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Best iPads

Updated on April 2, 2014
Your iPad is your favorite games, movies and websites. Your iPad is your online life.
Your iPad is your favorite games, movies and websites. Your iPad is your online life. | Source

Which iPad is the best choice for me?

When Apple announced the very first iPad back in 2010, a new era began and they were instantly at the top of the tablet market.

If you wish to get yourself an Apple tablet but cannot decide on a specific model, read on since we've gathered up a list of the best iPads to date.

There are currently five iPad models you can choose from. These are the newest iPad Air, iPad Mini with Retina display, iPad 4, iPad mini and iPad 2.

While they don't look very different on a side by side comparison, they are very different on the inside.

Design-wise, Apple stuck to a form factor that looks good and is easy to use.

Now spec-wise you might be wondering which of the aforementioned iPads would suit you best. You will have to decide upon several factors including tablet size, storage, whether you will need a mobile internet data plan and much more.

Is a full blown iPad the right choice, or would an iPad mini suffice? How much storage is enough storage? You have to know there is no way to extend the available storage space. No microSD card or other ways to bump up the available space each model comes with.

iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display on iOS 7 background.
iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display on iOS 7 background.

Large iPad or iPad mini?

iPad Air features a very slim profile and the two iPad Minis are surely much more portable than the larger ones.

Both kinds are very quick when it comes to processing power, whether it's for work, browsing the web or just playing games.

The size of the tablet is more of a personal choice. Apple has created these two tablets in order to give you a choice in size.

If you like a bigger screen to watch movies or play games, then the larger iPads might be the perfect choice for those moments you spend on the couch surfing the web.

If you'd prefer something with a bit more portability and don't mind sacrificing pixel real-estate, then an iPad mini is the winner here.

Which iPad is for you?

Choose your iPad variant!

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3G, 4G or Wi-Fi?

Which iPad is best in terms of connectivity?

3G coverage can be found mostly anywhere around the world, with 4G catching up really quick. 4G is a bit more expensive since it's still a new connection type. In terms of speed, 4G is the winner.

Wi-Fi coverage is a bit more limited. If you don't need a constant internet connection, you should opt for Wi-Fi only model, since these are the cheapest.

If your life depends on a constant internet connection, I recommend getting an iPad with either 3G or 4G so you'll always be connected to the world around you.

Storage Space: How much is enough?

The newer iPad breeds come in 4 different memory options: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. If you've monitored Apple prices you know you pay a lot on the storage space difference.

This is the point where you really need to be careful.

If you're a media junkie and love to take your content everywhere with you, then it's worth investing in a decent memory-packed iPad.

I think going beyond the 32GB iPad option is simply overkill. With 32 gigs you can take a few movies with you along with your song collection and a few games to play when you get bored.

iPad Air Keynote

iPad Air

iPad Air is the 5th tablet in the series. It takes on Apple's new approach to building ultra-portable devices that pack a punch when it comes to performance. It's 43% thinner at the bezel than the previous iPad and 28% lighter overall.

As Jony Ive puts it, the new device is just "7.5 mm thin and weighs only 1 pound". As you can imagine, it's a very light tablet that's easy to hold on to.

As far as design goes, it looks incredibly similar to the iPad mini but scaled to the 10-inch tablet line. This might not be a bad thing since it uses a design that already works and looks cool.

The build quality is something Apple is known for. You don't get cheap plastics when it comes to construction materials. iPad Air features machined buttons and an aluminum case that makes it extremely durable.

Air features the new A7 processor, the first 64 bit processor ever used in a mobile device. Battery life can get up to 10 hours of continuous use, so you won't run out of juice anytime soon.



iPad Mini with Retina Display - iPad Mini 2

The new iPad Mini 2 (or iPad Mini with Retina Display as Apple calls it) represents the next step in highly portable and powerful tablets. As Google and Amazon started creating better tablets it was high time Apple stepped up their game as well.

It was a pleasant surprise when Apple announced the new iPad Mini with Retina Display, since they showed to really listen to what people wanted from the already succesful tablet line. Right from the start they specified that the new tablet integrates the newer A7 processor and that there will even be a 128GB variant for HD media junkies.

On top of all this they integrated the fantastic Retina display into the device along with optimizing the battery consumption so overall, you get a much better iPad mini, with a high quality display, amazing processing power and a longer battery life.

iPad 4

The 4th generation iPad comes in the same form factor as the iPad 2 and if they are both turned off, you won't notice much of a difference. iPad 4 is a bit heavier than the iPad 2, with about 60 grams to be more exact.

The device incorporates the Retina display which offers crisp and clear images. The 9.7 inch screen is able to produce a 1536x2048 pixel resolution which means that even if you squint you won't be able to see the individual pixels.

It's a 264 PPI screen, which is above average if we compare it to other high-density screens available on a wide aray of premium devices.

iPad 4 is only a bit thicker than the iPad 2. It also features a new Lighting connector which adds a lot of speed to your data transfers and an overall smaller port.

The aluminum chassis and the oleophobic scratch resistant screen make it a premium device along with the heft you'll feel when picking up the device.

iPad Mini

Apple created the iPad mini to compete with major players in the 7-8 inch tablet sector. It comes with several storage space and connectivity options. The basic model is the 16GB one with Wi-Fi connectivity.

If you need something with a bit more space you can get up to 64GB and add 4G LTE connectivity, but this will effectively double the price of the device.

The screen of the device is 7.9 inches and was created to make the Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire seem like a bit too compact. The aluminum case is similar to the one used in the iPhone 5, giving it a premium feel.

It weighs 308 grams and it feels pretty lightweight when held. The screen is something Apple got wrong.

It's able to produce a 1024x768 pixel resolution and while this was the standard for desktop computers some years ago, for some people it's simply not enough.

The display uses the IPS LCD technology, but is still way far behind the Retina display. It's a good choice for a people seeking an everyday tablet capable of simple tasks.

iPad 2

The Apple iPad might not seem like a reasonable choice for most. This is because lots of high-end tablets have surfaced in the meanwhile. While some might go for either the Nexus tablets or the Samsung Galaxy line, some people might still prefer using the iPad.

The display is the standard 9.7 inch and hasn't changed much over the original iPad. It still carries the 1024x768 pixel resolution at a 132 PPI density.

Over time the iPad 2 has undergone serious price cuts, due to aged hardware integrated in the thing and better tablets popping out all the time.

What can you use the iPad 2 for? It will work for everyday tasks and it will allow you to surf the web, watch online videos and chat with friends using Facetime. If the budget is your main concern, then get the iPad 2, since it's a great addition to any techies home.

Reader Feedback & Comments

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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Thanks for the infomation on ipad purchase. I would love the ipad air myself with such a long battery power but not sure it would be a good fit for my kids. With Christmas approaching, this really helps people to make a good decision.

    • Tolovaj profile image

      Tolovaj 3 years ago

      I had a chance to try iPad for few weeks and I recommend to everybody who have a chance to do the same. Only with some testing we can decide which option is best. Mini is great for portability but not much of use for my case (writing), so now i know bigger screen is my way to go.

      Thanks for so detailed review. It was very helpful.

    • AtlasSue profile image

      AtlasSue 3 years ago

      Great info just in time to help me do my holiday shopping....thanks!

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Thanks for your review. It's interesting but as we just bought a Nexus about 6 months ago, we are not planning to buy something else for the moment. We bought it before travelling for 3 weeks and we loved it. My husband had a reader and I used the Nexus as my reader. It was great to have the Nexus because we used it as a GPS, a reader, getting our email when we were at the hotel and checking things on my YouTube channels. So it was great to have that instead of a heavy laptop :-)

      But at one point, I want to buy a reader that will be a little bit lighter than the Nexus tablet. So I still have to think about which brand to chose. So many choices!

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I'm trying to figure out what kind of tablet to get my oldest son so this is very timely! Thank you!