On October 18, the new iPad Pro with M2 chip and iPad 10 with A14 chip quietly made their debut and ushered in a price increase across the board with exchange rate fluctuations. Now, the new iPad product line has six products on sale, and according to the different user groups to make a clear-cut form and positioning, continue to firmly occupy the top of the tablet market.
But more choices may not be a good thing for consumers. I still get questions from friends like “Do you think I need an iPad” and “Do I want this iPad? If you have similar confusion, then reading this “iPad 2022 Guide” may help you find the answer you’re looking for.
Why should I buy iPad?
Everyone has different ideas and answers to the question “Why buy an iPad? Students can say it can be used to take notes in online classes, working people can say it can be used to share or take notes in meetings, designers and illustrators can use it for graphic design. The fact that you can think of these answers means you have some idea of what iPad can do. So why would anyone ask the question, “Do I need an iPad?
There’s no denying that the iPad is a great tool for students and graphic artists alike, especially college kids, who are already pretty much armed with an iPad + Apple Pencil based on both pragmatism and prestige. The latter are generally less concerned with the “why should I buy an iPad” and “which iPad” questions, since they are artists now. Most of the friends I know are directly interested in the top-of-the-line 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and then earn back their money in one single order and use it for years.
Except for these two types of people who really have a hard need for iPad, the rest of us need to think carefully about whether we need to buy iPad. iPad is not a productivity tool that can do “most people’s work,” and it’s a product that “can do, but it’s really not necessary. This is a result of the iPad software ecosystem and Apple’s positioning of the product. iPad has been a device between a phone and a computer since its first generation was born. In order to prevent the iPad product line from fighting with iPhone and Mac, Apple has given it a large screen experience beyond iPhone and hardware comparable to Mac, but firmly confined it to “prison” with iPadOS, adding features to it piecemeal every year.
But an interesting exception can be found among them, and that’s for wordsmiths like me: the iPad is a really good solution to the pain point of recording everywhere. A small screen like a phone can only record fragments of inspiration scattered around the world at best, but editing large sections of text is a strain. But we can’t carry a computer with us every time we go out, even if it’s a thin and light enough product like a 12-inch MacBook. And it makes sense to take an iPad with a keyboard, so you can sit down somewhere when you’re inspired, or even put it on your lap, and quickly capture a piece of the rich world inside you.
I’ve given some serious thought to the reasons why many people prefer to take a heavier iPad on the go rather than a lighter computer. One of the conclusions I came to is that this is already determined by the shape and positioning of the iPad: people have always used computers as a “heavy productivity tool that satisfies most people,” and taking such a device out, even if it is lighter, has the burden of being tied up in work. In contrast, the iPad’s “productivity tool” attribute is not high, although it can share some productivity light work, but in general is more like a “staging area”: there is work can simply cope with or record, when there is nothing to worry about spilling. Imagine if someone is drinking coffee and watching variety show in Starbucks, do you also have a natural feeling that people using iPad will look more “reasonable” than those using computers?
Having said all this, we actually want to talk about one thing: Many times ordinary people buy iPads to find their own “professional” and “self-improvement” needs are pseudo-needs, similar to electric paper books. The iPad is a pseudo-need, similar to an electric paperback. It is a generous admission that the iPad is bought for better audio and video entertainment and gaming experience than a cell phone, more flexible use scenarios and less psychological burden than a computer, and only occasionally needed to cope with work and serve as a productivity tool – this is the fate of the iPad in the hands of the majority of people.
This year’s iPad Pro is a regular update with the M2 chip, which supports a new Apple Pencil hover detection and display, but otherwise is almost indistinguishable from the M1 version of the iPad Pro. For those who already have the M1 series iPad Pro, if they are not digital review bloggers or graphic artists who have an immediate need for hover detection, then my advice is to choose not to get a new one.
My answer is anyone who feels they need an iPad and can afford the Pro Series.
Apple is not honest in some places, such as saying that cutting off the charging head instead of Type-C is for the sake of the environment; and Apple is very honest in many places, such as when introducing you to which iPad is right for you, the introduction to iPad Pro is “cutting-edge technology, the ultimate iPad experience”: this statement is very pertinent to the point that if you want the top iPad experience today, then choose iPad Pro. Then iPad Pro is the right choice.
If you think you need it and can afford it on a budget, then just buy the best one you can afford. If you find that iPad Pro can do a lot of things, whether it’s improve efficiency or increase output or make more money, then your next computer can naturally be an iPad, but when you find that even the top of the line iPad doesn’t solve your needs, you’ll naturally be more aware of whether you need an iPad.
As for the size, if there are more mobile carrying needs, then still consider the 11-inch – although there is no 12.9-inch XDR display, but its weight and size is relatively portable, can easily fit into most shoulder bags, the pressure on the shoulder is not so big. Of course, if your attraction to XDR or a large screen is a higher priority than portability, then 12.9 inches is not a bad idea, after all, the larger screen experience is indeed better. And with the weight and size of the accessories, it’s easy to see it as a MacBook Pro 13.
For those who have chosen to purchase an iPad Pro, my advice is to pair it with the Apple Pencil and a second keyboard if it’s not just for content consumption. These two products have been the essence of the iPad Pro since day one of the Pro series, and even though they support many non-Pro series iPads today, they must be the best experience on the iPad Pro. The white version is highly recommended, no matter what color the iPad Pro is, and its white material is much more resistant to dirt than we thought.
It’s worth mentioning that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is equipped with a full-size keyboard with second control, so the typing experience is actually much better than the 11-inch one, which is less likely to have the problem of mis-touching the small-size keyboard. If you usually have more text input needs, do not care about weight, then the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the second control keyboard is a good choice.
And for those who are a little short on budget but want the Pro Series’ ProMotion Adaptive High Brush, Reference Mode and other professional features, then you can wait for the official or used M1-chip iPad Pro and get an almost identical experience to the 2022 model for a cheaper price. Although most people buy digital devices based on the concept of “buy new, not old,” the 2022 iPad Pro is not as upgraded as it could be, and the M1-chip iPad Pro still stands out in every way (except for the new model), so there’s no need to worry about lag or downgrading the core experience.
iPad Air 5
With the old iPad Pro 11-inch in the front and the new iPad Pro 11-inch in the back with the optional 256G, I never quite understood why Apple kept the iPad Air line until the back-to-school season and 618 in recent years. – It’s probably the best iPad product that most students can afford.
Compared to the 11-inch iPad Pro, the Air 5 cuts out the ProMotion adaptive refresh rate screen, quad speakers, dual rear cameras with LIDAR, Face ID, and Thunderbolt 4 interface, but otherwise remains largely the same. For a non-inquisitive digital enthusiast like me, the lack of features like the ProMotion adaptive refresh rate screen is something I can’t stand, but most casual users don’t really notice it as carefully as I do, so much so that many of my college friends chose the iPad Air 4 or iPad Air 5.
When I asked them why they didn’t buy the iPad Pro, their answers were very simple: “Don’t they look the same? It doesn’t seem to make any difference” and “iPad Air has the pink/purple/blue color I like”.
For consumers who want to buy iPad Air but are torn between the budget and iPad Pro, my advice is to go directly to the Apple Store or an authorized reseller to experience the difference between the two products, mainly by looking at the smoothness of the screen, the feeling of external playback and the shooting effect. If you can not obviously feel the difference between the two in these features, then do not hesitate, no matter how the clerk advised you to buy expensive to buy good, you ignore it, directly into the iPad Air 5 that can be. Because for you, iPad Pro and iPad Air 5 there is no very different place, in five colors to pick a favorite order away.
However, the best time to get iPad Air is still the e-commerce event and the back-to-school season. Especially during back-to-school season, you can get a free AirPods 2 wireless headphones along with a student discount. So you can pay close attention to the recent Double 11 event, and if the price of iPad Air drops to around 4,000 yuan, you can get it.
If you are a non-student user, the same rule applies. You could say that iPad Air 5 is a product for users who are not sensitive to the technology on the Pro series, just like the phrase “heavyweight power, light on your feet” in the product description. iPad Air 5 gives them the same strong performance, similar appearance and common accessories as the Pro series, while users get a lower price, almost the “same” experience as the Pro series. Apple gives them the same great performance, similar looks, and universal accessories as the Pro Series, and users get a lower price, an almost “identical” experience to the Pro Series, favorite colors, and happy smiles.
But if you decide to buy an iPad Air 5, you need to be careful when choosing the capacity. 64G is not really enough today. If you plan to buy it for four years of college to take notes or have the need to store more photos, it is best to consider the 256G version. If you want to save money, it’s a good idea to subscribe to larger iCloud storage and save your photos to the cloud.
The iPad mini is a special product, both in the iPad and Apple’s other product lines. For one thing, it was the first iPad to adopt a new form factor that made the iPad fourth-generation iPad quite small and delicate compared to its heavy counterpart. Later, this design was also used for six years before it was replaced by the 2018 iPad Pro with a right-angle bezel design. To this day, the ninth-generation iPad, which is still available for sale, still features this design.
The second is the crossover of its positioning. As we all know, Apple products with mini models are generally entry-level models, whether it is Mac mini, HomePod mini or iPhone mini series products, none of them are light and nimble and inexpensive as a selling point. But in the iPad product line, mini positioning is significantly higher than the digital series, not only has a fully laminated display and the second generation of Apple Pencil support, but also earlier with a full screen and lock button touch ID design, the price is also higher than the digital series.
However, Apple’s approach to iPad mini has always been ambiguous. The first generation of iPad mini used the latest design but with the A5 chip and non-retina display from the 4S, while the second generation took a sudden leap forward with a retina display and the same A7 chip as the iPhone 5S and iPad Air. reluctantly” gave some new configurations. Later, iPad mini was not even updated for a long time, so much so that people always wondered if Apple was going to cut this iPad line.
But as we all know, iPad mini didn’t disappear. After nearly three years of absence, it returned with a new form and the top-of-the-line A15 chip, and became the best content consumption device and handheld gaming machine.
It’s easy to see which user groups iPad mini is suitable for based on the positioning consumers have given it. If you want to use iPad to solve some productivity tasks, then iPad mini must not be your first choice. Although it has a higher hardware configuration than the iPad digital series, its small screen size is the furthest thing from productivity. And the same is true for students. If you want to buy it to take notes, the 8.3-inch display will indeed make you feel phased everywhere: because when you write on the screen, the volume of individual words will be larger than on paper due to the thicker pen tip and lack of screen finesse, and if the screen is small, the feeling of frequent zooming in and out and moving around will not be as good as it could be.
But if you buy iPad is to have fun, want a larger screen than the phone to look at e-books, brush the video or TV series, and occasionally use it to return a message with more words or record something, then “back to the original iPad” iPad mini is tailor-made for you. I have to say, it’s nice to be able to hold it in one hand, and it weighs just a little more than iPhone 14 Pro Max with a case and doesn’t require your pinky to carry it.
As for the Apple Pencil, I don’t think most people who buy iPad mini will need it. Unless you really need the portability of mini but have something like mapping, shorthand, simple modeling or other graphic design uses, I think you can either use iPad mini as a pure content consumption and display device or buy a larger iPad to use with the Apple Pencil.
Tenth Generation iPad
As a recent update, the release of the iPad 10th generation drew a lot of flak. People’s biggest gripes about it are not only the Apple Pencil connection that makes people’s brains clot, but also its still-absent fully laminated screen. But in fact, if you look closely, in addition to these two points, the tenth generation of iPad does not seem to have more points to complain about, Apple has given all that this generation of iPad can give, and give just the right amount, not to punch the iPad Air old predecessor, not to the lower than the previous generation is still humble.
From my personal perspective, I think it’s the second best iPad for the average content consumer besides iPad mini, with some productivity thrown in for good measure. The new design language and vibrant color palette, the still-adequate A14 chip, the new horizontal dual speakers and front-facing camera make it look like a post-epidemic online classroom and video conferencing tool. And it can be connected to the new second control keyboard double-sided clips when working, and when resting, you can pull off the keyboard alone to meet the needs of the B site, not like other iPads have to take the keyboard a piece of the walk.
Oh yes, I really like the tenth generation of iPad on this second control keyboard double-sided clip. Not to mention the new form, its keyboard is also equipped with function key area and esc key — this is my original iPad Pro experience are not ah; of course, this keyboard is also more expensive, when ordering may be many people will be this price to be shocked.
The 10th generation iPad is similar to the iPad Air, primarily for consumers who are less tech-savvy but feel they need an iPad. But compared to iPad Air users, they don’t want to spend too much money, and Apple has taken their consumer desires to the right level with this “iPad Air Youth Edition”: perhaps the distinctive new colors and design are more intuitive than what chip has been changed, what screen has been used, and whether or not it can support desktop scheduling, but the core iPadOS experience is much different anyway. The core iPadOS experience is not bad, not to mention the performance of the A14 for three to five years is not a problem.