The Right iPad for Your Budget

Finding value in the balance between iPad costs and features

The iPad comes in a variety of sizes and prices. A brand new iPad can cost as little as $329 for a regular iPad and as high as $1,700 for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. This puts an iPad model within almost any budget's reach, and when you consider used or refurbished devices, the price can be even lower.

The first question to ask is how much you want to spend on an iPad. In general, the more you spend, the larger the storage, screen size, and computing power. Which size and options are right for your needs and budget is what we'll take a look at to help you decide.

Illustration of a person trying to decide which iPad to buy - each iPad has different amounts of currency on their screens
Lifewire / Lisa Fasol 

The devices and prices listed in this article were available as-of late-2019.

12.9-inch iPad Pro

A person draws on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a stylus
The new 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Apple

Apple introduced an iPad with a huge 12.9-inch display to bridge the gap between tablets and laptops. The iPad Pro is definitely a tablet with the processing power of a PC. The A9X chip is about as powerful as a mid-range laptop, and with 4 GB of RAM for apps to go along with that expansive display, it's a multitasking beast. It can also be a great family iPad, with a screen that won't have you missing your HDTV when streaming to it. The iPad Pro starts at $799 and can range all the way up to $1,700 for the 1 TB model with WiFi+Cellular.​

11-inch iPad Pro

11” iPad Pro Wi-Fi 64GB
 Walmart

Just as powerful as the 12.9-inch Pro with a few features that even surpass it, the 11-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. It has a 12-megapixel back-facing camera that can compete with your smartphone and it has a screen capable of displaying a wider array of colors than past iPads. The base model with 64 GB storage and WiFi connectivity costs $799.

iPad Air

Screenshot of the third-generation iPad Air in gold
 Apple

The third-generation iPad Air boasts Pro-level features, such as the Apple A12 Bionic chip, an upgraded Retina display, and support for the Apple Pencil. It starts at $499 for 64 GB storage and WiFi connectivity and seems to hold a comfortable middle ground between price and power.

iPad Mini 5

Product screenshot of the iPad Mini 5 in various colors
 Apple

The iPad Mini is for anyone that wants a smaller tablet but doesn't want to skimp on specs. It's as powerful as an iPad Air, with an A12 Bionic chip, 64 GB or 256 GB storage, an upgraded Retina display, and support for the first-generation Apple Pencil. The 64 GB starts at $399, while the 256 GB model starts at $549. If you don't want a smaller screen, though, you're probably better off spending the extra $100 for the iPad Air.

iPad (7th Generation)

Product screenshot of the 7th-generation iPad in slate gray
 Apple

Apple's most popular tablet, the 7th-generation iPad has a 10.2-inch Retina display, an Apple A10 Fusion chip, and either 32 GB or 128 GB storage. While it's slightly less powerful than other models, its affordable starting price of $329 makes it an attractive option for people just looking for a tablet that can accomplish basic everyday tasks like email and streaming video.

Shop Around for the Best Deal

The retail prices listed here come from Apple's online store, and it's wise 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 places like Amazon, Best Buy, and Frys.

Should You Buy a Used iPad?

It's tempting to buy an older model used iPad, but sometimes the short-term savings cost more when you find yourself needing to upgrade the tablet after only a few years. 

Refurbished iPads Can Be Great Deals

If you're looking to save a little money, Apple's refurbished iPads have the same 1-year warranty as the new ones. Refurbished products at a discount backed by Apple's work reconditioning it and it's warranty is a smart way to to buy a cheaper iPad.