Updated: Best iPad 2016: how to choose the right one for you

For many, the word tablet is synonymous with the word iPad, but even if you’ve decided that Android and Windows slates aren’t for you that’s only half the battle, as Apple’s ever growing range of portable powerhouses provides a lot of options.

Do you want a compact 7.9-inch screen, a well-rounded 9.7 inches or a massive 12.9-inch monster? Do you need top tier power or are you fine with more modest specs? Are you looking for a real laptop replacement or just a convenient way to browse the web?

Whatever the case there’s an iPad for you and to make it easier to sift through them and find the right one we’ve highlighted all the choices, in a clear, concise way, so boot up your old tablet one last time, read through our rundown and get ready to upgrade.

  • Looking for an Android tablet instead? Check out our best tablet ranking.

In reverse chronological order, from the brand new iPad Pro 9.7 to the budget friendly iPad mini 2, here’s our guide to the best iPad for you.

iPad Pro 9.7

iPad Pro 9 7

For the average user the iPad Pro 9.7 is one of the best all-round options, or it is if money is no object anyway, as it starts at £499 (US$599, AU$899) and if you want more than 32GB of storage or cellular connectivity the price rises steeply.

But it does a good job of justifying that outlay, as the iPad Pro 9.7 is the latest and greatest in Apple’s ‘main’ line of slates.

The 9.7-inch screen strikes a great balance between being big enough to get far more out of than a phone screen and small enough to still be fairly portable.

And although Apple has ditched the Air moniker, at 240 x 169.5 x 6.1mm and 437g the iPad Pro 9.7 is every bit as thin and light as the iPad Air 2.

But it lives up to the Pro name, with plenty of power afforded by its A9X processor and 2GB of RAM, four speakers for serious media potential, a beautiful True Tone screen, which adapts the color and intensity to your environment, and of course the ability to use the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil with it, if you want to use the slate to actually get things done.

The iPad Pro 9.7 also comes with up to 256GB of storage if you’re prepared to pay, so you needn’t feel limited by the lack of a microSD card slot, and it’s likely to remain a powerful and versatile tablet for years to come, so while it’s expensive you might not feel the need to upgrade for a long time.