How to Pick the Best iPad

IDG.TV | Nov 23, 2015

Trying to decide which iPad to buy? We've got the lowdown on each iPad model so you can buy the right one.

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Are you looking for a super portable computer that can do it all? You're looking for an iPad. Whether you're playing videos or games, checking your email, surfing the Web, or creating your own shareable content, the iPad can do it, no sweat.

But which of the three iPad models should you buy? It's actually pretty simple, and we've got the lowdown on each version to help you decide.

iPad Air:

As the mid-size tablet in Apple’s line-up, The iPad Air 2 is packed with performance. It offers more screen real estate than the mini, and is much more portable than the somewhat unwieldy iPad Pro. It’s the perfect choice if you’re looking for an elegant compromise.

It's got a spectacular Retina display, so videos and photos always look good. And the anti-reflective coating makes it easy to see the screen in bright light.

With iOS 9's Split View, you can take advantage of the 9.7-inch screen and open two apps at one time. This is super-helpful when you're working on a project.

Speaking of projects, the Air 2's 64-bit processor is plenty powerful for creating videos and songs. It’s a better gaming device than the iPad mini as well.

What else is there to like? You get 10 hours of battery life, a super-thin profile that weighs less than a pound, an 8 megapixel camera, Touch ID, and a lot more.

While Apple offers a 16 gig iPad Air 2, we recommend spending the money on the next step up to 64 gigs. It's well worth the money because 16 gigs is just too small to store much of anything.

iPad mini:

The iPad mini 4 is perfect for kids—as well as adults who want the lightest, most portable tablet experience possible.

With a 7.9-inch screen, the iPad mini 4 is a lot smaller than the iPad Air, but it's also has a Retina display with an anti-reflective coating. You'll be able to watch video whenever and wherever you want.

Because the screen is so small, you'll find it a bit more difficult to multitask than you would on the larger iPads. If you're using only one app at a time—like watching videos, playing games, or surfing the web—you'll be fine with the iPad mini 4. And the A8 processor inside is more than up to the task.

The iPad mini 4's design prevents it from being the most productivity-focused of all iPads, but it still can get the job done. And it's also the most affordable iPad you'll find.

iPad Pro:

For serious work—whether you're an artist yearning for a large digital canvas, or a spreadsheet jockey—the iPad Pro delivers.

The 12.9 inch Retina display is massive. It's like someone ripped a screen off a 13-inch laptop and turned it into an iPad.

The A9X processor in the Pro nearly doubles the performance of the iPad Air. So if you're mostly focused on video or photo editing, the iPad Pro has to be your number one choice.[H5]

And with 10 hours of battery life, the iPad Pro will last the entire day. And that’s a really important consideration when you’re doing work in the field.

If you're getting an iPad Pro for creative work, be sure to buy the Apple Pencil. It's a stylus that artists will love. And it's pressure sensitive, so you can draw different kinds of lines and apply shading effects.


There you have it: Our recommendations for the iPad. Whether it's for entertainment of for getting things done, Apple has an iPad that fits the bill for you.