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iPad Pro M4 vs iPad Air M2 vs iPad Mini: Which iPad you should buy in 2024?

From the budget-friendly iPad (10th gen) to the high-end M4 iPad Pro, Apple offers a wide range of options in its iPad lineup. So, finding the best iPad to buy can be challenging.

In this guide, I’ll explain the key factors to consider when buying an iPad and help you choose the iPad that best meets your requirements and budget. Let’s begin!

What to consider when buying an iPad?

Before delving into the specs and pricing, it’s wise to take a moment and evaluate your requirements.

For instance, professionals and creators may need an iPad with full-fledged PC-like features. Students and most other regular users may strive for a balance between performance and affordability. Parents may look for a compact iPad for their kids. So, to narrow down your choices, you can consider these key factors:

  • Budget: iPads range significantly in price. Be honest about how much you’re comfortable spending.
  • Usage: What will you be using your iPad for: browsing the web, casual gaming, or professional creative work? Different iPad models are powered by different Apple Silicon chips, so they provide efficiency and productivity accordingly. Also, think if you need cellular connectivity in your iPad.
  • Portability: Do you need a lightweight, portable device for on-the-go use, or are you okay with a larger screen? Attaching a keyboard case to the iPad makes it quite bulky, and you may not feel comfortable carrying it with a laptop.
  • Accessories: Consider the compatibility of your chosen iPad with any additional accessories you might need, like a keyboard or Apple Pencil.

What is the best iPad to Buy in 2024?

Considering the above-mentioned factors, I have created this iPad buying guide for different types of users. Take a look!

What is the best iPad for most people?

1. iPad 10th generation

iPad 10th Genreration
  • Display: 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display
  • Processor: A14 Bionic chip
  • Camera: 12MP wide rear camera + 12MP ultra-wide front camera
  • Storage: 64GB or 256GB
  • Weight: 477g
  • Battery: Up to 6 hours

The 10th-generation iPad strikes a fantastic balance between affordability and performance. While it might not be the most powerful iPad, the A14 chip still delivers a smooth performance.

Its LED-backlit multi‑touch display with IPS technology and 2360-by-1640-pixel resolution produces decent visuals. The dual mics and landscape stereo speakers ensure good sound quality. So, it’s ideal for everyday tasks like browsing the web, reading, video meetings, consuming content, light productivity work, etc.

Besides, by pairing it up with a Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil, you can quickly take notes and go over some work-related stuff.

The only downside is that this iPad’s battery doesn’t last an entire day. Also, while testing, I missed the convenience of Face ID.

So, altogether, it’s the best affordable iPad for most people, students, and families.

Price: Starts from $349

Check out on: Apple | Amazon

What is the best iPad for creators?

2. 2024 iPad Pro M4

M4 iPad Pro Best iPad for creators
  • Display: 11-inch or 13-inch Ultra Retina XDR display
  • Processor: Apple M4 chip
  • Camera: 12MP wide rear camera + 12MP ultra-wide front camera
  • Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB
  • Weight: 444g – 582g
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours

If you are wondering what the best iPad for creators is, don’t look further than the iPad Pro M4. This powerhouse chip is designed for demanding tasks such as filmmaking, video editing, graphic design, and music production.

Besides, the CPU is 1.5 times faster than the M2 iPad Pro. You will get the finest video editing experience using Final Cut Pro and AI-infused music production on Logic Cut Pro. Additionally, the ray tracing capabilities offered by the advanced GPU are perfect for 3D modeling, making it the best iPad for architects.

What’s more? This iPad Pro is only 5.1mm thick, making it the thinnest Apple product. So, the 13-inch screen size, latest M4 chip, studio-quality mic, and speakers – combined with Apple Pencil Pro and Magic Keyboard – can easily replace your laptop.

Price: Starts at $999

Check out on: Amazon | Apple

What is the best iPad for professionals?

3. 2024 iPad Air M2

M2 iPad Air
  • Display: 11-inch or 13-inch Liquid Retina display
  • Processor: Apple M2 chip
  • Camera: 12MP wide rear camera + 12MP ultra-wide front camera
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB
  • Weight: 462g – 618g
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours

Do you need a workhorse with pro-like features at an affordable price? The iPad Air M2 is the best choice.

The powerful M2 chipset can handle intensive workflows, including AI capabilities, and you may multitask using Stage Manager. Also, with the new landscape front camera, attending meetings just got a bit more professional.

The best part is that you can take advantage of Apple Pencil Pro on this iPad Air and fulfill your creative tasks on designer apps. Further, if you get the 13-inch variant and pair it up with the Magic Keyboard, you might as well get a MacBook Air-like setup!

Price: Starts at $599

Check out on: Amazon | Apple

What is the best iPad for Students?

4. 2021 iPad mini

iPad mini Best for Students
  • Display: 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display
  • Processor: Apple A15 Bionic chip
  • Camera: 12MP wide rear camera + 12MP ultra-wide front camera
  • Storage: 64GB or 256GB
  • Weight: 293g – 297g
  • Battery: Up to 6 hours

If you are searching for the ultimate portable and compact iPad, the iPad Mini is your answer. It is designed for students who need a handy, lightweight, and affordable device for schoolwork and entertainment. You will get the crisp Liquid Retina display to watch content or read stuff.

Besides, the camera setup does a decent job of scanning documents and attending video calls. Its powerful A15 Bionic chip ensures smooth performance for studying, note-taking, and creative projects. Basically, it can handle all kinds of day-to-day productivity tasks with aplomb.

However, the storage option and battery life are not justified at this price point. Also, you can’t attach a Keyboard case with this iPad. If you can put these minor issues aside, the iPad mini is a great value-for-money device.

Price: Starting at $499

Check out on: Apple | Amazon

What is the best iPad for you?

Here’s a quick summary of everything discussed so far:

ModelIdeal use caseKey features
iPad 10th generationCasual use, everyday tasksBudget-friendly, reliable, and portable
iPad Pro M4Professional use for creators and architects, demanding creative tasksPowerful processor, high-quality display, and long battery life
iPad Air M2Professional use, seamless user experiencePowerful processor, large storage option, Apple Pencil Pro support
iPad miniStudent use, portable and affordablePortable, affordable, and easy to use

While each iPad has its strengths, there are some models that may not be the best fit for certain users.

For example, if you require the most advanced features and performance, the entry-level iPad 10th generation may not meet your needs. Similarly, if you’re a professional content creator or gamer, the iPad mini’s smaller screen size may limit your productivity.

Also, don’t be enticed by the cheap price tags of older iPads on various third-party sites. Those models will not be supported for future iPadOS versions and can’t provide a good user experience due to older hardware technologies.

Since I wanted to match each type of user with the best iPad they could get, I couldn’t describe my close-second picks there. So, I’d like to wrap things up with a few honorary mentions.

First, if you are on a tight budget, you can consider the iPad 9th generation as well. It’s much more affordable and offers features similar to those of the 10th generation. Second, the older iPad Pro 12.9-inch models; these Pro models are quite powerful and can handle demanding professional tasks with ease.

Video: iPad Pro M4 vs Air M2 vs iPad Mini – Your Buying Guide!

That’s all for now!

Choosing the right iPad ultimately depends on your specific needs and budget. Whether you’re a student, professional, or casual user, there’s an iPad out there that’s perfect for you. Remember to consider factors such as display size, performance, and accessory compatibility when making your decision.

Have you decided which iPad to buy? If so, let me know your pick in the comments below!

Read more about iPad:

  • Ava

    Ava is a die-hard Apple aficionado and seasoned writer with a knack for breaking down complex tech concepts into easily digestible content. Having honed her writing and editing skills over 3 years at renowned media houses like TechBurner, Ava crafts informative and engaging articles including troubleshooting guides, product reviews, editorials at iGeeksBlog. When not typing, you can find her exploring the latest Apple releases or pondering the future of tech innovation.

  • Dhvanesh

    The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.

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