Apple’s iPad lineup has become a confusing mess. What started as a simple iPad has now evolved into a lineup consisting of the iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, and the iPad Pro. The lineup can easily confuse any potential buyer who is looking to buy an iPad but is unsure as to which model is right for him. Worry not as we are here to help you. I have decoded Apple’s iPad lineup below to help you understand which tablet is right for you.
Apple’s expansive iPad lineup now covers almost every screen size possible. Right from 7.9-inch with the iPad mini 5 to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. But these tablets also differ from each other in other aspects. The best way to look and understand Apple’s iPad lineup is from their naming.
Decoding Apple’s iPad Lineup
iPad Pro vs iPad Air vs iPad mini vs iPad
|Basis of Difference||iPad Pro||iPad Air||iPad||iPad mini 5|
|Display sizes||11-inch and 12.9-inch||10.5-inch||9.7-inch||7.9-inch|
|Resolution||12.9-inch – 2732 x 2048, 264 ppi||2224 x 1668, 264 ppi||2048 x 1536, 264 ppi||2048 x 1536, 326 ppi|
|11-inch – 2388 x 1668, 264 ppi|
|True Tone Display||True Tone Display||–||True Tone Display|
|Wide Color Display||Wide Color Display||–||Wide Color Display|
|Fully Laminated Display||Fully Laminated Display||–||Fully Laminated Display|
|Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating||Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating||–||Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating|
|Anti-reflective coating||Anti-reflective coating||–||Anti-reflective coating|
|Dimensions||12.9-inch – 280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9 mm||250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm||240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm||203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1 mm|
|11-inch – 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9 mm|
|Chip||A12X Bionic||A12 Bionic||A10 Fusion||A12 Bionic|
|Neural Engine||Neural Engine||–||Neural Engine|
|M12 Coprocessor||M12 Coprocessor||M10 Coprocessor||M12 Coprocessor|
|Camera||12MP f/1.8 aperture||8MP f/2.4 aperture||8MP f/2.4 aperture||8MP f/2.4 aperture|
|4K@60fps video recording||Full HD Video recording||Full HD Video recording||Full HD Video recording|
|Front Camera||7MP TrueDepth Camera||7MP FaceTime HD camera||1.2MP FaceTime HD Camera||7MP FaceTime HD camera|
|Audio||Four speakers||Two speakers||Two speakers||Two speakers|
|Biometric Authentication||Face ID||Touch ID||Touch ID||Touch ID|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi ac||Wi-Fi ac||Wi-Fi ac||Wi-Fi ac|
|Bluetooth 5.0||Bluetooth 5.0||Bluetooth 4.2||Bluetooth 5.0|
|Gigabit LTE (Up to 29 bands)||Gigabit LTE (Up to 28 bands)||LTE||Gigabit LTE (Up to 28 bands)|
|GPS, Galileo, QZSS||GPS||GPS||GPS|
|Nano-SIM, eSIM||Nano-SIM, eSIM||Nano-SIM, Apple SIM||Nano-SIM, eSIM|
|No headphone jack||Headphone jack||Headphone jack||Headphone jack|
|USB-C||Lightning Connector||Lightning Connector||Lightning Connector|
|Light sensor||Light sensor||Light sensor||Light sensor|
|Battery||Up to 10 hours||Up to 10 hours||Up to 10 hours||Up to 10 hours|
|Apple Pencil Support||2nd gen Apple Pencil||1st gen Apple Pencil Support||1st gen Apple Pencil Support||1st gen Apple Pencil Support|
|Smart Keyboard Support||Smart Keyboard Folio support||Smart Keyboard support||–||–|
|Colors||Silver, Space Gray||Silver, Space Gray, Gold||Silver, Space Gray, Gold||Silver, Space Gray, Gold|
|Price||Starts from $799||Starts from $499||Starts from $329||Starts from $399|
Apple’s iPad lineup consists of the 11-inch iPad Pro and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. These devices are aimed at professional and hardcore power users who are looking at a proper PC replacement. These devices are meant for content creation rather than just content consumption. The combination of slim bezels and a newer design means the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro are more compact than what their screen sizes would suggest.
While extremely powerful, these tablets are also extremely expensive.
Apple is bringing back its iPad Air lineup with the 10.5-inch iPad Air. It is a tablet meant for power users who are on a budget. These users will primarily use the iPad for content consumption and for some light content creation work. The 10.50-inch iPad Air packs a powerful A12 Bionic chip but it is not as powerful as the A12X Bionic chip found inside the iPad Pro lineup. It also makes a few other compromises to reach its lower $499 price tag.
iPad mini 5
Always wanted a small and portable iPad that’s easy to carry around with speedy internals? That’s what the iPad mini 5 is for. While I don’t think a tablet with a 7.9-inch display makes sense anymore, the iPad mini 5 is exactly what many people are looking for. The combination of small display size, powerful internals, and oodles of storage make it a perfect traveling companion for many.
The 9.7-inch iPad is currently the cheapest tablet in Apple’s iPad lineup. It is also the oldest and the slowest featuring an A10 Bionic chip. For most students looking for light creative work though, the 9.7-inch iPad is going to serve just fine.
Which iPad is your favorite and which one are you considering buying? Do you need all the extra horsepower offered by the iPad Pro? Or the 10.5-inch iPad Air is going to be good enough for all your needs? Drop a comment and let us know!