There’s a reason that no matter which iPad you choose, it’ll be the best tablet in its respective category. You can expect an elegant design, excellent craftsmanship, and a high-quality Retina display, as well as effortless performance from every product in this list — which makes the iPad price tag worth it.

Today's iPad Lineup

    Apple's selection of tablet-friendly apps and games is the best in the industry. They range from apps for streaming your favorite content to immersive augmented reality offerings. In this instance, tablet rivals that use Android, Chrome OS, and Windows 10 are so far behind that there’s no point in comparing them.

    You'll get Apple's iPadOS, too. The platform is based on Apple iOS, but it's packed with unique features that take advantage of the tablet's big screen. It has baked-in support for a mouse and a trackpad, making the iPad an even more exciting laptop alternative. Best of all, the platform comes with many years' worth of timely updates, ensuring that you'll always get the best iPad experience.

    Every iPad is also backed by an industry-leading selection of original and third-party accessories. This is another major reason to choose Apple's products over their product category's rivals.

    When shopping for an iPad, we recommend spending a bit extra for a variant with more storage. It won’t take long before you find the additional expense to be well worth it. Every variant of the product is also available with optional cellular connectivity for $130 extra.

    Here's a breakdown of what each iPad offers so you can pick the best one to suit your needs.

    Best for Most Consumers

    New Apple iPad Air (4th Generation)
    $539.00 (10% off)

    Key Specs

    Apple A14 Bionic chip with a Neural Engine
    • 10.9-inch Retina display with True Tone technology
    • Up to 256GB of available storage
    • 12MP camera with 4K video recording
    • Built-in stereo speakers
    • Compatible with Magic Keyboard and second-generation Apple Pencil

    The latest iPad Air is the best option for most buyers. It offers iPad Pro-like design and features at a more reasonable price point. Available in five colors (silver, space gray, rose gold, sky blue, green), the lightweight and super thin slate is also Apple's most colorful iPad to date.

    The fourth-generation iPad Air is Apple's first tablet with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor that's embedded into the power button. Making the move has allowed the tech giant to equip the device with a noticeably larger display, while maintaining the same footprint as its predecessor.

    Containing the same A14 Bionic chip as the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro, the iPad Air is the most powerful tablet in its price range and beyond. While testing it, I discovered that there is literally no work- or entertainment-related task that it isn’t up for.

    I like the large and vibrant Retina display of the iPad Air. It has thin bezels, as well as True Tone tech — a handy feature that reduces eye strain by automatically adjusting the white balance and color temperature, depending on your lighting conditions.

    Compared to the pricier iPad Pro, the new iPad Air lacks a ProMotion Retina display with a high refresh rate, a dual camera with a LiDAR sensor, and Face ID. The iPad Pro also has an edge in graphics and processing power, as well as built-in storage in entry-level guise (128 versus 64GB). But unless you plan to utilize the Pro's aforementioned hardware features on a regular basis, there's probably no need to spend extra $200 to get one.

    Best Budget

    Apple iPad (8th Generation)

    Key Specs

    Apple A12 Bionic chip with a Neural Engine
    • 10.2-inch Retina display
    • Up to 128GB of available storage
    • Built-in bottom/side-facing stereo speakers
    • Compatible with first-generation Apple Pencil

    Apple's refreshed iPad made its debut in September last year. It has the same design and display as its predecessor, but a more capable A12 Bionic chip with a Neural Engine, while retaining the same price point. The upgrade brings significant improvements in CPU performance and graphics power, making the iPad even better at multitasking, creative work, gaming, and augmented reality experiences, among others.

    The iPad's 10.2-inch Retina display is sharp and ideal for productivity and entertainment. Compared to the Retina displays of pricier iPad models, the panel lacks True Tone tech, as well as the ability to cover the P3 color gamut. The last bit means that the screen won't have the same color range as its pricier relatives.

    Equipped with the Apple Smart Keyboard, the new iPad is also an excellent tool for cranking out work. If you are looking for an even more laptop-like experience, consider this Logitech keyboard cover with a build in trackpad instead.

    Overall, this iPad delivers a phenomenal Apple tablet experience that’s the best in its price range. The product is available in silver, gold, and space gray.

    Most Powerful and Feature-Packed

    Apple iPad Pro (11-inch)

    Key Specs

    • Apple M1 chip with a Neural Engine
    • 11- or 12.9-inch Liquid Retina display with ProMotion and True Tone technology
    • Up to 2TB of available storage
    • Dual camera (12MP and 10MP), built-in LiDAR scanner, 12MP Face ID camera
    • Thunderbolt-4 USB-C connector
    • Four built-in stereo speakers, five built-in microphones
    • Compatible with second-generation Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard

    Fresh off a major hardware update with the mighty Apple M1 chip, the latest iPad Pro is the tech giant’s most powerful iPad to date. It brings a host of exciting upgrades, headlined by even more graphics and processing power, a Thunderbolt-compatible USB-C connector, more storage options, and optional 5G connectivity. By delivering fast network speeds, the new iPad Pro is a great tool for staying connected and productive while commuting, or in places without access to a Wi-Fi network if you opt for a pick with cellular connectivity.

    A centerpiece of the MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the industry-altering Apple M1 chip takes the new iPad Pro to a whole new level. In terms of sheer hardware and graphics performance, the new generation is not only the most powerful iPad available today, but also more capable than most desktop and laptop computers out there.

    Once again, you can order the iPad Pro with an 11- or a 12.9-inch Liquid Retina display that’s nothing short of spectacular — and a joy to use. In addition to True Tone, it has ProMotion tech with a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz for more fluid onscreen interactions with apps and games.

    The 12.9-inch iPad Pro has an even more captivating Liquid Retina XDR display with similar qualities as Apple's Pro Display XDR monitor. The screen is a marvel to behold and the best I’ve seen on an Apple iPad yet. Its panel has more than 10,000 mini-LED lights and a peak brightness of 1,600 nits, which combine to deliver a detail-rich viewing experience with vibrant colors and deep contrast levels.

    Just like the outgoing model, the new iPad Pro has a dual camera with a LiDar scanner, and five built-in microphones for a pro-grade audio experience. The updated FaceTime camera, on the other hand, has a cool new feature dubbed Center Stage. With the help of machine-learning tech, it can keep you in the center of the frame (hence the name) even if you move around.

    The slate is compatible with an updated Magic Keyboard that’s available in black or white. You can also use the second-generation Apple Pencil, as well as a more reasonably priced Smart Keyboard Cover with your new Pro.

    Overall, the new iPad Pro is the best tablet money can buy — by an insurmountable margin. Apple will begin shipping the product in the coming weeks. Until then, its predecessor, now sporting a lower price tag, is still the most feature-packed iPad you can buy.

    Most Compact

    Apple iPad mini

    Key Specs

    Apple A12 Bionic chip with a Neural Engine
    • 7.9-inch Retina display with True Tone technology
    • Up to 256GB of available storage
    • Built-in bottom/side-facing stereo speakers
    • Compatible with first-generation Apple Pencil

    The iPad mini has the same powerful hardware as the iPad Air, but tucked into a smaller body. When it comes to sheer portability, the iPad mini is truly in a league of its own. The most compact iPad is also hands-down the best small tablet worth your attention today.

    Packing the same A12 Bionic chip as the 10.2-inch iPad, the mini delivers a fast and fluid performance. It will help you work or stay entertained with equally impressive results.

    The mini is the first small tablet by Apple to have a Retina display with True Tone technology and compatibility with the P3 color gamut. The 7.9-inch display panel is a significant improvement over the one found in the device’s predecessors. It’s also compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil.

    Being a small tablet, the iPad mini does not have a built-in Smart Connector for attaching a keyboard cover; you can pair the slate with a Bluetooth keyboard instead. If you're looking for an iPad that you’ll use for productivity work, we suggest that you opt for a model with a bigger screen.