Apple's new iPad Air and iPad Mini are available to buy right now - and they both cost $500 or less

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ipad mini 2019AppleThe new iPad Mini is pictured above with the first-generation Apple Pencil.

  • In a surprise move, Apple has taken the wraps off of two new iPad models: the iPad Air ($499) and iPad Mini ($399).
  • Both tablets have high-resolution screens, run on the ultra powerful Apple A12 Bionic processor, start with 64GB of storage, and support the first-generation Apple Pencil stylus.
  • These are the tablets that most people should buy: They're not as powerful or expensive as the top-of-the-line iPad Pro tablets, but they're still more high-end than the standard iPad.

The Apple iPad has long been the go-to tablet for people who want a bigger screen for watching videos, playing games, doing creative artwork, and working on the go. In a surprise announcement on March 18, Apple unveiled two new iPad models, and if you're in the market for a tablet, these new iPads are absolutely worth buying.

The new iPad Mini and iPad Air are both designed to serve as powerful alternatives to the standard $329 iPad or as a more affordable alternative to the $799+ iPad Pro models - and they have a whole lot to offer.

First up is the iPad Air. It keeps the same overall design as previous-generation iPad Air models, so it has the Home button and larger bezels compared to the new iPad Pro models.

Under the hood, however, there's a lot of new tech. The new Air runs on Apple's A12 Bionic chip, which should offer more than enough processing power for the vast majority of people. The tablet also supports the first-generation Apple Pencil, which is widely considered the best stylus for drawing on a tablet, and it has a sharp 10.5-inch True Tone screen with a resolution of 2,224 × 1,668 pixels.

There are a number of different variations of the new iPad Air, too. You can choose from two storage options (64GB or 256GB), three color options (Silver, Space Gray, or Gold), and either a Wi-Fi-only connection or a combination of cellular and Wi-Fi connections. Alongside the iPad Air, Apple is also selling a Smart Keyboard, which is great for those of you who want to use your tablet as a laptop in a pinch.

The new iPad Mini is an equally powerful device. The 2019 iPad Mini boasts the ultra-powerful A12 Bionic chip, too, along with support for the first-generation Apple Pencil. That makes it a solid option for digital artists who want a tablet that they can take on the road with them.

It has a True Tone 7.9-inch screen with a 2,048 x 1,536 pixel resolution, and is available with the same storage and connectivity options as the iPad Air. The only big difference here is the screen size.

The main reasons to consider the iPad Mini over the Air are that it's $100 more affordable and it's relatively small, making it perfect for carrying around on the go. That said, you can't go wrong with either of these iPads.

You can buy the 2019 iPad Air on Apple for $499+

You can buy the 2019 iPad Mini on Apple for $399+

You can buy the first-generation Pencil on Apple for $99

You can buy the Smart Keyboard for 10.5‑inch iPad Air on Apple for $159

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