Best Buy Ipad Upgrade
You can also make the most out of your old tech with our trade-in program. Simply redeem your tech by sending it in or bringing it to a participating store for a Best Buy gift card that you can use to upgrade to the latest tech.
best buy ipad upgrade
Even with the addition of the 10th-generation iPad, we still think the ninth-generation iPad (8/10, WIRED Recommends) from 2021 is the best iPad for most people. It's the most affordable (and has dipped as low as $250). It has the same shape and size as its predecessors, so all current accessories will work, including the first-generation Apple Pencil and Apple's Smart Keyboard. It retains the classic Home button with Touch ID plus thick borders around the 10.2-inch screen.
The A13 Bionic chip, which debuted on the iPhone 11, makes it one of the most powerful tablets for the price, and there are other welcome upgrades, like 64 GB of storage and True Tone, which adjusts the color temperature of the display to match the ambient lighting to look more natural. The real highlight is the front camera, which is 12 megapixels and supports Center Stage, the iPad Pro feature that moves the camera around during video calls so you always stay in the frame. (The camera placement is still a bit awkward.) It's worth highlighting that this iPad doesn't have a fully laminated display. That means there's an air gap between the screen and the glass, which can make interactions with the Apple Pencil feel a smidge imprecise.
Apple's tried-and-true tablet, the base model iPad, is arguably the best value out of the group. You get all of the same features as the more expensive Pro and Air models in a lightweight form factor with a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone and thinner bezels than the previous generation.
Where the iPad Pro is the model for those who want nothing but the best, the iPad Air is the model for those who want to use the tablet for work and play, without big sacrifices in performance or features.
I, myself, and other ZDNET writers like Jason Cirpirani have been testing and using tablets for years. The selection process for the best iPad consists of using the tablet, reading other reviews both from consumers and product reviewers, and then determining what should and shouldn't make the list.
The base model iPad is the best tablet for kids since it's easy to use, lightweight, and can grow with your child as they need it for different purposes. The iPad Mini would also be a good choice, since it's the smallest iPad in the lineup, perfect for little hands.
The best iPad for students would have to be the fifth-generation iPad Air. It has many of the same features as the powerful iPad Pro, but costs a lot less for students' budgets. It's also compatible with the Magic Keyboard and the second-generation Apple Pencil, so students can utilize it in different ways.
As a result, we're recommending you snatch up any iPad deals you see right now before models run out of stock. So what are the best cheap iPad deals this moment? We're here to show you the best Apple deals available. Also, make sure to check out our guide to the best AirPods sales and MacBook deals. (Plus, bookmark our Apple Store coupons page for the best promo codes on all Apple devices).
10.2" iPad (256GB/2021): was $479 now $399 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)The 10.2-inch iPad features Apple's A13 Bionic CPU, a new 12MP front camera, and 64GB of storage (instead of 32GB like its predecessor). You also get support for Center Stage, which uses machine learning to adjust the front-facing camera during FaceTime video calls. It's an all-time price low for this still-capable tablet. Note: This upgraded model features 256GB of storage. Best Buy offers the same price (opens in new tab).
ZAGG iPad cases/keyboards: up to 40% off @ Amazon (opens in new tab)Amazon is taking up to 40% off select ZAGG iPad cases and keyboards. After discount, prices start as low as $39. It's one of the best iPad deals we've seen on these accessories.
The 10.2-inch iPad is the tablet for everyone. The mainstream tablet is not only the most affordable iPad, but it's also the best value for your dollar. The tablet uses Apple's A10 Fusion chip. That shouldn't be a deal breaker though. While the A10 Fusion chip is indeed dated, it still packs enough power for streaming movies and playing some Apple Arcade.
Where to find the best deals: Generally speaking, Amazon tends to offer the best iPad deals. On any given day of the week you'll typically find discounts that run the gamut from $50 to $200 off. Other retailers like Best Buy, B&H Photo, and Walmart tend to offer similar prices. However, it's rare that they undercut Amazon's iPad deals.
If you're stuck on figuring out which iPad is best for you, it's probably because distinguishing between models is more complicated than ever. Currently, Apple sells five main models: the 2021 iPad, 2022 iPad, the iPad Mini, the iPad Air, and the iPad Pro, and all of them share industry-leading hardware, excellent battery life, and support for iPadOS 16.
There's the premium and recently upgraded iPad Pro, where choosing between the 11-inch and 12.9-inch model matters. The iPad Air and iPad Mini are still excellent options. And then there's the new 10th-gen iPad, which brings a bevy of upgrades to Apple's most basic tablet at an elevated price.
For the 10th and latest generation, Apple's basic iPad gets a larger 10.9-inch display and a modern design that's in line with the rest of the iPad lineup. As such, it offers a similar experience as the iPad Air and iPad Pro for a lower price and more than enough power to run basic apps, games, and streaming video, making it the best option for most people.
But don't let the outdated design deter you. The ninth-gen iPad is still an incredible tablet for most needs. At the end of the day, it offers the best combination of price and performance than any other iPad available right now.
While the fifth-gen iPad Air is priced between the 2022 iPad and the iPad Pro, it's best understood as a more affordable version of the 2022 iPad Pro than as a premium version of the standard iPad. It would be misguided to recommend anyone who uses the iPad for simple day-to-day tasks to splurge $270 more for the 2022 iPad Air.
While there are differences worth noting, the biggest to consider is storage options. The 2022 iPad Air base model is a measly 64GB, with a $150 upgrade option to 256GB, which bumps the price up to $750. If you need more than 64GB of storage, but not as much as 256GB, your best bet is to snag the 11-inch iPad Pro, which starts at 128GB and costs $800. You'd get an upgrade to the M2 chip, plus Apple's ProMotion display that runs at 120Hz instead of 60Hz for super smooth animations.
But if you think the limited storage and differences in display won't make or break your experience, the iPad Air is the best option for price and performance for those who want a step-up from the basic iPad.
Overall, the iPad Mini is the best choice for those who prioritize portability above all else in a tablet. I'd even say that most people would find the iPad Mini more comfortable to use than larger iPads. If you want a screen that's bigger than your phone for running apps and streaming videos, all while maintaining a portable footprint, the iPad Mini is absolutely worth considering.
And finally, if you're an Apple Pencil devotee, just about every iPad will work for you. Just beware of the 2022 iPad's need for an adapter. The first and second generation Apple Pencils work as well as each other, but the iPad Pro is the best iPad to use with the second generation Apple Pencil thanks to Apple's Hover feature.
We also consider the upgrades given to the new model compared to the previous generations. We also look and compare peripheral specifications, like data transfer speeds through the USB-C ports, as well as support for accessories like the Apple Pencil and keyboard cases.
While the standard iPad works only with the standard Smart Keyboard Folio and the first-generation Apple Pencil, the Air works with the same accessories as the 11-inch iPad Pro (which we recommend in our guide to the best professional tablets). That means you can use the second-generation Apple Pencil for digital art and the Magic Keyboard if you do a lot of typing and want a laptop replacement. Although we maintain that the iPad Pro is better for people who work in illustration or create content with their tablet, the Air is priced so that the tablet, stylus, and keyboard together cost less than $1,000.
The last wave of iPads added more choice, but no clear stand-out best product. The 10th-gen iPad, released last fall, is more expensive than the ninth-gen iPad, which remains on sale. The 10th-gen model has a better-placed front-facing camera for video chats, a larger screen, a faster processor and USB-C charging, but needs its own cases and a weird dongle for charging the first-gen Pencil. It's a great pick if it's ever on sale, but expensive otherwise.
Meanwhile, the iPad Air, released a year ago, still remains the best "Pro on a budget" iPad with its fast M1 chip and Pencil 2 support. It doesn't fix that front camera either, though, so if looking good on Zoom and FaceTime matters most to you, consider that 10th-gen iPad instead. And if there's an iPad model that seems like it could get an update sooner than any other, it's this one.
There's a $120 starting price gap between the $329 entry-model ninth-gen, which remains in the line, and the new $449 10th-gen version. That gives the older model a bit of an edge over the new one, despite the latter's slightly larger display, side camera, better processor and USB-C connection -- especially if you only really need one of those upgrades, like the camera relocation. If you need all those upgrades and can afford it but don't need an M1 CPU, the step-up model makes sense.
The step-up new entry-level iPad has a whole new design and now has USB-C, a faster A14 chip and a larger display. Its best feature, though, is a repositioned front-facing camera that finally centers video chats properly in landscape mode, which is how most people use their iPads when they're connected to keyboard cases. If you're someone who needs to Zoom a lot on an iPad, this is worth the extra price over the ninth-gen model if you can afford it. The downside is the bizarre lack of support for the Pencil 2, requiring you to use a first-gen Pencil and a USB-C charge dongle (not included) for sketches and note-taking. 041b061a72