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iPad Pro vs iPad Air 2 vs iPad Mini 4: which should you buy?

Ever since the first iPad was launched back in 2010, Apple has dominated the tablet scene. Now with the release of the iPad Pro, the technology giant look set to make inroads into the personal computer market as well, but with three different iPads available, it can be difficult to know which does what best. And which one is the best for you?

iPad Pro

The iPad Pro1 was launched to some fanfare last month, offering a range of improvements over previous iPads including higher specs and swifter performance. The new A9X chip has twice the memory bandwidth of the iPad Air 2 and significantly greater storage as well. Apple claims that the new processor means the iPad Pro is more powerful than 80 per cent of portable PCs sold last year. That claim is key to understanding the iPad Pro’s target audience consumers who want the productivity of a laptop but in tablet form. The high-end specs and larger size it is 80 percent bigger than the previous model both in terms of screen size and weight come at a price. The cheapest iPad Pro will go on sale for ?799 ( 550), but stretch to ?1079 depending on size of storage and added accessories meaning it is likely out of the price range of many new iPad converts. However according to Digital Trends2, the premium price could be worth it: “Aside from portability, there is really no category the iPad Pro doesn’t excel at. It is certainly costly, but anyone who can afford it will likely find it to be the best tablet on the market.”

iPad Air 2

The iPad Air 2 was, until very recently, the newest and brightest of the iPad contingent. Even a year on from its release, the iPad Air 2 is a very impressive piece of kit, beating this year’s Samsung tablet offering, the Galaxy Tab S2, in a recent performance comparison by Tablet PC Review3.

The iPad Air 2 is also much more portable than the iPad Pro. On its release it was described as “ludicrously thin” by TrustedReviews4 and critics praised its ergonomic design and “lightweight feel”.

With a starting price of 399 the Air 2 also offers much greater value for money for those not looking to replace their laptop or home computer but who still want significant power and functionality from a tablet.

iPad Mini 4

The new iPad Mini 4 is “better in nearly every way” than its predecessor, the Mini 3, says The Verge5. “It has the best-looking screen Apple’s ever put on a small iPad, which alone is worth the step up from iPad mini 2 or 3.”

The iPad Mini 4 offers the same functionality and performance as the iPad Air 2 and repackages it in a smaller form. A much smaller form. The iPad Mini 4 weighs just 298.8g, compared to the 496g iPad Air 2 and the mammoth 713g iPad Pro. The iPad Mini 4 is also the cheapest of Apple’s tablets, starting at 319.

The main difference between the iPad Mini 4 and the iPad Air 2 comes in the detail of the screen resolution. As iDigitalTimes6 explains: “both iPads have the same screen resolution, but because the iPad Air 2’s display is bigger, the iPad Mini 4’s screen is more detailed.”

Conclusion

The choice of which iPad to choose is really down to how much money you’re willing to spend and how portable you want your tablet to be. There is a reason why the latest device has Pro in its title, reviewers say. The large-format iPad Pro, while undoubtedly the most powerful of the three devices, is more expensive or may be too big for many users, in which case the iPad Air 2 or the iPad Mini 4 would be appropriate. Still, as Digital Trends concludes, one tablet clearly comes out on top: “The Pro is certainly costly, but anyone who can afford it will likely find it to be the best tablet on the market.”

References

  1. ^ iPad Pro (www.theweek.co.uk)
  2. ^ Digital Trends (www.digitaltrends.com)
  3. ^ Tablet PC Review (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  4. ^ TrustedReviews (www.trustedreviews.com)
  5. ^ The Verge (www.theverge.com)
  6. ^ iDigitalTimes (www.idigitaltimes.com)

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