There’s a bit of congestion at the more affordable end of the iPad spectrum right now, with both the 9th and 10th generation models being part of Apple’s lineup.
So what should you choose? The new 10th-gen model ditches the more outdated bezels of its predecessor in favor of an all-screen design and a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, and gets a speed boost thanks to the A14 Bionic chip.
The new chip promises a 20 percent increase in CPU performance and a 10 percent graphics boost compared to the previous 9th-gen model, which has a 10.2-inch display and packs the A13 Bionic chip.
In terms of connectivity, the iPad 10 gets a USB-C connector instead of a Lightning connector and supports Wi-FI 6 for faster connectivity. The cellular models are 5G and the new iPad is compatible with a new Magic Keyboard Folio.
All of this sounds great, but there’s a catch. If you were expecting the new iPad to be priced to match its predecessor, which cost $329/£369, you’ll be disappointed. The entry-level 64GB WiFi model has a retail price of $449/£499, which we certainly needn’t point out is significantly higher.
Black Friday has brought that price down a bit though: in the UK you can pick up the 10th gen iPad for £469 at Very (opens in new tab)and in the US you can order it from Best Buy for $426 (opens in new tab).
We should say that there’s still savings to be had on the still-pretty 9th-gen model – it’s currently £309 in the UK on Amazon (opens in new tab) and only $270 in the US at Best Buy (opens in new tab) – but the discount on the 10th gen (which was released just last month) might at least get you thinking.
We know you’re here for iPad deals, but you might also want to know that we’re busy finding the best MacBook discounts this cyber season as well. Visit our live blog for the best deals on MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models.
A common complaint about iPads is that the entry-level models don’t have a lot of storage (just 64GB) and that you seem to have to pay a lot more to get higher capacities. Luckily, you can get around this to an extent with an external SSD – you can access content from it (examples, projects, etc.) via the Files app.
All but one of the iPads in Apple’s current lineup have a USB-C port (the 10.2-inch 9th-gen model is the outlier), so connecting a drive is as easy as plugging in a cable. There’s plenty of SSD cyber savings to be found on Amazon US and Amazon UK – we found this Crucial X6 2TB USB-C model on Amazon UK (with read speeds up to 800MB/s) for just £106.99 , compared to an RRP of £211 (opens in new tab).
Inevitably, the cheapest cyber-weekend iPad deals tend to be on the WiFi models, but we know some of you like the data-based freedom that comes with owning a table with cellular capabilities.
If you’re one of those people and love being in the US, it’s worth checking out Walmart’s website for deals on the cellular-friendly 2020 and 2022 iPad Airs.
The older model is the cheaper option – for $569 (up from $679) you get a cellular iPad Air 4th generation with 64GB of storage (opens in new tab). Hidden inside is an A14 Bionic chip, so it’s certainly no slouch.
If you’re willing to shell out another $100, you can get the M1-powered 2022 iPad Air 5th Gen with 64GB of storage for $669 (down from $749). (opens in new tab).
Amazon UK has stripped £50 off the 2022 12.9-inch M2-powered iPad Pro (aka the biggest and best iPad you can buy), bringing the price down to a still respectable £1,999 (opens in new tab). There’s no denying that this is still a lot of money for a tablet, but once you’ve settled on this tablet, any kind of discount is better than nothing.
A keyboard case is by no means an essential iPad purchase – many people can do perfectly well without one – but if you’re thinking of your Apple tablet as a laptop replacement, or think you’ll want to use it for the occasional typing time, it’s a good investment .
Amazon is currently offering this Logictech Slim Folio iPad keyboard case for just £49.99 (instead of £89.99). (opens in new tab), and it is compatible with the 7th, 8th and 9th generation “standard” models. There’s no touchpad, but grab a Bluetooth mouse and that won’t be a problem.
It might “only” have an M1 processor, as opposed to the latest M2, but at $799.99, the 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro is a great buy from Best Buy (opens in new tab). For this money, you get a still cutting-edge tablet with a super-large display, and with the iOS music-making ecosystem now so mature, it might even double as a laptop replacement.
Here’s a great deal on the 9th Gen “Standard” iPad – from $330 to $270 at Best Buy in the US (opens in new tab) (That’s a $60 saving, number buffs). OK, it doesn’t have the all-screen design of the other models, but you do get a 10.2-inch Retina display, an A13 Bionic chip, and 64GB of storage. Sounds good to us.
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