Following the complete renewal of the different iPad ranges, we have compared all the currently available versions. Which iPad mini, iPad Pro, iPad Air, or base iPad suits you?
The iPad 10: No More Reasonable Value For Money
To begin, let’s look at the case of the new “classic” iPad: the tenth-generation iPad. It is, to date, the most affordable of all the models offered, even if you still have to pay 200 euros more than the previous version to afford it or 589 euros. But despite this price, don’t panic: the iPad 10 remains an excellent choice. Indeed, Apple has integrated an A14 Bionic chip under the hood, a high-end processor for 2020 whi, which still exists today.
With its technical sheet less efficient than the others and its lower price, the 10.9-inch screen of the iPad 2022 is the same size as the iPad Air 5. Therefore, the iPad 10 is ideal for the most restricted budgets and suitable for students or artists just starting. Of course, it is also perfect for entertainment, as this task does not guarantee a return on investment.
iPad mini: The Compact
In second place in terms of prices is the iPad mini, which is in its sixth generation. As its name suggests, the iPad mini is the smallest of all the iPads available. We therefore recommend it with certainty for travel, especially if you need more space with cabin baggage. Surprisingly, the iPad mini is faster than the iPad 10: users can count on an A15 Bionic chip here.
The iPad mini’s panel is limited to 8.3 inches, which can be annoying if you aim for a certain freedom of movement with your Apple Pencil, for example. There are more suitable ways to view data on Numbers devices. On the other hand, we recommend it for nomadic tasks such as taking restaurant orders, but in the long term, the ergonomics still need to be there even with a need to board. The sixth-generation iPad mini may be the best price/performance ratio, but it’s not a productivity whiz—price: 659 euros, without 4G.
Our Opinion On The iPad Air
The positioning of the iPad Air is difficult to understand today. Apple offers us a very efficient tablet in all respects, except for the photo sensors. Moreover, the M1 chip is one of the fastest on this market, and the screen is the same size as the classic iPad’s. Besides, the design is also very similar. But the iPad Air has a laminated screen with an anti-reflective coating, offering better rendering in direct sunlight than the iPad 10. The iPad Air 5 is also a smart choice if you like to adjust your gear to suit your style.
The tablet is available in five colors: starlight, space gray, blue, purple, or yellow. As for accessories, the iPad Air 5 supports the second-generation Apple Pencil, and you can connect a keyboard using the Smart Connector installed on the back. The iPad Air is larger and more powerful than the iPad mini. But based on benchmarks, its speed could be better than the iPad Pro’s. We recommend it to anyone looking for a very efficient tablet dedicated to productivity but whose budget is limited and, therefore, cannot aim for the very high end.
11-Inch iPad Pro And 12.9-inch iPad Pro
Now, let’s move on to the kings of our comparison: the iPad Pros. As their name suggests, these are intended for only some. On the contrary, we find them mainly in companies or among freelancers at very advantageous hourly rates. And for good reason: the price starts at over a thousand euros! One thousand sixty-nine euros more precisely for the version with an 11-inch screen and without mobile data, against a minimum of 1,469 euros if you decide to upgrade to the 12.9-inch panel (the largest on iPad)
What differentiates the iPad Pro from other models is, in particular, their chip: it is the M2 processor which equips even… MacBook Pros! Suffice it to say that the performance is unmatched, not just compared to other iPads, but across the entire tablet market. With this, you should know that iPad Pros are also best suited to landscapers or interior designers thanks to their LiDAR radar, which measures distances in three dimensions. It is an essential asset also for many augmented reality developers.
iPad 9: The Cheapest
Here we are at the last iPad still on sale in the Apple Store: the ninth-generation iPad. It is the most affordable, with a price of 439 euros. But it is also the oldest and the least effective, at least if we look at the exact figures in its technical sheet. The iPad 9 also has a reasonably aging design, with wide borders around the screen and Touch ID under the home button, which is still there for those who are more nostalgic.
The iPad 9, however, presents itself as good value for money because it has the same operating system as the others thanks to its compatibility with iPadOS 16. If you are looking for an affordable tablet from Apple to entertain your children or to read articles before going to bed, this is the best choice. However, expect to run only a few apps simultaneously. The iPad 9 has a 10.2-inch screen and is powered by the A13 Bionic chip. The front camera is a twelve-megapixel ultra-wide-angle, like the iPad Air. As for the storage capacity offered, it can reach 256 GB.
Which iPad Should You Choose For Classes?
If you are looking for an iPad as a student, first of all, know that Apple offers special prices precisely for this type of customer. The same goes for teachers. We know that some high schools or schools offer tablets to their students today. The opportunity to look at the models chosen for the occasion: these are classic editions in general.
Therefore, there is no iPad Pro or iPad Air because the prices may be too high here. But the iPad 10 and iPad 9 performance does the job very well. You can write documents with Pages without fear of potential slowdowns. The same goes for pretty light files with Microsoft Excel or Numbers. To understand the discounts offered in the Apple Store for students, let’s take the example of the iPad 9: It costs 409 euros.
That’s barely more than the original price for individuals before inflation changed things. You will have to spend a little more on an iPad, 10: 549 euros, instead of the usual 589. To this, we will consider adding a keyboard for typing lessons: the Magic Keyboard Folio with touchpad for iPad 10 is available for 269 euros. And for note-taking, the proprietary Freeform app is ideal, even without Apple Pencil. This is installed on all iPads.
Which iPad Should You Choose For Procreate?
If you want to focus on graphics, then the Procreate app is what you need. Unfortunately, it costs 11.99 euros in France and is unavailable on all iPads. You must have a tablet running iPadOS 14.4 or a later version to install it. This, therefore, automatically excludes the first-generation iPad Air, the first three iPad minis, or even the iPad 4. But anyway, when it comes to iPad minis, they are unsuitable for Procreate because their screen is too small. It will indeed be enough to have extensive hands to hide half of your drawing with your palm…
It needs to be more practical. iPad Pros, on the other hand, are masters in CAD. Coupled with a second-generation Apple Pencil, they can easily be used as natural graphics tablets: Wacom’s products pale compared to the possibilities offered by iPadOS 16 and the millions of third-party apps available on the App Store. Otherwise, the iPad Air is an excellent choice for Procreate, with 10.9 inches on the clock, but for a much more attractive price than the iPad Pro M1 and iPad Pro M2.
Tip: Opt For A Reconditioned Tablet
With the price surge of the iPad range in 2022, it is becoming difficult to afford an Apple tablet without breaking the bank. This is why Cupertino also offers refurbished models. This means that the product is familiar but used. On the other hand, the manufacturer analyzed it to find any possible technical problem and corrected it accordingly. Ditto is in the case of a battery with low autonomy, a cracked screen, or a defective speaker.
Good to know, however: the parts chosen by Apple to replace the original ones can also be second-hand. In addition, it is not uncommon for the manufacturer not to replace the processor even though it may have overheated and, therefore, seriously tired in the past. So be wary of the reconditioning: it’s suitable for entertainment, but we’ll avoid it in the office.
Another tip: prefer the reconditioned Apple or Back Market, and always check the warranty times, as they can be very short. Avoid other resellers at the risk of having no insight into the origin of the spare parts. Especially if the prices seem too attractive: Apple hardware is expensive, that’s a fact. But it is a significant guarantee of quality.
Which iPad Should You Choose For A Restaurant?
In catering, you must:
- a fast iPad so as not to keep customers waiting
- a compact iPad to be easily transported by the server
- an iPad with the latest Bluetooth or Wi-Fi standards to communicate with the cash register remotely
In this context, the iPad mini seems the most suitable and is also the one that most convinces cafes and fast food brands. Also, note that Apple sometimes offers wholesale discounts if you purchase several models simultaneously. Then, you must go through the Apple Business Essentials suite to configure your entire system in a few clicks. If you want to connect a Sumup-type accessory for the cash register, the iPad 10 can do the trick. It is newer than the iPad 9, remains affordable, but will be supported for longer.
Given the costs to be amortized over a forecast of several years, it is an ideal piece of equipment to install behind the bar. Security updates will be essential to ensure ongoing, worry-free payments to customers. The new, larger screen will also allow you to manage a reservation calendar or an establishment profile without wasting too much time scrolling through them: Yelp, La Fourchette, Mail, etc.
Which iPad Should You Choose For Drawing?
iPads for drawing are the same as Procreate, the artist reference app. Afterward, everything will depend on your level: for a tattoo artist who already has his salon, the iPad Air or even the iPad Pro can be a good choice for large layers. On the other hand, if it is your three or four-year-old child who wants to color pictures, in this case, the iPad 9 is already well suited.
As seen above, you should also know that hovering is not available on all iPads. It is only found on the iPad Pro M2 and the iPad Pro M1, even if Apple indicates that only the new models are entitled to it. However, this tool is handy, for example, if you want to premix the colors of your watercolors before placing them on the screen. All iPads available today feature an oleophobic, fingerprint-resistant coating on the panel. You can, therefore, rest your wrist to draw without fear of distorting your sketch.
Which Keyboard Should You Choose With An iPad?
There are several types of iPad keyboards. Let’s take a quick look at our three favorites to get started.
The Magic Keyboards
The Magic Keyboard is dedicated to iPad Pro and iPad Air. This Apple accessory includes a touchpad and all the keys you can find on a Mac. A USB-C port is included for charging, and the case protects the iPad’s back. This is excellent news for an aluminum iPad Pro to avoid breaking it.
The Magic Keyboard Folio
The Magic Keyboard Folio offers a value proposition similar to the Magic Keyboard. Still, it is intended for the iPad 10, with, as a bonus, function keys to control, for example, the brightness or your playlists, such as the Touch Bar.
The classic Smart Keyboards are intended for Apple’s most affordable iPads. These are the “classic” seventh, eighth, and ninth-generation iPads, the iPad Air 3, and the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
The Smart Keyboard Folio
The Smart Keyboard Folio has double-sided protection for the back and screen of your iPad. There are no function keys here, but there is compatibility with many iPad Pro and iPad Air.
If you choose a keyboard, be aware that Apple’s are the most expensive. Opting for a third-party brand will, therefore, be much more affordable. From the manufacturer Logitech, for example, you can find excellent alternatives for around 50% of the price Apple charges.
The Apple Pencil Is Not Compatible With All iPads!
The last key point is that of the Apple Pencil. This is, therefore, only compatible with some iPads. So, while the second generation works with the most recent models, the first does not. Some iPads do not have the Apple Pencil at all.
Here are the iPads compatible with the Apple Pencil 1 :
- iPad (sixth generation)
- iPad (seventh generation)
- iPad (eighth generation)
- iPad (ninth generation)
- iPad Air (third generation)
- iPad mini (fifth generation)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (first generation)
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (second generation)
- 10.5-inch iPad Pro
- iPad Pro 9.7 inches
Note that for the iPad 10, you must purchase a USB-C to Lightning adapter, which costs a whopping ten euros. Finally, here are the iPads compatible with the Apple Pencil 2 :
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (third generation)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (fourth generation)
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (fifth generation)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (sixth generation)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (first generation)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (second generation)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (third generation)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (fourth generation)
- iPad Air (fourth generation)
- iPad Air (fifth generation)
- iPad mini (sixth generation)