Friday, June 21, 2024

5 tablets you should buy instead of the iPad Pro (2024)

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M4 iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard.iPad Pro (M4) Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

The iPad Pro is Apple’s top-tier iPad model, and Apple finally gave it a big refresh after a year-and-a-half drought. The iPad Pro (2024) comes in two sizes — 11 inches and 13 inches — and packs in the latest silicon with the powerful M4 chip. Models with 1TB or 2TB even have a new nano-texture finish over the display, which is more anti-reflective than the regular models.

Contents

  • iPad Air (2024)
  • iPad Pro (2022)
  • iPad (2022)
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra
  • OnePlus Pad

But as great as the newest iPad Pro is, you can’t deny it — the iPad Pro is very pricey. It also still runs iPadOS, which still has its own set of limitations. Here are some great alternatives you could consider instead of the iPad Pro (2024).

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iPad Air (2024)

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The iPad Pro (2024) wasn’t the only new iPad that Apple released this year — there’s also the iPad Air (2024).

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Apple actually made the new iPad Air closer to the iPad Pro this year. That’s because it now comes in two varieties: 11-inch and 13-inch, just like the iPad Pro. So now, if you want the largest iPad model, you don’t have to shell out over four digits for one, as the 13-inch iPad Air is well under $1,000.

While the iPad Air (2024) doesn’t have the new OLED display found on the iPad Pro (2024), the LED Liquid Retina display is still beautiful and perfectly fine for most people. Colors are vibrant, the brightness is high enough to use comfortably no matter where you are, and it has minimal reflection.

The only negative aspect of the iPad Air (2024) display is that it still uses a 60Hz refresh rate. It would have been great if Apple had given the iPad Air the ProMotion 120Hz display, even if it made the Air and the Pro a bit too similar. Still, for most people, this is not a dealbreaker, as the iPad Air screen is still pretty great.

The iPad Air (2024) also got a spec bump with the M2 chip inside, rather than the M1 of its predecessor. With the M2, you get plenty of power and performance, and for the average person, this will be more than enough. The M2 can handle your basic tasks with ease while also providing some extra power for intense games and entertainment.

Though no one should really be buying an iPad for its camera, the iPad Air (2024) has the same 12MP main camera as the iPad Pro (2024). It takes decent enough photos in a pinch, but it’s also good for scanning documents. You also have a 12MP front-facing camera that will work fine for video calls and selfies.

The iPad Air (2024) may not be as thin as the new iPad Pro (2024) or have the M4 chip, but it now comes in a larger size and is still very capable. And it’s also much cheaper!

iPad Pro (2022)

iPad Pro 2022 Joe Maring / Digital Trends

If you still have your heart set on an iPad Pro, you could also consider the 2022 models. Even though they’re the previous generation, they are still very powerful tablets, and it’s not hard to find them at a discount now that the new models are out.

The iPad Pro (2022) still comes in two sizes: 11-inch and 12.9-inch. The 11-inch has the regular Liquid Retina display, not the brighter Liquid Retina XDR display. The displays still look great, though, with vivid colors and deep blacks, sharp and crisp text, and the 120Hz ProMotion display.

And even though the iPad Pro (2022) uses the older M2 chip, it’s still very fast and has powerful performance. For most people, the M2 chip will be (more than) enough for everyday tasks, watching videos, playing games, photo and video editing, drawing, and more. And with up to 2TB storage, there’s plenty of room for all of your files.

If you don’t need the latest and greatest, then the iPad Pro (2022) is still a fantastic tablet. Plus, you can definitely save some money going for this model over the latest one, as retailers may be trying to get rid of inventory.

iPad (2022)

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

When you look at the tablet market, it’s very clear that Apple is dominating it with the iPad. And despite the iPad Pro being the “best” iPad that is offered, not everyone needs all that power. If you wanted an iPad Pro just because you want an iPad, then you could even consider the standard base model iPad (2022).

With the iPad (2022), you have one size: 10.9-inches. It also only has a Liquid Retina LED display, but like other iPad models we’ve already mentioned, Apple’s still impressive with the regular LED screens, as colors are bright and vivid, and text appears sharp and crisp. Though you only have a 60Hz refresh rate, for most people this won’t be super noticeable.

The iPad (2022) uses Apple’s older A14 Bionic chip, which may not be as beastly as the M-Series chips but still provides good power and efficiency for the average user. It’s fast enough to run iPadOS 17 and handle your daily tasks, and if you just want to use an iPad for consuming media (as most people probably do), then this is perfectly fine for the job.

Plus, if you just need an iPad, this is the one to get that won’t cost an arm and a leg. At the recently reduced price of just $350, there’s never been a better time to buy the iPad.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

If you’re considering the larger 13-inch iPad Pro (2024), then you might want to take a look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra too. As long as you don’t mind switching to Android, of course.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra is the Android equivalent of the larger iPad Pro. In fact, it’s actually even bigger than the 13-inch iPad Pro (2024) if that’s what you’re looking for. The Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra boasts a massive 14.6-inch AMOLED display, which is one of the absolute best displays you can get. It sports a 2960 by 1848 pixel resolution with HDR10+ support and a 120Hz refresh rate. No matter what you’re looking at, it will look gorgeous with vibrant colors and sharp, crisp text. And scrolling will be buttery smooth.

This massive tablet also uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip, which means incredible power and performance, especially when paired with 16GB RAM. This is easily a laptop replacement if you want it to be. You also get 256GB of internal storage, and there is a microSD card slot so you can expand your storage if needed.

Though Android is usually not optimized for tablets, Samsung has solved this issue with Samsung DeX, which turns the normal Android interface into something reminiscent of Windows. This already is a big advantage over iPadOS, which doesn’t have any such mode to make it more streamlined for power users.

The Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra starts off around the same price as the 13-inch iPad Pro (2024). So, if you don’t mind switching platforms, you can find a little more versatility with the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra.

OnePlus Pad

Tushar Mehta / Digital Trends

Another great tablet option, as long as you don’t mind switching to Android, is the OnePlus Pad. It definitely stands out among the crowded tablet space with a unique design and beautiful color that will certainly turn heads.

The OnePlus Pad sports an 11.61-inch LCD display, which is equivalent to the smaller 11-inch iPad Pro (2024). It has a 2800 by 2000 pixel resolution and an impressive 144Hz refresh rate on the display. Now, the 144Hz refresh rate will only work in certain apps and games, but for everything else, it will be 120Hz. And even though it’s LCD, it still looks great with bright colors and deep blacks — the OnePlus Pad is great for media consumption.

OnePlus equipped the OnePlus Pad with a MediaTek Dimensity 9000 chip, 8GB RAM, and 128GB of storage. The company claims that the OnePlus Pad has enough power to run up to 24 apps at once through multitasking. This is a bit overkill for most people, but hey, the capability is there! It definitely beats the slightly more limited capability of iPadOS.

Another great strength of the OnePlus Pad is its battery life. Its 9,510mAh battery can easily last a full day or more. It can also last about a month on standby, or up to 50 days if you don’t have accessories connected or background apps running. With 67W wired charging speeds, it’s one of the fastest-charging tablets out there.

The OnePlus Pad is a great alternative to the 11-inch iPad Pro, especially since it’s half the cost.

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