Tech Guides

iPad Buying Guide 2022: Which of Apple's newest tablets suit your needs?

By Glenn Chua - 25 Mar 2022

Introduction, pricing, similarities

Apple's iPad lineup consists of the iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad, and iPad Mini. (Image source: Apple)

It's a new era for iPads. Following the recent launch of the new fifth-generation iPad Air, Apple's tablet lineup has been thoroughly updated across the board. To give some context, the oldest of the new iPads – the 2021 iPad Pros – are just only turning a year old. The launch of the new iPad Air also means that half of the iPad lineup is now equipped with Apple's M1 chips, the same one that brought about a performance shift in the company's Macs.

However, four iPads (five, actually, if you consider there the iPad Pro is available in two sizes) are a lot to choose from, especially when they tend to overlap in some features. It's also quite an abundant number of choices when some of the use cases that Apple promotes the iPad for, like content consumption, note-taking, professional work, are things that they can all do to some extent.

Between the four iPads, the answer to the question "Which one should I get?" remains ever elusive. But hopefully, with this guide to help, you can wade through the weeds to find out which iPad is best suited for you.



To set the scene, these are the prices for the non-Pro iPads, which follow a pretty simple price curve:

  iPad (9th Gen 10.2) iPad Mini (6th Gen) iPad Air (5th Gen)
64GB, Wi-Fi (Base Price) S$499 S$749 S$879
64GB, Wi-Fi + Cellular S$699 S$979 S$1,099
256GB, Wi-Fi S$729
256GB, Wi-Fi + Cellular S$929 S$1,209 S$1,319

The iPad Pro, meanwhile, has quite the number of configurations:

11-inch iPad Pro

Storage Wi-Fi Wi-Fi + 5G cellular
128GB S$1,199 S$1,419
256GB S$1,349 S$1,569
512GB S$1,649 S$1,869
1TB S$2,249 S$2,469
2TB S$2,849 S$3,069

12.9-inch iPad Pro

Storage Wi-Fi Wi-Fi + 5G cellular
128GB S$1,649 S$1,869
256GB S$1,799 S$2,019
512GB S$2,099 S$2,319
1TB S$2,699 S$2,919
2TB S$3,299 S$3,519

The long and short of it is: the 10.2-inch iPad is the most accessible in terms of price (save for the 256GB Wi-Fi + 4G configuration), followed by the iPad Mini, iPad Air, and then the two iPad Pros. This tracks fairly well with what the different iPads offer, as the two most expensive ones, the Air and Pro, are the ones with M1 chips and larger screens.


What they all have in common

Screenshot: Apple website

Before we get to the comparisons, however, we might want to first take a look at what all the iPads have in common. Particularly, iPadOS.

As all the newest iPads run iPadOS, means day-to-day software experience for the latest iPads should be more or less the same; including support for external storage devices, the Files app, desktop browsing, multi-tasking, and other features. You can see some of these features in more detail in our article here, as well as what iPadOS 15, the newest major version, brings to the table here.

Additionally, if you own a Mac, iPadOS enables salient iPadOS features like Sidecar, which lets you extend or mirror your Mac display on an iPad, as well as Universal Control, which makes the iPad a complementary device, integrating your Mac and iPad through a single keyboard and mouse (or trackpad). Some older iPads also support these too, so if you're a Mac user who wants an iPad solely for these, make sure to check older iPads as well.

Apple's pricey but excellent accessories like the Magic Keyboard and second-generation Apple Pencil only work on the iPad Air, iPad Mini, and iPad Pro.

The new iPads support touch input from the Apple Pencil. It's important to note, though, that the 10.2-inch iPad only supports the first-generation Apple Pencil; you'll be missing out on the flat, touch-sensitive sides of the second-generation Apple Pencil that allows for quick-switching of tools. The second-generation Apple Pencil also has quick pairing and magnetic charging.

Centre Stage, which uses an ultra-wide camera sensor, machine-learning, and intelligent cropping to keep you in frame during video calls, is also now a feature that's available on all of Apple's latest iPads. 

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