The iPad Lineup As Of September 2015

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iPad lineup 2015

The iPad Pro joins Apple’s previous gallery of tablets, which means there are a total of three iPad sizes to choose from. Each size also has different models which vary in speed, features, and capacity — which can be quite confusing to those who haven’t been watching the lineup as it grows. The good thing to know is that these are mainly differences in CPU speed and Touch ID integration. All iPads in the lineup now features Retina screens.

Here are a few key things to know about each iPad and its price point, discussed in the same order that Apple uses on its website.

iPad Pro (2015) 

  • Starts at $799 for 16 GB
  • 12.9-inch screen
  • Great for artists when paired with a Pencil (should rival the Surface Pro in this regard)
  • Other major features detailed in our dedicated iPad Pro breakdown

iPad Air 2 (2014)

  • 9.7-inch screen
  • Starts $499 for 16 GB

Recommendation: buy this iPad if you plan to use the iPad for a lot of surfing and typing, but the larger iPad Pro’s size throws you off. I’m still using this model personally and it works beautifully on iOS 9. Split screen usage is fantastic, as are Slideover apps…and it’s only going to get better as the app updates come flooding in.

iPad Air (2013)

  • 9.7-inch screen
  • Starts at $399 for 16 GB

Recommendation: I’m actually not sure why Apple is keeping this in the lineup for only a $100 difference, especially given that most people keep iPads for years. The key thing about the iPad Air is that it has 1 GB of RAM, which limits its ability to hold many Safari tabs in memory. The surfing experience on the iPad Air 2 is noticeably improved, and I’d recommend spending the extra $100 there if you’re going to keep the device for a while.

iPad mini 4 (2015)

  • 7.9-inch screen
  • Starts at $399 for 16 GB

Recommendation: This iPad went nearly unannounced at today’s keynote. If you want all of the power of the Air 2 in a tinier package, this is it. The mini 4 is probably clocked a bit lower, but it’s less than 0.7 lbs, and also has Touch ID.  Get this iPad if you want to work on an iPad and really like thumb typing, because it’s the perfect size and weight for doing so. If you already own a smartphone that’s as big as 6 Plus, I think you’d want an Air 2 instead.

iPad mini 2 (2013)

  • 7.9-inch screen
  • Starts at $279 for 16 GB

Recommendation: I haven’t seen the performance of Apple’s entry-level tablet on iOS 9 yet, but I hope to test that more soon on my dad’s device. This would be the tablet to get for a friend or relative who just wants something larger than a phone to surf on. It won’t feel sluggish, but the limits on its RAM are something power users are likely to notice. The mini 2 is a great price for treating an iPad like you would a Kindle — as a device to use occasionally, and to leave at home the rest of the time.


Thomas

My name is probably Thomas (yes, it is). I'll be able to help you figure out why Evernote isn't syncing, or recommend your favourite new RSS reader to you. That's partly because I am enamoured with the iOS ecosystem and hardware, but mostly because I'm Canadian.

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2 thoughts on “The iPad Lineup As Of September 2015”

  1. When do you think the iPad 3 will be released? I know people say next year, but what does that mean more specifically? I was hoping to upgrade my Air and I have $$ that disappears on July 1st (corporate fiscal calendar). So is next year sometime in early 2016, before July 1, or is it Sep/Oct 2016? Thanks.

    1. Doesn’t look like an Air 3 is coming until next Fall. I highly doubt they’d release an update to any iPads mid-year 2016.

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