The Top Children’s iPads In 2023
The finest iPads for kids are flexible enough to support a child’s imagination and reasonably priced enough that replacing or repairing one won’t break the bank. Every child is unique, and there are now more iPads available than ever before, making it difficult to choose the one that best suits your needs.
When the iPad was the only Apple tablet available, you could choose any color and storage capacity you want. However, there are now a variety of iPad models available, ranging from the diminutive iPad mini to the sleek iPad Air.
The differences between the various iPad models are described in our dedicated article, Which iPad should you buy? If you’re seeking to buy an iPad specifically for a youngster, how should you decide between the iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro?
The iPad mini and the 2021 iPad are two of the newest entries to this list, and we especially recommend the former as a child’s first iPad because it’s the least expensive iPad available while still offering the complete iPad experience.
Here is our list of the top iPads for kids available today, based on our in-depth testing and reviews of all the newest models.
The top children’s iPads available right now
1. The 2021 Apple iPad
Although it is the least expensive iPad, the 9th Gen iPad 2021 is just as well-made and versatile as its more expensive siblings. It features small but significant upgrades over its predecessors. The iPad 2021 has an excellent screen, exceptional sound quality, a long battery life, and even faster performance. Because Apple improved the 1.2MP front-facing camera to a 12MP sensor, you’ll be astounded by how much clearer video calls appear on this iPad compared to earlier models for the child you’re buying it for. And that lens is more intelligent than ever because of Center Stage, Apple’s latest technique for keeping you in the frame during video conversations even when you move about.
Excellent performance is provided by the iPad 2021’s A13 Bionic chip, which is wonderful because iPadOS 15 is getting smarter and has better capabilities like LiveText (which allows you can copy and paste text from photos). Other from that, the new iPad is quite identical to the older model in that it still uses a Lightning cable for charging and doesn’t support the Apple Magic Keyboard or the 2nd-generation Apple Pencil. It is the only iPad, though, that still has a wired headphone connector, allowing kids to connect a set of headphones for solitary listening. This sounds perfect for long car or plane travels.
2. The 2021 iPad Mini
The iPad mini 2021 provides the complete iPad experience in a thin, compact form factor that is small enough to fit in even the smallest hands. The iPad mini 2021, in contrast to the base iPad, has the low bezels and flat-edged design of the iPad Air and supports the second-generation Apple Pencil. Also, for a tablet this compact, its A15 Bionic processor is astonishingly fast, and its battery life is surprisingly long.
Nonetheless, given its size, we do prefer the iPad mini 6 the most. Although it should be easy for even small children to grasp and transport, the screen is still large and bright enough to allow for comfortable viewing of videos or reading of books. The iPad mini 6 is not compatible with any of Apple’s detachable iPad keyboards, so if you want a more comfortable typing experience than tapping on the on-screen keyboard, you’ll need to explore the world of third-party Bluetooth keyboards. However, if you’re buying an iPad so a child can get some schoolwork done, you might want to consider a different model. Moreover, Best Buy just discounted all iPad Mini 6 tablets by $100.
3. Apple iPad Air (2022)
If you want to gift a child a high-quality tablet that you can trust them to take care of for years to come, the $599 starting price of Apple’s Pad Air 2022 might be worth it. It’s basically an enhanced version of the original iPad that’s more appropriate for consuming and creating content.
The iPad Air 2022 is almost on par with the iPad Pro now that Apple’s M1 chip has been added. This does not mean that the Air has replaced the Pro, but the power gap is much smaller. This, together with its rather low starting price, may make the new iPad Air more alluring than the iPad Pro for consumers on a tight budget who nevertheless want to obtain the best iPad they can afford.
The most recent iPad Air is a tablet that is almost ideal. Even while there is definitely room for improvement, it is difficult to put this svelte, potent slate down. If you want a tablet that is a little bit better than the basic iPad, this is arguably the best option for the majority of families.
4. The 2021 iPad Pro (11-inch)
While having a larger, brighter screen, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2021 is simply too pricey for any but the oldest and most responsible children to consider purchasing at a starting price of $1,099 for one. Although the 11-inch iPad Pro 2021 costs $799, it is still a suitable iPad to give to an older child who can be trusted to use it for creative work without misusing (or losing) it.
With a stunning screen, an amazing battery life of 13 hours, and the full capability of Apple’s incredible M1 chip, which can handle even the most demanding video and picture editing software, it is also worth the money.
Kids who wish to develop their digital art and video editing talents will love the 11-inch iPad Pro 2021, which also works well as an entertainment device. This device is excellent for typing notes and papers because of its vibrant and colorful display, sharp four speakers that produce much louder sound than you might expect from such a thin device, and amazing (and optional) Magic Keyboard that provides the easiest, smoothest iPad typing experience ever.
How to pick your child’s ideal iPad
Still unclear if which iPad would be best for the concerned child(ren)? Here are a few crucial points to think about.
Screen size: The iPad is available from Apple in a range of screen sizes, from 8 to 11 inches. One of the larger devices, such as the iPad Air or the base iPad 2021, is what you need if you anticipate your child spending most of their time at home viewing videos or playing video games. The iPad mini 6 features a screen that’s just as nice as its bigger siblings, but it’s a little smaller and simpler to grasp if the child in question will be carrying the iPad about a lot or has tiny hands.
Budget: An iPad for kids can cost anywhere from $330 to $800 or more, or even more if you decide to splurge on extras like an Apple Pencil or Magic Keyboard. The $799 iPad Pro 11-inch or the $599 iPad Air are both great tablets that will last an older child for years if you can afford them. The base iPad ($329, or $299 with educator’s discount) is a better option if you have a lower budget or don’t want to trust a younger child with such a costly tablet because it delivers all the features of an iPad without the higher price tag of its siblings.
Age: How old is the child for whom you are purchasing this iPad? Naturally, if it’s for you and your family, buy whatever you want, but if you’re buying a tablet for a particular youngster, we advise not spending a lot of money unless you can be sure the lucky child you’re gifting it to won’t break or lose a $500+ tablet. If you want something smaller, the iPad mini 2021 is also quite decent, but it does cost $499. The entry-level iPad 2021 is more than adequate for children aged 5 to 12. The $599 iPad Air and $799 iPad Pro 11-inch should last years if this is for an older child who can be trusted with a pricey item.
How we evaluate iPads
To see how quickly the iPad is in ways that can be directly compared to rivals, we first run as many benchmarks as the device is capable of. Then, to gauge how vivid and dazzling the screens of these tablets can become, we utilize colorimeters and light meters. After that, we put them through our own battery test, which measures how long it takes for a tablet to run out of battery power while using it to browse the web at 150 nits of brightness.
After that, we engage in a variety of activities, including web browsing, YouTube watching, gaming, email writing, and much more. We make an effort to compose part (or all) of our tablet evaluations while using the devices we’re testing, preferably with an attachable keyboard.
Visit our Tom’s Guide page on how we test for more details.