Apple currently offers four main iPad models, each with their own respective strengths and specifications. But which one to buy? If you’re after a decent mix of power and portability at a great price, the iPad Mini is your best option. However, if you want the ultimate entertainment, productivity, and creative powerhouse, there’s no better way to go than the iPad Pro 12.9. Both tablets are currently on sale at Amazon starting from $350.
The Apple iPad Mini is the best iPad for travel. Weighing just 10.6 ounces with a diminutive 7.9-inch screen, it’s the perfect size for smaller hands and mobile professionals. While it may be tiny, it boasts the latest processor, which makes it a pocket powerhouse. Inside the iPad Mini is Apple’s A12 Bionic chip, the same one that powers the iPhone XR and XS and iPad Air, which all cost several hundred dollars more. It’s incredibly fast (though not as fast as the iPad Pro’s A12X Bionic chip) and delivers no noticeable lags when playing a game, editing a photo, or sketching. Speaking of sketching, the iPad Mini boasts Apple Pencil 1st gen support and while it’s a great digital pen, it’s always in danger of snapping in half every time you charge it through the Lightning port. Even though this tablet’s 7.9-inch Retina display is quite petite, it’s bright, sharp, and colorful. Unlike the iPad Pro below, the iPad Mini is not compatible with Apple’s Magic keyboard, but you do have the option to purchase any third-party Bluetooth keyboard, which typically are quite cheap. Fortunately, this tablet still has a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is sadly growing extinct. Battery life is great, capable of lasting at least a week with light to normal use. Probably the iPad Mini’s biggest draw is that it’s the second most affordable iPad right now (the cheapest is the standard iPad 10.2). It normally retails for $399, but you can get it at Amazon today for just $350.
The iPad Pro 12.9 is absolutely the best iPad to own. If you have this in your arsenal, you might have to say goodbye to every other device that you own, including your TV, game console, laptop, music mixing table – even your sketchbook (except maybe your phone). This is the ultimate tool for productivity, creativity, and entertainment with its stunning screen, serious processing power, and useful peripherals. The iPad Pro 12.9 is massive, roughly the size of a magazine, but at just 2.44 pounds it is considerably lightweight. Unlike the rest of the iPad lineup, it no longer has a home button. Unlocking the screen is now via Face ID, and it’s extremely fast, on par with the latest iPhones. Its 12.9-inch edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display is breathtaking. Packed with 2388 x 1668 pixels, the screen is super sharp with vibrant colors and perfect contrasts. Although it requires a separate purchase, we highly recommend that you get the Apple Pencil 2nd gen which is exclusively compatible with the iPad Pro (for now) and charges wirelessly while attached to it. It may cost a pretty penny but it’s definitely worth it as it’s one of the best styluses that we’ve ever used. Another peripheral you should save up on is the Apple Magic keyboard so you can type documents a lot faster. The iPad Pro is a powerhouse, thanks to the insanely fast A12X Bionic processor. Apple claims it can process graphical input better than the Xbox One, and we wholeheartedly agree. Multitasking will never be an issue, and the iPad Pro can deftly handle heavy programs like Photoshop with relative ease. Unfortunately, the iPad Pro is missing a headphone jack, Yes, we’re fully aware that the future is wireless but we’re still not willing to say goodbye to the simplicity of wired listening. The iPad Pro 12.9 is the best tablet that money can buy. Get it at Amazon today for $950 instead of $1,000.
Looking for more? Head over to our Deals Hub for more iPad deals.
We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.
Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.