Apple’s newest iPads and iPhones often go on sale during the holidays. If you’re in the market for a new tablet or phone, which is the best model for you?
Choosing the Best iPad for You
All of Apple’s iPads share a number of common features, including touchscreen operation and built-in speakers and WiFi. Where they differ is in screen size, storage capacity, processing speed, and extra features.
The iPad mini is the smallest iPad in Apple’s lineup. The iPad mini has a 7.9-inch screen, which is considerably smaller than the regular iPad’s 10.2-inch screen. Unfortunately, even though the iPad mini is smaller than the regular iPad, it’s actually more expensive than the larger model, selling for $399.
Apple’s flagship tablet is simply called the iPad. This model, Apple’s most popular, comes with a large 10.2-inch display; if you have vision problems, it’s a better option than the smaller iPad mini. It’s also Apple’s most affordable model, selling for just $329 (and often on sale at Amazon and more stores for $299).
The iPad Air is a little faster, a little larger, and a little more versatile than the regular iPad. The newest iPad Air has many of the same business-oriented features of the more expensive iPad Pro line, including compatibility with the Apple Pencil, Smart Keyboard, and Magic Keyboard accessories. The iPad Air has a 10.9-inch screen and is almost twice as expensive as the base iPad, 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. When coupled with the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard or 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 sells for $999.
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 base 10.2-inch iPad, at just $329, 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.
If you want a slightly larger screen and functionality that approaches the higher-end iPad Pro models, consider the new iPad Air. While it’s considerably more expensive than the regular iPad, it’s much less expensive than the iPad Pro. If you want Pro-level performance and compatibility with all those fancy business accessories, then the iPad Air is a good choice at $599 – even though it’s probably overkill for most casual and home use.
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 Smart Keyboard or Magic Keyboard. Bottom line, while the iPad Pro models are great for business, they’re just too pricey for many home and casual users.
Below is a September 15, 2020 video from Apple on the latest lineup of iPads.
Choosing the Best iPhone for You
Apples new lineup of iPhones is also impressive. There are a number of models positioned for different types of users.
Apple’s budget phone is the iPhone SE. Selling for just $399, this is a smaller phone, with a 4.7-inch display. That makes a little harder to view small text onscreen but is much easier to hold in one hand. The iPhone SE offers basic functionality, including a single main camera.
iPhone 12 mini
If you prefer a smaller phone but want enhanced features and functionality, consider the new iPhone 12 mini. This little phone offers all the functionality of the larger iPhone 12 (discussed next) but with a smaller 5.4-inch screen. Prices start at $699.
Apple’s most popular camera is the iPhone 12, an all-around performer. It offers a 6.1-inch screen, an advanced dual-camera system, and 5G capability. Prices start at $799.
iPhone 12 Pro
Apple’s flagship phone is the iPhone 12 Pro. It offers a three-camera system with wide, ultra wide, and telephoto lenses, as well as a LIDAR scanner for night mode portraits and augmented reality games. The iPhone 12 Pro is compatible with 5G cellular systems and offers a 6.1-inch screen. It sells for $999.
iPhone 12 Pro Max
If you want a really big phone, go for the iPhone 12 Pro Max. This model offers the same features as the iPhone 12 Pro but with a monstrous 6.7-inch screen. The price is equally big, starting at $1099.
Which iPhone Should You Buy?
Deciding which is the right iPhone for your needs is very much a personal decision. It all comes down to how big a phone you want – and how much you want to spend.
For budget-conscious shoppers, the iPhone SE is the obvious choice. At just $399 most people can pay cash for it, and many users prefer the small form factor. If you don’t mind the smaller screen and don’t need the fancy camera functions of the higher-end phones, this one’s a no brainer.
If you like a smaller phone but want a better camera and enhanced functionality, then consider the iPhone 12 mini. It’s considerably higher priced than the iPhone SE but does offer better performance.
Most people will probably choose the phone in the middle, the base iPhone 12. This phone will do just about everything you need it to do and offers a large 6.1-inch screen without totally breaking the bank.
Then there are the high-end iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max models. Both of these phones offer the best cameras in the industry and superior performance. Of course, you pay for all that – at least a grand, depending on your choice of size and storage. That’s a lot for a phone, but if only the best will do, that’s the way to go.
Below is an October 13, 2020 introduction video from Apple on the iPhone 12.