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Best Apple iPad to Buy March 2024

Apple has really bloated its iPad lineup in recent years. Essentially, there are four different lines of iPads that you can choose from. There’s the iPad, iPad Air, iPad Mini, and iPad Pro. All of these are here for different use cases and different people. The regular iPad is almost solely for those in education (schools, school districts, etc). At the same time, most will buy the iPad Air or Mini, with the iPad Pro being more so for those “pro” users who might be using it to replace their laptop.

This is why we have come up with this buyer’s guide for the iPad. Helping you get the best iPad for your use-case. So you can pick out the best iPad and not waste any money. So here are the best iPads you can buy in 2023.

Best iPad for most people

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iPad Air (5th Gen)

  • Price: $599
  • Released: June 2022
  • Where to buy: Best Buy

For most people, the current iPad Air is a the perfect choice for a new iPad. This iPad Air comes with a 10.9-inch display, but does come with 64GB of storage to start. So you will definitely want to jump up to the 256GB model which is $150 more, coming in at $749. Unfortunately, Apple does not do a 128GB model for the iPad Air, which would likely be perfect for most people these days.

This iPad Air is also a pretty powerful one. It has the M1 chip inside, that’s right the same chip that powers the Mac. That is a very powerful chip, and because it has the M1, Stage Manager works on the iPad Air, inside iPad OS. Stage Manager lets you open up floating windows on your iPad, and have multiple apps open on the screen at the same time. Which can be very useful if you plan to use this as a laptop replacement.

Speaking of using this as a laptop replacement, the iPad Air does also have a 12-megapixel camera on the front and back. Which is perfect for taking those important Zoom calls and Google Meet calls while you’re on the go. There’s the option for 5G connectivity if you’re also on the go. Adding 5G will push the price up by $150 as well, and don’t forget you’ll need to pay your carrier monthly for a plan for 5G.

Finally, the iPad Air (5th Generation) does also support the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation and the new Apple Pencil (USB-C). We’d recommend getting the regular Apple Pencil 2nd Generation, as it is a much better experience. Not only does it charge magnetically, but it also has pressure sensitivity, which is great for artists and note-takers.

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iPad Air (5th Gen) – Best Buy

Best Cheap iPad

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iPad (10th Gen)

  • Price: $449
  • Released: October 2022
  • Where to buy: Target

The iPad tenth generation is the best cheap iPad that you can buy today. It is the cheapest new iPad available. It’s not the best iPad, as it does have some interesting quirks, like the fact that it has a USB-C port and still supports the original Apple Pencil, which charges via Lightning. So, you need a couple of dongles to use the Apple Pencil with this iPad. But thankfully, Apple has made it a bit easier now, since you can get the Apple Pencil (USB-C), and only need a single cable to sync and charge your Apple Pencil, but you would lose pressure sensitivity.

This iPad is actually pretty good, all things considered. It’s the same size as the iPad Air, coming in at 10.9 inches, though the display isn’t quite as good, which is how Apple was able to keep the price down here. It also has the A14 Bionic chipset, which was in the iPhone 12 series, so it’s a few years older at this point.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this iPad is the fact that Apple gave us a horizontal front-facing camera. So it’s not in the right place for Zoom, Google Meet and Facetime. Whereas it is in the wrong place on virtually every other iPad. It does have a 12-megapixel camera on the front and back, so you can use it to take photos, but we would not recommend that.

Interestingly, the iPad 10th-generation does have it’s own magic keyboard folio, which many say is better than the actual Magic Keyboard available for the iPad Pro and Air models. It’s pretty interesting, but it is a good way to get a keyboard for your new iPad. The iPad 10th-generation, much like the iPad Air, only comes in 64GB and 256GB, with a $150 price difference between the two. So while it starts at $449, the one you would probably want, starts at $599.

iPad (10th Generation) – Target

Best iPad for a laptop replacement

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iPad Pro 12.9

  • Price: $1,099
  • Released: September 2021
  • Where to buy: Amazon

The iPad Pro 12.9 is the best of the best, in terms of iPads. And given its starting price, it should be. This is the 2022 model, which does have the upgraded M2 chipset – the same as the MacBook Air. Which gives it access to some features like Stage Manager. Apple also equipped it with WiFi 6E, giving you super fast WiFi speeds. Of course, that is if your WiFi actually supports WiFi 6E and its speeds.

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There’s two iPad Pro models, but the reason why we chose the 12.9-inch model is the display. Not only is it larger, but it is also a mini LED display, a lot like the new MacBook Pros with the M2 Pro and M2 Max chipset inside. It’s a stunning display, and it is definitely worth this price. It’s really great for those that use their iPads outside, or watch a lot of HDR content on them.

It does sport a 12-megapixel camera on the front and back for Facetime and taking photos. There’s also a 10-megapixel ultrawide camera included on the back, along with a LiDAR sensor for depth and AR stuff.

With Stage Manager and this 12.9-inch display, it gives you plenty of room for using multiple apps at the same time. But the size does make it a bit tougher to hold onto because it is about a pound and a half. But the iPad Pro can be a laptop replacement thanks to the Magic Keyboard. Which is a keyboard case that you can pick up and use for the iPad and basically have a full keyboard and trackpad for your iPad. I’ve used it on my iPad Air and absolutely love it.

iPad Pro 12.9 does come in 128GB by default, and that starts at $1,099. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t think Pro’s want colors, so the iPad Pro is only available in Space Gray and Silver. But it does offer up plenty of storage. There’s 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB options also available, going all the way up to $2,199. That’s a good amount of storage, but really only needed if you are going to use this as your own laptop.

iPad Pro 12.9 – Amazon

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iPad Pro 11

  • Price: $799
  • Released: September 2021
  • Where to buy: Amazon

Apple also has the iPad Pro in a smaller 11-inch model. It’s mostly the same iPad as the 12.9-inch model, except for the display. While the iPad Pro 12.9 has the Liquid Retina XDR Display, the 11-inch only has the Liquid Retina Display. It’s still a great display, but this is an LCD panel instead of micro LED. So it’s not going to be anywhere near as bright.

It does have the same M2 chipset that is found in all of the current Macs (minus the iMac of course), making it a very powerful iPad. It also has a 12-megapixel camera on the front and back for taking photos and video calls. Apple has also included a 10-megapixel ultrawide on teh back, which is used for taking ultrawide photos. Along with the LiDAR sensor.

There’s support for both the Apple Pencil second-generation and the Apple Pencil (USB-C), we would highly recommend the Apple Pencil second-generation over the USB-C model, mainly because of pressure sensitivity and charging. There’s USB-C here with Thunderbolt, so you can quickly move files to other devices.

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Now there’s the price. The iPad Pro 11 is about $300 less than the 12.9-inch model. It does still start out at 128GB of storage at that price. And it does offer up to 2TB of storage, which will cost you $1,899. Most people won’t need more than 256GB of storage, unless you are planning to use this as a laptop replacement.

iPad Pro 11 – Amazon

Best iPad for reading and travel

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iPad Mini (6th Generation)

  • Price: $499
  • Released: September 2021
  • Where to buy: Amazon

The iPad Mini is surprisingly one of Apple’s most popular iPads. It’s surprising given the size, since it does have a 8.3-inch display. Making it only about an inch and a half larger than Apple’s most popular iPhone model – the Pro Max. But many love this iPad Mini since it is great for travel and reading eBooks, as well as watching content while on the go. Pilots absolutely love this iPad, since it is small enough to fit in the cockpit without any issues.

iPad Mini is a bit older at this point, but surprisingly, it has a more recent chipset than the regular iPad that’s only $50 cheaper. The iPad Mini sports the A15 Bionic chipset. This first debuted in the iPhone 13 series back in 2021. It does also have 12-megapixel cameras on the front and back, for taking photos and also using it for video calls on Facetime, Zoom and Google Meet (among others). It does also have Touch ID, much like every other iPad that is not the iPad Pro. Honestly, this is probably the best way for authentication. Since it is in the power button. Something you’re pressing anyways.

This iPad does also support the Apple Pencil 2nd-generation and Apple Pencil (USB-C), it does not support the first-generation Apple Pencil, because it’s Lightning. We’d recommend pairing this with the Apple Pencil second-generation. Apple does not sell any keyboard for the iPad Mini, but it does support Bluetooth keyboards. We wouldn’t recommend buying one, since the iPad Mini is so small, any keyboard case is going to be very cramped. If you do get one, don’t get a keyboard case, but an external keyboard.

Finally, let’s talk pricing. The iPad Mini comes in two storage capacities. That’s 64GB for $499 or 256GB for $649. Apple does also offer 5G connectivity for another $150 (plus what your carrier is going to charge you). Finally, the iPad Mini comes in four colors: Space Gray, Pink, Purple, and Starlight.

iPad Mini (6th Generation) – Amazon

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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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