With so many different variations available, choosing the best iPad can present its challenges. Whether you're talking about the basic iPad, the iPad mini, the iPad Air, or even the Pro, each model offers its own set of advantages and highlights. In this article, we'll suggest which iPads are best suited for specific users and applications, hopefully helping you choose the model that is right for you.
Best iPad Overall: iPad (2022)
Display: 10.9" Liquid Retina display
Processor: Apple A14 Bionic Chip
Storage Capacity: Up to 256GB
+ Sleek redesign with larger display
+ A14 Bionic delivers fast performance
+ USB-C charging
+ Long battery life
- Doesn't support 2nd-gen Apple Pencil
The new iPad (2022) is our pick for the best iPad overall because it satisfies the needs of most users.
What makes it so good for so many? For starters, the iPad features Apple's powerful new A14 Bionic chip, which significantly bolsters overall performance regardless of the task. So, regardless of whether you're editing a hi-res video or playing a graphically intense game, you'll do it faster on the iPad.
In addition to its speedy performance, the iPad features a new 10.9" Liquid Retina display, which looks incredible, thanks to its improved 2360 x 1640 resolution and True Tone technology. Not only is the screen more stunning than the previous model, it's also bigger, providing users with even more screen real estate to get things done.
Other new and upgraded features include an upgraded camera system, USB-C connectivity (finally), Wi-Fi 6 and 5G support, and much more. In other words: the new iPad offers something for just about everyone, all at a reasonable price.
If there was one complaint we had about the iPad, it's that it only supports the first generation of Apple Pencil, not the second. This seems like a rare (and admittedly large) oversight from Apple, considering the fact the 1st-gen Pencil charges via Lightning and the iPad is now a USB-C device.
That one criticism aside, the iPad is an otherwise perfect blend of performance, design, and value, giving it the greatest appeal to the widest range of users.
Best iPad for Content Creators and Professionals: 12.9" iPad Pro (2022)
Display: 12.9" Liquid Retina XDR Display
Processor: Apple M2 8-Core CPU
Storage Capacity: Up to 2TB
+ XDR display is super bright and beautiful
+ M2 chip delivers laptop-level performance
+ Up to 2TB of storage and 16GB of RAM
+ 12MP Ultra-Wide front camera with Center Stage
- Definitely not inexpensive
The iPad Pro (2022) is arguably the most powerful, most capable tablet on the planet, which is why it's the best iPad for the most demanding users, including content creators and other professionals.
What's behind the iPad Pro's unrivaled power? M2, the first chip in Apple's next generation of silicon, delivers performance that tops even its predecessor—which, considering just how advanced the iPad Pro (2021) was, is saying a lot. We're talking power and performance that eclipses that of a desktop computer, now available in the palms of your hands.
The iPad Pro's massive 12.9" Liquid Retina XDR display features 2732 x 2048 resolution, 120 Hz refresh rate, and P3 wide color support, so not only do users get plenty of canvas to work on, they get a stunning, color-accurate one at that.
The only thing the iPad Pro can't do is spare your wallet. To acquire the new king of tablets, you'll need to pay a king's ransom. But if you're looking for the absolute best, most powerful iPad, and it's within your budget, there simply isn't a better option available.
Best iPad for Students: iPad Air (2022)
Display: 10.9" Liquid Retina Display
Processor: Apple M1 8-Core CPU
Storage Capacity: Up to 256GB
+ Sleek, portable design
+ M1 chip delivers blazing-fast performance
+ Gorgeous display
+ Great value overall
- Mediocre battery life
Easy to carry and powerful enough to rival the iPad Pro, the iPad Air (2022) is exactly what students need: a portable tablet that doesn't compromise on performance.
The secret behind the iPad Air's Pro-like performance is its new M1 processor, which is a major upgrade from the previous gen's A14 Bionic chipset. The new chip gives the iPad Air enough muscle to handle just about any application, so even the most demanding assignments shouldn't be an issue.
True to its namesake, the iPad Air also features a featherweight form that makes it extremely portable. As mentioned, that light weight doesn't impinge on performance, nor does it curb the iPad Air's visual appeal. Not only does the iPad Air look sleek as all get-out, but its paper-thin bezels mean it gets to show off a gorgeous 10.9" Liquid Retina display.
The iPad Air also returns great value. Remember how we said the Air offers iPad Pro-like performance? Well, it does, but for half the cost. For shoppers on a budget (ahem, students), that's a major plus.
Best iPad for Kids: iPad mini (2021)
Display: 8.3" Liquid Retina Display
Processor: Apple A15 Bionic Chip
Storage capacity: Up to 256GB
+ Lightest, most portable iPad
+ A15 processor is very fast
+ Sharp display gets very bright
- A bit pricey
Despite the iPad mini (2021)'s gorgeous display and blazing-fast performance, it's still just a little guy. And that's OK. It's supposed to be. The iPad mini is perfect for anyone who wants a tablet they can operate easily with one hand. It's also perfect for users with smaller hands—like kids!
Of course, just because the iPad mini is small doesn't mean it lacks performance. The 8.3c Liquid Retina display is a thing of beauty, and whether it's used for streaming cartoons or reading comics, the picture quality is outstanding. Additionally, the iPad mini features Apple's A15 Bionic chip. It's not as powerful as an M1, but it is still super-fast—enough to handle whatever your kids throw its way quickly.
Best of all: the iPad mini (2021) supports the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil, so kids can use it with programs like Procreate for digital painting and drawing.
The Best iPad for You
That does it for our roundup of the best iPads. Remember: when shopping for an iPad, it's not about which is the best. It's about which is the best for you. With that in mind, before you buy, consider your own needs and preferences. Are you a student? Are you a professional? Do you need a new iPad for general use or for something more specific like content creation? With what kind of budget are you working?
Once you figure out your needs and budget, it will be easier to find the best iPad for you. Review our list to help narrow down the selection, and if you have any questions or comments, be sure to let us know in the Comments section, below.
Tough to argue with this list but i think another option for kids is the earlier ipad pro. my son is 7 and he plays on my old 9" pro from a couple years back. it's the perfect size for him and does everything he needs. just a rec