What Is the Newest Version of the iPad?

Stay up to date on Apple tablets

If you're in the market for an iPad, you probably want the newest one Apple has to offer. This gets you all of the latest features, and it means your tablet will receive software support and updates for years to come.

With so many types and sizes of iPads to choose from, it's hard to know which are the newest models. Here's a quick rundown of the latest versions of every type of iPad.

iPad Pro

The 12.9-inch (5th generation) and 11-inch (3rd generation) iPad Pros

The iPad Pro is Apple's most technologically advanced tablet, and it was the first to use the company's stylus, the Apple Pencil. The latest iPad Pro versions come in two sizes. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is currently in its 5th generation, and the 11-inch iPad Pro is in its 3rd generation.

Other than those roughly two inches of real estate, the hardware is the same. Both tablets got a performance boost with Apple's new M1 processor and an improved camera that includes Center Stage technology.

They're also missing the same features that other tablets have. Specifically, neither has a Home button, which means you can't secure it with a fingerprint using Touch ID. However, both models support Face ID, which locks your iPad until the camera sees your face. The iPad Pro doesn't have a headphone jack, either, so you'll need an adapter or a set of Bluetooth headphones to listen to music privately.

But for speed, storage, and overall performance, these are the most heavyweight tablets Apple sells.

iPad Air

Apple's iPad Air 4 in a variety of colors

The iPad Air is currently in its 4th generation, released in 2020. It isn't as fast as the Pro, but it's more affordable and has some of the same features.

It's compatible with the second-generation Apple Pencil, which means you can make full use of some of the advanced creativity apps that the stylus was made for. It also has a True Tone display, which adjusts the color and brightness of the screen based on ambient conditions.

It has an A14 Bionic processor, so it's fast and makes multitasking fluid. The previous-generation iPad Air had a Home button and Touch ID biometric authentication, but the fourth-generation model got rid of the Home button, integrating its functions into the side sleep-wake button. This iPad Air kept Touch ID and added some handy features, such as showing a pulsing box during setup.

The fourth-generation iPad Air supports USB-C, so you can use USB-C storage devices and chargers.

iPad Mini

Apple's iPad Mini 5

The newest iPad Mini is the fifth generation of the small-sized Apple tablet. The Mini is the choice for people who want a smaller, more portable tablet.

Its screen is 7.9 inches, which is smaller than the ones on other models. But it's compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil and packs a powerful A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine. The Mini is similar to the larger tablet; the only significant difference is its size.


Apple's 8th generation iPad

2020's model is the 8th version of the iPad. It's the most affordable version of the tablet, cheaper than the Mini despite its larger, 10.2-inch screen. But it's also the least powerful iPad currently available.

This iPad model supports the first-generation Apple Pencil. It carries an A12 bionic processor, promises up to 10 hours of battery life from its 32-watt-hour cell battery, and has lower-resolution cameras (1.2 MP/8 MP). Apple aimed this less-featured iPad toward casual tablet users and educators.

It's the best pick for people who want an Apple tablet but don't need all of the features and performance of the other models.

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