Apple iPad Singapore Buying Guide (2020): Is The iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad or iPad Mini Worth it? + How to Get it For Cheaper
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Apple iPad Singapore Buying Guide (2020): Is The iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad or iPad Mini Worth it? + How to Get it For Cheaper

profileJoel Koh
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In a world where smartphones are getting bigger, you might be wondering — why get an iPad?

Well, I have two reasons.

First, tablets like the iPad are the ultimate content consuming device. If you happen to read books, watch videos on streaming services or listen to music, the iPad generally gives you a superior experience with its bigger screen, better speakers and battery life compared to a smartphone.

Second, tablets become increasingly good for creating content with the latest version of iPadOS, 14.0.1 finally supporting a full mouse and trackpad.

With an external keyboard and mouse, you can use it almost like a laptop. With the Apple Pencil, you can draw, take notes and even make music with it!

For example, my Seedly colleague uses the iPad and an Apple Pencil to sketch these relatable and funny SeedlyComics.

Adulthood is painful SeedlyComics

The apps for tablets are also optimized for touch, and that actually makes interfaces simpler. Another example – if you take photos, Lightroom and Photoshop for iPad are just awesome – and you can even work with raw files straight out of your camera.

You can even use it to edit video as well with apps like the fully featured video editing App LumaFusion.

Earlier this year in at the Time Flies Apple event in September, the company announced an updated entry-level 10.2-inch iPad and a completely redesigned 10.9-inch iPad Air, although the iPad Air won’t begin shipping until October.

The updated models join the rest of the iPad family, which includes the 7.9-inch iPad mini and the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. This means that there is probably an iPad for everyone.

But you might be wondering, which iPad to get? Which iPad is the most worth it for you? Are there any other alternatives? And, how can you get it for cheaper?

As usual, we got you!

Note: Information accurate as of 27 September 2020.


TL;DR: Apple iPad Singapore Buying Guide 2020: Is The iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad or iPad Mini Worth it?

SpecsiPad 2020iPad Mini 5 2019iPad Air 2020iPad Pro 2020
Price (SGD)From $499 (WiFi)
From $699 (Cellular)
From $599 (WiFi)
From $799 (Cellular)
From $879 (WiFi)
From $1,099 (Cellular)
From $1,199 (WiFi)
From $1,419 (Cellular)
Storage Options32GB
128GB
64GB
256GB
64GB
256GB
128GB
256GB
512GB
1TB
Display Size + Pixel Density10.2-inch Retina display
2160x1620 at 264 ppi*
7.9-inch Retina display
2048x1536 at 326 ppi
10.9 inch Liquid Retina
2360x1640 at 264 ppi
11-inch Liquid Retina 2388x1668 at 264 ppi
12.9 inch Liquid Retina
2732x2048 at 264 ppi
Display Refresh Rate + Pixel Density60Hz refresh rateProMotion technology
with 120Hz refresh rate
ProcessorA12 Bionic chipA14 Bionic chipA12Z Bionic chip
Accessory CompatibilityBluetooth keyboards + Smart KeyboardBluetooth keyboardsMagic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard FolioMagic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio
Apple Pencil CompatibilityApple Pencil (1st generation)Apple Pencil (2nd generation)
Connection PortLightning connector USB-C

*ppi stands for pixels per inch refers to display resolution, or, how many individual pixels are displayed in one inch of a screen. For this number, the higher the better as it means the display will be sharper.


How Much Is an iPad in Singapore?

Unfortunately, an Apple iPad is not cheap, especially in Singapore.

yellowstone drama
Source: Yellowstone | Giphy

The cheapest entry-level 10.2-inch iPad starts at S$499 while the most expensive 12.9 iPad Pro retails for a hefty S$2,099.

Which IPad Should I Buy in 2020?

Apple iPad 2020 Overview
Source: Apple

If your budget is tight, you would want to consider the entry-level iPad.

Even though it has some previous generation technology, it got a timely update to Apple’s more recent A12 Bionic chip for better performance.

If portability is the top priority for you, check out the iPad mini.

If you want something that has a bigger screen and can offer more functionality, the iPad Air would be better.

What about the iPad Pro?

Apple’s flagship iPads are in a class of their own and can even replace your laptop. But, this is reflected in the price.

Unless you are a professional using it for your job, or your budget is unlimited, I would suggest getting something else.

However, the iPad Pro serves up cutting edge technology if you need it.

With that broad overview out of the way, let’s look into what each iPad can offer you.

10.2-Inch Apple iPad 2020

First up let’s take a quick look at the iPad 2020 specs for you to get a better idea of what you will be getting.

Apple ipad-2020
Source: Apple

 

10.2-Inch Apple iPad (2020) Price Singapore

This is Apple’s most affordable iPad.

Storage Wi-Fi Wi-Fi + Cellular
32GB S$499S$699
128GB S$649S$849

10.2-Inch Apple iPad (2020) Specs

SpecsDetails
Dimensions250.6 x 174.1 x 7.5mm
Weight490g for WiFi model
495g for Wifi + Cellular Model
SoftwareiPad OS 14
Screen & Resolution 10.2-inch
500 nits brightness
1620 x 2160 pixels (264 ppi)
ProcessorA12 Bionic chip
Connectivity Lightning port
3.5mm headphone jack
Home button with Touch ID
Cameras8MP back camera with HDR and 1080p 30 fps video
1.2MP ‌FaceTime‌ HD front camera with HDR and 720p video
SpeakersStereo speakers
Accessories CompatibilityCompatible with Smart Keyboard and Bluetooth keyboards
Apple Pencil‌ Compatibility Supports first-generation ‌Apple Pencil‌
ColoursSilver | Space Gray | Gold

Although the new 10.2-inch iPad 2020 is not as desirable as the flagship iPad Pro or even the new iPad Air that will be arriving in October – it will get the job done for most folks who want a tablet.

For one, it has a decent display; smooth performance; stereo speakers; support for the first-generation pencil and smart keyboard and enhanced functionality with iPadOS 14.

There’s even an improved A12 Bionic chip used in the previous generation of flagship iPhones for editing 4K video, playing graphics-intensive games and experiencing AR apps.

Is it Worth it?

Although it is Apple’s most affordable iPad, you get a comparable experience to Apple’s more expensive iPad. If you need to replace your old iPad or Android tablet, this will be quite a decent choice.

However, you will have to look beyond the starting price of S$499 which only gets you just 32GB of storage, which is in my opinion quite limited as games, music and videos can fill it up quite fast.

The better choice will be the WiFi model with a more manageable 128GB of storage. But this will set you back S$619 and cost 30 per cent more.

You will have to pay an extra $200 if you would like cellular connectivity with a nano-SIM for data. If you want more accessories, you are looking at spending about S$1,000.

Apple products are certainly not cheap.

Alternatively, you might be looking at the wide range of more affordable Android tablets from Xiaomi, Amazon, and other brands.

However, to get something similar that can compete with this iPad’s build quality, polish and performance, you might need to still spend quite a bit on a premium tablet from either Samsung or Huawei.

Although this tablet is not the cheapest, it provides a really solid experience that is decent value for money.

7.9-Inch Apple iPad Mini 5 (2019)

Moving up the price scale we have the 7.9-inch Apple iPad Mini 5 (2019).

ipad mini 2019
Source: Apple

This is the iPad to get if portability is your thing.

Even though it is not something you can put in your pocket, the latest iPad mini is great for a tablet that you can take on the go, as it offers a bigger viewing experience compared to even Apple’s biggest iPhones.

What makes this tablet great is that it support the first-generation Apple Pencil, which turns it into a small notebook or sketchbook you can bring around easily.

7.9-Inch Apple iPad Mini 5 (2019) Price Singapore

Storage Wi-Fi Wi-Fi + Cellular
64GBS$599 S$799
256GB S$819 S$1,019

7.9-Inch Apple iPad Mini 5 (2019) Specs

SpecsDetails
Dimensions203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1mm
Weight300.5g for WiFi model
308.2g for Wifi + Cellular Model
Storage64GB and 256GB
SoftwareiPad OS 14
Screen & Resolution 7.9-inch wide colour true tone display
500 nits brightness
2048 x 1536 pixels (326 ppi)
ProcessorA12 Bionic chip
Connectivity Lightning port
3.5mm headphone jack
Home button with Touch ID
Cameras8MP back camera with HDR and 1080p 30 fps video
7MP ‌FaceTime‌ HD front camera with HDR and 1080p 30 fps video
SpeakersStereo speakers
Accessories CompatibilityCompatible with Bluetooth keyboards
Apple Pencil‌ Compatibility Supports first-generation ‌Apple Pencil‌
ColoursSilver | Space Gray | Gold

This device is a pocket rocket that uses the powerful A12 Bionic chip from Apple’s previous generation of iPhones.

Is it Worth it?

Compared to the iPad 2020, there is very little that separates the two tablets.

But, the iPad Mini 5 (2019) has a sharper screen with higher pixel density, slightly better camera, more internal memory, and is easier to use and hold, This makes it a better tablet overall.

Still, it is at least S$100 more expensive than the iPad 2020, which serves up almost identical performance, the same smooth software, and potentially better battery life.

If you want something more affordable with a bigger screen — go for the iPad 2020.

However, do note that the iPad mini does not have smart keyboard support. Also, the bezels are quite large which makes this iPad look a bit dated.

10.9-inch Apple iPad Air (2020)

The middle child of the Apple iPad lineup is the new and improved iPad Air (2020) which will ship in October 2020.

ipad air 2020
Source: Apple

With this refresh, the iPad Air 2020 is the ideal mid-range option that offers most of the features and specifications of the flagship iPad Pro but for cheaper.

Unlike the iPad or iPad Mini, the iPad Air supports the second-generation Apple Pencil.

Clearly, the second-generation Apple Pencil is better than the first generation. But you will have to pay S$189 for the newer Apple Pencil and S$138 for the older one.

The newer pencil has a nicer matte finish that is more apt for sweaty hands. It also has a useful ‘button’ and the magnetic attachment with wireless charging is superior to the plugged charging of the 1st-gen version.

But the first-generation Apple Pencil is no slouch either and is a great tool for drawing even though it is harder to charge. But, it will still help you produce your best work, and that’s what it’s there for.

Unlike the previous generation, iPad Air sports a modern almost all-screen display with a flat edge and subtle edge buttons.

The look of it is closer to an iPad Pro, which is a change from older iPad Airs that looked like large versions of the entry-level iPads.

There Apple iPad Air also shares the same USB-C port with the iPad Pro that the entry-level iPads do not have.

This should improve charging and data sending speeds, a welcome upgrade for professionals who want to plug external monitors or hard drives into the tablet.

10.9-inch Apple iPad Air (2020) Price Singapore

Storage Wi-Fi Wi-Fi + Cellular
64GBS$879S$1,079
256GB S$1,099S$1,299

10.9-inch Apple iPad Air (2020) Specs

SpecsDetails
Dimensions247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1mm
Weight458g for WiFi model
460g for Wifi + Cellular Model
Storage64GB and 256GB
SoftwareiPad OS 14
Screen & Resolution 10.9-inch liquid retina wide colour true tone
500 nits brightness
2360 x 1640 pixels (264 ppi)
ProcessorA14 Bionic chip
Connectivity USB-C connector
Top button with Touch ID
Cameras12MP back camera with HDR and 4K 60 fps video
7MP ‌FaceTime‌ HD front camera with HDR and 1080p 60 fps video
SpeakersStereo speakers
Accessories CompatibilityCompatible with Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio
Apple Pencil‌ Compatibility Supports second-generation ‌Apple Pencil‌
ColoursSilver | Space Grey | Rose Gold | GreenSky | Blue

The iPad Air will come with the brand new A14 processor made with a 5-nanometer manufacturing process, which is believed to be from chip contract manufacturer TSMC.

Apple claims the new central processing unit (CPU) offers 40 per cent better CPU performance than the old A12 in the iPad Air 2019.

That should translate to a modest performance gain of around 20 per cent compared to the Apple A13.

When compared to the A12Z processor found in the iPad Pro, early Geekbench 5 benchmark tests have shown that the iPad Pro’s multi-core performance is better.

But, when comparing single-core performance, the A14 edges the iPad Pro.

But this is still early testing. We will need to see more benchmark tests being done before a more conclusive answer can emerge.

In the end, both are very powerful processors and Apple states that both are faster than most PC laptops, perhaps that’s enough to know for now.

Is it Worth it?

If you are looking to get a laptop replacement, the new iPad Air looks like a pretty solid option.

In my opinion, there will be no reason to get the more expensive iPad Pro due to the iPad Air’s superior processor and similar specs.

Sure you lose out on the higher 120Hz refresh rate display, quad-speakers, 12MP camera w/ flash and higher storage options that are absent in the iPad Air 2020.

But if you can live without these things, the iPad Air is a better choice.

iPad Accessories Price

If you want to use the iPad Air as a laptop replacement, you will need some accessories that do not come cheap.

For example:

  • The Magic Keyboard with trackpad retails for S$439.
  • Smart Keyboard Folio retails for S$269.

These costs will all add up.

11-Inch and 12.9-Inch Apple iPad Pro (2020)

Last but not least we have the flagship Apple iPad Pro 2020.

Apple iPad Pro 2020
Source: Apple

11-Inch and 12.9-Inch Apple iPad Pro (2020) Price Singapore

Storage 11-Inch Wi-Fi Model11-Inch Wi-Fi + Cellular 12.9 Inch Wi-Fi 12.9 Inch Wi-Fi + Cellular
128GBS$1,199S$1,419S$1,499S$1,719
256GB S$1,349S$1,569S$1,649S$1,869
512GB S$1,649S$1,869S$1,949S$2,169
1TB S$1,949S$2,169S$2,249S$2,469

11-Inch and 12.9-Inch Apple iPad Pro (2020) Specs

Specs11-Inch Model12.9 Inch Model
Dimensions247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9mm
280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9mm
Weight471g for WiFi model
473g for Wifi + Cellular Model
641g for WiFi model
643g for Wifi + Cellular Model
Storage128GB
256GB
512GB
1TB
SoftwareiPad OS 14
Screen & Resolution 11-inch liquid retina wide colour true tone
120Hz refresh rate
600 nits brightness
2388 x 1668 pixels (264 ppi)
12.9-inch liquid retina wide colour true tone
120Hz refresh rate
600 nits brightness
2732 x 2048 pixels (264 ppi)
ProcessorA12Z Bionic chip
Connectivity USB-C connector
Face ID
Cameras12MP wide camera and 10MP ultra wide camera with HDR and 4K 60 fps video
7MP ‌FaceTime‌ HD front camera with HDR and 1080p 60 fps video
SpeakersQuad Stereo speakers
Accessories CompatibilityCompatible with Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio
Apple Pencil‌ Compatibility Supports second-generation ‌Apple Pencil‌
ColoursSilver | Space Grey

Is it Worth it?

Similar to the iPad Air, the iPad Pro is a stunning piece of technology that can act as a laptop replacement.

You also have a higher 120Hz refresh rate display, quad-speakers, 12MP camera with flash and higher storage options that are absent in the iPad Air 2020.

Still, it is at least S$320 more expensive than the iPad Air 2020, and comes with a slower processor.

As good as the iPad Pro seems to be, it is hamstrung by iPadOS if you want to do some serious work. Apple still needs to work on making the software for multi-tasking to make the experience more like a Macbook or traditional laptop.

However, the reality is that as wonderful as the iPad Pro is, it is still limited in some ways by iPadOS. Apple has made meaningful improvements to iPadOS to make it more multi-tasking friendly and more like a Mac or traditional computer.

Also, this new model is only a small update over the previous generation iPad Pro (2018). The only major difference is the Lidar scanner.

Unless you think that the Lidar scanner is revolutionary, I would recommend that you consider a refurbished iPad Pro 2018 or even the new iPad Air 2020.

You will also have to factor in the price of the accessories which can add about S$300 to S$500 if you want to use the iPad Pro as a proper laptop replacement.

Where Can I Get a Free iPad? Or How Do I Get it For Cheaper?

Unfortunately, one of the only ways I know of to get a ‘free’ iPad in Singapore is to sign up for an expensive mobile phone plan with a ‘free’ iPad. But, you usually end up paying for it in the plan or even slightly more than the retail price.

Sadly, you will have to settle for getting it cheaper.120820-Apple-MacBook-Discounts

The above table is for MacBooks but it applies generally to iPads as well.

The Apple Store For Education discount will save you quite a bit on your iPad purchase.

And for now until 12 October 2020, you get a FREE pair of Airpods (worth S$239) with every iPad Pro purchase. If you don’t need the AirPods you could always sell them for a discount of sorts.

Alternatively, you can look for a friend who works for Apple, and nicely ask if they are willing to buy an iPad for you with their corporate employee purchase program (EPP) discount.

used the weeknd
Source: Giphy

The official discount is 2 per cent but you should check with your Apple employee friends to confirm.

Otherwise, you can get refurbished units that will save you quite a bit.

Also, don’t forget to use ShopBack for cashback when you shop on the Apple Store.

Disclaimer: Seedly was acquired for an undisclosed sum by ShopBack back in 2018. For more information, please read our Seedly Code of Ethics.

Almost forgot.

You can use credit cards to get further discounts on your purchase.

Whether you are Team Cashback or Team Miles, you can find the best credit card in Singapore for you on our comprehensive credit card comparison tool.Seedly credit cards

You can also look for used iPads online on online marketplaces like Carousell.

However, do proceed with caution as you might not know the stress the iPad’s hardware has been through.

So be sure to shop around and compare prices for new, refurbished and used iPads — if you can buy the same older model new from Apple for an extra $100 or so, that might be a better choice.

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About Joel Koh
History student turned writer at Seedly. Before you ask, not a teacher. My time as a history student has equipped me with the skills to evaluate the impact societal development has on financial and nonfinancial events.
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