iPad generations: Which Apple iPad model is best tablet for You?
Which is better for photographers: Pro, Air, mini, or the basic iPad? Our guide to the different generations of iPads explains it all.
The number of generations of iPads to choose from is increasingly confusing. With so many confusing iPad names, combining different sub-brands, years, and generation numbers, it can be difficult to determine which model is right for you.
So in this article, we make it easy for you by explaining the differences between the four main types of iPad (iPad Pro, iPad mini, iPad Air, and basic iPad) and the different versions of each line up to nine generations of iPad.. iPads that have been released so far.
Here you can find details of each iPad available for purchase today. We’ll provide you with all the relevant information that we recommend, along with some key details for older iPads, which you may want to buy used if they’re cheap.
So whether you want to use an iPad for intense video editing, occasionally surf the web, or somewhere in between, you will find the right device for your needs in our iPad generations guide.
iPad Generations: The Different iPad Pro Models
The iPad Pro range is, as the name suggests, aimed at professional content creators. These devices, the most powerful of the iPads, will offer the best performance when it comes to resource-intensive tasks such as editing photos and videos. Similarly, they can be overkill if all you want to do with an iPad is surf the web and stream music and videos.
The latest and largest iPad Pro is quite simply the best iPad overall
If you want the best overall iPad, this is it. The iPad Pro (2021) 12.9 is the last of the line and is the most powerful by a mile. That’s because it’s the first to house Apple‘s new M1 processor. Its 8-core processor is 50% faster than previous models and the 8-core GPU offers 40% faster graphics.
You also get up to 2TB of storage and support for 5G, making it ideal for photographers on the go. The rear camera is pretty good too, with a 12MP ultra-wide front camera with a 122º field of view and an ISP and LIDAR scanner for extra detail in low-light conditions. It may not be the newest smartphone camera, but when it comes to iPads, it’s the best of its kind today.
It’s also worth noting that the front selfie camera has the new Center Stage feature, which tracks your movements during video recording and follows you to keep you in the center. The iPad Pro 2021 also supports Magic Keyboard, which can make your life easier when editing photos, but note that you will need to purchase it separately.
The latest iPad Pro’s smaller, cheaper sibling
The latest version of the iPad Pro is also available in a more compact 11-inch version. This means that the display and assembly are slightly smaller, lighter, and less expensive.
Other than that, the main difference between the two versions of the iPad Pro (2021) is the brightness. While the 12.9-inch version offers a maximum brightness of 1600 nits, the 11-inch version only extends to 600 nits. Otherwise, you get everything else with the 12.9-inch version – the same speed and power thanks to the M1 chip, the same generous storage, and the same great cameras.
This slightly older iPad Pro is more affordable
The iPad Pro 12.9 (2020) may not have the latest M1 chip, but it does have an A12Z Bionic chip that is still very fast. And so if you don’t do anything really heavy with your iPad, like edit 8K videos or large RAW image files, you are unlikely to notice a difference between this version and the 2021 version. IPad is still so new, a very tempting purchase.
This iPad also supports Magic Keyboard and offers a very nice camera setup. On the back, you get 12MP and 10MP ultra-wide sensors, along with a ToF LiDAR scanner for depth and video support up to 4K at 60fps. On the front, there is a 7MP camera for calls and selfies.
A smaller version of the 12.9 version, but otherwise the same
This older iPad Pro still has a lot to offer
The iPad Pro 2018, available in 12.9 and 11-inch versions, now looks a bit dated. But if you find one for an inexpensive price, it’s definitely worth considering. While its A12X processor is not as fast as the A12Z Bionic processor in the 2020 iPad Pro, it is not far behind.
Another difference that could be more decisive is the rear camera; Although it has a 12 MP wide sensor, it lacks an ultra-wide scanner and a LIDAR scanner. The other downsides to this iPad Pro are that you can’t connect a magic keyboard and the sound isn’t as good as later models. That said, if you want to achieve a good discount, these are tradeoffs that many will be willing to make.
iPad generations: Older iPad Pros
These older iPad Pro models are also still available.
- ipad Pro 12.9 inch, 2nd generation: 12MP Wide camera with Auto HDR and 4K video at 30 fps; 7MP FaceTime HD front camera with Auto HDR; 12.9-inch Retina display with ProMotion technology and True Tone
- iPad Pro 12.9 inch, 1st generation: 8MP Wide camera with HDR and 1080p video; 1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera with Auto HDR; 12.9‑inch Retina display
- ipad Pro 11 inch, 2nd generation: 12MP Wide and 10MP Ultra Wide cameras with Smart HDR and 4K video at 24 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps 7MP; TrueDepth front camera with Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting and Smart HDR; 11‑inch Liquid Retina display with ProMotion technology and True Tone
- iPad Pro 11 inch, 1st generation: 12MP Wide camera with Smart HDR and 4K video at 30 fps or 60 fps 7MP; TrueDepth front camera with Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting and Smart HDR; 11‑inch Liquid Retina display with ProMotion technology and True Tone
- iPad Pro 10.5 inch: 12MP Wide camera with Auto HDR and 4K video at 30 fps; 7MP FaceTime HD front camera with Auto HDR; 10.5-inch Retina display with ProMotion technology and True Tone
- iPad Pro 9.7 inch: 12MP Wide camera with Auto HDR and 4K video at 30 fps; 5MP FaceTime HD front camera with Auto HDR; 9.7‑inch Retina display with True Tone
iPad generations: the different basic iPad models
In addition to the iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini, Apple also offers a basic range that is simply called the “iPad.” If you want to do a lot of work on your iPad, especially when it comes to photo or video editing, we don’t recommend these particular devices. They’re a lot cheaper than other iPad lines though, so if all you want to do is surf the web a bit, play music, and stream videos, they’re a great option.
The best of the basic iPads
The basic iPad isn’t as powerful as the iPad Air, iPad mini, or iPad Pro. But the latest version from 2021 is still pretty good.
In particular, it uses the A13 Bionic chip, which makes it 20% faster than the previous 8th-generation 10.2-inch iPad (2020) and enables machine learning functions such as Live Text, which can recognize text from a photo. . It uses Apple’s True Tone display technology to automatically adjust display colors to respond to the ambient lighting in your physical space. And it starts with 64GB of storage, twice the size of the previous version.
On the back is an 8MP camera, which is the same as the previous iPad, but the 12MP ultra-wide front camera is the best of the line so far, capable of recording Full HD video and supporting the video function. Center Stage.
Older, more affordable version of the basic iPad
The 2020 version of the iPad 10.2 is cheaper than the previous one, so what are you missing? There are two main differences that really matter. First, the front camera is much poorer, going from 12 MP to just 1.2 MP and it is not supported by Center Stage. And secondly, the A12 Bionic chip is not as fast as the fastest A13 Bionic chip in the current version.
We are talking about titles, however, rather than a massive slowdown. And while you don’t mind using the front camera too much, this older model is worth considering if the price is right.
Earlier means cheaper: a great budget iPad for casual use
Now that this 2019 version of the base iPad is getting old, you should be able to buy one for a cheap price. But what are you going to get? Well, it’s not really that different from the 2020 model. The dimensions are exactly the same. The screen resolution is exactly the same. And the front and rear cameras are exactly the same.
The main difference between the 2019 and 2020 iPads comes from the processor. The A10 Fusion chip in this older model isn’t that fast, so if speed and responsiveness are important to you, it could be a huge saving. If you can live to wait a second or two for things to load, you might want to save some cash as there should be some really good discounts right now.
iPad generations: Older iPads
These older iPad models are also still available.
- iPad 6th generation: 8MP Wide camera with HDR and 1080p HD video; 1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera with HDR; 9.7‑inch Retina display
- iPad 5th generation: 8MP Wide camera with HDR and 1080p HD video; 1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera with HDR; 9.7‑inch Retina display
iPad generations: the different iPad mini models
Although the iPad mini is smaller than the baseline iPad, it is not cheaper, but more expensive. This is because this line has a more powerful processor and a more sophisticated screen. So if you want a high-end iPad, but in a compact and portable form, these are for you.
The latest and greatest iPad mini
If you travel a lot and like to travel light, a standard iPad can be too big and cumbersome. Hence, the iPad Mini is an excellent choice, combining compact size and lightweight with impressive specifications.
This latest version comes with Apple’s Bionic A15 processor, which also powers the iPhone 13, making it a fast worker. It has a beautiful 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone and is 5G compatible (unless you choose the Wi-Fi-only version).
The cameras are great too. On the back, you will find a 12 MP wide camera with Smart HDR 3 that supports 4K video at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps. And on the front is a 12 MP ultra-wide camera with Center Stage and Smart HDR 3.
A cheaper way to get an iPad mini
The 2019 iPad mini is worth considering, whether you want to save some money or want a slightly smaller device.
This compact iPad, which has a 7.9-inch Retina display with True Tone, has a slightly slower processor, in the form of the A12 Bionic chip. It’s a step up in terms of cameras too, with an 8MP panoramic camera with Auto HDR and 1080p HD video on the rear and a 7MP FaceTime HD front camera with Auto HDR on the front.
But while it’s not quite as fancy as the 2021 iPad mini, it’s pretty impressive specs overall. So if it were considerably cheaper than the latter, you wouldn’t want to rule it out.
iPad generations: older iPad Minis
These older iPad mini models are also still available.
- iPad mini 4: 8MP Wide camera with HDR and 1080p HD video; 1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera with HDR; 9.7‑inch Retina display
- iPad mini 3: 8MP Wide camera with HDR and 1080p HD video; 1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera with HDR; 9.7‑inch Retina display