Apple surprised us with a press release announcement of two new ipads. And this really caught me off guard because not only is the iPad mini back which we were expecting from the rumors. But the iPad air is also back as well and we really weren’t expecting that. We were expecting a budget-friendly iPad but what we got was a mid-ranged iPad. And now there are more pads than ever available and this is going to be confusing for a lot of consumers out there.
There is an iPad pro with two sides classes an 11-inch iPad pro and a 12.9-inch iPad pro. There is the new iPad air which is a 10.5-inch display, the iPad mini which is a 7.9-inch display. And of course, the regular old-fashioned budget iPad which has a 9.7-inch display. So I thought this would be a great opportunity to take you through this iPad lineup try and make sense of it. And give you my recommendations on what iPad you should buy depending on your use.
Now before we get into my recommendations. Let’s just break down the new iPad air and the new iPad mini. Because there is a lot to unpack here and the apple didn’t really go over the details in a press conference. So let me walk you through what’s new and what’s different about these iPad models
Compared to say older iPad models.
Let’s start with the iPad air now the iPad air starts at a pretty reasonable price 499 dollars for a 64 gigabytes configuration. It only has one upgrade and that comes with the storage capacity and that would be 256 gigabytes for 649 dollars. Respectively you could also get the cellular version of this iPad air for 629 dollars or 779 dollars for that 256-gigabyte option.
This has a ten point five inch display much like the older iPad pro from 2017. And what’s great about this display is that it is a laminated display, one of the biggest complaints from people who wanted a more budget-friendly iPad. Something in that $500 range was that they didn’t really have a option to get a laminated display. If you went to that ipad it also supports the p3 wide color gamut spectrum. So if you are a fan of that wide color that was usually found on the iPad pro models. This iPad air also has it as well.
This iPad air also has an a12 chip inside of it which is something we weren’t expecting. As well when we were doing the rumors for these new ipads we predicted or I predicted that it would come with an 11 chip. That apple wouldn’t be shipping its top-of-the-line processors that are currently found in the iPhones. But no apple went ahead and did that they threw in the top-of-the-line iPhone processor right inside of this iPad. Sure’ it’s not the a12x that the more expensive $799 iPad pros have. But this still is a really good chip and really really powerful the cpu performance on this a12 chip. It would even out score things like the new MacBook air or even the entry-level MacBook pro.
This iPad air also has apple pencil support. Now, this only supports the first generation apple pencil not the new second-generation apple pencil. That we saw with the 2018 iPad pros. This is something I covered in the past and predicted that it did turn out to be true. And this new iPad air has support for the smart connector so you can attach a smart keyboard.
Now, this smart keyboard is like the old smart keyboard. So it doesn’t cover the back of the device and it attaches to the side of the iPad rather than the back. Like on the new iPad pros, this iPad air also supports touch id. So no new face id system inside of it, it’s 6.1 millimeters thin so a relatively thin device not as thin as the new iPad pros. And it also only weighs one pound so still keeping with that traditional iPad air design.
Now people have been following the iPad line for a while might start to say wait a minute this sounds exactly like the 10.5-inch iPad pro from 2017. Are there any real differences to this device and yes it’s a little bit of an upgrade and downgrade in some ways. Now the CPU of that a12 is an upgrade in terms of CPU performance than that old 10.5-inch iPad pro.
But you’re also losing some things as well so the new iPad air only has two speakers on the bottom. It doesn’t have the quad-speaker setup of the iPad proline. The camera on the iPad air only has an 8-megapixel camera as opposed to the 12-megapixel camera on the iPad pro. However, the iPad air doesn’t have a camera bump in the back of it. So if you don’t use the rear camera too much you might consider that an upgrade in terms of the design.
Thankfully they didn’t downgrade the front-facing camera to the 1.2-megapixel camera that’s found on the iPad. This iPad air still has the 7 megapixel front-facing camera that you would find on the pro lines. Another difference with the iPad air is that it does not have the pro motion display at 120 hertz. So this is a 60-hertz display.
Okay so let’s cover the iPad mini now so there’s only a few differences here with the iPad mini compared to the iPad air. Though the price range for the iPad mini is gonna start at $399 for a 64 gigabyte option. If you increase the storage to 256 gigabytes that’s gonna increase it $150 to 549 dollars. And then the cellular versions retail for 529 and then 679 dollars for that 256-gigabyte option.
The iPad mini also has a 7.9 inch screen versus that iPad air is 10.5 inch screen. And it does not support a smart keyboard so no smart connector on the bottom. But everything else I just said about that iPad air also applies to the iPad mini so it still has the a12 chip inside of it. That is something I thought would not happen I thought apple would position this iPad mini as a budget iPad mini. But they went all out with this CPU performance on this device. So this iPad mini is going to be packing more power than a MacBook air than a MacBook pro-entry-level.
Everything else I mentioned with the air the iPad mini also supports. So it has the same laminated display, it has support for the apple pencil, the same stereo speakers. And the same rear camera, the same front-facing the camera.
Which Should You Buy?
So now that we covered what the new iPad air and the new iPad mini offer which iPad should you as the consumer buy?
iPad Air – Now I think this new iPad air is going to be great for a lot of people out there. This is for people who want I pad pro features without the iPad pro price. The iPad air starts at $499 where if you were to buy the new iPad pro that starts at 799 dollars and that’s a huge price gap for a lot of people out there. So this iPad air is a lot more friendly to people’s pocketbooks.
So what do I mean by pro features without the pro price? this means that you plan on purchasing that smart keyboard. Maybe you want to type up something maybe you have emails to type up maybe you’re a student. This iPad air supports the smart keyboard so if you plan on typing on this device if you want a physical keyboard that’s something you can consider with this air.
This is also for people who want the apple pencil maybe as a drawing tablet or as a note-taker and still want a bigger display than the 9.7-inch iPad or the 7.9-inch iPad mini. The air is also good for people who want that laminated display if they plan on using their iPad out in the sunlight. That will help cut down on reflectivity. This is for people who want to multitask with a bigger screen than. The nine-point seven-inch iPad or the 7.9-inch iPad mini. And you also want to run powerful apps like procreate like affinity photo. Any other app that you can think of. Because it does support that a12 chip inside of it. This iPad air should be good for the next couple of years.