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5 Cheap iPads You Shouldn’t Buy in 2020

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If you’re in the market for an iPad, but you don’t want to break the bank, you’ve got plenty of options. That said, there are a few cheap iPad models you should avoid if you’re looking to snag a new tablet in early 2020.

Apple’s iPad lineup has something for everyone. The company’s 2018 iPad Pro models are powerhouses aimed at those who want top notch performance for gaming and getting things done on-the-go. Unfortunately, that firepower comes at a cost.

The 2018 iPad Pros start at $799 (64GB 11-inch model) without a deal and go all the way up to $1899 for the 1TB 12.9-inch model with LTE connectivity. They require a sizable investment.

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Fortunately, there are some great alternatives. Apple also sells a new version of the iPad Air, a popular 9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil support, and the new iPad mini 5.

If you want to get into the Apple ecosystem for a bit cheaper, you’ll find an assortment of budget alternatives. And while some are certainly worth a look, others you’ll want to avoid.

In some cases, it’s due to the age of the hardware. In others, it’s for a combination of reasons. A few of the devices we’ve got on this list might surprise you.

With that out of the way, allow us to take you through five cheap iPads that we think you should cross off your list if you’re looking to snag a new slate in January and February.

iPad mini 3

iPad mini 3

The third-generation iPad mini, also known as the iPad mini 3, is extremely cheap and runs the latest version of iOS 12 (iOS 12.4.4). However most people should avoid buying it. There are a few reasons why.

First off, the iPad mini 3 won't get Apple's iPadOS 13 update. That's a big deal. 

Not only does it mean the iPad mini 3 will miss out on iPadOS 13's current and upcoming features, it also means it will receive irregular software support going forward. 

While you might be able to live without new features, missing out on a regular stream of bug fixes and security patches is a tough pill to swallow. 

If you run into bugs or performance issues, you'll be on your own for long stretches of time. And if you store sensitive data on your devices, you'll have to trust an outdated version of iOS to do its job. Far from ideal. 

On top of that, the iPad mini 3's hardware is ancient. Lest you forget, the iPad mini 3 essentially uses the same hardware as the iPad mini 2, a device that was released almost five years ago. 

The key difference is that the iPad mini 3 comes with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor while the iPad mini 2 does not. 

Given its limitations, most people are better off going with the latest iPad mini model, the 7.9-inch iPad mini 5. You'll have to pay $100+ more, but you'll get a better combination of software support and hardware. 

If you don't mind moving away from Apple, one of Amazon's Fire tablets. Samsung's Galaxy Tab series is another option to consider. 

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