The iPad is the most successful tablet the world has ever seen. The first iPad sold one million units in the first six months after it was released, which is about half the time it took Apple to sell the same number of first-generation iPhones. By the 5th anniversary of its release in January of 2015, Apple had sold over 250 million iPads.
Over the years, there have been six versions of the iPad, four versions of the iPad Mini, and two versions of the iPad Pro. Each generation of the flagship iPad has stayed between 9.5 inches tall by 7.4 inches wide, while the smaller iPad Mini stays around 8 inches by 5.3 inches wide. iPad Pro models come in two flavours: a 12.9 inch model and a 9.7 inch.
So should you buy a used iPad? Should you buy a tablet at all? The answers vary from person to person. For example, if you already own an iPhone 7 Plus, you might find the iPad’s large size to be redundant to your phone’s already super-sized screen. If you’re often flying, an iPad might be the perfect companion for you, unless you’re already married to your MacBook Air.
We’ll take a look at what’s great about the iPad, plus some key differences between iPad mod-els— all in the hopes of narrowing down the right tablet for you.
There are some great features common to any iPad you buy. For starters, all iPads grant you access to over 1 million App Store apps specifically optimized for the iPad’s big screen. This is far more than any Android or Windows device will offer you. Aside from the many apps, you can also count on the iPad’s high-quality aluminum unibody design and a bright and crisp display.
Older models of the iPad Mini, like the iPad Mini 2, is ideal for anyone who is looking for a com-pact, portable, no-frills device. It’s great for just the basics: web browsing, emailing, e-books, Facebook, YouTube, and working as a living-room “remote” for your connected gadgets and Apple TV. It’s also the most inexpensive model you can buy.
If you’re looking for something with a bit more juice, we recommend the iPad Mini 4, which is almost identical to the iPad Air 2. It’s just smaller and denser, so you’re able to carry it around with less of a fuss. However, you’ll be paying a bit more for the Mini 4, so it’s probably not worth it unless you’re married to having something of a smaller size. If you really care about those ex-tra features, going for an iPad Air 2 would be better.
Get an iPad 3, 4, or any of the iPad Air models if you’re going to be actually writing or working on your device. The larger screen size and its compatibility with Bluetooth keyboard cases, will give any netbook or laptop a run for its money.
That being said, these iPads aren’t the most powerful ones around anymore, so if you’re really serious about graphics, art, design, you’ll probably want to look at one of the Pro models. Still, if you think you’ll appreciate a larger display that is still light and easy to carry around, then defi-nitely go for an iPad Air model. We recommend an iPad Air 2 because it has lots of features like split-screen email and apps, and picture-in-picture video. Plus, it’s price point means that it’s a good deal.
The iPad Pro comes in a 9.7-inch model and a larger, 12.9-inch version. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is basically like the original iPad on steroids— it’s faster, stronger, and has all the bells and whistles you could ever want. It supports the Smart Connector, Smart Keyboard, and Apple Pencil. It offers the best balance of power and portability, making it ideal for users who ask a lot from their devices but don’t want to be weighed down by them.
The larger version of the Pro would be best for someone who has a bit of money to spend and is really serious about graphics and design. It has the most workspace of any iPad and digital art-ists might feel at home using it as a giant canvas. That makes it a bit of a niche product but anyone could enjoy movies and games on its big screen.