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Which iPad will work best for you?

LiveMint logoLiveMint 23-05-2017 Vishal Mathur

The newest Apple iPad, also known as the iPad (2017) or the iPad (5th generation), is now available here. The iPad line-up now includes two different screen-size versions of the iPad Pro as well as the iPad Mini. And if these four iPad variants, with multiple specification versions for each, weren’t enough to confuse you, retailers (both online and offline) are offering good deals on the iPad Air 2 as well—Apple isn’t officially selling this any more, and you may be able to get a bargain. Not all iPads are the same, however, and the complexity of Apple’s iPad hierarchy could confuse you. We look at each iPad to understand the advantages and shortcomings, and evaluate which would work best for you. 

iPad

Rs28,900 onwards*

The latest 9.7-inch iPad is the successor to the iPad Air 2. The 9.7-inch Retina Display (2,048 x 1,536 resolution) remains well defined, though it is a tad more reflective than earlier because it doesn’t have a lamination layer. It runs the latest Apple A9 chip and PowerVR GT7600 graphics, a formidable combination. Battery life is the strongest point, allowing more than 10 hours of use on a single charge. 

Who should buy this?

If you are buying your first iPad or upgrading from an old iPad or some Android tablet, this is the one to opt for. Owing to its comfortable screen size, the iPad is a versatile device for playing games, video-streaming, Web browsing, and even the occasional productivity tasks. 

Which version should you splurge on?

The entry version with a price tag of Rs28,900 (32 GB; Wi-Fi) makes perfect sense for most users. However, if you also want connectivity on the move, be ready to spend Rs39,900 for the 32 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular variant. 

iPad Pro 12.9

Rs65,900 onwards

This is a genuine productivity device. The powerful A9X processor can encode multiple streams of 4K content simultaneously without any trouble. This redefined gaming performance and graphics rendering too—which is great news also for video editors and graphics designers. The 12.9-inch display (2,732x2,048 resolution) makes this the largest iPad by far. Hook it up with a Smart Keyboard (yes, the iPad Pro has smart connectors built on the side spine) as well as the Pencil stylus, and you have a laptop replacement device ready. 

Who should buy this?

Thanks to its size, this is one of the most addictive and genuinely comfortable iPad experiences ever. This is ideal for photo and video editors, artists and for anyone who wants a slick laptop replacement device. 

Which version should you splurge on?

We recommend the 128 GB (Wi-Fi + Cellular) variant, which costs Rs85,900—this hits the sweet spot in terms of storage space and connectivity options for most professionals and enterprise users. 

iPad Pro 9.7

Rs49,900 onwards

This iPad packs all the features that the larger iPad Pro has except that it comes in a more conventional 9.7-inch screen size—it has the same processor, integrated connectors for a smart keyboard, and Pencil compatibility. The True Tone display uses four hidden sensors to automatically adapt the colours on the screen to the ambient light.

Who should buy this?

This is a slightly better fit in terms of portability, and will appeal to anyone who wants to replace their office laptop with a tablet—for presentations, handling emails, jotting down notes, watching a movie. 

Which version should you splurge on?

For us, the sweet spot would be the 128 GB (Wi-Fi + Cellular) variant, priced at Rs69,990. However, if you keep everything on the cloud and have Wi-Fi access most of the time, opt for the 32 GB (Wi-Fi) version, priced at Rs49,900. 

iPad Mini 4

Rs34,900 onwards

It’s the smallest iPad of the lot, with a 7.9-inch screen size. It still runs an A8 processor (the same as an iPhone 6) but is no slouch when it comes to handling the newer apps. It runs the latest iOS versions easily, and could be good for the next big update as well, expected later this year. 

Who should buy this?

Theoretically, anyone who prefers a genuinely small screen would find the iPad Mini 4 rather appealing. This would include both students and first-time buyers. 

Which version should you splurge on?

We wouldn’t recommend the iPad Mini 4 over the iPad (2017), simply because the specifications don’t justify the price tag. The entry version is priced at Rs34,900 (128 GB; Wi-Fi), which isn’t very different from the iPad 2017 (128 GB; Wi-Fi) version that costs Rs36,900.

*Prices may vary.

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