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Home News iPad Buyer's Guide: Which Model is Best For You

iPad Buyer’s Guide: Which Model is Best For You [iOS Blog]

So you want to buy an iPad? Great. Would you believe Apple actually offers five different iPad models? Sure, the company only touts two of them — the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 — but Apple continues to carry three older models that could be right for you, depending on your circumstance. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the different iPads Apple offers to help you decide which model is best for you.


iPad models

Apple has two current iPads, with the most obvious difference being size. Here’s an overview of what each line offers:

iPad Air: The bigger of the two models. The current version is the iPad Air 2. Key specifications:

  • Measures 9.4 by 6.6 by 0.24 inches and weighs less than a pound
  • Fully laminated 9.7-inch LED backlit Retina display with an anti-reflective coating
  • 2048‑by‑1536 resolution at 264 pixels per inch
  • 64-bit A8X processor and M8 motion coprocessor
  • 16GB, 64GB, or 128GB of storage
  • 8-megapixel iSight camera and 1.2-megapixel FaceTime camera
  • Sensors include Touch ID, gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer, and ambient light

Apple also offers the original iPad Air in its current lineup. When comparing the 16GB models (the iPad Air is available with 16GB or 32GB storage), you save $100 if you go with the iPad Air, but it lacks the Touch ID, iSight burst mode, and the anti-glare screen that is found in the iPad Air 2. It’s also a little thicker and uses an older and slower 64-bit A7 processor with an M7 motion coprocessor. The iPad Air 2 is worth the extra money, even if only for the laminated anti-reflective display that makes content look absolutely gorgeous.

For a deeper dive into the differences between the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Air, read the MacRumors iPad Air 2 roundup.

iPad mini: A smaller iPad is by no means a lesser iPad. The latest model is the iPad mini 3. Key specifications:

  • Measures 7.87 by 5.3 by 0.29 inches and weighs about 0.75 pounds
  • 7.9-inch LED backlit Retina display
  • 2048‑by‑1536 resolution at 326 pixels per inch
  • 64-bit A7 processor with M7 motion coprocessor
  • 16GB, 64GB, or 128GB of storage
  • 5-megapixel iSight camera and 1.2-megapixel FaceTime camera
  • Sensors include Touch ID, gyroscope, accelerometer, and ambient light

Apple has two other iPad mini models in its current lineup, and both are older models.

The iPad mini 2 has only one major feature difference from the iPad mini 3: Touch ID. While Touch ID is a great security feature that’s convenient to use, you might be willing to sacrifice it to save some money. Also, the iPad mini 2 is the only iPad mini model available with 32GB of storage, a nice alternative for anyone who doesn’t have the cash for a 64GB iPad mini 3.

The original iPad mini does not have a Retina display; its resolution is 1024‑by‑768 resolution at 163 pixels per inch. It has an older and slower A5 processor, and has no support for panoramic photos, camera burst mode, or video zoom. It’s also available only with 16GB of storage. It’s the entry-level, cheap iPad in Apple’s lineup, good for Internet access, ebooks, and casual games.

The MacRumors iPad mini 3 roundup has more details on the differences between the three iPad mini models.


If you want to get the fastest, most current iPad available, pick the iPad Air 2 — it’s a remarkable 87 percent faster than the iPad mini 3 in Geekbench 3 multi-core benchmark, and it’s an impressive 34 percent faster in Geekbench’s single-core benchmark. The iPad Air 2 is Apple’s fastest iPad to date.

Thinking about buying an iPad Air instead, to save a few dollars? You’ll make a performance sacrifice. The iPad Air 2 is 70 percent faster in Geekbench’s multi-core benchmark, and 23 percent faster in Geekbench’s single-core benchmark.

When it comes to the iPad mini 3 and the iPad mini 2, there’s virtually no performance difference because they use the same internals. Geekbench results show that the iPad mini 2 is marginally faster than the iPad mini 3, but we’re talking low single-digit percentage points. There’s no need to consider performance when deciding between the iPad mini 3 and the iPad mini 2.

There’s a huge difference between the iPad mini 3 (and iPad mini 2) and the original iPad mini. You’re going to give up a lot of performance to save some money. In Geekbench’s multi-core benchmark, the iPad mini 3 is nearly four times faster than the iPad mini. In Geekbench’s single-core performance, the iPad mini 3 is well over four times faster than the iPad mini.

So is it worth saving $150 to buy a $249 iPad mini over a $399 iPad mini 3? For anyone on a budget, it’s a compromise that has to be made, but you might want to consider buying a $299 16GB iPad mini 2 instead. For the extra $50, you get the same performance boost as you would if you bought an iPad mini 3, and the only feature you miss out on is Touch ID.

Customization options

Apple offers several features that you can add to the iPad. They all cost extra, so be prepared to add to the price of the standard configuration model.

Storage: All iPads start with 16GB of storage. The latest iPad models have options to upgrade to 64GB (an extra $100 to the base price) or 128GB (an extra $200 over base) — there’s no 32GB option anymore. If you play a lot of games with detailed graphics or like watching movies and TV shows, consider getting more storage. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself trying to remove storage-hungry apps, removing media files more often than you’d like, and relying on cloud storage (which could be fine if you’re always connected to the Internet).

Cellular connectivity: Speaking of Internet connectivity, if you need to be online most of the time with your iPad, you can’t always depend on a Wi-Fi connection being available. Apple offers cellular iPads that work with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon in the U.S. and a variety of carriers internationally.

Cellular support adds $130 to the price of all corresponding models, plus you have to sign up for a data plan with each carrier and pay a recurring fee. If you already have a plan, see if it has an option to add an iPad data plan. If you have an iPhone on a service plan that allows mobile hotspots, also consider whether pairing a Wi-Fi iPad with an iPhone will meet your needs. With Instant Hotspot in iOS 8, it’s dead simple to allow an iPad to connect via Wi-Fi to an iPhone and use the phone’s cellular data service as needed.

Available finishes: The iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 are available in gold with a white bezel, silver with a white bezel, and space gray with a black bezel. The iPad Air, iPad mini 2 and iPad mini are available in silver/white and space gray/black. There’s no extra cost for picking the colors of your choice.

AppleCare+: Each new iPad comes with one-year warranty and 90 days of complimentary support. For an extra $99, you can get AppleCare+, which extends the warranty and support to two years and also allows for two incidents of accidental damage coverage (subject to a $49 service fee per incident).

AppleCare+ is a good idea if your new iPad is going to be used by several people, such as by your family or in a classroom. And if you plan to bring your iPad with you while traveling or working on location, the accidental damage coverage is reassuring.

Fortunately, you don’t have to buy AppleCare+ right away. Apple gives you 60 days from the date of purchase to buy AppleCare+. You can buy your new iPad, monitor how it’s being used, and then decide to invest in AppleCare+ if it fits your use case.


As you may or may not know, there are hundreds of different kinds of accessories you can buy with your iPad. These are just a few you might consider when you’re buying your new iPad.

Cases: A case will help protect your investment. Cases are as simple as a protective sleeve, or as complex as a combination case/stand/keyboard. Expect to spend $25 to $150. Apple’s $39 iPad Air and iPad mini Smart Covers use magnets to attach to the iPad and the protective flap folds to do duty as a stand. A more expensive Smart Case ($69 iPad mini, $79 iPad Air) offers better protection and features the same folding cover.

Cables: The iPad comes with a USB to Lightning cable, but you might want to buy an extra one. They’re a little pricey; a 1-meter cable is $19. Cheaper non-Apple Lightning cables are available, but shop carefully, since many cheap cables are not durable, or the may not work properly with your iPad.

Input devices: Since all iPads have Bluetooth, you can use a Bluetooth keyboard ($100 to $200), which is ideal if you want to do a lit of writing. Some keyboards that are designed for the iPad have a built-in iPad stand or an do double duty as a case. If you’re an illustrator, you may want to buy a stylus ($15 to $100), especially one that’s pressure sensitive.

Which iPad should you buy?

It’s easy to recommend the iPad Air 2. It’s fast and lightweight, and the new anti-reflective screen is a vast improvement. It also has features not on the iPad Air, most notably slow-motion video capture, burst camera mode, and Touch ID. The iPad Air seems like an affordable alternative, but the iPad Air 2’s price/performance and features are an excellent package well worth the money.

If you prefer a smaller iPad, you can choose between the iPad mini 3 and the iPad mini 2. The only difference between the two is Touch ID — is a fingerprint sensor really worth the extra money? Touch ID is a convenient feature, but it’s one you can probably live without. Save some money and go with an iPad mini 2. However, if you want 64GB or 128GB of storage, your only choice is the iPad mini 3 unless you can still find one of the higher-capacity iPad mini 2 models on closeout somewhere. The original iPad mini is Apple’s entry-level device at $249 and could be a good iPad dedicated to your kids.

Should you get an iPad mini 3 or 2 if you have an iPhone 6 Plus? The iPhone 6 Plus has a nice, big screen, but the iPad mini’s screen still offers quite a bit more screen real estate. More importantly, the iPad mini will use the iPad version of your apps, while iPhone versions run on the iPhone 6 Plus. iPad apps are designed to take advantage of the bigger screens, so the interfaces are different than iPhone versions, which have interfaces made for smaller screens.

12_9_ipad_ipad_4_mini_lightMockup of 12.9-inch iPad (left) with fourth-generation iPad (right) and iPad mini
If you’re not in a rush to buy a new iPad, you could wait and see if/when Apple releases a 12-inch iPad Pro. Rumor says that the iPad Pro will measure between 12.2 and 12.9 inches, resemble the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, and use the same A8X processor.

Finally, if you want to save a few dollars, check Apple’s refurbished store. Apple installs a new battery and replaces the outer shell on refurbished iPads, and you get the same one-year warranty as you would with a new iPad. The inventory varies greatly, so make sure to check back frequently if the model you want isn’t in stock.

It also takes a few months for new products to begin showing up at all in the refurbished store, and at the time of this writing, Apple had yet to begin offering refurbished versions of the iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3. Since a lot of returns happen after the holidays, there may be and influx of new products in the refurbished store soon.


LDPlayer – Android Emulator for Windows PC and Laptop

Optimizing an Android game for PC is quite hard. There are tons of Android emulators present on the internet that allow players to play different Android games on their PC. But most of the emulators are not worth experiencing. Some of the Android emulators destroy the gaming experience, which you will never want.Now, you might think about the solution to it. You might question how you can play an Android game on your PC or a laptop without damaging the gaming experience. Well, the simple solution to this concern is LDPlayer. A few of you people might not be familiar with the LDPlayer so let me familiarize you with this amazing thing.What is LDPlayer?LDPlayer is a free Android emulator using which you can play any of your favorite Android games. Whether you are a PC or a laptop user, the LDPlayer will permit you to get the best gaming experience without any issue. Not only gaming, but you can also use any Android app on your operating system with the help of the LDPlayer emulator. Although it runs Android apps, it is specially designed for gamers.Apart from it, this software provides excellent keyboard mapping controls. From older games to all the latest ones, this software will run all on your system. Unlike the other emulators, it does not minimize the pace of the Android app. Besides this, the LDPlayer offers a custom control, which means that you can connect keyboard and mouse as per your choosing. Connecting a mouse and a keyboard will give you better control of the game you are playing.System Requirements for LDPlayerAnother great thing about the LDPlayer is that you don’t need to own a high-end system to operate it. Even if your computer or laptop does not hold higher RAM, processing power, or hard disk space, you can still use it with no worry.Below we have mentioned the maximum and minimum system requirements that you will need to run the LDPlayer on your system quickly.Minimum System RequirementsYou will need to have a RAM of 2GB with the minimum free storage space of 36GB as a minimum requirement. You can operate the software on Windows XP, Windows 7/8/8.1, as well as on Windows 10. Apart from this, you will be required to enable the hardware virtualization technology in the BIOS to run the software. Also, make sure to have a graphics driver with OpenGL 2.0 and DirectX 11 so that it works properly.Recommended SpecificationsIn case you want to run the LDPlayer without facing any issue, then you should focus on the recommended specifications. The recommended specs for this software are moderate. You will require a RAM of 8GB or higher to run this software on your PC or laptop. Apart from RAM, the LDPlayer demands 100GB of free disk space for better performance.However, you can still run the software even if you have less space. You will need an Intel i5 7500 or a better CPU for the LDPlayer. The NVIDIA GeForce, GTX 750 Ti card, is also in the recommended specifications of this software. Even if your system does not match the recommended specs, you don’t need to bother because you can still run this LDPlayer emulator on your order if you have the minimum suggested requirements. But with the recommended specifications, you can get the best performance of this software, so try to use it on the suggested specs.What You Will Get with LDPlayer?Below are some of the things that you will get with this emulator.Android Experience: This emulator will provide you with a full Android experience. It also presents support to the Android 5.1 and 7.1, which makes it worth trying.Quality Gaming: It offers Android gamers the option to play their preferred games on a PC or a laptop using a mouse and a keyboard. There are no restrictions, so you can play any game you want.Custom Settings: You can do the required setting as per your wish. The emulator allows users to perform settings of an application and a game as per their needs.Multiple Instances: The various instances will be a completely new experience for most of the people. The multiple instances mean that you can play more than one game at a time with this emulator without destroying the gaming experience.No Fee: You don’t need to pay any fees to install this emulator. Most of the emulators demand high charges to run them. However, that is not the case with the LDPlayer. Without worrying about heavy fees or many advertisements, you can use this software, and you will surely enjoy it.Active Updates: In contrast to other emulators, the LDPlayer delivers active updates. Mostly you will get the updates on a monthly basis via this software. You can use the update to enjoy the latest features of the emulator.Reasons to Choose LDPlayerThere are a lot of reasons due to which you might want to select the LDPlayer. However, here we will make you familiar with some of the most important reasons due to which you might desire to try out this software.Better ExperienceA better experience is the prime reason to prefer LDPlayer. Whether you are doing gaming or other Android tasks, this software will take your experience to the next level.It will give you a lot better feel on your PC and laptop as compared to the Android device. You will enjoy every second of using the LDPlayer.No LagRunning a few software on an emulator usually results in lagging. However, with the LDPlayer, you will not go through any such concern. Whether you are using a normal app or playing some high-end games on this emulator, the lag problem will not occur.This is why most people, especially gamers, prefer using this software. The only thing you will need is a better system. If your system has the recommended or the minimum suggested specifications, you don’t have to worry about any problem as it will not occur.Quality SupportMost of the emulators do not support all applications, but that is not the case with this emulator. You can easily run almost all the apps using the LDPlayer with no problem.The quality support of this software makes its second to none. Because of better support, this software is recommended to both gamers and regular users.Multiple ApplicationsThe ability to run various apps simultaneously is another reason to try out the LDPlayer. In most of the emulators, the user can run only a single app at a time. That is not the case with the LDPlayer.In the LDPlayer, you can operate several apps at a time. You can play multiple games simultaneously, which makes this software unique. This software gives the opportunity to run as many games or other apps as you want without causing any problem.User-FriendlyMost of the emulators are hard to use for a beginner because of the complicated interface. If you are using an emulator for the first time, then things may become more hard-to-understand for you. However, with the LDPlayer, there is no such problem because of the user-friendly interface.You can become a professional of this software within a day because it does not have anything complicated in it. Also, the user doesn’t need any technical knowledge while using it, which makes the process effortless.High GraphicsLow graphics is another issue that gamers usually have while playing their favorite game through the emulator. Most of the emulators destroy the graphics of the game, which results in a poor gaming experience.  Also, such emulators reduce the FPS and make the player experience a game full of lag. While with the LDPlayer, that is not the case. This software knows the role of graphics and FPS on a system due to which it has a prime focus on it.The software ensures that it does not harm the visual quality of the game. It focuses on delivering the same high-quality graphics as needed by the player.ConclusionIn case you want to experience your favorite Android game on a PC or a laptop, then you should try the LDPlayer. It will allow you to enjoy the application on a big screen. You can also connect the mouse and a keyboard with this emulator. LDPlayer is quite popular because of its better performance. Also it is the best emulator for PUBG Mobile. The constant updating of the software makes it the best in the market.No matter whether you like playing high-FPS or high graphics games, you can play it using the LDPlayer software. It will make Android gaming a lot better for you. In addition, you can get the experience of playing multiple games at a time through it. Though gaming is the prime focus of this emulator, other Android users can also use it as it runs almost all types of applications. So try the LDPlayer, and you will surely love using it.EDITOR NOTE: This is a promoted post and should not be viewed as an editorial endorsement.

Social Distancing Bundle: A lifetime of Rosetta Stone, VPN, and more

In today’s climate we find ourselves working from home and often staying away from others. We’re changing habits in both personal and professional settings as we grapple with the “new normal.”Some of us have more free time simply because we’re not going out as often. What do you do with your evenings, weekends, or spare moments? Why not use it to learn new languages or become versed in various topics?The Social Distancing Lifetime Subscription Bundle, available in the AndroidGuys Deals Store for $199, is the well-rounded kit that you never knew you needed.Included in the bundle are lifetime subscriptions to Rosetta Stone, 12min books, and KeepSolid VPN. It’s everything you need to master up to 24 languages, immerse yourself in new fields, and stay safe in the process.12min Premium Micro Book Library: Lifetime SubscriptionNot enough hours in the day to get through your reading list? You’ll only need 12 minutes to finish your next book with 12min! This innovative platform gives you access to hundreds of micro books in text and narrative form for you to absorb in just 12 minutes each. Every month, you’ll get 30 new titles so you can keep learning new things well into the future.Rosetta Stone Unlimited Access: Lifetime Subscription (24 Languages)If your dream is to master a foreign language, there’s no better teacher than Rosetta Stone. With its intuitive, immersive training method, Rosetta Stone will have you reading, writing, and speaking new languages like a natural in no time. You’ll start by matching words with images just like when you learned your native language as a child. Then you’ll move onto interactive lessons where speech recognition technology works to evaluate and improve your accent with instant feedback.KeepSolid VPN Unlimited: Lifetime SubscriptionWhether you’re using a private internet connection or public Wi-Fi, your online privacy and security is far from guaranteed. With top-rated solution VPN Unlimited, you can regain control over your digital life with full security and anonymity online. There are no speed or bandwidth limits, so you’ll still enjoy full browsing speeds, without the dangers of leaving your data exposed or the geographic restrictions set on certain websites abroad.Buy the Bundle!Valued at more than $800 for the whole bundle, you can purchase it from the AG Deals Store for just $199. They’re all three yours for as long as you live.Best SellersEarn Credits!For every $25 you spend in the AG Deals Store you get $1 credit added to your account. And, if you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.First Time Buying?If this is your first time buying, you are also eligible for 10% discount! Just be sure to subscribe for email updates.Free StuffNot looking to spend any money today? No worries. You can still visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and pick something anyhow.

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