The Best iPads Out Right Now [October 2019]
We have to admit that we weren’t the biggest fans of the iPad when it first came out. Although doubtlessly pleasing to the eye and fantastic for streaming movies, the original iPads simply seemed to lack the type of functionality and customizability that most true tech junkies crave.
But the iPad has come a long way since its humble inception, and thanks to a combination of increased processing power, lower weights, and a string of peripherals that make it easier to treat the iPad as more of a laptop than a tablet, we now stand fully by the iPad revolution as a legitimate contribution to the world of personal computing.
Used by both business people looking to finish their work on the train and children whose parents want them to be entertained on road trips, iPads now play an undeniably large role in our lives, and it seems that with each new generation more and more people begin to embrace tablet technology in general.
There certainly are countless other tablet options to choose from, many of which are far more affordable than the iPad. But for better or for worse, we still believe that if you have the money to throw around, the iPad remains the best bang for your buck in terms of overall quality, aesthetics, and functionality across a wide range of third-party apps and services.
But that doesn’t really narrow down your choices, since there are a slew of iPads currently on the market that offer different benefits for different potential buyers.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best iPads around, each of which tends to appeal to a different type of user with different computing and lifestyle needs. Enjoy.
This may have seemed like somewhat of an overtly obvious choice, but the latest iPad to be released is simply the best, and it costs less than you may have thought. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a veteran iPad user who wants to upgrade to the latest and greatest model, this iPad is simply and objectively better than those that have preceded it, and it’s available for under $500 if you go with the 10.2-inch version.
With 32GB of storage space and a range of service connectivity options, this iPad should carry the attention of both business pros and students who want a compact and reliable solution to their work on the go.
You get a beautiful Retina display that we believe is hands-down better than any other tablet display on the market (at least for the price), and the new A10 Fusion chip is so fast that we can’t seem to find a single task that it’s not capable of carrying out.
There’s a Touch ID fingerprint sensor that adds a unique and convenient layer of security in the event that your iPad is lost or stolen, and the 8MP back camera along with the 1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera work wonders for both capturing the world around you and snapping those perfect selfies.
And although this may not be that much of a perk for the average iPad user who constantly has a pair of headphones strapped over their ears, the speakers on this latest model are truly astounding for their size—delivering a powerful low-end and high-end without relinquishing the midrange.
You also get an impressive 10 hours of battery life and a lightning connector that allows you to charge and sync your accessories at super-fast speeds across the board, and you can use either a Smart Keyboard or Apple Pencil (or both, of course) if you want to dramatically expand the iPad’s capabilities.
Once thought to lack any significant functionality, the iPad Air was purchased only by people who seemed to crave streaming Netflix shows and nothing else. Oh have the tides have shifted, since now, this intrepid iPad is in fact arguably even more powerful and streamlined than the standard new iPad (although you’ll of course have to pay the price at checkout).
If you go with the 10.5-inch model you’ll of course be getting a slightly larger screen than if you were to go with the standard iPad at out number-one spot, but you also get an even faster A12 Bionic chip—which can come in handy if you’re an avid gamer who hates those incestuous lags that can come from too little processing power.
This iPad also comes with a Touch ID in the form of a fingerprint sensor (which you can also use to initiate and confirm Apple Pay for added convenience), and the 10-hour battery life is roughly the same depending on what you’re using your iPad for while it drains.
It’s hard to put into words what makes the iPad Air simply “cooler” than the traditional iPad, but it feels better in the hand and is noticeably faster if you push it to its processing limits.
As expected, the Retina display does wonders when you’re immersed in color-heavy work or streaming, and you have the option of using a Smart Keyboard or Apple pen in order to embrace your more creative outputs.
It seems as though Apple just can’t get enough of all things “pro”. Having benefiting from introducing this line to their laptops, they understandably wanted to create a similar line of pro-level iPads that can be used by creative professionals who need to utilize pro-level apps without having to worry about a slew of added peripherals or lag.
We still think that if you work in the realm of pro audio, video editing, development, or a similar category that truly requires the kind of processing power that professionals require for their tasks, you should probably opt for a MacBook Pro (or perhaps even the up-and-coming Mac Pro) just to be safe.
If, on the other hand, you just want a bigger screen and a bit more processing power, you may want to check out the Apple iPad Pro, which comes with a variety of storage options (ranging from 64GB to 1TB) along with a 12X Bionic chip with a neural engine that’s admittedly awesome.
This iPad also comes loaded with four-speaker audio for a wider and more realistic soundscape, and although you get the standard 10 hours of battery life, this is calibrated to accommodate pro-level tasks—meaning that the battery itself is technically more powerful.
You have the option of picking up the 11-inch or 12.9-inch screen, and since both have been crafted specifically for the Pro model, you can manipulate them with new and intuitive gestures that make it easier than ever to navigate.
You’ll also benefit from Face ID (which is said to be the most secure facial authentication feature in a tablet), and multitasking is easier than ever thanks to increased and more efficient RAM.
Rounding out our list with an iPad that lies at the opposite end of the size spectrum, we find the iPad mini, which boasts an impressive number of features along with a compact design that makes it perfect for people who just want a simple tablet that can get them through the day.
Outfitted with a 7.9-inch Retina display that offers True Tone technology and wide color configurations, this iPad shouldn’t be scoffed at even by those who want a decent amount of processing power and screen clarity.
You get the super-fast A12 Bionic processor, along with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and stereo speakers to boot. The 8MP back camera and 7MP FaceTime HD front camera are equally as impressive as those on the larger models, and you have the option of purchasing your iPad with only WiFi functionality or a combination of WiFi and cellular.
You also have the option of two storage capacities: 64GB (which should be plenty for those potential buyers who simply want to browse the web and download the occasional app) or 256GB.
And although the iPad Mini isn’t compatible with the smart keyboard, it’s fully compatible with any Bluetooth keyboard you can throw its way, and you can also use the Apple Pencil in order to expand your connectivity options with ease.