The year 2020 saw a steep rise in the purchase of tablets, with Apple leading the charge in the same. This was a result of the covid pandemic and the subsequent shift of studies from physical to digital medium. A laptop or PC was out of reach for a lot of people, with Tablets offering a good alternative for those in need of a big screen, minus the cost. The world of tablets has multiple products on offer, but, the leader of the pack is without a hint of doubt, the iPad.
Having said that, Apple has three iPads on offer, the three being the base iPad, the iPad Air and, the top of the line iPad Pro for Pro users. This makes the decision of buying an iPad tough, especially when you consider the prices are quite different. This leads to the question of which iPad is the best one for you? We intend to answer this exact question within this article.
What are the Three iPads on Offer?
The three iPads that are part of Apple’s lineup include the iPad (base version), the iPad Air and the iPad Pro. All of them might seem similar at first glance, but, upon closer inspection, the differences start to appear. Here is a brief roundup of all three products on offer.
1. iPad (8th Gen) “The Layman’s iPad”
The standard iPad, which is currently in the 8th generation is the best buy for most users. The 2020 version, which is being discussed here features the A12 Bionic chip. While at first read, you might think, is the chipset not too old? Yes, but, considering how good Apple’s chips are, the iPad will handle multitasking and most regular stuff at ease.
The iPad 8th Gen sports a 10.2-inch display, a home button with support for Touch-ID, coupled with the Apple Pencil support, which is one of the best styluses out there. One can also avail for a Smart Keyboard for the iPad, which will result in a productivity king on a budget.
The display is not the best out there, with some users reporting an air gap, as in the distance between the glass and the screen is far higher in comparison to other models, meaning the latency and usability with the Apple Pencil is not as good. This however does not mean the iPad is a bad tablet.
2. iPad Air “The Best value iPad”
Apple’s 4th generation iPad Air, launched recently, makes the regular user and, at times the critics as to why one needs to shell out extra money for the iPad Pro. The speed and performance are on par with the single-core performance being a bit better in comparison to the current generation iPad Pro. The design too resembles that of the iPad Pro.
The iPad Air gets a 10.9-inch display with uniform, slim edges that look identical to the iPad Pro, with the bezels being slightly more. The iPad Air comes with support for the second-gen Apple Pencil. There is a USB Type-C port for charging and a side-mounted Touch-ID sensor, reducing the need for bigger bezels but retaining the useful Touch ID sensor. Face ID, however, does not appear on this device.
For Rs 54,900 in India, the iPad Air is the one to buy if you care more about the price to performance ratio and, for most users, the iPad Air is a mix of both the base iPad and the iPad Pro, making it the best all-rounder of the three devices present in this list.
3. iPad Pro “The Pro iPad”
The iPad Pro is available to users in two sizes, 11-inches and 12.9-inches. The smaller size is quite close to the iPad Air, with the larger iPad Pro resembling the size of a medium-sized laptop or a magazine. Both devices sport the A12Z Bionic chipset, which is at par with the A13 Bionic chip, with the A14 beating the chip out in single-core performance by a slight margin, but beating the chip in the multi-core performance.
Both displays boast slim bezels, a120Hz refresh rate and support for Apple’s Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil. The device performs quite well and is super smooth for most.
The price for the iPad Pro in India is Rs 71,900 (11-inch) and, for that premium in comparison to the iPad Air, there are not a lot of differences. The iPad Pro is the one for users who want to do video and photo edits or work with 3D projects or graphics, but, for the average consumer, it is in one word, overkill.
Which One Should You Buy?
Now that you know the iPads on offer, you might be thinking which one is the best for you. Here are some points that will help you out in making a final decision.
1. The base iPad is the one to buy in case you are looking for a laptop for your kids or for family use and do not wish to spend a lot. To add to this, if you own a good laptop but need something for the occasional media-consumption needs, the base 8th Gen iPad is the one for you.
2. The iPad Air is the iPad that we will recommend to most users since it incorporates good specifications with decent pricing. One does not lose out in any key aspects when compared to the iPad Pro and the Air is a massive upgrade when compared to the 8th gen iPad. So, if you want a serious laptop replacement or a work tablet, the iPad Air is the best option, especially considering 4K video editing is more than possible on the Air.
3. The iPad Pro is the confusing one in the lineup. There are no massive changes when compared to the iPad Air and, to be honest, we cannot recommend it now. In case you do want a Pro iPad and the 120Hz refresh rate matters to you a lot, you should wait for a few months, considering Apple will be refreshing the Pro iPad soon, which would then make it a much better value than it is today.
So, at the end of the day, our vote for the iPad that you should buy goes to the iPad Air, which is available in fun colourways, offers great value and comes with specifications that are more than adequate for most, if not all users.