What are the differences between iPad versions?

Chris Torney / 14 January 2016

What are the different types of iPad available and how does each version differ in terms of screen size, price, memory and weight?



If your heart is set on an iPad – either as your first-ever model or to replace an older tablet – it can be difficult to choose the right one.

Screen size, weight, processor speed, memory capacity and whether you can use it while on the move are all factors to take into account.

To help you make your decision, we’ve taken a look at the types of iPad currently available.

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iPad Mini

At the moment, Apple is selling both the iPad Mini 2 and the iPad Mini 4 (versions 1 and 3 have been phased out). 

The Minis have a 20cm (7.9in) screen (measured diagonally) and, as well as being smaller than the other options, the Minis weigh a lot less – the lightest Mini 4 weighs under 300g (10.5oz).

So Minis are easier to carry around but have a smaller viewing area, which means that films don’t look quite as impressive and websites can be harder to read.

The Mini 4 is thinner and lighter than the Mini 2, and it has a faster processor – it’s a bit more expensive too.

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A basic Mini 4 with the ability to connect to the internet only via Wi-Fi costs £319 from Apple compared with £219 for the Mini 2 – this is for models with 16GB storage. 

If you want to be able to go online via a mobile phone network while out and about, the starting costs are £419 and £319 respectively – but you will also need a phone contract with the likes of Vodafone or O2, so you might get a better deal from a network directly.

The maximum storage option on the Mini 4 is 128GB, which costs £479 (or £579 if you want mobile internet as well). But this will allow you to keep a lot of films or music on the device, which can be useful on longer journeys or trips if you don’t have internet access.

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iPad Air

The Air has replaced the original iPad, and you can now buy the Air and the Air 2. The latter is a bit thinner and lighter and has a faster processor – the differences are much the same as between the Mini 2 and Mini 4.

With the Air, you’re paying a bit more for a bigger screen: it’s almost 25cm (9.7in) across, giving a considerably larger viewing area. But it is heavier too, at roughly 450g (1lb).

Basic 16GB models cost £319 for the Air and £399 for the Air 2; an Air 2 with 128GB storage costs £559. 

Again, you can opt for mobile internet access but this will increase prices considerably.

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iPad Pro

Launched last autumn, the iPad Pro is Apple’s biggest and best tablet: its screen is almost 33cm (12.9in) across and it has a super-fast processor. 

On the downside, it is much less easy to carry around (it weighs 700g or 1.5lbs) and it costs significantly more. 

The basic 32GB model is £679 while for 128GB storage you’ll need to spend £799 – add £100 to that for mobile internet access.

* The prices quoted are from the Apple Store. In general, other retailers do not offer significant discounts on iPads – certainly not the latest models.

For more tips and useful information, browse our technology articles.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.