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How to choose the right iPad for you

There are myriad of factors to weigh when choosing the right iPad for you

Update : 15 Nov 2023, 10:16 PM

The Apple iPad lineup provides a range of choices catering to diverse users and budgets. Selecting the most suitable option for your requirements may seem daunting. While all iPads share common attributes like swift performance, app compatibility, front/back cameras, and support for universal control your needs will dictate the type of model best suited for the tasks at hand. 

iPad 9th gen vs iPad 10th gen vs iPad Mini 6th gen

The iPad 9th Gen and the iPad 10th Gen are two of Apple's entry-level tablet models, while the iPad Mini 6th Gen has the smallest, lightest, and most compact design among the three. These models cater to different needs, and the devil is in the details.

Design and display: The iPad 9th Gen features a classic design with slightly thicker bezels and curved edges with a 10.2-inch non-laminated sRGB colour Retina display, offering a 2160 x 1620 pixels resolution at 264ppi. The 10th Gen embraces a modern design with a 10.9-inch non-laminated sRGB Liquid Retina display, providing a resolution of 2360 x 1640 pixels at 264ppi. Moreover, the 10th Gen introduces four vibrant colours, including Silver, Pink, Blue, and Yellow, while the 9th Gen sticks to Space Gray and Silver. 

Meanwhile, the iPad Mini 6th Gen takes a different approach with its compact and lightweight design, featuring an 8.3-inch laminated Liquid Retina display boasting 2266 x 1488 pixels at 264ppi that dazzles with True Tone and a P3 wide colour gamut. 

This smaller yet powerful tablet is available in Space Gray, Pink, Purple, and Starlight, offering a playful touch.

Performance: The three models differ in performance, connectivity, and features. The 9th Gen has the least powerful A13 Bionic chip, with a 6-core CPU, a 4-core GPU, and an 8-core Neural Engine. It can handle basic tasks, web browsing, and light creative work. 

The 10th Gen has a more advanced A14 Bionic chip, a 6-core CPU, a 4-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine. The Mini has the most powerful A15 Bionic chip, with a 6-core CPU, a 5-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine. These two models offer faster processing and multitasking performance. The 10th Gen and Mini also have faster Wi-Fi 6 and 5G cellular connectivity, while the 9th Gen supports Wi-Fi 5 and 4G LTE. Moreover, the 10th Gen has Bluetooth 5.2, the Mini has Bluetooth 5.0, and the 9th Gen has Bluetooth 4.2.

Camera: The camera quality of the iPad 9th Gen is inferior among the three. The iPad 9th Gen has an 8MP wide rear and a 12MP ultra-wide front camera with FaceTime HD and 1080p video recording capability, making it suitable for video calls and casual photography. In contrast, both the 10th Gen and the Mini offer better camera quality with 12MP wide rear and 12MP ultra-wide front cameras, Smart HDR 3 support, 4K video recording at up to 60 fps and a Center Stage feature that automatically adjusts the frame to keep you in focus during video calls. 

Security: The 9th Gen retains the classic Touch ID sensor in the home button, while the 10th Gen and Mini integrate the Touch ID sensor into the power button on the top of the tablet, offering a seamless, fingerprint-based unlocking experience, making it a convenient and secure way to access your device.

iPad Air 5th Gen vs iPad Pro Gen

The iPad Air 5th Gen, the iPad Pro 11-inch 4th Gen, and the iPad Pro 12.9-inch 6th Gen are the latest and high-performing models of Apple's M-series tablets, offering impressive features and performance. But some key differences set them apart.

Design and Display: The display quality of all three models is similar, as they all support P3 wide colour gamut, True Tone, anti-reflective, laminated and 264ppi displays. However, they differ in size, resolution and technology. 

The iPad Air 5th Gen offers a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with 2360 x 1640 pixels. The iPad Pro 11-inch 4th Gen has an 11-inch Liquid Retina display with 2388 x 1668 pixels. The iPad Pro 12.9-inch 6th Gen has a 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with mini-LED technology with 2732 x 2048 pixels. The Pro models also feature ProMotion technology. The Pro models come in Space Gray and Silver, while the iPad Air has five colours: Silver, Space Gray, Pink, Purple, and Blue.

Performance: The Air has the Apple M1 chip with an 8-core CPU, an 8-core GPU and a 16-core Neural Engine, and the Pro models have the M2 chip with an 8-core CPU, a 10-core GPU and a 16-core Neural Engine. The M2 chip offers up to 15% faster performance and 35% faster graphics due to its higher GPU core count. 

This is particularly useful for graphics-intensive tasks like video editing, 3D rendering, and gaming. However, both M1 and M2 are powerful processors that deliver fast performance and long battery life. The Air only has 8GB of RAM, while the Pro models have 8GB or 16GB of RAM, depending on the storage. The Air and Pro models have 5G cellular connectivity for fast downloads and streaming. The Air supports Wi-Fi 6, while the Pro models use Wi-Fi 6E for even faster wireless connectivity. 

The Pro models have Bluetooth 5.3, while the Air has Bluetooth 5.0.

Camera and LiDAR: The iPad Air features a single 12MP wide rear and a 12MP ultra-wide front camera with Center Stage technology, capable of Smart HDR 3 photos and 4K video recording at 60 fps. In contrast, the iPad Pro models feature a dual rear camera setup, including a 12MP wide and a 10MP Ultra-Wide camera, along with a 12MP TrueDepth front camera with Center Stage technology. They also support HDR photography, 4K video recording at up to 60 fps, and ProRes video for professional editing. Additionally, they feature a LiDAR scanner for augmented reality applications and 3D modelling.

Storage options: The iPad 9th Gen, 10th Gen, Mini, and iPad Air all share the same storage configurations, 64GB and 256GB. While the 64GB model is more suited for content consumers or light creative users, some may find it hard to accommodate their apps and files and may prefer the 256GB option for added space to their disposal. In contrast, the iPad Pro models offer a wider range of storage options, from 128GB all the way up to a whopping 2TB. 

Consider your storage needs carefully. If you expect to store a lot of data or large apps, choosing higher storage capacities may be wise.

Verdict

As you can see, there are myriad of factors to weigh when choosing the right iPad for you. The iPad 9th Gen is an excellent choice for simple tasks and entertainment, with a reasonable price and useful features. With a bigger display and similar performance to the iPad Mini, the 10th Gen is an excellent choice for content consumption and creative work. 

It also costs less than the iPad Mini, making it more affordable and attractive. The iPad Mini is the best choice for those seeking a compact, portable, and powerful tablet with a sleek design, smaller display, and advanced features. The differences between the three models may not be very noticeable in everyday use.

Choosing between the iPad Air and iPad Pro models requires careful consideration. The Air offers excellent performance at a reasonable price, making it a great choice for most users, including content creators, without breaking the bank. Compared to the Air, the Pro model offers additional features at an extra cost. 

The 11-inch Pro maintains a striking balance between portability, performance and affordability, while the 12.9-inch Pro caters to a niche audience of professionals who need the best of the best. However, from a price-to-performance ratio perspective, the 12.9-inch Pro may be overkill for 99.9% of users.



Md Zahurul Al Mamun is a tech enthusiast and writer

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