Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, as more and more tasks moved online, tablets have been at the peak of their popularity due to their flexibility and ease of use.
Both Android and Apple offer some great portable tablets, but if we look at the market, iPads are the most popular. For basic tasks like studying, gaming or streaming, an iPad can be a great companion. But which one should you get? Which one suits you the best? Let us find out!
Apple offers four categories of iPads— the entry-level iPad, the iPad Mini, the iPad Air and the iPad Pro.
Why iPads stand out
The main reason behind iPads being so popular is their software and the App Store. The latest iPadOS 16 brings some excellent features to all iPads. The iPads with M series chipsets will get Stage Manager, which gives a desktop-like multitasking experience.
The iPad App Store has a large collection of apps for everyone. Procreate is the most popular drawing app on iPad. For students, there is GoodNotes, Notability, Notion etc. For gamers, all the popular games are there. Apps such as LumaFusion, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop etc are popular among professionals. Also, Apple recently announced that the much-loved video editing app DaVinci Resolve is coming to the M series iPads.
The basic experience of all the iPads is almost the same. You can get roughly 80% of the iPad experience just from the baseline 9th-generation iPad.
iPads also get software updates way longer than any other tablet in the market. So, getting an iPad for either study or entertainment, or even both, is a great idea.
iPad 9th generation— The best iPad for students
The 9th generation iPad is the cheapest iPad you can get. Although Apple launched the tenth generation iPad with a price jump recently, they have still kept the previous generation iPad in the market.
The design of the device is outdated, but the thing that matters the most is what is inside. It is equipped with an A13 Bionic chipset, which is old, but it is still an efficient and powerful chipset by today's standards. Its 10.2-inch display is large enough for reading, note taking or watching movies.
In the back, there is a single camera. The front camera has a feature from its pricey siblings called CenterStage, which keeps you in the frame and moves along with your movement. If someone enters the frame, the viewfinder widens and includes them in the frame.
For accessories, iPad 9 supports the first-generation Apple Pencil, which is great if you are into drawing or taking handwritten notes.
Price: The 9th generation iPad for the 64GB Wi-Fi model is around Tk40,000.
iPad Mini 6— The tiny monster
As the name suggests, the iPad mini comes with a relatively smaller footprint compared to other iPads. Last year, the iPad mini got a complete redesign, which matches the iPad Air and the Pros.
It has an 8.3-inch IPS display which is enough for reading books and documents, taking occasional notes or watching some movies while lying in bed. The iPad mini is a device for those who seek a compact size, 8.3 inches— larger than a smartphone but smaller than most of the tablets out there.
It is powered by an A15 Bionic chipset, making it quite a beast. It can take some heavy loads of power-hungry gaming sessions. iPad Mini 6 is lighter than other iPads, so long gaming sessions will put less stress on your hands compared to other iPads.
In the camera section, the iPad Mini 6 comes with a 12-megapixel back camera and a 12-megapixel CenterStage front camera.
Price: The iPad Mini 6 starts at around Tk55,000 for the 64GB Wi-Fi variant.
iPad Air 5– The sweet spot
This year Apple superpowered the iPad Air with the M1 chipset. It is now a close substitute for its costlier sibling— the iPad Pro. It offers the power of the Pro and is best fitted for general users who want a device with long-lasting consistent performance, without breaking the bank on a tablet.
It has a 10.9-inch display with identical bezels and flat edges. When it comes to power, iPad Air 5 is twice as powerful as the market's best Android tablet, the Samsung Galaxy S8 Ultra. It effortlessly handles any task you throw at it. Games usually run at 60fps without any sort of lag. With increased RAM, apps stay open in the background for a long time and switching between apps is a lot more seamless. The iPad Air 5 and the iPad Mini 6 share the same camera setup.
Price: iPad Air 5 base 64 GB variant costs around Tk67,000.
iPad Pro— The best and the beast
iPad Pros have all the bells and whistles you might expect from a premium tablet. Recently Apple launched this year's iPad Pros with an M2 chipset. iPad Pros come in two sizes— 11 inches and 12.9 inches.
The 11-inch one is just a spec-bumped iPad Air. The only noticeable differences are the display, FaceID and camera setup. iPad Pros have a 120Hz ProMotion display, while the Air has a regular 60Hz panel. For security, the Pros have Face ID, unlike the other iPads which come with Touch.
As for the cameras, the Pro has an extra ultra-wide rear camera with a LIDAR sensor, which is helpful in tasks that are associated with Augmented Reality (AR). The larger Pro has a better and brighter MiniLED display, which produces more punchy colours and deeper blacks.
Although the M2 iPad Pros are not yet available in Bangladesh, the 2021 M1 iPad Pros are still worthy devices to get if you want those extras over the iPad Air 5, which is a pretty compelling deal at this point.
Price: The price for iPad Pro starts at around Tk93,000 for the base 128GB variant.
Where to buy
All the mentioned iPads are available at Sumash Tech, Apple Gadgets, Gadget & Gear, iStock BD, etc. It is also available at e-commerce sites like Daraz and Pickaboo.