Apple iPad buyer’s guide: How to pick the model that’s right for you

Looking to buy an iPad but need help figuring out where to start? With so many iPad models to choose from, it can be overwhelming to search through all the specs and features. Luckily, we’ve got the perfect solution!

We’ll take you through the different types of iPad models and teach you all you need to know to find the best iPad for you. Keep reading to find out more!

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The types of iPad models

Wondering, ‘what is the best iPad to buy’? The answer depends on your preferences! But before we can get into what to look for when searching for the perfect iPad, you’ll need to learn about the types of iPad models and the differences between them.

Here are the current iPad models on the market, along with some iPad comparisons to help you with your decision:

iPad (original)

This is the first iPad model and is usually labelled as ‘iPad’ along with which generation it is. The original iPad model is different from both the iPad Air and iPad Pro, so be sure not to get them confused!

As of January 2023, there are 10 generations of the iPad to choose from, with Apple’s first release in 2010 and the newest (iPad 10th generation) released in October 2022.

The original iPad models are the cheapest, so if you’re looking for a budget iPad, a regular iPad model is your best bet! These models are perfect for casual use and won’t make too much of an impact on your bank account.

Shop the latest iPad for less when you switch to refurbished. Check out our refurbished iPad (10th generation) models and get the best iPad at an even better price!

iPad Pro

The iPad Pro range is the most expensive of the iPad models and is usually purchased by those who perform demanding tasks on their iPad device, like designing graphics. Compared to the other models, the iPad Pro has better features and a faster processor.

The iPad Pro is also the largest of all the iPad models, with a screen size of up to 12.9 inches. While the other iPad ranges go up to a modest 10.9 inches, none come close to the new iPad Pro.

There are currently six generations of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, along with four generations of the 11-inch iPad Pro and an iPad Pro 10.5 and iPad Pro 11.5. The newest iPad Pro models are the iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th generation) and the iPad Pro 11-inch (4th generation), which both came out in October 2022.

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iPad Air

If you’re looking for a mid-range iPad model capable of performing a few demanding tasks or an iPad that can keep up with your streaming needs, the iPad Air is a good choice.

As of January 2023, there are five generations of iPad Air to choose from. The first iPad Air was released in 2013, while the newest iPad Air (iPad Air 5th generation) was released in March 2022.

While there aren’t too many differences between the iPad and the iPad Air, the latter definitely has a few updated features that make it outperform the OG iPad models.

If you want to save on your iPad Air purchase, browse our range of refurbished iPad Air models to find great deals!

iPad Mini

As the name suggests, the iPad Mini is just a smaller version of the iPad. At a size of X inches, you won’t find a smaller iPad model!

Apple released the first iPad Mini in 2012 with a 7.9-inch display; however, the iPad Mini has increased slightly in size to 8.3 inches. The latest iPad Mini to hit the market as of January 2023 is the iPad Mini (6th generation) which Apple released in September 2021.

The iPad Mini is very similar to the original iPad model, however it has slightly better specs which explains why it’s more expensive than the iPad despite the difference in size.

If you don’t mind a smaller screen and want a device that’s better than the iPad but not as expensive as the iPad Air, give the Mini a try!

Want to cut the cost of your iPad Mini? Shop refurbished iPad Mini devices at the musicMagpie Store and discover great savings!

How to choose your next iPad

Now that you know the differences between the iPad models, you should have a clearer idea of which model you’ll want to buy. Next, you’ll need to consider some other factors to make sure your new iPad is right for you:


Depending on what features you care about and your budget, it’s a good idea to look at refurbished iPad options to consider an older model.

Whether it’s only one year or several years old, a refurbished iPad is much more affordable than a new model, so you’ll get the best value iPad available. If you don’t mind a slightly slower processor and a lower camera quality, it’s worth considering!

And for those who prefer the latest models and want to know what’s the newest iPad, you could still get a better deal by buying a refurbished version.


If you’re looking for the best iPad, features will play a heavy part in your decision. Different iPad models will have different features, so a good rule of thumb is to decide on your must-have features and find the iPad that ticks all of your boxes (or as many boxes as possible).

Here are a few features to consider:

  • Connectivity (Cellular/WiFi/5G)
  • Face ID and Touch ID
  • Battery life
  • Apple accessories compatibility (for those that want to use a keyboard or Apple Pencil)
  • Camera quality
  • Processor

Storage size

When buying an iPad, you’ll want to ensure you’ve enough storage to store all your music, videos, photos and apps. Once you’ve bought an iPad, you won’t be able to upgrade the storage (unless you use external storage, which would be another item to carry around), so it’s crucial that you take the time to work out how much you need or buy the highest option if you can.

Usually, you’ll see storage sizes from 64GB to 2TB, however some older models can go as low as 32GB. Things like software updates can eat away at your storage, along with videos, photos, music and apps.


Size is another important factor to consider before making your purchase. Depending on how you want to use your iPad, you may want to keep to a smaller device to make it easier to carry, or you might want to go big to get a screen worthy enough to watch movies on.

There are six size options available:

  • 8.3-inch iPad Mini
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • 10.2-inch iPad (9th gen)
  • 10.9-inch iPad Air and iPad (10th gen)
  • 11-inch iPad Pro
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro

All screens are measured diagonally from corner to corner, like TV screens and phone displays. One thing to note is that a larger screen doesn’t necessarily mean a larger device, as some screens don’t reach the edges of the iPad.

Decided on your ideal iPad? Browse through our range of refurbished iPad models to find the best iPad deals! You can even enjoy refurbished iPhone models for less and refurbished phones. Plus, make your purchase even cheaper when you trade in unwanted tech with us – find out how much you could make from an iPhone trade in by heading over to our Sell My Phone page.