Expanding on the iPad: Is it right for you?

In a recent post, I discussed how the iPad handles academic use. Today, I’ll be talking about how to know if an iPad is right for you – and which one is the best match for your usage case.

Today, the iPad lineup is much more complicated than it was in 2010 when Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPad to the world. Now, there are four models designed to fit different wants and needs.

The iPad offers a lot, but it isn’t for everyone. And, trying to find the right one for you can complicate the process of buying one.

First, how do you even know if an iPad is for you? For most people, an iPad could either completely, or almost completely, replace their conventional computer. If all you do is web browsing, email work and/or productivity work in Microsoft Office – the iPad is for you. If you like to draw but want to make digital drawing easier, the iPad can help you with that.

But, for others, the iPad isn’t a total replacement. Web and graphic designers, video editors and programmers will still need their conventional desktops and laptops. But an iPad can still be an excellent tool to have – especially if you use a Mac, thanks to tools like Sidecar and AirDrop.

What model should I buy?

Buying an iPad is a lot like buying a conventional computer – there are multiple models designed to meet the different needs of different people.

Entry Level: If you’re new to computers or tablet computing and just want something to browse around the web with or answer the occasional email, the 10.2″ iPad is more than capable. At $329 for the base model, it’s the most affordable iPad. Yet, you can do a lot with it – from web browsing to using productivity apps like Microsoft Office.

The Mini: The second option, the iPad mini, offers more performance than the 10.2″ model in a smaller package. For $399, this model features Apple’s A12 chip (the 10.2″ model has the aging, yet still capable, A10) with a 7.9″ display. Unless you’re looking for a smaller, more portable model – I would not suggest this one. Rather, I would suggest either going with the 10.2″ model or spending the extra $100 to get the next model.

The Air: That next model would be the iPad Air, which features the same A12 chip but with a larger screen and is compatible with Apple’s own Smart Keyboard. (All models are compatible with Bluetooth keyboards.) This model features a 10.5″ screen and costs $499.

The Pro: If you’re a pro, the iPad Pro is for you. This model, which was just recently updated, offers the most performance and is the best option for those using their iPad for serious work – graphic design, drawing, video editing, or processor-intensive tasks. This model is offered in two sizes, one with a 11″ display ($799) or 12.9″ display ($999.) However, the performance is reflected in the price.

I hope you found this guide helpful, especially if you’re trying to figure out which model is the best for you.