which Apple tablet to choose in 2021?

For more than 10 years, Apple has regularly renewed the iPad, its benchmark tablet. Today, the range includes several models, adapted to different uses. We help you make the right choice.

The iPad guide in summary:

  • iPad Air of 2020 (€ 599): the best the iPad has to offer
  • iPad of 2020 (€ 369.99): the very affordable iPad, but not much less powerful
  • iPad Pro from 2021 (€ 1,219): a real tool for professionals

The first iPad was released in 2010. Since then, the Apple tablet has become a benchmark in this category which targets both the general public and professionals. For a long time, Apple’s slate was an expensive item reserved for enthusiasts. More extensive, the iPad range now meets more needs.

Faced with the proliferation of references, choosing your iPad can however turn into a puzzle. Our selection will help you find the model that best suits your needs.

The best iPads in 2021

The right choice: iPad Air (2020)

Apple’s iPad Air 2020 // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

The iPad Air has long been the essential iPad. When Apple relaunched it in 2019, however, we wondered what would be its place between a simple, affordable iPad and an iPad Pro with cutting-edge features. The division of the range was clarified with the launch of the iPad Air 4, which takes the design of the iPad Pro without Face ID technology (replaced by Touch ID, cleverly integrated into the power button).

With this aesthetic change, the iPad Air regains its rightful place: that of an excellent tablet at a lower price than a Pro model but suitable for a demanding audience. It allows you to acquire a high-end product, while saving a few hundred euros (599 €).

Because if it is not a “Pro” version, the iPad Air still offers a high-quality experience, whether for work or entertainment. Between the overpowered A14 processor, engraved in 5 nanometers, the edge-to-edge Liquid Retina screen of 10.9 inches and the compatibility with accessories like the Apple Pencil (second generation) and keyboards, you will have in your hands a tablet versatile and ready for the future. For us, it brings together “the best of the iPad Pro”.

Who is the iPad Air 4 for? For those who want a great tablet, but don’t need the expensive features of the iPad Pro (LiDAR, Face ID, best photographic sensors).

The unbeatable price / quality ratio: the iPad (2020)

iPad 2020 and Smart Keyboard // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

For a long time, the iPad was that overpriced product that only a handful of users could afford. Today, Apple has sufficiently expanded its range to address a wide audience. The iPad is for those on a smaller budget. And if it does not offer significant innovation, it is a must-have product. The iPad provides access to a high-performance tablet at a lower cost – under the bar of € 400.

This model does not offer the best of screens (even if it has gone to 10.2-inch format), or state-of-the-art processor (the famous M1 chip, is reserved for the high-end). Apple’s tablet, however, has enough endurance to last a long time, and be suitable for a maximum of uses. Students can use it to take notes during class (thanks to compatibility with first-generation Apple Pencil and keyboards), or watch a Netflix series at night after a long day.

Who is the iPad (2020) for? For those who want a powerful and versatile tablet, without breaking the bank. Of course, there are concessions to be made.

Excellence at a gold price: the iPad Pro (2021)

iPad Pro 2021 // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

In 2021, Apple is renewing its iPad Pro, its most high-end reference. Two changes should be noted: the M1 chip, first introduced on MacBooks, and the switch to a mini LED screen (for the 12.9-inch format). These developments allow the iPad Pro to be an even more premium product: the M1 chip guarantees unprecedented power in the tablet market, while the mini LED screen allows a better quality display (with deeper blacks). , for example). To consume movies and series, the iPad Pro offers a first-rate experience – a tablet of goldsmith as we indicated in our test.

Truth be told, the iPad Pro is so powerful it probably will be a bit too much for the vast majority of users. It is in any case equipped with all the characteristics to expect from such a product: a LiDAR to take measurements with precision, a photo equipment that is no longer behind, compatibility with a maximum of productivity accessories, a processor ready for the future …

This does not mean that the iPad Pro will be able to replace a computer, however. It all depends on the job. But those who are already comfortable working on a tablet, despite the limitations of iPadOS, will not find better than the iPad Pro. A machine at a gold price (more than 1,200 € is more than a MacBook Air) but with incredible performance and which will accompany them for years.

Who is the iPad Pro (2021) for? For those who have extensive uses on tablets and therefore really need the best on a daily basis.

How to choose the right iPad

An iPad, basically, what is it for?

At a time when smartphones are always larger and more efficient, one might wonder if tablets are still of interest. The product is positioned between a telephone (for the practical and mobile side) and the PC (for screen comfort). It is not fundamentally essential but it is a connected object that we love to have on hand, once we have tasted it. For entertainment, surfing the web or viewing your photo gallery, an iPad offers the best possible ergonomics.

Can an iPad replace my PC?

The question arises more and more as iPadOS gains functionality close to a PC operating system. But the answer is far from clear. For basic tasks (surfing the internet, placing orders, checking emails), an iPad will do the trick and even offer a better experience.

For professional use, the question is more thorny and really depends on the nature of the trade. Some professionals will appreciate the practicality of the touch screen, on which you can scribble with a stylus, while others will rail at the difficulty of displaying several windows. For some tasks, a computer is more efficient. So there is no one-size-fits-all answer, just on a case-by-case basis.

Should we take the LTE option of iPads?

An iPad, whatever it is, connects to the Internet with Wi-Fi. The LTE option, however, allows you to add a SIM in order to access the cellular network (up to 5G). This characteristic automatically increases the invoice (more than 100 €). It is aimed at those who travel often and do not always have a Wi-Fi connection available. Remember that it is otherwise always possible to use the cellular network of your phone – by activating connection sharing. Only problem? The battery of your smartphone will quickly be drained in this case.

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