPad Air is meant for the artist. Featuring an anti-reflective coating with a P3 wide color gamut and full lamination, the iPad Air has a much better-looking display which allows for a more accurate driving experience. Plus, the addendum of backlighting to the iPad Air’s Magic Keyboard makes it feel more like a proper laptop replacement.

Is The iPad Air Worth It Over The iPad 10.9 Inch?

The iPad Air is worth it over the iPad 10.9 inch only if you use the Apple Pencil 2 or require more performance from the Air’s M1 chip. Other than that, there’s no reason for you to opt for the iPad Air simply because it brings nothing new to the table.

You get the same front camera, the design’s quite similar, and the display feels identical unless you really want to settle for the wide color gamut in terms of drawing. Besides that, the Apple Pencil 2 is a welcome upgrade, especially because you don’t need to plug it inside the iPad to charge.

Regardless, the iPad 10.9 inch really holds its ground over the more superior iPad 10.9 inch.

For the portability enthusiast
iPad Mini
8.9/10 Our Score

The iPad Mini is an iPad Air stripped down to size. Coming in at 8.9 inches, its the largest iPad Mini yet. But, it still remains pocketable thanks to its small bezels and thin design. The Mini is packed with an A15 Bionic from the iPhone 13, and it really performs well.

The Mini supports an Apple Pencil 2 which can connect and charge to its side. The smaller footprint of the Mini means that you won’t be able to connect an Apple Magic Keyboard directly and will instead need to resort to standalone options.

In terms of experience, the Mini…feels weird. A lot of phones these days, especially with the rise of foldable have nearly reached the size of the Mini. And, this means that the Mini simply does not bring a lot of value-added benefits. If you really want a larger display, just an iPad or the Air, for that matter. Why settle for the Mini when you can buy a phone that’s almost the same size?

Is The iPad Mini Worth It Over The iPad Air and iPad 10.9 Inch?

The iPad Mini is worth it over all other iPads if the small form factor is appealing to you. Otherwise, every other iPad feels more like a complete tablet simply because of the larger display. If you really want an iPad, we recommend settling for one that has a larger display to get the full experience.

Best iPad For Professionals
iPad Pro
9.9/10 Our Score

The iPad Pro is the cream of the crop, both in terms of size and performance. Equipped with Apple’s latest M2, you get the latest in design and innovation from the company. An absolutely jaw-dropping mini-LED Liquid Retina XDR display comes in the larger 12.9” model, which is honestly the best display on a hand-held device we’ve ever seen.

Besides just the display, you get a four-speaker array that supports Dolby Atmos, the Apple Pencil 2 support, and the Magic Keyboard, both sold separately. The device is also the only iPad with a USB-C connection. So, if you are a fan of connecting peripherals and storage devices to your tablet, this iPad will do you well.

Another exclusive feature, Face ID, makes its way to the iPad Pro and not to any other iPad mentioned in this list. While not very useful for most, the Pro comes with a LiDAR used for 3D mapping as well.

Video calling is also where the iPad Pro stands apart. Equipped with a 12 MP Ultrawide camera, Center Stage is Apple’s way of introducing some software-based shenanigans into the mix. With it, the camera crops and pans to subjects in the frame, giving the impression of a moving camera – allowing for more personalized calls.

To be fair, the iPad Pro is only worth it for professionals and creatives. Or, if you are someone (like me!) who really enjoys getting the best of the best from Apple. For everyone else, unless there’s some particular feature that you particularly crave, such as Face ID or USB-C, the iPad Air will be a much better suit and won’t cost nearly as much, either.

Plus, the newer iPad Pros also have Apple Pencil Hover. A feature that lets you place the stylus right above your screen letting you fine-tune your placement before the stylus actually touches your screen. So, it is clear that the iPad Pro is meant for professionals. 

Should I Buy The 11 Inch Or the 12.9 Inch iPad Pro?

The 11-inch iPad Pro provides better value for money. With the larger iPad Pro, you get, well, a larger screen that is mini-LED compared to the 11-inch Retina LCD. While both of them feature the same resolution, the new HDR display on the 12.9-inch allows for impressive contrast ratios and a peak brightness of 1600. In fact, it is one of the best displays ever produced on any device, ever.

With that said, the 11-inch isn’t a bad display in any way. It has a peak brightness of 600 nits and also supports HDR. If you see both devices side by side, you will notice the difference. But, put alone, both devices have excellent displays. So, unless and until you aren’t a professional and need the color-accurate display or just are an avid movie watcher, the 11-inch iPad Pro is the better option.

Conclusion

Regardless of what iPad you opt for, iPadOS will still be an enjoyable experience on any of these tablets. However, we recommend carefully checking out the differences between each iPad before you make your decision. 

Obviously, the best iPad is the iPad Pro, but not everyone needs so many features as it has, and all these features drive the price up, so if we’re talking about which iPad has the most premium features, it’s the iPad Pro, but my point is, not everyone needs those features and for some iPad Air can be the best option, for another iPad Mini and for another classic iPad, so read through the article and check if all the features the devices has are necessary for you.

+ posts

I love tech and all about it. I'm interested in finding ways how they can make my life more productive, and I share my knowledge with my blog readers. I'm an iPad Pro, iPhone, MacBook, and Apple Watch user, so I know a thing or two about these devices and try to write helpful content around these topics.

Content Creator | + posts

Saad is excellent at what he does. He's a tech fanatic. He strives to improve himself wherever he can. He tries to make each article he writes a little better than before. He explains difficult things in a very simple way.