Thinking of getting an iPad but don’t know which one to get? Naturally, the best option would be the iPad Pro, but it will cost you nearly $1,000. You could opt for the iPad Mini, but that comes with a few compromises (it’s not compatible with the Smart Keyboard) and of course it has a tiny screen. For something that possesses a nice balance of affordability and high-end specs (well, almost), Apple’s latest iPad 10.2 would be an excellent choice. Right now, it’s available on Amazon for a . Get it for $410 instead of $459. What’s more, you can get an additional $50 off instantly upon approval for the Amazon Rewards Visa Card, bringing the price even lower to $360.
This tablet’s bezels are still obscenely large (slimming them down would have made it look a tad more contemporary), although the iPad now boasts a bigger 10.2-inch screen compared to the previous model’s 9.7-inch display. In comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S5e’s trimmed bezels look fetchingly modern, and so does the iPad Pro. None of this means that the iPad feels cheap. It has a nice substantial weight to it, plus it sports a 100% recycled aluminum enclosure which is good for the environment. Instead of Face ID, which remains exclusive to the iPad Pro and the latest iPhones, you get Touch ID, although that’s not exactly a deal-breaker. What sets this apart from the older iPad 9.7 is support for the Smart Connector so you can use it with Apple’s Smart Keyboard (sold separately).
The device also offers a slight increase in screen size. The LCD panel’s pixel density is the same at 264 pixels-per-inch, although it looks sharp, and is colorful and very bright. And thankfully the headphone jack has not been removed, unlike the iPad Pro. You don’t have to go hunting for a 3.5mm-to-Lightning jack once your Bluetooth headphones lose power.
Strangely, the iPad 10.2 didn’t get a processor upgrade, unlike the cheaper iPad Mini which now boasts the A12 Bionic chipset. However, this tablet’s A10 Fusion processor still packs plenty of power. Multitasking with several apps open woun’t be an issue, and navigating the new iPadOS is buttery smooth. The previous iPads ran with just a slightly altered version of the iOS, but the iPadOS is an entirely different beast. You’ve got the ability to use multiple apps in the Slide Over menu, a revamped home screen layout that includes the Today View widgets, desktop-grade Safari, and multi-window apps. You can now even use Split View on the same app, like having two Google Docs open side-by-side.
The first-gen Apple Pencil is compatible with this iPad, and it remains an excellent and responsive tool. There’s still no way of storing it, though, unlike the second-gen Apple Pencil which magnetically attaches to the iPad Pro, and it’s still in danger of snapping in half every time you charge it through the Lightning port. Finally, the battery life was pretty good. You’d be able to use the iPad for a maximum of three days with intermittent use, or a full workday if you’re going to use it as your primary device.
Despite its shortcomings, the iPad 10.2 is an excellent tablet that’s powerful, has a fantastic operating system, and serves up solid battery life. At $410 on Amazon, this is the best tablet that you can buy on a limited budget.
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