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Not sure which iPad is best? Here’s how to choose the best iPad for 2020

ipad-air-2019-vs-ipad-pro-2018-vs-ipad-2018

Apple / Screenshot by Josh Goldman / CNET

Apple’s iPad turned 10 this 12 months and, whereas present fashions are nonetheless primarily a slate of glass and metallic, their measurement, options and efficiency have modified lots because it was first formally unveiled onstage by Steve Jobs on Jan. 27, 2010. The present lineup contains the 10.2-inch iPad (2019, seventh-generation), 10.5-inch iPad Air (2019, third-generation) and second-gen 11- and fourth-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro fashions launched earlier this 12 months. There’s additionally the fifth-gen 2019 7.9-inch iPad mini

Also learn: The best 2020 iPad offers: The 10.2-inch mannequin is again on sale for $250

As you would possibly count on, the options and efficiency get higher as you progress up in the line. Regardless of the iPad you go along with, although, all of the present iPad fashions assist one in every of Apple’s Smart Keyboard and both the first- or second-gen Apple Pencil. That’s excellent news for anybody wanting to do greater than play Apple Arcade video games, take a look at web sites and stream movies and music. Plus, all of the present fashions assist mouse and trackpad use for a extra MacBook-like expertise

Also learn: How to decide the best iPad keyboard trackpad case  

That mentioned, Apple iPads maintain their worth, and there is typically an enormous market for older used and refurbished iPads. Availability dried up some over the previous a number of months with extra folks working and studying from residence. You’ll need to make sure you are getting the best deal before you purchase an iPad

iPad 2019 vs. iPad Air 2019 vs. iPad Pro 2020 specs

iPad 2019 (10.2) iPad Air 2019 (10.5) iPad Pro 2020 (11) iPad Pro 2020 (12.9)
Availability See it at Amazon See it at Amazon See it at Amazon See it at Amazon
Display decision 2,160×1,620-pixel decision 2,224×1,668-pixel decision 2,388×1,668-pixel decision 2,732×2,048-pixel decision
Pixel density (ppi) 264 ppi 264 ppi 264 ppi 264 ppi
Rear digicam 8-megapixel f2.4 8-megapixel f2.4 12-megapixel f1.Eight large, 10-megapixel f2.Four ultrawide 12-megapixel f1.Eight large, 10-megapixel f2.Four ultrawide
Video recording 1080p at 30fps 1080p at 30fps 4K at 24, 30 or 60fps (large); 60fps (ultrawide) 4K at 24, 30 or 60fps (large); 60fps (ultrawide)
FaceTime front-facing digicam 1.2-megapixel images; 720p video 7-megapixel images; 1080p video 7-megapixel TrueDepth; 1080p video 7-megapixel TrueDepth; 1080p video
Processor A10 A12 A12Z A12Z
Dimensions 9.8×6.8×0.29 inches 9.8×6.8×0.24 inches 9.7x7x0.23 inches 11×8.5×0.23 inches
Weight 1.07 lbs. (Wi-Fi); 1.09 lbs. (LTE) 1 lbs. (Wi-Fi); 1.02 lbs. (LTE) 1.04 lbs. (Wi-Fi); 1.04 lbs. (LTE) 1.41 lbs. (Wi-Fi); 1.42 lbs.(LTE)
Battery Up to 10 hours use over Wi-Fi; up to 9 hours over mobile Up to 10 hours use over Wi-Fi; up to 9 hours over mobile Up to 10 hours use over Wi-Fi; up to 9 hours over mobile Up to 10 hours use over Wi-Fi; up to 9 hours over mobile
Headphone jack Yes Yes No No
Connector port Lightning; Apple Smart Connector Lightning; Apple Smart Connector USB-C; Apple Smart Connector USB-C; Apple Smart Connector
Apple Pencil-compatibility Yes; 1st technology Yes; 1st technology Yes; 2nd technology Yes; 2nd technology
Unlock with Touch ID Touch ID Face ID Face ID
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.0 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.0
SIM card assist for mobile mannequin Nano-SIM; eSIM Nano-SIM; eSIM Nano-SIM; eSIM Nano-SIM; eSIM
iPad Keyboard compatibility Smart Keyboard Smart Keyboard Magic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio Magic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio
Audio Two-speaker Two-speaker Four-speaker Four-speaker
Capacity and value: Wi-Fi fashions $329 (32GB) / $429 (128GB) $499 (64GB) / $649 (256GB) $799 (64GB) / $899 (256GB) / $1,099 (512GB) / $1,299 (1TB) $999 (128GB) / $1,099 (256GB) / $1,299 (512GB) / $1,499 (1TB)
Capacity and value: LTE fashions $459 (32GB) / $559 (128GB) $629 (64GB) / $779 (256GB) $949 (64GB) / $1,049 (256GB) / $1,249 (512GB) / $1,449 (1TB) $1,149 (128GB) / $1,249 (256GB) / $1,449 (512GB) / $1,649 (1TB)

Also learn: Apple’s rumored mini-LED iPad Pro may not launch till 2021

Sarah Tew/CNET

The least-expensive iPad is additionally the one we’re almost definitely to advocate for folks wanting for a brand new iPad for the household and basic use. Despite its older A10 processor, the 10.2-inch iPad can deal with the newest iPadOS simply superb, and its show that is barely bigger than its predecessor’s is higher for productiveness and leisure. One phrase of warning, although: The base 32GB of storage can refill quick, so we advocate going with the 128GB model if potential.

Read our Apple iPad 10.2-inch 2019 evaluation.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The 2019 iPad Air is lots like the 10.5-inch iPad Pro from 2017. Starting at $499, it is constructed round a 10.5-inch Retina show like the 2017 Pro however has an up to date A12 Bionic processor like the one powering the iPhone XS. If you need higher efficiency and extra cupboard space — there are 64GB or 256GB choices — you must contemplate stepping up the Air. Plus, whereas it is bigger than the entry-level iPad, it really weighs a hair much less. 

Read extra.

Scott Stein/CNET

Whether you are a digital artist or have waited years for an iPad that blurs the line between pill and MacBook, the 2020 iPad Pro is what you need. Aside from totally different display screen sizes (and respective resolutions) and weight, the 11- and 12.9-inch Pros are the similar. If you are contemplating the iPad Pro as a laptop computer substitute, you will seemingly need to spring for the 12.9-inch model for the important enhance in workspace. As for efficiency, this has all the newest and biggest elements Apple’s iPads have to provide. If system longevity is key, you will need to pay the premium for the 2020 iPad Pro. 

Read our Apple iPad Pro 2020 (12.9-inch) evaluation.


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