Android may have carved out a larger share of the smartphone market worldwide, but the iPad still rules the tablet kingdom. Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPad roughly a decade ago, and with that move, he essentially introduced the tablet as we now know it and established an entirely new product niche that blurs the line between mobile devices and computers. This sent a tsunami through the tech world, and since that debut, there has been no shortage of other companies making their own tablets in an effort to steal the iPad’s crown.
The iPad’s success is owed to its portability, versatility, sleek design, and simplicity, with rival brands like Samsung and Amazon still trying and mostly failing to claim a large share of the Apple pie. It’s no secret why iPads became so popular so quickly: They’re perfect for streaming, e-book reading, web browsing, mobile gaming, and other tasks where a smartphone won’t cut it but a regular laptop is too much to lug around. That said, your iPad can in fact be pressed into service as a lightweight laptop with a quality Bluetooth keyboard, or even better, the Apple Smart Keyboard or Magic Keyboard if you’ve got one of the newer iPads.
Unfortunately, buying just about anything sporting an Apple logo will usually cost you a pretty penny, but one of the biggest allures of iPads is that they’re actually very affordable (the exception being the high-end iPad Pro) in contrast to other Apple products such as iPhones, MacBooks, and AirPods. But why pay retail? The 2020 spring sales are just around the corner, but you don’t have to wait for a worthwhile bargain if you’re in the market for a new iPad right now and you know where to look — and you’ve already found the right place. We’ve gathered up the best cheap iPad deals and listed them all right here. Once you’ve scored your shiny new tablet, don’t forget to head over to the App Store to take a swim through the ocean of awesome Apple Arcade games and services you can enjoy on the new iPadOS.
Today’s best iPad deals
- — $299, was $329
- — $350, was $400
- — $399, was $429
- — Up to $370 discount on select models
- — $549, was $699)
- — $674, was $799
- — $900, was $1,000
- — $799 (preorder)
- — $949 (preorder)
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 1019 10.2-inch iPad remains our favorite all-around tablet, and it’s the one we recommend for most folks. The current seventh-generation 2019 iPad models feature a speedy A10 Fusion chip and 3GB of RAM (up 1GB from the sixth-gen model). 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 new 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.
iPad Air deals
Apple surprised pretty much everyone when the company suddenly rolled out a new iPad Air earlier this year despite rumors that the line was quietly being retired. 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 2017 iPad Pro with a 10.5-inch Retina display, arguably placing it in the “Goldilocks zone” of tablet sizes.
It runs on Apple’s newer A12 Bionic chip architecture and 3GB of RAM as well, which are very good specs for browsing, watching videos, work, and even some mobile gaming. It also has a front-facing camera if you want to FaceTime your loved ones. The standard 64GB iPad Air goes for $500, 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.
iPad Pro deals
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 also just revealed the new 2020 iPad Pro line, which will, like the 2018 Pro, come 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 new 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 2020 Pro is a great chance to find the still-excellent 2018 line at a discount, though, so you can forget about paying retail with the above iPad Pro deals.
iPad Mini deals
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 earlier this year. 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 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.
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