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Apple has released 20 versions of its flagship tablet since its premiere in 2010. Here’s how it has transformed and evolved.
The original iPad came out in April of 2010, and featured Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G editions. This first-generation iPad functioned almost the same way as the iPod Touch did at the time. The biggest thing the first model lacked, however, was a camera. It did have the old-school 30-pin connector and headphone jack. Coming with either 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of storage and 256MB of RAM, the first iPad was definitely a starting point for Apple.
2. iPad 2
The iPad 2 came out in 2011, and brought a camera to the device. With dual-facing cameras, the iPad 2 gave users the ability to take pictures, record movies, and host video chats. The second generation doubled the processing speed, and featured a more powerful graphics processor. This iPad is slightly thinner and lighter than its predecessor, already starting the movement toward Apple’s lightweight devices.
3. iPad (3rd generation)
The third generation iPad featured a 2056 x 1536 retina display, the highest resolution yet on the iPad. It has the same basic processor as the iPad 2 and the same basic exterior look, but this model brings 4G into the mix. This model also had an updated graphics chip to help power the updated display.
4. iPad Mini
The first iPad Mini came out in late 2012 with a 7.9-inch display. Powered by the same processor as the iPad 2, the iPad Mini retained the 4G compatibility offered in the third generation iPad. This model brought the lightning connector to iPads, changing the plug needed to charge it. The iPad Mini had both Facetime HD and iSight cameras.
5. iPad (4th generation)
The fourth generation iPad released took the form of a surprise announcement during the release of the iPad Mini, which angered many of those who purchased the third generation iPad just earlier that year. This is the first full-size iPad to have the lightning connector port. Having the same basic features of the third generation iPad, this iPad has a much more powerful processor (1.4 GHz Dual-Core Apple Swift) and greater memory (1GB).
6. iPad Mini 2
The iPad Mini 2 upped it’s processing game from the original Mini. At a 1.4 GHz Dual Core 64-bit Apple A7 with Apple M7 Motion Co-Processor, the small device packs a big punch. People loved its 7.9-inch Retina display, making it a fan favorite.
7. iPad Air
The iPad Air is almost identical to the iPad Mini 2 in function. However, it features a larger 9.7-inch Retina display, which made it considered a full-size iPad. Its 64-bit processor was twice as powerful as the iPad 4, and its slim, light form made it especially appealing. But if you didn’t mind a smaller screen, the iPad Mini 2 was essentially a less expensive version.
8. iPad Mini 3
The iPad Mini 3 takes the exact same form as the iPad Mini 2, except that it has a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The Touch ID supports purchasing apps, using Apple Pay, and unlocking your iPad, all with your fingerprint.
9. iPad Air 2
The iPad Air 2, released in 2014, was a big move away from the normal iPads. Previous iPad models mimicked the latest iPhone of the time. The iPad Air 2, however, is powered by the first triple-core processor, running much faster than the popular iPhone 6 that year. The memory is also updated from 1GB to 2GB.
10. iPad Pro (12.9-inch)
The iPad Pro made iPads bigger and better than ever before. With a 12.9-inch display, this iPad is a giant compared to the 9.7-inch iPad Air. Not only is it bigger, but it’s more powerful, with an A9X processor, doubling the processing power of the iPad Air 2. This iPad is also the first one to support the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil.
11. iPad Mini 4
The iPad Mini 4 was announced during the release of the iPad Pro in 2015. The Mini 4 essentially pushed the third generation Mini out of existence, making the Mini 2 and Mini 4 the most popular small iPads on the market. The iPad Mini 4 has the same processing power as the iPad Air 2 (1.5 GHz Tri-Core 64-bit Apple A8X w/Apple M8 Motion Co-Processor), which is a big upgrade from the Mini 3’s A7. It also has 2GB of memory, which is a lot of memory for such a small device.
12. iPad Pro (9.7-inch)
This iPad Pro is a smaller version of the 12.9-inch device, but features a much better display, adding True Tone and decreased bright light reflection. This iPad has a 12 MP camera, with flash, capable of Live photos. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is also compatible with the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil.
13. The iPad
The 2017 fifth generation addition to the iPad family came as a surprise to many consumers, who expected a new iPad Pro or iPad Air. This iPad is basically just an iPad Air 2, but with a faster processor (A9) and a slightly better 8MP camera.
14. iPad Pro (10.5-inch)
This version of iPad Pro decreases the size of the bezel surrounding the display, stretching the screen to 10.5 inches. Matching the 12.9-inch model in performance and power, the 10.5-inch iPad gives you the same functioning you love, but in a more manageable size and price.
15. iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation)
The second generation iPad pro brings the True Tone display from the 9.7-inch version to the 12.9-inch one. The wide color display makes for a great device to watch movies or television shows on. Additionally, videos you record with the 12 MP rear-facing camera will be more exciting to watch on the bigger screen.
16. iPad (6th generation)
The updated device adds Apple Pencil capabilities to the iPad. The iPad also gets a bump in processing power, moving up from an Apple A9 to the A10 Fusion, the same processor in the iPhone 7.
17. iPad Pro 2018
The latest iPad Pro was introduced at Apple’s October 2018 special event in New York. Apple claims this iPad to be the “most advanced, powerful iPad ever.” Coming in 11 and 12.9-inch models, the iPad Pro features a liquid retina display, A12X bionic chip, and Face ID. Geared towards business professionals, this iPad is the first to support Apple Pencil, making it even more functional for the enterprise. The 2018 version of the iPad Pro as squared edges, no home button, thinner bezels, and a wider display. Coming in Silver and Space Gray, this iPad starts at $799.
18. iPad Mini 2019
The new 7.9-inch iPad Mini looks almost identical to its previous model, however, the inside is much different. Housing the A12 Bionic chip, this updated device offers three times the performance speed and nine times faster graphics compared to last generation. It also features True Tone Retina display and is 25% brighter than the old model. The most talked about addition to the latest iPad Mini is the Apple Pencil support, which is great for graphic designers and creators.
19. iPad Air 2019
Apple’s 10.5-inch iPad Air, announced in March 2019, features the A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine, offering a 70% boost in performance and twice the graphics capabilities as the last model. At an affordable starting price of $499, the iPad Air hosts support for both the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. A much needed update since its 2014 version, this Apple iPad is a great option for Apple users wanting a solid performing iPad, at a better price.
20. iPad (7th generation)
The latest iPad, the iPad Series 5, released at the September 2019 event, is a 10.2-inch tablet. This iPad is “a magical piece of glass that can be anything we want it to be,” according to Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of product marketing, said during the event. With an A10 fusion chip and an all-day battery life, the device is compatible with the Apple Pencil stylus and detachable keyboard. Starting at $329, and $299 for educators, the new iPad will be in stores Sept. 30.
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