Buying an iPad can be complicated, especially if you or the person that you are buying for have limited needs. There are 13 different models and over a hundred possible configurations. You want to get the most out of the iPad but you do not want to spend money on unnecessary features.
The following infographic identifies the most important considerations and top iPad picks. The article below provides a more detailed overview. If you have any questions or comments, let us know!
Share this Image On Your Site
What questions you ask before buying:
- What size iPad should I buy?
- Should I buy new or used?
- How much storage do I need?
- What model should I buy?
Our top iPad picks:
- Which iPad to buy on a budget
- Which iPad Mini to buy
- Which iPad to buy - best value
- Which iPad to buy - money is no concern
What size iPad should I buy?
There are three sizes to choose from:
iPad Mini: 7.9” display. The mini is ideal for travel. It easily fits in a small bag or purse.
Standard: 9.7” display. There are a variety of models available at this size. It’s ideal for those that have difficulty reading or typing on small screens but still want a device that is portable.
Large: 12.9” display. There’s currently one model iPad available in the large screen size. It’s designed for someone that needs as big a screen as possible.
Should I buy new or used?
Apple and other iPad selling retailers such as Target, Walmart and Best Buy sell select models in stores. If you are interested in purchasing the latest and greatest, then it’s probably easiest to go to the store to make your purchase.
On the other hand, if you are interested in saving money, there are plenty of options for buying used iPad online. Buying from an unknown seller via Amazon or Ebay can be risky, so we recommend searching for refurbished iPad via trusted sellers, such as Apple or gazelle.com.
How much storage do I need?
The amount of storage on the iPad determines how many apps, photos, videos, songs, audiobooks and other files you can save. Here are some estimates on what 1 GB looks like:
- 250 to 500 photos
- 10 to 15 minutes of video
- 10 to 20 game apps
- 50 to 70 songs
If you are buying a new iPad from Apple, the base level of storage is 32 GB. For many users, that is more than enough storage. For an additional $100, you can quadruple the amount of storage to 128 GB, which will easily store thousands of files.
If you are buying a refurbished iPad, there are many models that come with 16 GB of storage. We recommend avoiding these models. As technology progresses, the file sizes of photos, videos and apps are getting large. Additionally, if an iPad is close to it’s storage limit, it will negatively impact speed and performance.
What model should I buy?
Once you determine the size, storage capacity and whether or not you want to buy new, you’ll still have to choose between various models. Check out our top picks to find out which iPad model best meets your needs.
Which iPad to buy on a budget:
Refurbished iPad 2 (32 GB storage) / ~$180 to $200
The second generation iPad is ideal for someone looking to buy an iPad as affordably as possible. It no longer receives software updates and runs slower than newer model iPads, but you can still use it for the essentials, including email, apps, messages, web browsing, music and audiobooks.
If you are purchasing a refurbished iPad 2, avoid the 16 GB and search for a model with at least 32 GB of storage.
Runner-up: Refurbished 4th Generation iPad / ~$250 to $300
Best iPad Mini to buy:
New iPad Mini 2 (32 GB storage) / $269
The iPad Mini 2 is the lowest priced iPad that you can buy in stores and still delivers a premium tablet experience. It runs the latest version of iOS 10, which means it comes standard with Apple’s most recent software upgrades, including enhanced accessibility options, customizable lock screen widgets and new messaging features.
Runner-up: iPad Mini 4 / $399
Which iPad to buy - best value:
iPad Air 2 (128 GB storage) / $499
If you want to future-proof your iPad, the iPad Air 2 model is a great choice. Not only does it run the latest version of iOS 10, but it also has updated hardware that will ensure a premium experience for years to come. The base model costs $399 and comes with 32 GB, but if you plan on using this iPad for years to come, then you’ll probably want to pay to upgrade to 128 GB of storage.
Runner-up: Refurbished iPad Air / $269 - $369
Which iPad to buy - price is not a concern:
iPad Pro 12.9” (256 GB storage) / $999
If you want the best iPad money can buy, the 12.9” iPad Pro is it. The screen is 30% larger than the standard model, it has state of the art hardware, Apple’s latest software features and is compatible with specialized accessories for keyboards and Apple’s pencil stylus. The base model costs $799, but if money is no concern, you might as well go for the 256 GB storage option.
Runner-up: iPad Pro 9.7” / $599 - $799
We hope you found this article helpful! For more additional information, check out the following resources:
Receive a printable copy of the iPad Buying guide and join our mailing list by entering your name and email below: