Apple iPad, first released in 2010, has become a cultural phenomenon. It can be spotted everywhere, from coffee shops to offices, college campuses, airports, and classrooms. Even as more people are looking at the iPad for work-related purposes, there is confusion on how to choose the best model, given that Apple has five different models on offer all priced differently.
Finding the right balance between features and price can be a tricky thing and that is where this list will help you make a more informed purchase decision.
Best iPad for students: Apple iPad 10.2 (2019)
The 10.2-inch iPad is good for students who want a big screen but can live without the latest processor. Despite having a 10.2-inch screen, this iPad is mostly identical to last year’s 9.7-inch model. That said, the 10.2-inch iPad should make students, or someone with basic needs satisfied. Its A10 Fusion chip can handle everything from Microsoft Office, games or any app that is available on the App Store. And since it is running the latest iPadOS 13, you will be able to multitask a lot more on the iPad.
Additionally, it also supports the Apple Pencil (first-gen) and a Smart Keyboard, though they both don’t come cheap. Starting at Rs 29,900, it is hard to beat the 10.2-inch iPad when you are looking for an entry-level iPad that is slim, light, and portable. Read our review of the iPad 10.2 here.
Best iPad for creatives, digital artists: Apple iPad Pro
With the iPad Pro, Apple is looking at anyone who wants to create or consume content, but more at a professional level than just casual. So the idea behind the iPad Pro is to deliver a tablet that is closer to a premium laptop in performance. And the iPad Pro does deliver on the promise. You get a high performing tablet that is attractive and comfortable to hold. The tablet eliminates the home button in favour of Face ID and a large display that comes in two sizes: 12.9-inches and 11-inches.
The 120Hz LCD screen is responsive as well as highly accurate, something digital artists need. The second-generation Apple Pencil (sold separately) is an excellent addition and so is the Smart Keyboard folio. Whichever screen size you choose, the iPad Pro delivers the best tablet experience that you won’t get on any other tablet. The price is high, but keep in mind that the iPad Pro is taking on the likes of the MacBook Air. The device starts at Rs 71,900 for the entry-level 11-inch model but a full backed 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 1TB of storage and cellular connection costs Rs 153,900. Read our review of the iPad Pro here.
Best iPad for writing: Apple iPad Air 10.5 (2019)
The new iPad Air is essentially a “pro” iPad, but without the jaw-dropping expensive price tag. The iPad Air has a 10.5-inch Retina Display as well as True Tone and Wide Color, giving you a sharper and more accurate display. It also has an A12 Bionic chip and gets up to 10 hours of battery life. You also get Touch ID for secure unlocking, support for Apple Pencil (first gen) and can be used with a Smart Keyboard folio.
Yes, it lacks the slim bezels, the quad speakers and ProMotion display of the iPad Pro, but still manages to strike a perfect balance between power, price, and portability. You can write, edit a Google doc file, and edit photos on the iPad Air with ease. While the iPad Air’s design feels a bit dated, it’s the price (starts at Rs 44,900) and performance that makes it a fantastic writing machine on the go.
Best portable iPad: Apple iPad Mini 5 (2019)
Some may argue that the iPad Mini 5 is not the best for 2019. I strongly disagree. In fact, a device like the iPad Mini aligns with Apple’s strategy. With cellular connectivity and Apple Pencil (first-gen) support, the iPad Mini offers a form factor that might be the perfect size for quick note-taking on the go. It is also ideal for playing Apple Arcade games or streaming shows via Apple TV.
For those who don’t want to lug around a large screen-size tablet on the go, this small form factor makes sense. And it’s still faster than a lot of devices at its price point today. It’s got the faster A12 Bionic chipset, alongside a 7.9-inch Retina display, a physical home button with Touch ID and a 10-hour battery life. Apple has added an 8MP rear camera and a 5MP camera on the front. If it lacks something it is Smart Keyboard support, but the question is, would it make sense to use a full-sized keyboard with a device as small as the iPad Mini? Read our review of the new iPad Mini here.
Best iPad for seniors: Apple 9.7-inch iPad (2018)
Apple may have discontinued this 2018 iPad, but it can still be purchased for less than Rs 25,000, if you spot one online. This is, in fact, the perfect one for senior citizens. First off, the iPad has an easy-to-use interface and most of the features just work as you’d expect them to – no learning curve.
With the 9.7-inch iPad, you are not getting a sub-par tablet. It’s fast, has a camera that’s good for FaceTime and Skype, and is lightweight and durable. Another reason for picking up this tablet is access to all prominent apps that will keep seniors occupied and also keep their brain active. I know people who bought the iPad for their parents, so that they can video chat and keep in touch at any point of the day, especially during an emergency.
The 9.7-inch iPad is as good as any other iPad and it even supports Apple Pencil (first-gen). On the plus side, the iPad has a bigger 9.7-inch screen compared to the smaller screen on a smartphone. This is one reason why Apple iPads are popular among senior citizens. The 9.7-inch Retina display is easier on eyes and delivers bright colors, clear images, and texts – ideal for an old person with vision problems. Did I mention that it has a headphone jack, something the expensive iPad Pros don’t have? If you’re going to get an iPad for your aging parents, get this one.