All of Apple’s iPads share a number of common features, including touchscreen operation and built-in speakers and Wi-Fi. The models differ in the size of their screens, amount of built-in storage, how fast they run, and other possibly useful features. With several models to choose from, which iPad is the best for seniors?
When Are New iPads Coming?
At Apple’s annual fall event, last held in September 2023, new generation iPhones and Apple Watches were introduced, but no iPad updates were announced. There has been no official announcement about the next iPad updates, but Apple observers expect no new iPads until 2024.
The iPad mini is the smallest iPad in Apple’s lineup, but not the least expensive. That’s because today’s iPad mini is more powerful and feature-laden than the basic regular-sized iPad. The current iPad mini has an 8.3-inch screen, which is considerably smaller than the regular iPad’s 10.2- or 10.9-inch screen.
Even though some might prefer the smaller form factor, the higher price might make you think twice about that. Pricing starts at $499, which is considerably more than the base iPad.
iPad (9th Generation)
The version of the iPad that most people know and love is simply called the iPad. The older 9th generation model is still available, complete with a large 10.2-inch screen and an 8MP ultra wide main camera. This is Apple’s most affordable model, regularly selling for just $329, and usually on sale at Amazon and other stores for under $300.
iPad (10th Generation)
On October 26, 2022, Apple introduced a new, 10th generation version of its base model iPad. This model has a slightly bigger 10.9” screen and substitutes a new, more universal USB-C connector for Apple’s older, proprietary Lightning connector.
The camera is also better with a new 12MP wide lens and this model uses a more powerful A14 chip for faster performance. The price is considerably more than the 9th generation model, however, starting at $449. You can usually find it on sale for about $400.
The iPad Air is a little faster and slightly more versatile than the regular iPad. The current-model iPad Air, the 5th generation model introduced in March, 2022, has many of the same business-oriented features of the more expensive iPad Pro line, including compatibility with the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard accessories.
Even though the camera and screen are the same as the 10th generation iPad, this is a more powerful tablet, thanks to Apple’s M1 chip. It’s priced somewhat higher than regular iPads, with models starting at $599.
Apple’s top-of-the-line tablet is the iPad Pro. This is a fully featured model, available in 11-inch and 12.9-inch screen sizes, optimized for business productivity with Apple’s most powerful M2 chip. When coupled with the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard, all optional, the iPad Pro can function as a viable replacement for a traditional desktop or laptop PC.
This all comes at a price, however; the 11-inch model starts at $799 and the bigger 12.9-inch version starts at $1,099.
The latest iPad Pro is the 6th generation, introduced in October 2022.
Which iPad Should You Buy?
Which iPad is best for you depends on how you intend to use it, along with what size screen you want. How much you want to spend is also a factor, of course.
For most seniors, the 9th generation 10.2-inch iPad, regularly priced at just $329 and usually on sale for under $300, is the best choice. It does everything most people need it to do, has a good size screen, and is certainly affordable. It’s great for web surfing, browsing your Facebook news feed, and playing games.
I personally think the iPad mini and iPad Air are overpriced for what they deliver. If you want better performance than the base iPad without breaking the bank, the 10th generation iPad is the model to consider. At $449, it’s substantially less expensive than the iPad Pro.
Finally, if you want to do serious business work on your tablet or are using your tablet as a replacement for a notebook computer, then the iPad Pro models make sense. Know, however, that you’re spending a lot more for the larger screens and enhanced functionality – especially when you factor in the additional purchase of a Magic Keyboard for typing.
Bottom line, while the iPad Pro models are great for business, they’re probably too pricey for many home and casual users.
Where to Buy iPads
It’s a good idea to get hands-on experience with several iPads before you decide which to purchase. You can view and try out all the iPads at Apple Stores. Best Buy also usually has them on display. As for who has the best prices, you can check them out here:
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