Bigger, slightly better, still great

The competition

It’s a fact of the industry that tablets just aren’t as big a deal as they used to be, but there are handful of alternatives to consider. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S5e is probably the 2019 iPad’s closest competitor, and it packs a beautiful, 10-inch Super AMOLED screen, a mid-range Snapdragon 670 chipset, and runs Android Pie. Samsung gets points for using a punchier display here, not to mention embracing a more modern design with smaller bezels. Still, considering its $400 price and the relatively disappointing state of Android tablet apps, it’s not as easy to recommend as the iPad.

Amazon also has a new 10-inch tablet of its own, but it’s not exactly fair to compare it to the iPad; the Fire HD 10 costs $149 and has low-end specs to match. If you have the money to spend, the iPad is the more capable option.

Amazon Fire HD 10

Strangely, the iPad’s biggest competition this year is… a handful of other iPads. If you were considering picking up a 128GB model, that will set you back $429. At that point, though, you’re faced with another question: If you’re going to spend that much, should you spring for a 128GB iPad or a 64GB iPad Air? Long story short, if you feel like you need a little extra oomph, a little more horsepower, the Air is the safer choice. Unless you’re into the idea of a more portable tablet, in which case the new, more powerful iPad mini might be the way to go.

iPad fans in particular are spoiled for choice at the moment, and I’m never going to complain about having more options. That said, picking out an iPad — a device you’re probably going to use for at least a couple of years — isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. The lines dividing these tablets are getting blurrier, and honestly, anyone who needs more than just the essentials might be better off saving up for the Air.

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