So after an extensive research you finally decided to give your child an iPad, that’s great! But then you start looking for iPads and suddenly you are lost in a sea of tablet devices that look very similar. It can get confusing really fast!
First let’s recap all the available iPads with its pros and cons to help you figure it out!:
How do you identify an iPad 1? The first iPad didn’t came with a camera, so that’s the easy way; it’s also bulkier and heavier than the current model. You may find them really cheap but beware, while most apps say they work with any iPad on 5.0 iOS, a lot of users claim this iPad hasn’t aged very well and it is really slow, and given the fact that it will not receive any further updates it’s best to think twice before choosing this model.
This is the favorite model of many, this iPad will run most apps flawlessly, battery life is great, and you can find them used at a price range from $250 to $350 for Wi-Fi models. While this iPad does not have the eye-catching retina display, the image quality is fairly good and it won’t disappoint you. You can also buy them brand new directly from Apple but our suggestion is to find a used one in good condition since it will be a lot cheaper than the $400 you will pay to Apple. The only drawback would be if you want to see HD content or games with high-level graphics since it’s not that powerful.
iPad 3 (The new iPad)
This iPad is very peculiar; it’s the first iPad to carry with a Retina Display that looks completely stunning, also the performance bump from the iPad 2 was surprising, you will have no trouble running HD content or doing heavy multitasking, it also includes a far better camera that records video in 1080p and takes 5MP pictures. The reason why this model is peculiar is because it was discontinued a few months after its release, the updated iPad 4 did not bring any screen upgrades or any major performance bumps. But its discontinued status gives it the advantage of being cheaper than the current model while performing just as well as the new one, the cons are that it doesn’t includes the new lighting port present on all current iOS devices, the front facing camera is only 0.3MP and some users have reported the device can get a little bit too hot.
iPad 4 (iPad with Retina Display)
The latest model; you won’t find it with the iPad 4 name but rather with the codename iPad with Retina display. This comes with the new A6X processor which makes it one of the fastest tablets on the market; you will never see this iPad slowing doing with anything (at least for now). The rear-camera remains the same but the front-facing camera received an upgrade to a 1.3MP camera which gives this iPad the ability to do HD FaceTime calls and the brand new Lighting port. This is the more expensive model but also the newest, so if you’re looking for the better (performance-wise) iPad, this is it. A disadvantage comes with the new Lighting connector since it’s not compatible with your older accessories unless you buy an adapter which can get lost really quick!
You can call this model one of the newest too but the Mini belongs to another category since its specs don’t match the iPad with Retina display; it’s more focused on transportability being smaller and lighter. It has almost the same specs as the iPad 2 so you won’t have much trouble with its performance; the only difference is that this comes with the new Lighting port and a better camera (1.2MP). It’s relatively cheap ($320 for the basic model) and a great choice if your child does not have a problem with the smaller 7-inch screen.
The Winner: iPad 2 (used)
Why? It’s one of the cheaper models; it will run most apps without hiccups, the screen is more than enough for regular use, battery life will be great even in used models. Of course you need to find one in good condition. Things to look after a used iPad are usually scratches, dents, good-shape buttons (especially the home button) and feel free to ask if the iPad has been repaired before (which could cause trouble later). We think this iPad fits child’s needs just fine and it won’t hurt your pocket!
Runner up: iPad 4
Why? We are aware this iPad means a big investment ($500 for the base Wi-Fi model) but if you want a brand new device that will work without any problem for the next few years then this is it, and according to Mac Rumor’s Buyer Guide it’s the right time to get one!.
Take a look around Apple’s refurbished section on their website, you can find great deals like an iPad 2 for $320, the good thing about refurbished devices is that they get completely new parts and they go through some serious testing before going on sale again, it also comes with a 1-year warranty!
What do you think about our winner?