The Right iPad for Your Budget

Various Apple products

Now that the iPad comes in three different sizes, a brand new iPad can cost as little as $269 all the way up to $1,079 for the whopping 12.9-inch iPad Pro. This puts an iPad at a good price range for almost any budget, and when you consider options other than buying a brand new iPad, the price can be even lower.

The first question to ask yourself is how much you want to spend on an iPad. In general, the more you spend, the better iPad you will get and the longer it will last.

But it is still important to get the right iPad for your money, so we'll take a look at the options.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro

Apple introduced an iPad with a whopping 12.9-inch display to bridge the gap between tablets and laptops. And the iPad Pro is definitely a tablet with the processing power of a PC. The new A9X chip is about as powerful as a mid-range laptop, and with 4 GB of RAM for apps to go along with that huge display, it is a multitasking beast. But don't think the Pro is all business. It's also a great family iPad, with a screen that won't have you missing your HDTV when streaming to it and the power to replace your laptop. The iPad Pro starts at $799 and can range all the way up to $1,129 for the 256 GB model with data connectivity.​

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro

Just as powerful as the 12.9-inch Pro with a few features that even surpass it, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is great for those who want a Pro-level iPad but don't want to spend as much as a higher end laptop.

The newest iPad in Apple's lineup has a 12-megapixel back-facing camera that can compete with your smartphone's camera and has a display capable of displaying a wider array of colors than any other iPad.  Should you spend $599 on an iPad? The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is actually the same price as the original iPad when you take the 32 GB of storage into account, and when you consider it has the power of that 12.9-inch Pro, it's a pretty good choice.

The iPad Air 2

The iPad Air 2 is now over two years old, but it is still a worthy iPad with a discounted price. The Air 2 supports all of the Pro-level features including split-screen multitasking and the ability to split the Safari web browser into two windows. And while the official price tag from Apple reads $399, which is a $200 discount from the 9.7-inch Pro, some retailers are discounting it even further. This means it is important to check Best Buy, Frys and other retailers for the best price.

The iPad Mini 4

The iPad Mini 4 is essentially an iPad Air 2, which is one of the best things it had going for it when it debuted. But when the Air 2 dropped in price, the Mini 4 didn't drop it, so you have a choice between a 7.9-inch iPad Mini 4 and a slightly faster 9.7-inch iPad Air 2 for the same $399. Unless you really, really want the smaller iPad or find one at a good discount at a store, go with the Air 2.

Shop Around for the Best Deal

The retail prices listed here are based on buying from Apple's online store. But just like any product, it can be best to shop around for a good deal. Retailers often put the iPad on sale as the holiday season approaches. This makes it worthwhile to check retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Frys.

Should You Buy a Used iPad?

It might be tempting to buy an older model used iPad, but sometimes, the short-term savings costs yo more when you find yourself needing to upgrade the tablet after only a few years. That entry-level iPad Mini 2 is over four times faster than the iPad 2 or the original iPad Mini and has a much better display. Even if you can get an iPad 2 for only $170, it may not be worth it.   

Refurbished iPads Can Offer Great Deals

If you are looking to save a little money, Apple's refurbished iPads have the same 1-year warranty as the new iPads. A refurbished iPad Mini 2 is currently going for just $229, which is a savings of $40 off the price for a new unit.

 How to buy a cheap iPad.

How Much Does an iPad Cost?

ModelStorageWi-FiWi-Fi + 4G
12.9-inch iPad Pro32 GB-128 GB$799-$999$1,029-$1129 (128 GB or 256 GB Only)
9.7-inch iPad Pro32 GB-256 GB$599-$799$729-$929
iPad Air 232 GB-128 GB$399-$499$529-$629
iPad Mini 432 GB-128 GB$399-$499$529-$629
iPad Mini 232 GB GB$269$399


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