Which iPad Should You Buy: 2024 Edition

If you’re considering an iPad, the sheer number of choices can be bewildering. Let me help you decide which iPad you should buy in 2024.

The iPad is one of the world’s most popular tablets, meshing so well with other Apple products like the Mac computer. The trouble is, there are so many varieties to choose from. You’ve got your base-model iPad, the iPad mini, and the iPad Air. Then there’s the iPad Pro. And let’s not forget that some variants come in two different sizes. So, you might wonder which iPad you should buy when it’s time to pull that trigger. Let’s outline all your choices so you can make an informed decision.

The Base-Model iPad

This model got the craze started, at least from an Apple standpoint. Now on its 10th generation, the base model iPad is the least expensive and has the tamest feature set. Also worth noting is Apple is doing away with the headphone jack on this one. So, if you need a headphone jack, you’ll need to stick to the 9th gen model which the company no longer sells. Apple hasn’t updated the 9th-gen iPad since September 2021 so the news isn’t that shocking.

The 10th-generation iPad features a 10.9-inch display and uses Apple’s A14 Bionic chip. For perspective, the A14 Bionic is the same chip found in the iPhone 12, so it isn’t exactly the fastest CPU in Apple’s repertoire.

You can have an iPad for as little as $349, and the tablet is available in blue, pink, yellow, and silver.

Apple iPad 10th gen

Pricing for the four models is as follows:

  • $349, 64GB, Wi-Fi only
  • $499, 256GB, Wi-Fi only
  • $499, 64GB, Wi-Fi + LTE
  • $649, 256GB, Wi-Fi + LTE

If all you want out of your iPad is a tablet for media consumption, checking emails, surfing the web, and casual game playing, this is a great choice.

The iPad mini

Next, we have the iPad mini, featuring an 8.3-inch display and Apple’s A15 Bionic chip. This is the same chip powering the iPhone 13, so it’s still lagging behind the chips in the iPhone lineup.

Still, it will be moderately faster than the base-model iPad. It just won’t break any speed records. It also may not handle the newest, most advanced games on the App Store.

Apple iPad mini

Available in space gray, pink, purple, and starlight, the iPad mini is also available in four configurations.

  • $499, 64GB, Wi-Fi only
  • $649, 256GB, Wi-Fi only
  • $649, 64GB, Wi-Fi + LTE
  • $799, 256GB, Wi-Fi + LTE

This is, again, best suited for media consumption and productivity tasks. If you want to listen to music, watch TV or movies, or handle email in a smaller form factor than the iPad, this is the model for you.

Apple’s iPad Air, Now in Two Sizes

In 2024, Apple refreshed the iPad Air to use the M2 System-on-a-Chip. This same SoC is also used in Mac computers. It’s worth noting that the M2 is a generation behind the current models (which use the M3).

Beginning with the 2024 model, iPad Air is available in two screen sizes. You can choose from an 11-inch or a 13-inch model. In the past, the 13-inch form factor was reserved for the iPad Pro lineup.

iPad Air 2024

All in all, there are 16 variants of the iPad Air in four colors. You can choose from space gray, blue, purple, and starlight. Here are the configuration options:

11-inch iPad Air13-inch iPad Air
$599, 128GB, WiFi only$799, 128GB, Wi-Fi only
$699, 256GB, WiFi only$899, 256GB, WiFi only
$899, 512GB, WiFi only$1099, 512GB, WiFi only
$1099,1TB, WiFi only$1299, 1TB, WiFi only
$749, 128GB, Wi-Fi + 5G$949, 128GB, Wi-Fi + 5G
$849, 256GB, Wi-Fi + 5G$1049, 256GB, Wi-Fi + 5G
$1049, 512GB, Wi-Fi + 5G$1249, 512GB, Wi-Fi + 5G
$1249, 1TB, Wi-Fi + 5G$1449, 1TB, Wi-Fi + 5G

The iPad Air is definitely beefier performance-wise than the first two models. It should be great for media consumption and productivity tasks, but it’s also going to handle all but the most demanding games and other apps easily.

If you plan to use your iPad for video or sound recording and editing, the M2-powered iPad Air is more than enough tablet for most tasks in Final Cut Pro for iPad 2 or Logic Pro for iPad 2.

The Premier Model, the iPad Pro

Finally, there’s the iPad Pro, also updated for 2024. The latest model features an OLED display on both sizes and the just-announced M4 SoC. This is the flagship in the iPad family, able to handle just about anything you throw at it. Unless, of course, you’re wanting it to be a desktop replacement.

For the first time, the iPad Pro’s GPU can handle hardware ray tracing and mesh shading, a great benefit for designers.

Apple iPad Pro with M4

It’s worth noting that if you want the new-to-iPad anti-glare nano-texture display, that’s reserved only for the 1TB and 2TB models in each size.

iPad Pro comes in silver or space black, with 24 different size and connectivity configurations.

11-inch iPad Pro13-inch iPad Pro
$999, 256GB, WiFi only$1299, 256GB, WiFi only
$1199, 512GB, WiFi only$1499, 512GB, WiFi only
$1599,1TB, WiFi only$1899, 1TB, WiFi only
$1699, 1TB, Wi-Fi only, nano-texture display$1999, 1TB, Wi-Fi only, nano-texture display
$1999, 2TB, Wi-Fi only$2299, 2TB, Wi-Fi only
$2099, 2TB, Wi-Fi only, nano-texture display$2399, 2TB, Wi-Fi only, nano-texture display
$1799, 1TB, Wi-Fi + 5G$2099, 1TB, Wi-Fi + 5G
$2199, 2TB, Wi-Fi + 5G$2199, 1TB, Wi-Fi + 5G, nano-texture display
$1899, 1TB, Wi-Fi + 5G, nano-texture display$2499, 2TB, Wi-Fi + 5G
$2299, 2TB, Wi-Fi + 5G, nano-texture display$2599, 2TB, Wi-Fi + 5G, nano-texture display

Which iPad Is Right for You?

If your needs in a tablet are basic and light, either the iPad or the iPad mini will suit you just fine. On the other hand, if you plan on doing hardcore gaming, intense video or music editing, or 3D rendering, those models won’t cut it. For that sort of workload, you’ll want the iPad Air or the premier iPad Pro.

What do you think about Apple’s catalog of iPad models? Is it just right, or is it all getting just a bit too complex and confusing? Let us know in the comments or over at our free forums.

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