With unveiling two more iPads joining the Apple’s tablets lineup, the Cupertino company has made it easier than ever to buy one in terms of budget, but simultaneously harder than ever to choose the perfect one. There are 16 different prices from $249 to $829 that cover 56 variants of the iPad, including 5 models, 4 built-in storage options, 2 display sizes and 3 color schemes. Another thing is that you will also have to decide whether you need the built-in TouchID scanner or 4G wireless connectivity. Trying to help you to make a proper choice when buying your iPad, we prepared five simple steps showing how to pick the right model.
1. Pick the size: iPad Mini vs. iPad Air.
First of all, you will have to decide on the iPad size, whether you like to have the 7.9-inch iPad Mini or the 9.7-inch iPad Air. Though smaller slates are easier to carry around, they’re more portable, bigger screens are better for viewing websites, playing games or watching videos. You should also remember that larger size means higher weight, the bigger slates are typically 4 ounces heavier, which perhaps doesn’t seems like much, but you will feel the difference in weight as considerable after holding the device in your hands for several hours.
Except the screen size, weight and price tag (bigger iPad costs $100 more), the two devices are identical in terms of tech specs. Everything depends on what you need the iPad for, for instance if you like to pair your tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard to make work more convenient, you will probably opt for the bigger iPad.
2. Do you need Touch ID scanner feature?
If you’ve chosen the iPad Air, you only have to answer few simple questions: Do you need the Touch ID sensor? Do you want to have the slimmest available iPad? And do you need the iPad sporting a screen with minimal reflections? If you said “yes” in reply to at least one of the questions, then choose the iPad Air 2 for price starting at $499.
However, if you don’t care about the mentioned feature but you simply want to have a slate with bigger screen then you can buy the iPad Air that cost $399 and more, simultaneously saving $100. If you’ve decided to purchase the iPad Mini, you may pick among three options. If you need the Mini with the Touch ID scanner then you should buy the iPad Mini 3 for $399 and up.
If the Touch ID function doesn’t matter, pick the iPad Mini 2 aka the Retina iPad Mini for $299 and up. The released last year device is pretty much the same device as the Mini 3, with the only difference lying in the lack of the Touch ID scanner. But, if your budget is limited and you simply want the Apple’s iPad, the company make the original Mini more budget-friendly, labeling it with the price tag starting from $249.
3. Do you a need built-in 4G LTE connectivity?
The next step with picking the right iPad for you is to decide whether you need built-in 4G cellular connectivity. If your slate is always with you and you’re often in places that don’t provide Wi-Fi, paying extra $130 for 4G connectivity may be worth considering. But, remember that the 4G LTE support is also likely to increase the sum of money you pay for your phone bills. However, you will save the battery life since your phone won’t be constantly searching for Wi-Fi connection.
4. How much memory do you need?
Another thing you should think of when planning to buy the iPad is its internal storage. Everything depends on how you’ll use the device and how long you’ll like to keep it. You will have three storage options to pick among, dependently on which iPad model you’ve chosen. If you don’t need to store a lot of music, videos and photos on you iPad you may pick the smallest storage options, but remember that iPads feature long lifespan, which means that in the course of time you may feel cramped adding new apps and using your iPad more.
So, if you plan to buy the latest models of iPad (iPad Air 2 and Mini 3) it would be wise to get their 64GB versions which will cost you $100 more than their basic 16GB storage models. But, the bit older iPad Air and Mini 2 can get the upgraded 32GB storage for additional $50. There is also the 128GB option, but if you need and can afford one, you definitely don’t need to read this article.
5. Choose the iPad color.
And finally we get to the last step in picking your perfect Apple iPad. Now you’ll only have to choose your iPad color scheme. Remember that the older models are available in traditional Grey Space/Black or Silver/White color options. While buying the newer model you may additionally choose White/Golden if you like to.
If you’re hesitant and undecided which color to pick, take the Black/Grey Space option, since its bezels deliver good contrast between the device’s frame and the image, which may be useful when watching videos. Remember that human brain has the tendency to ignore black border encircling what you’re watching, so the black frame will provide you with more suitable watching experience. On the other hand, black tends to present smudges and fingerprints left on the screen more prominently.
Still, the choice of color is entirely an aesthetic aspect. And since, you won’t get to much chance to personalize your iPad (except wrapping it in a case), pick the color resolutely because you will enjoy looking at it for at least few years.
When you know which iPad to buy…
If you’ve already decided which iPad fits you the best, now you will only have to choose where to buy it, you can do it either at the Apple’s store or third-party retailers. Although Walmart and Target are selling the devices at the same price at the manufacturer, you can receive an extra $30 Target gift card when buying the iPad Mini 16GB version without Retina Display. The Best Buy offers the most competitive discounts for the iPad Retina Display Minis and iPad Air, the mentioned discounts range from $20 up to $60.
Hope the guideline is helpful, in case you would like to check more iPad specs you may refer to our previous articles.