Which iPad Should You Buy? (2022 Buying Guide)

2022 iPad Lineup

I’ve just realized how reflective that neon sign is on these iPads that are annoying okay, anyway, hey guys, I’m tom with tech chap, and I have every single iPad you can buy right now.

From the standard base iPad, which will cost you 319 quid, to the brand new iPad air fifth generation, this has just come out, and it’s got this snazzy new blue colour and the m1 chip up to the pros, and in fact, this pro 12.9 top spec maxed out all the bells and whistles will cost you over two grand so which one should you buy.

Also, are any of these accessories worth shelling out for.

So these are the five primary iPads that apple sells right now with various colour and storage options in either wi-fi or wi-fi plus cellular if you have money to burn and can’t possibly hotspot from your phone or use wi-fi.

They’re all running the latest version of iPad OS. As I’m filming, we’re on 15.4, adding some nifty features like universal control, which I’ll return to later. Bear in mind that while.

I’ll come to some proper performance benchmarks later the a13 chip in here, the a15, and the m1 used in these three. While performance differences fundamentally exist, they all run the same apps and games. They also all have excellent build quality and materials for the front and rear cameras, and they all should get around 10 hours of battery life. You can’t go wrong with any of them, but it comes down to do you need the extra power, the better screen, and the better cameras of the higher-end models.

iPad (9th Gen)

Let’s start at the budget end with the iPad, just the iPad, although technically it’s the 9th generation iPad, and this will cost you 119 pounds or 329.

They came out back in September 2021, so it’s still pretty recent, although it is definitely a case of meeting the new iPad like the old one. It’s kind of like the iPhone use of iPads I mean, it looks almost identical to most iPads from the last ten years or so with the same thick bezels, top and bottom, a physical touch id home button, and the less versatile lighting port.

There’s nothing wrong with the design itself. I mean, it’s still slim and comfortable to use. It just feels like the last of the previous generation, but I thought maybe it’s good to look back because that would do most of the 95 things most people use an iPad for 64. The gig storage option is just £319; if you buy it with an education discount, you’ll get an almost whole iPad experience, and the new iPad Air is just over half what you pay.

So front and centre is this 10.2-inch retina LCD screen. Interestingly, they are all the same sharpness. They share the same pixel-per-inch density except for the mini, which is the sharpest of all. Still, there is one slight downside the display isn’t laminated, so there’s a small but noticeable gap between the glass and the actual screen, but it’s not the end of the world.

That’s creepy take chap inception uh we do get this eight-megapixel camera on the back, which is okay for taking the quick snap or maybe, you know, scanning a QR code, while the 12-megapixel ultra-wide selfie camera is excellent, and it also comes with apple’s clever centre stage technology which tracks and keeps your face or a group of faces centred in the frame.

Actually all ipads now support center stage now, the biggest downside of the base ipad is that we have the slower a13 chip, of course it’s not as fast as the a15 and m1 in other ipads, but it’s still very capable and you can watch Until it easily handles any app or game I throw at it and it’s probably going to last at least a few more years so if you want something just to browse the web and watch some videos, probably realistically make an old facetime call , that’s all the ipad you need, it’s actually great for kids too, my nephew Oliver loves my ipad, I love my ipad a lot, he plays a lot of logic puzzles, math and language games, and as the cheapest ipad it’s not a big deal if it gets a little messy or worse hi i’m oliver tech chat you can also pair the ipad with the intelligent keyboard which attaches magnetically and then folds to put the ipad Pinned in place and very comfortable to type on, although it’s a rather significant experience rsus more expensive magic keyboard with Air and pros we also get apple pencil support for standard ipads but it’s still just a 1st generation pencil , it’s a little awkward to charge and doesn’t get stuck on the side, but that’s okay, I’ll stick with the base 64 gig model though for a base ipad I don’t think paying extra for more storage is really worth it, if you can live with that slightly more A little data design, so why pay more.

iPad Mini (6th Gen)

Let’s talk about the iPad mini or the 6th gen iPad mini. Don’t listen to the nasty people when they say it’s just a big iPhone.

I love this stuff. Yeah, it Costs more than a regular iPad, but it has a better design and better tech, and in many ways, it’s just a shrunken version of the ultraportable Air.

That fits in almost your pocket. I don’t recommend something like It sits like this, but it’s also the lightest iPad to date, which means it’s the only iPad that everyone can use for extended one-handed reading, and it’s also a perfect pairing with the Apple Pencil 2 for drawing and taking notes while mine.

It’s funny when my wife Sarah asks if she can borrow the iPad. I usually go, you know, and pick up 12.9 and give it to her because it’s the best iPad, but she never wants it. She always says Yes to a mini, partly because she likes the smaller, more portable size. It’s always helpful to have a wife who appreciates little things, but also partly because she loves purple, and I also have purple boxes, which are fun. Even if you’re in Knowing on paper, you might think it’s the best because it’s the most expensive and not everyone needs it that big okay. I’ll stop right now. I think the small size has a more significant advantage, though, for gaming, especially games designed for landscape orientation, it works well in this regard. My thumbs can reach most of the controls, although I’m not too keen on where the volume buttons are when I play it like this.

The a15 bionic chip also powers it, this is the same chip used in the current iPhone 13 series, and it is a bit faster than the standard iPad with the a13, and graphics-intensive games are now noticeably smoother.

The mini does have a lot in common with the ipad air ultra wide selfie, center stage and wi-fi 6 and 5g cellular options if you want, plus we have the more generic usbc port, as i mentioned before, This is actually the sharpest ipad just in terms of pixel density per inch compared to everything else you won’t really notice it unless you put your eyes on it but anyway it’s a Excellent 8.3″ ips screen, only downside and works on a basic ipad, Air is we’re still locked into this 60hz screen, only the pro models get the 120hz promo feels like we’re not really using a more powerful chip Unlocks that much performance because the screen is still limited to 60Hz, that’s also only compared to the 8 ram on the new ipad air, and it’s not very cheap either, £479 or $499, which makes this 64 gig mini better than 64 gig regular ipad is 160 lbs more expensive, if you want extra storage 256 gigs is 619 lbs plus 5 g so you are 759, in california se pencil or keyboard, not actually a real keyboard because they don’t offer this size keyboard, but you can use a separate bluetooth keyboard if desired.

Apple Pencil (2nd Gen)

Another reason you may want to consider going for the mini or any of these is that it supports the gen two apple pencil, which is a lot nicer. Firstly, if I can pick this up, it nicely clips onto the side, so you don’t have to carry it separately. It also wirelessly charges this way, so it’s incredibly convenient, and it is more responsive than the first gen pencil with that horrible lightning connector up there.

Although again, you will still get better performance and responsiveness by using it with one of the 120-hertz pros I love. I’ve got a little pencil holder here feels like I’m at school or a teacher, but for you know, tech students.

NEW iPad Air (5th Gen)

All right, let’s talk about the new kid on the block, the brand fresh 5th generation iPad air, and I think in this 64 gig form, yes still 64 gigs, it is arguably the sweet spot of the iPad range.

The design may look pretty much identical to the 4th gen air.

But the performance is now iPad pro level thanks to the m1 chip and twice the ram at 8 gigabytes. There’s also a new 5g cellular option, and USB-c transfer speeds are now twice as fast. It also gets the upgraded 12-megapixel rear and ultra-wide selfie cameras with center stage.

The camera quality is also better than last year, thanks to the improved image processing from the m1 chip.

Although realistically, I think the most significant upgrade with the Air and maybe the reason to buy it is this striking new blue colour which I maintain is tech chat blue I think apple is just a big fan of the channel and decided to uh create this colour just for me possibly maybe not. However, I am torn about the new Air because, on the one hand, it still has this gorgeous design. It’s just as powerful as the pros now. A screen that’s almost as bright can feel like an iPad pro. Still, for nearly 200 pounds less, it’s also slightly lighter than the base iPad. For many people who want a little more premium look and feel, I think the Air is probably worth it, especially with the improved performance and accessories like the magic keyboard that gives it plenty of laptop-like potential. In contrast, the Air’s 60-hertz display still feels nice and smooth and is a very fast iPad and it kind of feels like that 60hz bottlenecks all that performance potential.

Storage Wars

This is where I always get frustrated with apple. They are masses of the upsell. I apologize I have used that phrase in most apple videos recently, but they know most people want, say, 128 gigs of storage which is why they give you 64 or 256 gig options on balance. I do think the base 64 gig model is still probably my recommendation at 569 pounds. I don’t think I would want to pay 719 to go up to 256 gigs of storage. Yes, of course, you can always use iCloud to back up your stuff, but the trouble is with that 256 gig model of this, you’re only 15 pounds shy of the iPad Pro 11, which does come with 128, so admittedly not the 256 but 128 is all you need, and you do get some nice extras with this which we’ll come to in a second so that’s where this gets a bit blurry between whether you should contact the Air or the 11-inch pro.

Magic Keyboard

This is a quick side note, though. If you are serious about using your iPad for some actual work or productivity, whatever you want to call it, then I would highly recommend paying the extra and getting the magic keyboard. This works with both the Air and the pro models. It is expensive, and you can see this is not the correct version for the Air. This is for my 12.9 pros, but there is a model for this, and surprisingly while the keycaps are a little bit bigger on the 12.9 versions, it is still just as comfortable to type with on the smaller 11.

I do love the magic keyboard. It acts as a protective case. There’s a ton of adjustability. It attaches magnetically, so putting it on and taking it off is easy, and you get an extra USB-C port and a touchpad. If you want to save some cash, though, then you can still go with an intelligent keyboard folio that does lose the trackpad, the extra USB-C port and the more excellent keys and layout, and the adjustability.

iPad Pro 11 & 12.9 (3rd & 5th Gen)

Finally, let’s talk about the iPad pros. We’ve got the 11 and the 12.9 inch here, and this still feels like a tablet, whereas this feels more like a laptop screen.

I think again, like the Air, these benefit from pairing it with a magic keyboard and maybe a pencil.

It’s not just the size that separates these those because the bigger 12.9 gets this fancy liquid resonant XDR mini led display, and essentially we’re getting much higher contrast, and so it makes the blacks on the 11 inches fluid retina screen look washed out and greyish in comparison as for brightness in non-hdr content the difference isn’t that obvious as both peak at 600 nits, but when you do jump into some hdr video we get a thousand nits on the 12.9 mini led screen with areas peaking up to 1600 nits, and that is a big difference.

If you are watching a lot of movies or doing colour-sensitive work, it does make a big difference, although being mini-led as opposed to, say, OLED or AMOLED, we do see some reasonably obvious blooming and haloing, particularly when you’ve got a high contrast area say between a white and a black.

Both pro models get that 120hz refresh rate, though or what apple calls promotion, which makes scrolling and jumping between apps and browsing the web feel much smoother and snappier than the Air, and it’s even more apparent in games with a 120-hertz mode. It feels like you’ve unlocked the m1’s potential now. I can’t show you what 120hz looks like in this 60hz video that I’m filming, but if I show you both slowed down to half speed, then you get some idea of the difference, and it makes inputs with the pencil feel more immediate and responsive as well so if you do plan to use this as a severe drawing tablet then I think promotion is a must-have like the new Air though the m1 is blisteringly fast its overkill for most tasks, if you are a power user working with 10-bit 4k video or high megapixel images or 3d design then it is the one to get, and of course, it makes it more future proof.

But aside from the size and also the screen difference, these are pretty much identical. We get the same sleek aluminium design as the Air and the mini, although with slightly thinner bezels. We also get insanely good quad speakers, as well as face id instead of touch id storage, which also goes up to a whopping two terabytes if you’ve got bottomless pockets.

Pro now also get 8 or 16 GB of RAM, depending on the storage option you choose, as well as a faster USB 4 port that supports Thunderbolt 3 and 5g options, and both pros get a 12-megapixel main camera and An ultra wide angle lens and the now-familiar 12 megapixel selfie, front center stage, we also got a lidar sensor on the pro model it’s not necessary but it’s kinda nice but as you’d expect these aren’t cheap , if you want the more important 12.9, the 11 inch pro starts at £749 or 999, interestingly, while the ipad pro 12.9 costs the same as the macbook air although this obviously doesn’t come with a keyboard, you’ll have to pay extra for it, So this way it becomes more expensive for me I might go for the macbook air although it does depend on your situation I still think the ipad is nd the tablet is usually more of a luxury than a necessities like a phone or laptop, And whether the mini led and larger are 250 lbs more than the 11 really depends on how most of us use the ipad I don’t think it’s necessary.

A13 vs A15 vs M1 Test

So that is the lineup, but since I have them all here, why not run a few benchmarks and see how fast they are?

I am surprised that no one in the m1 kind of dominated, particularly in multi-core and graphics performance. As you can see from my antutu geekbench and 3dmark results, in the 3dmark graphics test, the mini was around 35 faster than the regular iPad, while the Air averaged twice the fps versus the base iPad.

Interestingly, though, the Air was slightly less consistent in its low frame stability score than the pros. It seems to throttle more quickly, although I didn’t see any stutter in my gaming tests. The thing is, though, since most developers optimize their apps and games for the least potent iPad on the market, often you’re not fully unlocking the potential of the m1, the more powerful chips in these guys, so really, the difference comes down to if the game or the app supports higher graphic options and also you can max out the 120 hertz if it helps high refresh but also, more importantly, I think it’s future-proofing all these pads if you buy them right now will probably last you at least three four five years but with the m1 since it is such an upgrade and also so ubiquitous within apple’s pads and macs now I think you’re going to get a couple of extra years of support from it.

Battery & iPadOS

The good news, though, is the battery life is excellent no matter which iPad you go for, and the difference between them was only a few percentage points at most realistically, in everyday use, with a bit of gaming and watching videos and browsing the web, you are going to get between nine and eleven hours.

I think it’s also worth mentioning that if you own a macbook air or pro laptop or a mac mini with a screen, as I’ve got over there, actually that’s the mac studio with the studio display, you can use these iPads as a second screen. Via sidecar either wirelessly or via USB, and if you’re on the latest mac os 15.4 or later, we now get universal control which lets your mac and iPad become a single workspace by allowing you to share the trackpad and keyboard between devices and even drag apps and transfer files between them via airdrop it genuinely feels like magic.

Tips & Recommendation

So that was a lot to take in but let me finish with a few quick takeaway tips.

Number one, think carefully before you pay extra for more storage. Are you going to use it because it often does have a lot of money, and maybe you can get away with just transferring things off it or storing them in the cloud.

Secondly, I wouldn’t recommend paying the extra for the cellular option, whether it’s 4g or 5g, unless I don’t know it’s on the business and you don’t care how much it costs, and you think you will use it most of the time I just a hot spot for my phone and use the internet that way, or you know use wi-fi.

Third, most people don’t need a pro. I would probably recommend one of these to 95 people, and finally, don’t forget to refurbish or buy an older version like the iPad air gen four outgoing versions. You can find some official refurbished deals right now. It’s still pretty expensive but still worth looking around. I saw some amazon discounts on the 11-inch pro bringing it closer to the current new iPad play price, so I thought if I were going to buy an iPad for, say, my parents, I would choose something like this just depending on what size they like and then really only if you are a proper hobbyist. If you want the best features and money is not an issue, then I would recommend the pro 12.9 on that mini Stand out led screen. So I like that this is what I use most of the time, but it’s a lot of money.

At that kind of price, if you don’t have a modern laptop, then maybe a macbook air or something would be a better option.

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Title: Which iPad Should You Buy? (2022 Buying Guide)