Skip to Content
© Ifeelstock |
Tech tips

Buying guide: Find the right iPad for you

Have you been thinking about finally breaking down and getting yourself a tablet? You can’t go wrong with an Apple iPad.

Apple did start the touchscreen-tablet revolution almost a decade ago, when the original iPad was released in 2010. It’s still widely considered the best tablet on the market. Tap or click here to learn 10 iPad tips and tricks.

But since there are several different models to choose from, it can be confusing to know which one to buy. We can help. Check out or iPad buying guide so you can find the right one for your lifestyle.

The little guy with a powerful punch

If you want all the power that comes with an iPad, but don’t want to carry around a device with a big screen, the iPad mini might be just the tablet you’re looking for.

The latest iPad mini comes with new, powerful tech, including the A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine. It has a 7.9-inch Retina display with True Tone and you’re going to love this: it now supports Apple Pencil, so you can capture your biggest ideas whenever they come to you.

You can choose either 64GB or 256GB of storage and both versions weigh just 0.66 pounds. It has two cameras, one is 8-megapixels that lets you take live photos and 1080p HD video. The other is 7-megapixels and it also takes 1080p video, best used for FaceTime calls.

PssT! Stick around until the end of this article and we’ll include a comparison chart showing you the differences in tech specs between iPad models. This will really help you know what you’re getting with the iPad you choose.

Here’s the basic model with a reasonable price

The basic iPad now has a larger screen than before. The 2019 model has a 10.2-inch Retina display, support for the full-size Smart Keyboard and the new capabilities of iPadOS.

Related: 8 of the best iPad apps to help you organize your life

You can edit documents while doing research online and making a FaceTime call to a friend all at the same time. Like the iPad mini, this iPad also works with Apple Pencil, so you can do things like sign paperwork, edit a document or sketch an idea.

There are two storage sizes to pick from: 32GB and 128GB. It weighs just 1.07 pounds and comes with an A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture and embedded M10 coprocessor. The rechargeable battery gives you up to 10 hours of surfing the web, watching videos or listening to music.

It also comes with two cameras. The front-facing camera gives you 1.2-megapixel photos and can be used for FaceTime videos. The camera on the back is 8-megapixels that lets you take live photos.

For the serious techies out there

If you want the best iPad money can buy, the iPad Pro is the real deal. The latest Pro models have the all-screen design after cutting the bezel size way down and it comes with either an 11-inch or 12.9-inch display.

The Liquid Retina display goes from edge to edge with true-to-life color and ProMotion technology. You really can’t find a better-looking tablet than the new iPad Pro.

It comes packed with a powerful punch, too. It’s truly a computer in tablet form and offers Face ID for ultimate security. There are four storage capacities to choose from: 64GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB.

Related: Here’s the first thing you need to do with your new iPad

The iPad Pro has an A12X Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture and an embedded M12 coprocessor. It has a 12-megapixel camera that gives you 4K recording capabilities and a 7-megapixel camera that lets you record 1080p video, and can be used for FaceTime video calling.

Of all the iPad models, the Pro is the most expensive. If you need a tablet for work, you can’t go wrong with the Pro.

Power isn’t just for the professionals

If you want much of the power and technology that comes with a Pro but don’t want to spend that much money, the iPad Air is a good alternative. It’s packed with much of the same powerful tech that’s inside the Pro at a fraction of the price.

One of the most noticeable differences between the Pro and the Air is the screen. The iPad Air does not have the edge to edge screen, so it’s not as impressive-looking; however, you’re going to like its capabilities.

The Air has an A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine, a 10.5-inch Retina display with True Tone and support for Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard. All of this, and it weighs in at just a pound, so it’s super portable.

Apple lover? We want to give you just the tips that you’ll use. Subscribe to my weekly Apple Updates newsletter for news, tips and tricks, and the coolest new apps.

By clicking our links, you’re supporting our research, as we may earn a very small commission. Recommendations are not part of any business incentives.

Specs iPad mini iPad iPad Pro iPad Air
Starting at $399
Starting at $329
Starting at $799
Starting at $499
7.9-inch Retina display
10.2-inch Retina display
11-inch or 12.9-inch Liquid Retina display
10.5-inch Retina display
A12 Biconic chip
A10 Fusion chip
A12X Bionic chip
A12 Bionic chip
Touch ID
Touch ID
Face ID
Touch ID
Up to 256GB
Up to 128GB
Up to 1TB
Up to 256GB
Supports Apple Pencil
Yes (1st generation)
Yes (1st generation)
Yes (2nd generation)
Yes (1st generation)
Smart Keyboard Compatibility
No only compatible with Bluetooth keyboards
Yes - Smart Keyboard Folio and Bluetooth keyboards
0.66 pounds
1.07 pounds
11-inch model = 1.03 pounds
12.9-inch model = 1.4 pounds
1.0 pound
Up to 10 hours
Up to 10 hours
Up to 10 hours
Up to 10 hours
8-megapixel photos 1080p HD video
8-megapixel photos 1080p HD video
12-megapixel photos 4K video
8-megapixel photos 1080p HD video
Front camera
7-megapixel photos 1080p HD video for FaceTime
1.2-megapixel photos 720p HD video for FaceTime
7-megapixel photos 1080p HD video for FaceTime
7-megapixel photos 1080p HD video for FaceTime
Two speaker audio
Two speaker audio
Four speaker audio
Two speaker audio
Komando Community background

Join the Komando Community

Get even more know-how in the Komando Community! Here, you can enjoy The Kim Komando Show on your schedule, read Kim's eBooks for free, ask your tech questions in the Forum — and so much more.

Try it for 30 days