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Are Apple iPads worth it? Here's your updated and complete 2024 guide

2024 iPad Buyer's Guide

Apple iPad tablets are remarkably versatile tools for everyday tasks and processor-intensive creative projects alike. But with so many iPad models and configurations on the market, all at vastly different price points, it can be tricky to pick the right Apple tablet for your needs in 2024.

Confused about all the differences between the iPad, iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad Pro models? Not sure about memory and connectivity options? Well, keep reading. Compiled by our in-house team of tech experts, this buyer's guide focuses on all of the current Apple iPad models and will help you choose the right one for you or the person you're buying a tablet for. But, if you're seeking a tablet for a child, be sure to check out our separate guide on best tablets for kids.

This guide includes all of the new, 2024 iPad Air and iPad Pro tablets that were announced May 7 and that ship starting on May 15. These are among the most powerful tablets ever created, with the iPad Pro models now using cutting-edge Apple M4 processor and boasting an enhanced OLED touchscreen display.

The 2024 Apple iPad lineup

Each of the following iPad models come in a variety of hardware configurations, so you can choose the color, amount of storage, whether it's a Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + Cellular model, and in some cases, the display size.

Apple iPad (9th Generation)

Apple iPad 9th Generation

Display Size: 10.2-inches | Display Type: Retina Display | Processor: A13 Bionic | Internal Storage Options: 64GB or 128GB | Casing Color Options: Space Gray, Silver | Port: Lightning | Wireless Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.2 | Apple Pencil Support: 1st Gen. | Keyboard Support: Apple Smart Keyboard | Security: Touch ID | Size: 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29 inches | Weight: 1.07 pounds | Price range: $249 to $579

This is Apple's starter iPad. It offers all of the core features that people love about these tablets, but none of the more advanced features. It's ideal for kids (elementary through middle school age). We also recommend it for adults who need just basic tablet for web surfing, email, streaming video and audio, and video calling. 

Like all current iPads, this version allows users run two apps at once in split-screen mode. It also offers up to 10 hours of battery life per charge, and it's compatible with the Apple Pencil (1st Generation). This means users can write or draw on the display or annotate files. For note taking, we recommend the optional Goodnotes app, although there are plenty of others to choose from.

This iPad is equipped with a 12MP ultra-wide, front-facing camera and an 8MP wide camera on the back. And while this is Apple's lowest-end version of the iPad, it runs iPadOS 17 (or later) and comes with the same impressive collection of preinstalled apps as every other iPad model. It's also compatible with all of the same apps from the App Store, as well as all of Apple's services, including AppleTV+, Apple Music and Apple Arcade. 

For older students (or any adult who's on a budget), we recommend the iPad (10th Generation) over this one, because it offers more up-to-date technology and a slightly more powerful processor. But for younger users and people who need just basic tablet functionality, this iPad (9th Generation), which was first released back in 2021, is a solid option. 

If you give a younger child access to this tablet, we strongly recommend a screen protector film, which you can find for as little as $7 on Amazon. A sturdy, kid-friendly iPad case will also guard the iPad against accidental drops.

Apple iPad (10th Generation)

Apple iPad (10th Generation)

Display Size: 10.9-inches | Display Type: Liquid Retina | Processor: A14 Bionic | Internal Storage Options: 64GB or 256GB | Casing Color Options: Silver, Blue, Pink, Yellow | Port: USB Type-C | Wireless Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 | Apple Pencil Support: 1st Gen or USB-C version | Keyboard Support: Apple Magic Keyboard Folio | Security: Touch ID | Size: 9.79 x 7.07 x 0.28 inches | Weight: 1.05 | Price range: $349 to $649

Thanks to its slightly newer and more advanced technology versus the 9th Generation, we recommend this version for high school students and adults who want all of the benefits of an iPad without having to spend a fortune. With this model, you get a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina touchscreen display, along with the processing power of the A14 Bionic chip.

The 10th Generation iPad also comes in a nice selection of colors and works with the Apple Pencil and/or an optional keyboard, which can extend its capabilities. This iPad's display and processor allow users to stream 4K resolution video or edit their own 4K videos. And when it comes to customizing the tablet, users get access to almost 2 million apps from the App Store, plus the preinstalled apps that come with iPadOS 17 (or later).

This version of the iPad is a step up from a starter model, but is not as powerful as the new 2024 iPad Pro versions. It can easily handle all of the most common tasks people use their tablet for. In May, Apple cut the price of this iPad, so it now has a starting price of just $349.

Apple iPad Mini (6th Generation)

iPad Mini (6th Generation)

Display Size: 8.3-inches | Display Type: Liquid Retina | Processor: A15 Bionic | Internal Storage Options: 64GB or 256GB | Casing Color Options: Space Gray, Pink, Purple, Starlight | Port: USB Type-C | Wireless Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0  | Apple Pencil Support: 2nd Gen or USB-C version | Keyboard Support: Any Bluetooth keyboard | Security: Touch ID | Size: 7.69 x 5.3 x 0.25 inches | Weight: 0.65 pounds | Price range: $400 to $799

When it comes to reading e-books or other tasks that require holding the tablet for a long time, the iPad Mini is perfect. It's more compact and lighter than any of the other iPad models, yet still offers the processing power needed to run iPadOS17 (or later) and any apps. 

The 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display offers a maximum brightness of 500 nits and provides an impressive 2,266 x 1,488 pixel resolution. Apple's A15 Bionic processor is powerful enough to handle everyday tasks and multitasking (but it's not as powerful as Apple's newer M1, M2 or M4 processors). And because the tablet is lightweight and easy to hold with one hand, it's ideal for video calls. In fact, the tablet's two microphones and stereo speakers do an excellent job ensuring that you'll be heard, and that the speakers sounds good.

Since the 6th Generation limits your internal storage options to either 64GB or 256GB, again we highly recommend going with the higher capacity. And since Wi-Fi is so readily available these days, unless you have a very specific need for the Wi-Fi + Cellular version of this tablet, most users will do just fine with the less expensive Wi-Fi only version. 

Unlike traditional e-readers that have an e-ink or Paperwhite display, the iPad Mini offers a vibrant, full-color display. This makes reading photo-heavy e-books a delight. Plus, you can read digital editions of newspapers and magazines in full color. Of course, the iPad Mini also does a great job streaming video and audio. And with an Apple Pencil, it can be used as a feature-packed note taking tool. But that just scratches the surface of what this tablet can do, because it's fully compatible with iPadOS 17 (or later) and all compatible apps. So, if you're looking for a full-featured iPad with a lighter and more compact design, the iPad Mini is the option for you.

Apple 2024 11" iPad Air 

2024 11" iPad Air

Display Size: 11 inches | Display Type: Liquid Retina display | Processor: Apple M2 | Internal Storage Options: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB | Casing Color Options: Blue, purple, space gray, starlight | Port: USB Type-C | Wireless Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3  | Apple Pencil Support: Apple Pencil (2nd Gen), Apple Pencil Pro | Keyboard Support: Apple Magic Keyboard | Security: TouchID | Size: 9.74 x 7.02 x 0.24 inches | Weight: 1.02 pounds | Price range: $599 to $1,249

The iPad Air is now Apple's mid-priced tablet option and it's perfect for everyday users and high school or college students.

Featuring an 11-inch Liquid Retina touchscreen display with a 2,360 x 1,640 pixel resolution and a maximum brightness of 500 nits, this new version of the ultra-thin iPad Air runs using Apple's M2 processor. The front-facing camera is now located on the landscape edge of the tablet, which makes using video calling apps (like FaceTime with its Center Stage feature) more practical. The tablet features landscape stereo speakers and all of the other features and functions that make using the iPad an intuitive and enjoyable experience.

The iPad Air runs the same version of the iPadOS operating system and comes with the same collection of apps as the iPad Pro, but this model's display and processor aren't as powerful as the new iPad Pros. The iPad Air's 11-inch display makes it easy to carry and lightweight enough to hold in your hands for extended periods.

Choose between 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB of internal storage. At the time of purchase, pick either the lower priced Wi-Fi only model, or the Wi-Fi + Cellular configuration. Battery life is up to 10 hours. The 2024 edition of the iPad Air provides three times faster performance than the previous model.

Apple 2024 13" iPad Air 

2024 11" iPad Air

Display size: 13 inches | Display type: Liquid Retina display | Processor: Apple 2 | Internal storage options: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB | Casing color options: Blue, purple, space gray, starlight | Port: USB Type-C | Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 6e, Bluetooth 5.3  | Apple Pencil support: Apple Pencil (2nd Gen), Apple Pencil Pro | Keyboard support: Apple Magic Keyboard | Security: TouchID | Size: 11.04 x 8.46 x 0.24 inches | Weight: 1.36 pounds | Price range: $799 to $1,449

The 13-inch iPad Air is similar to the new 11-inch model, but you get more on-screen real estate, which is great for multi-tasking. 

Also falling into the mid-priced range within Apple's latest iPad lineup, this version of the iPad Air offers a larger 13-inch Liquid Retina display. It runs using Apple's M2 processor and the iPadOS operating system. At the time of purchase, choose between 128GB, 256GB, 51GB or 1TB of internal storage and between a Wi-Fi only model or Wi-Fi + Cellular configuration.

In keeping with the iPad Air predecessors, this one is lightweight, extremely thin (0.24 inches) and comes with all of the same preinstalled apps as all other iPad models.

Like the 11-inch iPad Air model, this one is ideally suited to everyday users and high school or college students who don't need the advanced processing power of the new iPad Pro models, but who still want access to all of the key features Apple's tablets are known for. It can easily handle all of your everyday tasks and serve as a powerful communications tool (especially for video calling), but it's also great for streaming entertainment content, gaming and running all sorts of productivity apps, including note taking apps. Battery life is up to 10 hours.

2024 11" iPad Pro

2024 11" iPad Pro

Display Size: 11 inches | Display Type: OLED Ultra Retina XDR display | Processor: Apple M4 | Internal Storage Options: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB | Casing Color Options: Silver, space black | Port: USB Type-C | Wireless Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3 | Apple Pencil Support: Apple Pencil (2nd Gen), Apple Pencil Pro | Keyboard Support: Apple Magic Keyboard | Security: FaceID | Size: 9.83 x 6.99 x 0.21 inches | Weight: 0.98 pounds | Price range: $999 to $2,199

For an iPad power user, the 2024 edition of the 11-inch iPad Pro is literally a dream come true. For the first time, the iPad now offers an Ultra Retina XDR display (with 2,420 x 1,668 pixel resolution) that uses the latest OLED technology to provide sharper, more detailed content with brighter and more accurate colors. The new display offers a maximum brightness of 1,600 nits, a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio and features enhanced anti-glare technology that scatters ambient light. This makes the screen easier to see in a wider range of lighting situations.

The 2024 iPad Pro is also faster and more powerful than ever. In fact, it runs using the advanced M4 processor and relies on a redesigned CPU, GPU and NPU that offers performance that's up to four times better than previous iPad Pro models offered -- while requiring less power. This means the 11-inch iPad Pro can process up to 38 trillion operations per second and still has an up to 10 hour battery life that's consistent with all other current iPad models.

This iPad Pro model comes with your choice of 256GB, 512GB, 1TB or 2TB of storage. It's available in silver or space black and comes in a Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + Cellular configuration. It's compatible with the new Apple Pencil Pro and a redesigned Apple Magic Keyboard (both sold separately). 

At the time of purchase, for the first time ever, you can choose between a display with standard glass or one with a nano-texture glass that offers much lower light reflectivity. This means you'll see sharper content, with more accurate colors and greater detail in a wider range of ambient lighting situations. The more expensive nano-texture glass is only an option for the configurations with 1TB or 2TB of internal storage.

Beyond just the incredible processing power of the M4 silicon and the absolutely gorgeous OLED display, what sets the new generation of iPad Pros apart is a thin, 5.1mm design. It also runs a new generation of what Apple refers to as "Pro Apps." These take full advantage of the processing power, Apple Pencil Pro and new Magic Keyboard to offer the kind of abilities that not even the latest MacBook Pros can offer. Think video editing, graphic design, photo editing, audio recording, gaming and more. It's also a powerful drawing and note taking tool. And it can handle all of the other tasks people expect from an iPad -- just way faster and with a higher level of performance, plus vastly improved graphics.

In addition to studio-quality microphones; a front-facing camera that's now positioned along the landscape edge of the tablet; and a four-speaker sound system, the tablet supports spatial audio, data transfer speeds up to 40GB per second, and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity. This version of the iPad Pro, with its Ultra Retina XDR display (OLED) is ideal for power users, gamers, graphic designers, content creators, musicians, photographers, videographers and anyone else who requires a tremendous amount of computing powered combined with an 11-inch touchscreen display.

2024 13" iPad Pro

2024 13" iPad Pro

Display size: 13 inches | Display type: OLED Ultra Retina XDR | Processor: Apple M4 | Internal storage options: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB | Casing color options: Silver, space black | Port: USB Type-C | Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3  | Apple Pencil support: Apple Pencil (2nd Gen), Apple Pencil Pro | Keyboard support: Apple Magic Keyboard | Security: FaceID | Size: 11.09  8.48 x 0.2 inches | Weight: 1.28 pounds | Price range: $1,299 to $2,599

Hands down, this is the most powerful and versatile Apple iPad ever released. Not only is the processor cutting-edge, but so is the amazingly detailed and vibrant 13-inch OLED display. Yet, the tablet is incredibly thin (0.20 inches) and weighs a mere 1.28 pounds. Despite all of the new technology that's packed into this powerhouse of a tablet, battery life is up to 10 hours (which is consistent with all other current iPad models).

The 13-inch iPad Pro gives you the option for up to 2TB of internal storage. And for the first time, the Tandem OLED Ultra Retina XDR display is available with either a standard glass or optional nano-texture display glass that does a better job reducing glare from ambient light sources. This 13-inch model offers the same advanced features and power as the new 11-inch model, so it offers Apple's redesigned CPU, GPU and NPU, an advanced front- and rear-facing camera setup, a four speaker sound system (with spatial audio support), an array of four studio quality microphones and so much more.

This is the tablet you want in your hands when using the new Final Cut 2 app for video editing or the Logic Pro 2 app for music production. And beyond the apps that come preinstalled, there are more than two million additional apps available from the App Store, with many now being upgraded to support the Apple Pencil Pro and redesigned Magic Keyboard. Power tablet users can leave their laptop behind and have more processing power and performance than ever before possible -- using just an iPad.

Sure, the iPad Pro is ideal for graphic designers, videographers, content creators, photographers, musicians and audio producers, but it's just as useful to college students, and everyday users who need extra processing power and a larger display (that's ideal for multitasking). It's also a stelar mobile gaming device and productivity tool. 

Whether you're streaming music or video, using the rear-facing camera to scan paper documents, shooting 4K video, or using the Apple Pencil Pro to handwrite, draw or annotate on the display, the new 13-inch iPad Pro offers advanced processing power, a high storage capacity and an extra-large touchscreen that makes it easy to handle even the most advanced tasks just about anywhere.

8 decisions to make before buying an iPad

While many Android-based tablets offer an integrated microSD memory card slot that can expand internal storage, this is not an option with any iPad. So it's key to know exactly what you really need in an iPad before you buy.

Model: If you choose an older version of any iPad, it will typically have a slower processor than the latest model and could feature a different size and type display, as well as other differences. While current iPads periodically go on sale, you can often save money on the latest iterations if you're willing to purchase a "renewed," "refurbished," "open box," or "pre-owned" iPad. Since each retailer defines these terms differently, read the fine print so you understand exactly what you're getting. Information about Amazon's renewed products can be found on the company's website.

Color: iPad models comes in an assortment of colors. The color you choose is a matter of personal preference and has no impact on the operation of the tablet. If you plan to purchase one of Apple's iPad keyboards or Smart Folio covers, these will cover the back of the tablet, so you won't even see its casing.

Storage: Depending on the iPad model, you'll choose between two and five internal storage capacities. As a general rule, most people will find 64GB or even 128GB too small, especially if you plan to store a bunch of photos, video clips, TV shows and movies. Unless you know you need 1TB or even 2TB of internal storage, most people will find either 256GB or 512GB adequate, especially if they plan to use Apple iCloud or another cloud service.

Processor: Depending on what you plan to use your iPad for, you may need more power than what you get in a core model. If this is the case, your options are limited to iPad Pro models with Apple's M2 processor.

Display size (iPad Air and iPad Pro only): The 2024 versions of the iPad Air and iPad Pro both come with either an 11-inch or 13-inch display. The only different between the 11-inch and 13-inch version of the iPad Air, or the 11-inch and 13-inch version of the iPad Pro, is the size of the display. The larger size gives you more on-screen real estate, which is better for multitasking, watching videos, gaming, note taking or performing higher-end tasks like video editing.

Nano-texture glass upgrade (iPad Pro with 1TB or 2TB storage only): For the first time, when you purchase a 2024 version of the iPad Pro with either 1TB or 2TB of internal storage, you can upgrade the display to include nano-texture glass. This will greatly reduce or eliminate unwanted glare from ambient light and make what's displayed on the screen look brighter and sharper.

Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + Cellular: A Wi-Fi-only iPad connects wirelessly to the internet using any network you have access to (at home or at work) or any public Wi-Fi hotspot. You can also connect to a personal hotspot on your phone. The iPad configurations that support Wi-Fi with cellular cost more (usually around $100), and you'll need a cellular service. This will typically cost between $5 and $30 per month. A cellular data plan for an iPad does not require a long-term contract.

Subscription to AppleCare+: An iPad is an advanced device with a touchscreen and other components that can suffer damage. (An iPad is not waterproof, or even water resistant.) To protect your investment, Apple offers AppleCare+ for iPad. This plan covers repairs and gives you priority access to technical support 24/7. Depending on your model, a two year AppleCare+ plan will cost between $69 and $149. If you choose a month-to-month AppleCare+ plan, you'll pay between $3.49 and $7.99 per month and can keep the coverage going for as long as you like. If you want AppleCare+ coverage for your iPad, you need to buy it within 60 days of the initial purchase. Without AppleCare+, the cost to repair a scratched or cracked display, for example, could cost you hundreds of dollars, versus a deductible of around $50 per incident.

Must-have iPad accessories

One of the great things about any iPad is that you can add apps and accessories to greatly expand its capabilities. There are countless third-party companies that make compatible iPad accessories, but here's a roundup of the genuine Apple iPad accessories we believe are the most useful. Before you buy an iPad accessory, make sure it's designed for your model and generation number.


Apple Magic Keyboard

Each model supports at least one optional Apple keyboard, which makes typing and data entry faster and more accurate. It also provides an experience closer to a laptop. We're huge fans of the Apple Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro tablets, but any iPad will work with any Bluetooth-compatible keyboard.

What's particularly great about the Magic Keyboard, however, is that when it's folded up, it serves as a protective cover. Plus, it offers a nice range of angle adjustability and is powered by the iPad itself, so you never need to worry about charging the Magic Keyboard separately. And even with the Magic Keyboard connected, it does not require too much power, so the tablet's overall battery life is barely impacted.

When choosing any genuine Apple keyboard, these are iPad model specific, so be sure to choose a compatible version. In conjunction with the release of the 2024 iPad Air and iPad Pro tablets, Apple introduced a redesigned version of the Magic Keyboard that now includes a row of function keys. And among other enhancements, haptic feedback has also been added to the touchpad.

The redesigned Magic Keyboard for the 2024 11-inch iPad Air is priced at $299. The keyboard for the 13-inch iPad Air sells for $399. Meanwhile, the redesigned Magic Keyboard for the 2024 11-inch iPad Pro is priced at $299, while the version for the 13-inch iPad Pro is priced at $349.

Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil (2nd Generation)

The optional Apple Pencil is a stylus that looks and feels just like a traditional pen, but it can write, draw or paint on an iPad's display with great accuracy. And the 2nd Generation is also pressure sensitive. 

Many apps for the iPad are now compatible with Apple Pencil, so you can use your tablet as a virtual notepad for taking handwritten notes; easily annotate and sign documents (including PDF files); or using virtual paintbrushes to create works of art.

There are three versions of the Apple Pencil. Some of the older and lower-end tablets only work with the 1st Generation, while the higher-end and newer tablets support the 2nd Generation. 

Most recently, Apple introduced the scaled-down and more affordable Apple Pencil (USB-C) version, which is compatible with all current iPad models except the iPad 9th Generation. This latest Apple Pencil charges using a USB Type-C cable and magnetically attaches to the side of an iPad for storage. 

Also, Apple Pencil (USB-C) version does not support the convenient magnetic charging feature, like the 2nd Generation. This Apple Pencil also does not support pressure sensitivity or the double-tap gesture (used for changing virtual writing and drawing tools) that people like about the 2nd Generation. 

Introduced in conjunction with the 2024 iPad Air and iPad Pro tablets, the new Apple Pencil Pro offers more advanced features, like pressure and tilt sensitivity, haptics and now works with a selection of gestures. This version of the stylus is only compatible with the latest iPad Air and iPad Pro models.

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

The AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) represent the most powerful earbuds in Apple's AirPods lineup. Top selling points are the spatial audio with a dynamic head tracking feature, and support of Dolby Atmos. Their noise-cancelling technology also works exceptionally well. 

The design of the Apple AirPods Pro 2 is fairly similar to the previous generation, but Apple has introduced touch controls to the stems of the earbuds. You can also now choose between a USB Type-C or Lightning compatible charging case. Battery life is up to six hours per charge, or up to 30 hours with multiple charges from the wireless charging case. These earbuds offer an IP54 rating for dust, sweat and water resistance.

They're ideal for listening to any type of audio generated by an iPad, or for enjoying clear conversations on video calls or virtual meetings. The regular price of the AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) wireless earbuds is $249, but we often see them on sale at Amazon, Walmart, Target and other online retailers (like B&H Photo) for $200 or less.

Keep in mind, any wireless (Bluetooth) headphones or earbuds will work any iPad. We recommend the AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) as the ideal audio companions for the iPad because they're designed for use with Apple gear and generate high quality audio with active noise cancellation and spatial audio with dynamic head tracking. To learn about other headphones and earbuds that offer spatial audio, check out our coverage of the six best wireless earbuds with spatial audio in 2024 and six best wireless earbuds for 2024.

Are Apple iPads worth it? 

Apple offers two versions of the iPad -- the iPad Air, the iPad Mini -- and two versions of the iPad Pro. Each model has a variety of configuration options. iPad prices range from $249 to $2,599, depending on model and configuration. 

What all Apple iPads have in common

All current iPad models have a few similarities, as well as a variety of things that set each apart. Here are 15 important features and functions that all of the current iPad models have in common:

  • The iPadOS 17 (or later) operating system: iPadOS 17 is the current version of Apple's tablet operating system. The same version of iPadOS runs on all current models. All iPad models also get the same collection of preinstalled apps, which include everything from Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Safari, Notes and News, to Reminders, Files, Maps, Messages and more.
  • Multiple storage options: All iPad models offer at least two options for internal storage. The more advanced iPad models give you five options. The iPad (9th Generation), iPad (10th Generation), iPad Air and iPad Mini each provide two storage options. Since you can't upgrade later, we recommend going with the 256GB option, since 64GB won't be enough storage for many users. For iPad models where you've given more extensive storage choices, we suggest a middle option (like 256GB or 512GB), unless you need to a massive amount of storage, such as 1TB or 2TB. The more storage you choose, the more expensive the iPad will be.
  • Up to 10-hour battery life: All current iPad models offer up to 10 hours of battery life. But this often decreases based on how you use the tablet. For example, if you purchase a Wi-Fi + cellular model and rely heavily on the cellular connection, or play the speakers at a high volume for a long time, battery life will drain faster. Apps that require a lot of processing power will also shorten an iPad's battery life. The easy fix for this is an optional power pack.
  • Choose between a Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + Cellular configuration: An iPad with a Wi-Fi only configuration will only be able to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi. When youre using their iPad outside of your home or office, you can often rely on your smartphone to create a personal Wi-Fi hotspot for the tablet to use. Alternatively, you can use a public Wi-Fi hotspot. When using public Wi-Fi hotspots, we recommend having a Virtual Private Network (VPN) running on your iPad for added security and privacy. Meanwhile, if you opt to go with a Wi-Fi + Cellular model and activate cellular connectivity, you'll need to pay for a cellular data plan from a cellular service provider. For an unlimited data plan, this will cost anywhere from $10 to $30 per month. 
  • Face ID or Touch ID support: The higher-end iPads use Face ID with the tablet's front-facing camera as an unlocking option. Face ID uses the tablet's front-facing camera to scan your face to confirm your identity. If the iPad model you choose doesn't offer Face ID, it will use Touch ID. This security method uses a fingerprint scanner built into the power button or home button. Or you can unlock any iPad using a six-digit passcode.
  • Siri smart assistant: When the iPad has internet access, the Siri digital assistant responds to voice commands and provides answers to questions.
  • Front and rear-facing cameras: All of the iPads have at least one front-facing and one rear-facing camera, although several of the higher-end models use a more advanced multi-camera setup. The front-facing camera works with FaceTime and other video calling services and can take selfies. Rear-facing cameras can capture still images or video. The resolution of the cameras varies between the models. Several models capture 4K-resolution video.
  • USB Type-C port: With the exception of the iPad (9th Generation), all of the currently available iPad models now offer one USB Type-C port on the bottom. This can be used to charge the tablet or connect optional accessories.
  • Integrated microphones and speakers: All iPads have at least one microphone and two stereo speakers built in. More advanced models offer multiple microphones and up to four integrated speakers.
  • Apple Pencil support: All iPad models either support the Apple Pencil (1st Generation), Apple Pencil (2nd Generation) or the latest (and least expensive) Apple Pencil (USB-C) stylus. This accessory is used to handwrite, draw or annotate files directly on the tablet's screen. 
  • External keyboard support: Any of the iPads can connect (via Bluetooth) to an external keyboard to make data entry and touch typing faster and more accurate. A keyboard can also help the iPad perform more like a traditional laptop. Apple offers at least one specially designed keyboard for each of its tablets. The iPad Pro and iPad Air tablets support Apple's Magic Keyboard (which also doubles as a smart cover to protect the screen when the tablet is not in use). The Magic Keyboard Folio is designed specifically for the iPad (10th Generation), while the Smart Keyboard works with the iPad Air and Pad (9th Generation).
  • App Store access: Beyond the collection of free apps that come preinstalled, you also get access to the App Store. You'll find almost two million optional apps -- some free and some you pay for -- that allow you to customize and greatly expand the functionality of your iPad. 
  • Integration with Apple iCloud: The iCloud cloud-based service allows all compatible Apple devices (including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, MacBook, iMac and Apple TV) to automatically sync and share app-specific data, photos and other content between all of your Apple equipment. iCloud can also store files. Most iCloud services are free. You just need to set up one free Apple ID account to access iCloud features from any of your compatible Apple gear, including your iPad.
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Thanks to the Bluetooth wireless capabilities built into all iPads, it's easy to pair the tablet with wireless headphones, earbuds, external speakers, printers and a wide range of other devices.
  • Compatibility with Apple services: In addition to iCloud, Apple now offers a variety of online services that all iPads can access (but a paid subscription is typically required). These services include Apple Music, AppleTV+, Apple Fitness+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple Podcasts (free) and Apple Books.

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