iPads, iPadOS and iPad apps are more capable than ever. But navigating the waters when choosing what iPad is right for you can be difficult. Let us take you on a journey comparing each aspect of these tablets to find your best option.
The Base Model – iPad
If you are looking for an entry level tablet that is good for gaming, watching movies and scrolling through social media, then look no further! The 10.2” screen has TrueTone tech, which automatically adjusts the screens image to your environment with improved colour accuracy.
The ultra wide 12MP front camera utilises Centre Stage, a feature that tracks your face with digital pan and zoom to always keep you in shot, even if you’re moving from one side of the room to the other.
This model is the last to have the elusive headphone jack, for those of you that still want that old school headphone feel, along with a home button on the front for fingerprint ID scanning for security.
As far as accessories go, it is compatible with the first generation Apple Pencil and a range of keyboard cases – unfortunately it does’t have the capacity to work with the slick Magic Keyboard.
The All Rounder – iPad Air
Sporting the M1 chip that’s in the iPad Pro, the iPad Air is a little powerhouse in itself, performing 60% better than the previous A13 model.
Sizing up at 10.9”, the Air has a laminated LED display, meaning that if the iPad is dropped, the screen won’t shatter if it’s broken. The Air features Touch ID integrated into the power button on the top.
With 12MP cameras on both back and front, it seamlessly keeps video and image quality consistent when flipping between the two. The front facing camera also keeps the Centre Stage feature and the screen also uses True Tone to adjust to your environment.
Changing from the lightning port to a USB-C port allows up to 10GB per second data transfer and supports connections with cameras, hard drives and 4K/5K external monitors, and can even charge your iPhone or Apple Watch with the right cable.
The Smart Connector means the Air can communicate with power accessories like the Magic Keyboard and transfer both power and data, negating the need for batteries. The Magic Keyboard is a hinged folio-style case that features a full backlit keyboard and a trackpad, essentially turning your iPad into a small laptop. The 2nd generation Apple Pencil also communicates and charges via the Smart Connector.
The Air is the only full sized iPad to come in colour options outside of silver or space grey and is available in Space Grey, Pink, Purple, Blue and Starlight.
The Pocket Rocket – iPad Mini
The design of the iPad Mini reflects a smaller, 8.3” version of the iPad Air with its full screen and Touch ID located on the power button on the top, although the volume buttons have also been moved to the top edge and there is no Smart Connector.
Equipped with the A15 chip, the Mini now features up to 80% better performance. The cellular models can also now connect to 5G.
Like its big brother, iPad Air, iPad Mini features a 12MP wide camera on the back and ultra wide on the front, with Centre Stage for video calls.
The Mini also sports a USB-C port for charging and connecting to cameras, 4K/5K screens and other USB-C devices and supports 5GB transfer rates.
The 2nd generation Apple Pencil is also compatible with the iPad Mini. iPad mini is available in Space Grey, Purple, Pink and Starlight.
The Powerhouse – iPad Pro
The iPad Pro comes in 11” and a whopping 12.9” edge to edge screen design with a True Depth camera system with Face ID for facial recognition.
The 11” model has the same Liquid Retina display as the 2020 model with wide colour support, True Tone that adjusts to ambient light and a refresh rate of 120 times per second.
The 12.9” model has the new Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display, giving the iPad Pro a much more dynamic range in brightness and contrast, its true-to-life HDR creates a visually stunning image.
The front camera is the 12MP Ultra Wide camera featured on all of the current iPads, also utilising Centre Stage. The rear camera set up holds a 12MP wide angle camera and a 10MP ultra wide angle camera along with True Tone Flash and a LiDAR scanner that uses reflected light to measure distances up to 5m away from the iPad.
iPad Pro rocks the same M1 chip that’s in the iPad Air and MacBook Pro, as well as compatibility with the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil and the Magic Keyboard.
The long and the short of it all…
The baseline iPad is great for light users with a budget who want to be able to watch movies on the go, interact on social media or send emails. It makes a great and affordable iPad for kids.
The iPad Air is the cool kid, and rightly so, it has most of the capabilities of the iPad Pro without such a hefty price tag, and has the added bonus of more colour options.
The iPad Mini is perfect for people on the go who don’t want a large screen but want all of the features of the larger models and fun colours.
The iPad Pros are powerful, well made, really mean business, and could even replace your Mac entirely.