A List of iPad Generations and Models
Apple typically comes out with at least one new iPad generation every year. With so many available products, it’s easy to lose track of everything Apple has to offer in the iPad department. This might be frustrating if you’re looking to buy one of these handy devices. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of all the available iPad products to help clear up any confusion about your choices.
Keep reading for a complete overview of iPad generations and models.
The Differences Between iPad Generations
You might be wondering why Apple keeps coming out with new iPad generations each year. The answer is quite simple. Each new iPad generation model typically performs significantly better than its predecessor.
Apple generally doesn’t interfere with the physical aspect too much. The company might add new colors or tweak the device’s size, but the overall design remains relatively constant.
The upgrades primarily pertain to the inner workings of an iPad. A new generation model usually comes with new features and more powerful chips.
Apple currently offers four main iPad models:
- iPad mini
- iPad Air
- iPad Pro
Each model gets new additions regularly, with new generations coming to the market every year.
Although Apple has discontinued some generations, you can still find them at other retailers.
The standard edition of the iPad might be the least advanced, but it’s also the most affordable option.
The newest addition came out in 2021. The ninth-generation 10.2-inch iPad uses the A13 Bionic chip, also used in the iPhone 11. Although far behind the most powerful iPad chip, the A13 Bionic offers excellent performance and great value for the money.
As far as storage goes, baseline models offer 64GB, but you can go for the 256GB option if you need more space.
It features a 10.2-inch LCD screen with a 2,160-by-1,620-pixel resolution. Apple added a True Tone feature that adjusts color balance based on the lighting conditions.
The front-facing camera also boasts significant improvements compared to previous iPad models. The selfie camera is now 12MP, nearly double the resolution of its predecessor. The rear-facing camera has remained 8MP.
The iPad is a versatile entertainment device with many functions that offer excellent value compared to its price.
As of 2022, Apple has come out with nine generations of the regular iPad model.
- Ninth Generation: 10.2-inch iPad released in 2021.
- Eighth Generation: 10.2-inch iPad released in 2020.
- Seventh Generation: 10.2-inch iPad released in 2019.
- Sixth Generation: 9.7-inch iPad released in 2018.
- Fifth Generation: 9.7-inch iPad released in 2017.
- Fourth Generation: 9.7-inch iPad with Retina display released in 2012.
- Third Generation: 9.7-inch iPad released in 2012.
- Second Generation: 9.7-inch iPad 2 released in 2011.
- First Generation: 9.7-inch iPad released in 2010.
Note that Apple has discontinued all generations preceding the 2021 iPad.
Apple came out with the latest generation of iPad mini in 2021. This model outperforms the standard iPad in the CPU department with an A15 Bionic chip.
When it comes to the camera, both front and rear-facing cameras are 12MP. The former features an ultra-wide sensor, while the latter includes True Tone flash and Smart HDR features.
The 2021 iPad mini features an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display with a 2,266-by-1,488-pixel resolution. Although this model lacks the iPad Pro’s ProMotion technology, it makes up for it with the matching True Tone and P3 Wide Color models.
The iPad mini is small in size but mighty in performance. It’s a perfect choice if you find the other models too bulky.
iPad Mini Generations
The iPad mini currently stands at six generations.
- Sixth Generation: 8.3-inch iPad mini released in 2021.
- Fifth Generation: 7.9-inch iPad mini released in 2019.
- Fourth Generation: 7.9-inch iPad mini released in 2015.
- Third Generation: 7.9-inch iPad mini released in 2014.
- Second Generation: 7.9-inch iPad mini released in 2013.
- First Generation: 7.9-inch iPad mini released in 2012.
The 2021 iPad mini is the only model currently being sold. Apple has discontinued all the previous versions.
For years, the iPad Air has offered a middle ground between the budget-friendly iPad and the powerful but high-priced iPad Pro.
However, the 2022 iPad Air made some serious advances toward the iPad Pro side. This fifth-generation iPad Air is also the latest addition to the iPad family.
The most significant upgrade is the M1 chip, which you can also find in the iPad Pro. This impressive chip can rival desktop-level processors. Not only does the 2022 iPad Air contain this powerhouse chip, but it’s also the most affordable M1 device on the market.
This model’s screen hasn’t been changed significantly. It’s a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina LCD screen with a 2,360-by-1,640-pixel resolution. While this is the same pixel density as the iPad Pro, the iPad Air can’t get as bright as the Pro model. However, its screen still offers a substantial brightness of 500 nits.
The front-facing camera has had a notable upgrade, from 7MP to 12MP. It comes with an ultrawide sensor with Center Stage.
If you’d like the premium look and performance of the iPad Pro without breaking the bank, the iPad Air might be your best option.
iPad Air Generations
If you’re interested in purchasing an iPad Air, you can choose from five generations.
- Fifth Generation: 10.9-inch iPad Air released in 2022.
- Fourth Generation: 10.9-inch iPad Air released in 2020.
- Third Generation: 10.5-inch iPad Air released in 2019.
- Second Generation: 9.7-inch iPad Air 2 released in 2014.
- First Generation: 9.7-inch iPad Air released in 2013.
The fifth generation of iPad Air is the only one not discontinued by Apple.
The name of this model is pretty self-explanatory. The iPad Pro is a professional tablet, offering superior processing power and screen quality.
Apple launched the latest iPad Pro generation in 2021. As with every previous generation, the fifth generation offers two models of different sizes: 11 inches and 12.9 inches.
iPad Pro’s most notable feature is the M1 chip that can handle almost any processing task you might have.
The newest addition to the iPad Air series caught up to iPad Pro in the CPU department. However, the iPad Pro offers a smoother screen with ProMotion technology and multiple rear-facing cameras. Another unique feature is the ability to choose between two sizes.
The only considerable difference between these two iPad Pro models is the size of the Liquid Retina display.
- 11-inch model: 2,388 by 1,688 pixels
- 12.9-inch model: 2,732 by 2,048 pixels
The smaller version is equipped with True Tone technology and Wide Color support.
In addition to these features, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro also includes a mini-LED backlight system. This increases the screen’s brightness and helps control the screen’s light output.
The 2021 iPad Pro boasts multiple impressive cameras:
- 12MP wide-angle rear-facing camera
- 10MP ultra-wide rear-facing camera with a LiDAR scanner
- 12MP TrueDepth front-facing camera with Face ID
What sets these rear cameras apart from other iPad cameras is the ability to record 4K videos.
If you’re an artist, designer, or editor, the iPad Pro might be a worthwhile investment.
iPad Pro Generations
The iPad Pro is undoubtedly the most advanced iPad model. If its powerful features appeal to you, you can buy one of the 10 available models.
Each generation of iPad Pro models comes in two sizes. Apple releases both sizes simultaneously, with the first generation being the only exception.
- Fifth Generation: 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pro released in 2021.
- Fourth Generation: 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pro released in 2020.
- Third Generation: 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pro released in 2018.
- Second Generation: 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pro released in 2017.
- First Generation: 12.9-inch iPad Pro released in 2015 and 9.7-inch iPad Pro released in 2016.
The 2021 iPad Pro is currently sold in both sizes. All the previous models have been discontinued by Apple.
Now that you know every iPad model and generation Apple has ever come out with, it’s up to you to take your pick.
It can be challenging to make up your mind with many available options. This guide has also gone through the most prominent features of each iPad model to help you make an informed decision.
Have you considered getting an iPad? Which model appeals to you the most? Let us know in the comments section below.