The best iPad 2024

There are a few to choose from, so knowing the best iPad to pick up can be a little difficult, but we’re here to help make it a whole lot easier.

One of the best iPads, the iPad Pro, in silver, held in the bottom left corner, on its side, showing its silver back, black camera in the top right, and apple logo in the middle.

The best iPad in 2024 isn’t necessarily the most expensive. Sure, the iPad Pro has the most features, but it’s also almost as expensive as a MacBook – more expensive in some configurations in fact.

So, here at PT, we’ve delved deep into the world of iPads. We have years of experience with tablets and are here to make sure you choose the right one. Head below to find our breakdown of the bunch, or check out the best Samsung phones, best portable gaming consoles, and best rugged phones for even more buying advice.

Anyway, here are the best iPads you can buy in 2024:

One of the best iPads, the iPad Pro, in silver, held in the bottom left corner, on its side, showing its silver back, black camera in the top right, and apple logo in the middle.

1. Best iPad overall

The iPad Pro is the best overall, but expect to pay $799 (£899) for the 11-inch model and $1,099 (£1,249) for the 12.9-inch.

iPad Pro (11-inch/12.9-inch) specs
Chipset M2 chip (8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine)
Display 11-inch/12.9-inch LED/mini-LED IPS (2388×1668/2732×2048) Liquid Retina display/Liquid Retina XDR display
Battery Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‑Fi or watching video
Memory 8GB (with 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB)/16GB (with 1TB or 2TB)
Storage 128GB-2TB

Pros:

  • Gorgeous high-refresh-rate screen
  • Bags of power
  • Great cameras

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Expensive
  • Expensive

The iPad Pro is expensive – but that’s for a good reason: it’s for the pros out there. If that isn’t you, this isn’t the iPad for you. But, if you want a tablet for video editing on the go, capturing high-quality videos and photos, using AR to design a new space, or making music with endless plug-ins, this is the way to go.

The new iPad Pros have the M2 chip inside – yep, the same blazing-fast Apple silicon in the Mac mini, MacBook Air, and 13-inch MacBook Pro – making it an absolute monster of a tablet. Nothing comes close in terms of performance.

When it comes to gaming, the exact same applies. It breezes through Genshin Impact, plus there’s a pile of Apple Arcade games to keep you busy. It’s a joy to play games on the 12.9-inch model.

The downside is the price, of course. The lower-end models can perform more than well enough in most cases – so this may be the best iPad overall by virtue of its performance and features, but it’s overkill.

One of the best iPads, the iPad Air, in black lay on its screen on a wood surface. We see its back, showing the Apple logo in the centre and small single camera ring in the top right corner.

2. Best iPad for most

The best iPad for most people is the iPad Air. It starts at $599 (£669) for the lowest storage.

iPad Air specs
Chipset Apple M1 chip (8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine)
Display 10.9-inch Liquid Retina IPS display (2360×1640)
Battery Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‐Fi or watching video
Memory 8GB
Storage 64GB or 256GB

Pros:

  • Excellent performance
  • Great build quality

Cons:

  • Cheapest model has very little storage
  • Cameras are just okay

The iPad Air is the best pick for most people. With the M1 chip inside, you get desktop-level performance packed into a tiny package. Combine this with the various colours, reasonable price for the base model, and excellent build quality, and it’s a great way to go.

While the Pro may have more performance, the Air is no slouch. It’s enough for video editing, making music, playing video games, and even some other more intensive tasks like 3D rendering. If you fancy doing a bit of that, this is capable.

Still, there are of course downsides. First up is the pricing ladder – the base model is quite reasonable at $599 (£669), but only comes with 64GB of storage. This isn’t really enough in 2024, even for a casual user. To go up to the next storage level of 256GB however jumps the price to $749 (£849) – that’s only $50 (£50) less than a 128GB iPad Pro.

So, unless you can find a deal on the higher storage, you get stuck with the lower storage. This price ladder is particularly finicky, with the base model iPad (10th gen) having the same issue below the Air. It’s hard to reconcile – forcing your mind to think you may as well just splash out on the iPad Pro – but the Air is still the best bet for most in my opinion (even with only 64GB).

iPad 9 Gen review shot, showing the iPad lying in portrait mode with the screen on and a white, red, orange, and blue abstract background and time showing. It's lying on top of a MacBook Air, closed, in silver, with the Apple logo showing upside down, which also has a Nintendo Switch on it.

3. Best budget iPad

The best budget iPad is the ninth-generation iPad, the base model of the lineup, and it starts at $329 (£369).

iPad (9th gen) specs
Chipset A13 Bionic chip
Display 10.2-inch IPS Retina display (2160×1620)
Battery Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‐Fi or watching video
Memory 3GB
Storage 64GB or 256GB

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Classic form factor

Cons:

  • Less powerful
  • Old form factor

Maybe some people like having a button on the front of their tablet. I’ve never met them, but if you don’t mind it the 9th gen iPad is the way to go to save some money. It’s the cheapest you can get directly from Apple at the time of writing and does the job more than well enough.

For browsing the web, reading magazines, and watching videos this iPad is perfect – sure a more expensive iPad has a nicer screen, but it also comes with a load of other guff that not everybody needs. If you just want a bigger screen day-to-day device, this is the one to get.

You could get the latest base model iPad, the 10th gen, but that costs $130 (£140) more – and its boosts don’t exactly make the day-to-day tasks shine in a new way. It’s just a slightly nicer form factor and different camera placement. Is that worth that much to you?

Well, anyway, there are a few downsides to the 9th gen iPad of course. The form factor is getting to feel a bit retro now, while the power isn’t the best. You can game on it, sure, but multitasking can be a bit of a push. It’s still a great choice for a lot of folks though.

Check out our iPad (9th gen) review to see a deeper rundown. We’ve also go an iPad (10th gen) review for a comparison with the latest model.

One of the best iPads, the iPad mini, shown multiple times, splayed out like a deck of cards in various colours (from left to right -- black, green, pink, purple, purple). The furthest left is on top of the pile and face up, with purple and red strokes of colour on its screen, the rest are concealed by each other like cards, just showing a small camera ring in each top left corner.

4. Best small iPad

The best small iPad is the iPad mini, and it starts at $499 (£569) for 64GB of storage.

iPad Mini specs
Chipset A15 Bionic chip (6-core CPU, 5-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine
Display 8.3-inch IPS Liquid Retina display (2266×1488)
Battery Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‑Fi or watching video
Memory 4GB
Storage 64GB or 256GB

Pros:

  • Pocketable form factor
  • Great build quality

Cons:

  • Pricey by comparison
  • iPad OS looks a little strange

The best small iPad is the iPad Mini, by virtue of it being the only small iPad the company still sells. If you absolutely need a small iPad, this is the way to go – well, it’s the only way to go.

The small form factor is pretty, the build quality is obviously excellent, and it’s surprisingly powerful – more so than the latest base iPad. The cameras are fine, the screen is good enough, and all around it seems decent. Still, there are issues.

First off, it costs $499 (£569). That’s just below the iPad Air in terms of price – which has a bigger screen, far more power, and a bevvy of other benefits. This price means that the only reason to buy the iPad Mini is that you absolutely need this form factor – there’s no other good reason.

There’s also a slight issue with the way iPad OS appears on the smaller screen – at least for some people. The icons are weirdly small, and the space around the home screen icons feels like an ocean. It’s a bit odd – and very un-Apple.

YouTube Thumbnail

How do I pick the best iPad for me?

The best way to pick the best iPad for yourself is to look at a handful of things. What’s your budget? Knowing that you only have $500 to play with immediately cuts out a lot of the options in the list.

Second up you should understand what you need. Are you ever going to need a good camera on a tablet? Or LiDAR? Or any of the other gubbins the Pro offers? If not, ignore it. And do you need to multitask, or are you just after a big screen for magazines and Netflix? If it’s the latter, pick the cheapest – it’ll do the job.

Understanding what you need is key – and the best way to do that is to look at all the details above and see where you fit in. It’s a big investment, so you want to get it right.

For more beyond the best iPads on the market right now, check out our guides to the best gaming phones and the best gaming iPhone for more buying advice.