Apple iPad tablets consistently score high marks for productivity and entertainment, but Samsung and Amazon also make excellent tablets. Despite the strong alternative choices, however, the iPad continues to rule as the undisputed tablet champ. People love these sleek tablets for their simplicity, reliability, and great software (and we count ourselves among that number). A major draw of the iPads is also how affordable they can be. Add the availability of refurbished iPad deals, and there are tons of ways to save. To help you score a new one for less, we’ve smoked out all the best cheap iPad deals and sales available this week and gathered them right here, with savings on everything from the run-of-the-mill iPad 10.2 to the top-of-the-line iPad Pro.
Sometimes, you just can’t beat the original. The standard entry-level Apple iPad is the one that started it all, and although it’s been updated half a dozen times since its first release, the classic design is still hugely popular. The new 2020 10.2-inch iPad remains our favorite tablet, and it’s the one we recommend for most folks. The current eighth-generation 2020 iPad models feature a speedy A12 Bionic chip (a clear upgrade over the last-gen A10 Fusion chip) and 3GB of RAM. Its 10.2-inch touch display, slightly larger this time thanks to slimmed-down bezels, has a crisp high-definition resolution of 2,160 x 1,620.
It’s also considerably lighter and less bulky compared to its predecessors, coming in at around the same size as the original iPad Air. It comes in such colors as space gray, black, rose gold, silver, and pink, not to mention it’s loaded with the newer feature-rich iPadOS mobile operating system. Plus, if you buy it directly from Apple, you can also get the Apple Pencil — great for artists, graphic designers, and those of you who are more education-focused. The 10.2-inch iPad is competitively priced and not prohibitively expensive, making it hands-down the best Apple iPad deal you’ll find.
Apple tends to be quiet with its iPad Air releases, and it was no exception when a new fourth generation model was rolled out in fall of 2020. The surprise was a very pleasant one: The new iPad Air is so good it almost makes you wonder why you’d even bother paying extra for the Pro, and it’s a superb upgrade pick over the standard iPad if you want something better but don’t want to pay $700 or $800 for a tablet. The new Air is similar to the older iPad Pro with a 10.9-inch Retina display, arguably placing it in the “Goldilocks zone” of tablet sizes.
It runs on Apple’s newer A14 Bionic chip architecture and 4GB of RAM as well, which are very good specs for browsing, watching videos, work, and mobile gaming. It also has a front-facing camera if you want to FaceTime your loved ones. The standard 64GB iPad Air retails for $599, making this slim tablet a nice middle option between the standard iPad and the beefier (and pricier) iPad Pro — and an even better value if you catch it on sale.
With the last-gen iPad Mini 4 having been released in 2014, Apple’s pint-sized tablet was long, long overdue for a refresh – one it finally got one in 2019. The newest iPad Mini 5 (simply called the “iPad Mini,” with Apple dropping the number in the name) was launched without much warning right alongside the new iPad Air. Our take? It’s a lovely, tiny beast that punches well above its weight, and if you’re in the market for a smaller tablet, the iPad Mini is the only one you should even be looking at. Its 7.9-inch Retina touch display is gorgeous, and it runs on the same snappy A12 Bionic chipset as the last-gen iPad Air.
If the larger iPads are too bulky for your tastes, then the Mini is a great alternative choice as an on-the-go multitasking machine that won’t take up a ton of space in your bag. The 2019 iPad Mini launched at $399, but the price is slowly coming down a bit (not at huge discounts yet, but any savings are good), or you can opt for one of the earlier fourth-generation models and save even more cash.
The iPad Pro is the larger, beefier sibling of the standard 10.2-inch iPad, featuring more powerful hardware and a larger display similar to a laptop or many Chromebooks. Apple revealed the 2020 iPad Pro line last spring, which will, like the 2018 Pro, came in two sizes: One with an 11-inch screen and one with a 12.9-inch display. With more power and more screen, many opt to add a stylus, keyboard, or some other accessory into the mix to get the most out of their new iPad. The new Pro is also being rolled out alongside the Magic Keyboard accessory, which effectively turns the iPad Pro into a laptop (it even has a touchpad).
Under the hood, the 2018 iPad Pro models run on a beefed-up A12X Bionic CPU and 4GB of RAM (or 6GB in the 1TB model) for snappy performance. The 11-inch Pro display has a sharp 2,388 x 1,668 HD resolution, while the 12.9-inch offers an increased 2,732 x 2,048 pixels of screen real estate. Both feature Apple’s stunning proprietary Retina display technology as well as Face ID for protection. The 2020 iPad Pro packs a new A12Z octa-core Bionic CPU and a camera module similar to that of the iPhone 11, with the ability to record 4K video.
As the “upgrade model” in the Apple tablet lineup, the iPad Pro is a bit pricier than the standard cheap iPad with a starting price of around $800 for the 11-inch model or $1,000 for the 12.9-inch model. The release of the new 2021 Pro with M1 CPU is a great chance to find the still-excellent 2020 line at a discount, though, so you can forget about paying retail prices with the above iPad deals.
At its 2021 April event, Apple revealed a new iPad Pro that looks much like last year’s — with one notable addition: the new M1 CPU. Apple’s proprietary chip rolled out last year and has been surprising and impressing techies (including us) with its incredible performance and great thermal design, so it was only a matter of time before the best iPad got the M1 chip treatment. The line between “laptop” and “tablet” has blurred a bit lately with the iPad Pro, as Apple is clearly marketing this thing as a computer replacement.
The addition M1 chip — a proper computer chip in contrast to the Bionic mobile CPUs currently found in most iPads and iPhones — is only going to push things further down that road. Which is not to say that the new M1 iPad Pro won’t still serve beautifully as a tablet, like it always has. Some other noteworthy additions with the 2021 iPad refresh include a 2TB storage option, Thunderbolt USB-C connectivity, 5G network capabilities (for the cellular models), an upgraded camera module with a new 120-degree ultra-wide lens, and an enhanced Liquid Retina XDR touch display.
The new iPad Pro with M1 CPU starts at $799 for the 11-inch model and $1,099 for its larger 12.9-inch sibling (which is probably the one to get if this tablet’s laptop-like functionality appeals to you).
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