The first iPad was announced several years ago and tablets have become much more popular since. There may not be as much choice as smartphones when it comes to tablets, but there are still a number of decisions to be made if you're in the market for one. What size and what platform are probably the primary considerations but budget will play a big part too.
If you are reading this feature it is likely you have already decided on the platform, disregarding Android and Windows for iOS, and you are now trying to figure out what size iPad is the right one for you and which one fits into how much you want to spend.
Apple offers five iPad options - the iPad mini 2, iPad mini 4, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro 9.7 and the iPad Pro 12.9. The tablets range from 7.9-inch displays to 12.9-inch, but what are the other differences between them and which is the right one for you and your budget?
Apple iPad mini 2
The iPad mini 2 is the cheapest way to get your hands on an Apple tablet as it is now a couple of years old and has been succeeded by the iPad mini 4. You miss out on a few things but the iPad mini 2 holds its own and with a starting price of £219, which is £100 less than the iPad mini 4, it is still worthy of consideration.
There is a 7.9-inch display within the 200 x 134.8 x 7.5mm body, making it the smallest iPad available. It isn't the lightest or the thinnest, despite weighing just 331g, but it offers the same 2048 x 1536 display resolution as its successor, delivering a pixel density of 326ppi.
The iPad mini 2 comes in silver and space grey colour options so you miss out on the gold option and there are also a couple of other things lacking, such as Touch ID and Apple Pay, as well as an anti-reflective coating on the display. There is also no slo-mo video capability or burst mode.
The A7 chip and M7 motion coprocessor sit under the hood and you'll find a 1.2-megapixel front camera, coupled with a 5-megapixel rear camera, the latter of which is a slight downgrade from the iPad mini 4 but the same as the larger iPad Air.
The iPad mini 2 is for those that want a small Apple tablet but don't have the cash to splash on the newest model.
You only miss out on a few things so if you are happy to sacrifice the latest specs and features, the iPad mini 2 gives you iOS on a budget.
PRICE: From £219
READ MORE Apple iPad mini 2 review
Apple iPad mini 4
The iPad mini 4 is the newer and more expensive addition to the small iPad club. It was quickly and quietly announced alongside the iPad Pro in September and it is everything that the iPad mini 2 is, with a few extra cherries.
It measures 203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1mm so while it is ever so slightly larger than the iPad mini 2, it is slimmer and lighter, hitting the scales at a mere 298.8g. You'll still find a 7.9-inch display and as we said previously, it is the same resolution as the iPad mini 2 but you get the addition of a fully laminated display and an anti-reflective coating.
There is a newer, faster chip powering the iPad mini 4 with the A8 processor and M8 motion coprocessor on board, as well as different storage options with 16GB, 64GB and 128GB models offered compared to the 16GB and 32GB iPad mini 2 models. The iPad mini 4 comes in space grey, silver and gold colour options.
In terms of other extras, Touch ID is included on the iPad mini 4, as is Apple Pay compatibility, burst mode and slo-mo video. The only other difference to the older iPad mini 2 is the bump to an 8-megapixel rear camera.
The iPad mini 4 is for those that want a small Apple tablet with the latest specs and features.
You'll need a little more cash for the iPad mini 4 but you get a few extra features and a more powerful device, which some will find justifies the extra bucks.
PRICE: From £319
READ MORE Apple iPad mini 4 review
Apple iPad Air 2
The iPad Air 2 is now the cheapest way to pick up a slightly larger Apple tablet without shelling out the best part of £500. It boasts the specs and features of the original and now redundant iPad Air, but it's slimmer and lighter.
Like the iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 4, the iPad Air 2 features the same 2048 x 1536 pixel display resolution, delivering the same 264ppi pixel density as its predecessor. It also has the same footprint at 240 x 169.5mm, but as we mentioned, it's slimmer at 6.1mm and lighter at 469g.
A faster A8X and M8 motion coprocessor sit under the hood than both the smaller iPad mini 4 and the original iPad Air, but you get the same colour options and storage capacities as the iPad mini 4, as well as the same cameras and features.
Touch ID, Apple Pay, burst mode, slo-mo video and the fully laminated display with anti-reflective coating are all present on the iPad Air 2, as they are with the iPad mini 4 and as they lack in the iPad Air and iPad mini 2.
The iPad Air 2 is for those that want a larger Apple tablet but like the iPad mini 2, they don't want to splash all their cash on the latest model.
You don't get the latest and greatest specs within this 9.7-inch size, but you do save yourself £150 opting for this model so if you can live without Apple Pencil compatibility and a cracking camera, it's a good option.
PRICE: From £349
READ MORE Apple iPad Air 2 review
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
The Apple iPad Pro 9.7 is the latest 9.7-inch iPad from the company and the newest iPad in the entire portfolio. Rather than launching the next-generation of Air, Apple introduced a smaller model of the iPad Pro that launched in September 2015.
The iPad Pro 9.7 is exactly the same size as the iPad Air 2 and it offers the same size display and resolution too, meaning the same pixel density. It does add a couple of new technologies to the mix however, including what the company is calling a True Tone and wide colour display, as well as Apple Pencil compatibility.
The iPad Pro 9.7 unsurprisingly takes its design cues from the larger iPad Pro, meaning you'll get the Smart Connector and four-speaker setup with this device. It also takes some features from the iPhone 6S with the addition of a rose gold finish and unlike any of the other iPads, it comes in a 256GB storage option.
As you might expect, the iPad Pro 9.7 has the latest A9X processor under its hood like the larger iPad Pro, but it also significantly improves the camera experience compared to the iPad Air 2 with a 12-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera, both of which offer flash.
The iPad Pro 9.7 is Apple's most powerful and feature-rich tablet yet.
It is the iPad for those that want all the features of the larger iPad Pro but in a smaller and more compact format, along with some additional extras no other iPad offers.
PRICE: From £499
READ MORE Apple iPad Pro 9.7 review
Apple iPad Pro 12.9
The Apple iPad Pro was revealed in September 2015, alongside the iPad mini 4, but Apple made a lot more noise about this model than the smaller device. It marked a new tablet territory for Apple with its 12.9-inch display.
Measuring 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9mm and weighing 713g, the iPad Pro will be far too big for some but for others, it will be the tablet they have been waiting for. It comes in silver, space grey and gold colour options, with 32GB and 128GB storage capacities.
The display technology is the same as the iPad mini 4 and iPad Air 2 but the resolution takes a slight bump to 2732 x 2048 pixels in order to produce the same 264ppi pixel density as the Air and smaller iPad Pro model. You'll also find the same cameras and other features such as Touch ID and Apple Pay compatibility as the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4.
The iPad Pro has a faster processor than all the other iPads available, except its newer, smaller brother, with the A9X and M9 combination under the hood. It is also compatible with the Apple Pencil and it will offer a range of software features, including Adobe, that the other iPads, again except the newer, smaller model, don't.
The iPad Pro is the largest and most expensive iPad available, as well as one of the most powerful.
It is for those that want to do more on their tablet than just watching movies and browsing the web, and for those that not only have the budget to warrant this model but also the desire for something bigger than the 9.7-inch model.
PRICE: From £679
READ MORE Apple iPad Pro review