Apple’s 2021 iPad lineup: Which should you choose?

With a strong lineup and a few incredible next-gen options within the newest fashions, there’s by no means been a greater time to purchase an iPad. Study your Apple pill choices right here.


Picture: Apple

The leaves are altering colours, pumpkins are showing on porches and vacation plans are beginning to brew, which implies it is also time to start out interested by reward giving — and in addition perhaps getting a brand new iPad for your self. 

Searching for a brand new iPad in 2021 may be powerful, although: There are 4 completely different fashions to select from (to not point out the 2 sizes of the iPad Professional), every with its personal set of options and causes to choose it. 5 is not lots of choices, however it may be too many selections, which may result in a little bit of paralysis for those who’re uncertain which is best for you or a liked one. 

SEE: Digital communication coverage (TechRepublic Premium)

This information to the 2021 iPad lineup ought to hopefully shed some gentle on the who’s who of Apple’s pill lineup, however we’re taking a distinct method with this one. As a result of there’s solely 4 completely different iPad fashions I will run by means of the total sequence as an alternative of selecting just a few high objects to characteristic. Have a look, and hopefully you may discover the fitting iPad with the fitting options to match your wants.

The M1 iPad Professional

Finest for: Skilled customers, graphics designers, 3D artists, builders, those that want a laptop computer different with an identical stage of efficiency.


The iPad Professional, paired with a Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil


Apple has been subtly blurring the road between cellular and desktop/laptop computer computing for years, as anybody who owns a Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and different Apple ecosystem gadgets can attest. The iPad Professional with an Apple Silicon M1 is simply the most recent iteration of that blurring.

The 2021 iPad Professional runs an Apple Silicon M1 system-on-a-chip, helps 5G, is available in 11″ and 12.9″ fashions and with an non-obligatory Magic Keyboard case and Apple Pencil it turns into a severe contender for changing a laptop computer. 

Professional customers interested by ditching the MacBook for an M1 iPad Professional should not leap earlier than they give the impression of being, although: You are restricted to iOS/iPadOS App Retailer apps, so make sure that your important instruments can be found for the iPad Professional earlier than shopping for one. For everyone else, the iPad Professional is the top-of-the-line possibility, so if you wish to go large in your iPad buy that is the one to choose.

The iPad Professional is obtainable now, with the 11″ mannequin beginning at $799, and the 12.9″ beginning at $1,099. 

The iPad Air

Finest for: Those who need the iPad Professional expertise with out the value, college students, house pill customers, professionals who work in roles with out intensive {hardware} wants who desire a laptop computer different.


The 2020 iPad Air, a Professional in every little thing however internals.

Picture: Apple

At 10.9″, the iPad Air is smaller than the smallest iPad Professional, however in some ways mimics its design and have set. Just like the Professional, the fourth-gen iPad Air has an non-obligatory Magic Keyboard case and Apple Pencil assist, and just like the Professional it additionally sports activities Apple’s new squared-off design model. 

Do not suppose that the iPad Air is a full-blown iPad Professional different, although: It may well’t match up when it comes to {hardware} efficiency, and is outfitted with a previous-gen A14 chip. It additionally reduces its price by skimping on among the extra cutting-edge options of the Professional as nicely: There isn’t any Face ID, solely Contact ID on the ability button, and it solely helps LTE, not 5G.

That stated, the iPad Air remains to be a great machine, and makes a superbly good laptop computer substitute for those who do not want the processing energy of the iPad Professional.

The iPad Air is obtainable now, beginning at $599. 

The iPad

Finest for: Kids and youthful customers, these on a price range, older individuals who simply desire a fundamental pill, companies in search of a fleet of inexpensive (however not poor high quality) tablets, individuals in search of an entry-level Apple pill expertise.


The 2021 iPad, Apple’s entry-level pill providing.

Picture: Apple

There’s not lots to say about the usual iPad, which Apple has rebranded because the entry-level, inexpensive mannequin of the 4. It nonetheless has a house button, is designed extra like a previous-generation iPad, solely has an A13 chip, and actually is not terribly thrilling to those that get giddy at cutting-edge know-how and new product fashions.

However let’s not promote the usual iPad quick: It is nonetheless a brand new gadget that is been designed to work with the working methods and apps of right this moment, and it is an ideal gadget for those who desire a pill made by Apple that does not break the financial institution. The iPad helps Apple Pencil, has its personal Sensible Keyboard folio, and did I point out it is solely $329?

You should buy the 2021 iPad for the aforementioned value now.

The iPad Mini

Finest for: Those who like small computer systems, individuals who need the iPad Professional expertise in a smaller kind issue, design professionals who’re at all times on the go, frequent vacationers.


The redesigned iPad Mini is a pocket-sized pill that does not skimp on energy.


I am going to admit it, when Apple unveiled the brand new iPad Mini in September I bought unreasonably excited. It is an 8.3″ gadget that has the identical materials design as the brand new iPhones and iPad Professional, it helps Apple Pencil, it has the most recent A15 Bionic processor, and it helps 5G. 

SEE: 5G: What it means for edge computing (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The brand new iPad Mini is the gadget for individuals who need an in-betweener that’s bigger than a cellphone however not as monstrous as a laptop computer, all with out fully sacrificing their potential to work. You may need to sacrifice some potential, although: There isn’t any keyboard folio for the Mini, at the least not from Apple. 

If you happen to’re somebody who does lots of typing of their day-to-day life and needs an iPad to make use of as a piece gadget, this most likely is not the one for you. Design professionals or those that can in any other case use an Apple Pencil to jot notes, make sketches, or compose emails will discover it to be a super dimension to make use of like a digital notepad. 

The brand new iPad Mini is obtainable now, beginning at $499.

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