If you don’t want to pay full price for two of the best tablets right now – Apple’s iPad 10.2 and iPad Mini – you’ve come to the right page. The former is on sale for just $250 at Best Buy, while the latter is available for the discounted price of $384 at Amazon. And here are even more cheap iPad deals that might interest you.
The standard iPad’s bezels are still obscenely large (slimming them down would have made it look a tad more contemporary), but this tablet now boasts a bigger 10.2-inch screen compared to the previous model’s 9.7-inch display. By comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S5e’s trimmed bezels look fetchingly modern, and so do those of the iPad Pro. None of this means that the iPad feels cheap, though. 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 for most users. 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).
As mentioned earlier, this device offers a slight increase in screen size. The LCD panel’s pixel density is the same at 264 pixels per inch, but it looks sharp and is colorful and very bright. And we’re happy to report that 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 converter once your Bluetooth headphones lose power.
Strangely, the iPad 10.2 didn’t get a processor upgrade, unlike the other iPads which all boast the latest A12 Bionic chipset. However, this tablet’s A10 Fusion processor still packs plenty of power. Multitasking with several apps open won’t be an issue, and navigating the new iPadOS is buttery smooth. The previous iPads ran with just a slightly altered version of 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.
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 the tool is still in danger of snapping in half every time you charge it through the Lightning port. Finally, battery life is reasonable. You’ll 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 the best tablet that you can buy on a limited budget. You can get it with 32GB of memory at Best Buy for just $250 instead of $330 – a huge $80 worth of savings.
The iPad Mini sports a nearly identical design to its predecessor. The bezels are still as chunky as ever, which is baffling considering the rest of the world’s gadgets, including the iPad Pro, have moved on from this outdated design trend. Nevertheless, the iPad Mini is still the best tablet that you can get for its size. It offers speedy performance, fluid software, and a gorgeous display. Right now, you can purchase the iPad Mini with 64GB of memory on Amazon for the discounted price of $385.
Despite the lack of an edge-to-edge screen, the iPad Mini’s Retina display with its 2,048 x 1,536 resolution looks great, with sharp details and vibrant colors, and images appear completely natural thanks to Apple’s True Tone technology. The home button also serves as the Touch ID lock, and it’s very responsive. This tablet is powered by the same chip that’s inside Apple’s latest iPhones — the A12 Bionic processor — which is still one of the fastest mobile processors on the market. It won’t perform as well as the latest iPad Pro’s A12X Bionic chip, but it’s still impressively fast. If you’re looking to do some light editing work on Adobe Photoshop or Premiere Rush, you won’t encounter any problems, although the tiny screen might be an issue.
Unfortunately, the iPad Mini lacks Smart Keyboard support, which means you’ll need to buy a third-party keyboard case (or a detached Bluetooth keyboard) if you want to use it for writing. At least it now supports the first-gen Apple Pencil, which originally was only compatible with the iPad Pro (the second-gen remains exclusive with the iPad Pro). This makes the iPad Mini great for drawing and taking notes. With a tiny 7.9-inch screen and a product weight of just 0.66 pounds, the iPad Mini is ideal for those who travel a lot and don’t want their hands to grow weary with prolonged use. Get one for $385 on Amazon today, down from $400.
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