5 Best iPads For Students : Are They Good For Studying?

iPads offer students a multitude of applications, from digital note-taking and attending video lectures to engaging in creative projects, conducting research, collaborating with peers, reading ebooks, utilizing productivity apps, and even enjoying entertainment like watching movies or playing games. iPads are great for educational and leisure activities, making them valuable tools for students.

In this article, I’ll cover topics such as whether iPads are enough for college, which ones are the best, the use cases, what storage capacity students should choose, and the best picks.

Do Students Need An iPad?

Whether a student needs an iPad depends on their personal preferences and the specific education requirements.

iPad is a device that is helpful in many ways. You really can’t go through university or college without taking notes, reading books, going through content, and having a portable device that lasts you through the entire day, and iPads can help with all of that and more.

Best iPads

iPad Air
Best For Students

iPad Air

  • Released: 2022, October
  • Price: Starting from $599
  • Screen Size: Medium (10.9-inches)
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Apple iPad Air 5 was released in 2022, having a 1640×2360-pixel resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate. The 10.9-inch display is scratch-resistant and has an oleophobic coating. 

This iPad model operates on iPadOS 15.4, and you can upgrade it all the way to iPadOS 17.3.1. It works on an octa-core Apple M1 GPU, and it has cellular connectivity, working with a nano-SIM and eSIM. 

Only two memory options are available for this iPad model, 64GB and 256GB, respectively. It doesn’t have a memory card slot, either. Also, the tablet has 8GB RAM. 

The iPad was provided with a 12MP wide main camera with dual pixel PDAF for pictures. There’s an ultrawide 12MP selfie camera as well. Moreover, the iPad uses two stereo speakers. 

The non-removable battery measures 7,600 mAh, which lasts up to 8 hours, depending on your tasks. The tablet can be used for drawing because it is compatible with Apple Pencil Gen 2 and Apple Pencil USB-C. For extra security, it lets you use fingerprint authentication.  

You can get the Apple iPad Air in Starlight, Blue, Purple, Pink, and Space Gray colors. 

iPads Air offers students everything that’s required. Most students, except developers, don’t require strong processing power; that’s why iPad Air is the best option. 

  • Available in a wide range of colors
  • It has cellular connectivity
  • It can be upgraded to iPadOS 17+


  • Limited storage options
  • Has no Face ID
  • Smaller screen and refresh rate


Cheapest iPad


  • Released: 2022, October
  • Price: Starting from $459
  • Screen Size: Medium (10.9-inches)
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The Apple iPad, which runs on a hexa-core Apple A14 Bionic GPU, comes with a 10.9-inch screen and 1640×2360-pixel resolution, as well as a refresh rate of 60Hz. Cellular connectivity is available thanks to nano-SIM and eSIM support. The device works on iPadOS 16.1, up to iPadOS 17.3.1. 

This tablet, which was released in 2022, only comes with 64GB or 256GB storage space. Also, it has 4GB RAM. It features two stereo speakers, as well as two cameras. Both the main camera and the selfie camera are 12 MP, except the main one is wide, and the selfie camera is ultrawide. 

It’s compatible with the 1st Gen Apple Pencil and USB-C Apple Pencil. Users can unlock it with their fingerprints, making it more secure for storing files. 

The non-removable battery is 7,606 mAh and can last up to 10 hours. 

It’s a great choice for students. It’s cheap and offers a lot of value, the only problem is the non-laminated display. This means there’s a gap between the display and the screen. 

  • Compatible with Apple Pencil
  • Decent battery life
  • Affordable device
  • Limited storage space options
  • No card slot offered
  • Only has 1st gen stylus support
  • Non-laminated display
iPad Pro 11-inch
Best For Power-users

iPad Pro 11-inch

  • Released: 2022, October
  • Price: Starting from $799
  • Screen Size: Medium (11-inches)
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The Apple iPad Pro 11’s newest version came out in 2022. It features an 11.0-inch screen with a resolution of 1668×2388 pixels and a 120Hz refresh rate. On top of having biometric authentication possible via Face ID, this model also provides cellular connectivity. You can use it with a nano-SIM or an eSIM. 

This device is available in several storage space options. That being said, you can get it in 128GB with 8GB RAM, 256GB with 8GB RAM, 512GB with 8GB RAM, 1TB with 16GB RAM, or 2TB with 16GB RAM. It runs on an octa-core Apple M2 GPU and is also compatible with Apple Pencil Gen 2 and Apple Pencil USB-C. 

The iPad model has 4 stereo speakers and two cameras. There’s one 12MP wide and 10MP ultrawide main camera with quad-LED dual-tone flash, as well as a 12MP selfie camera with face detection. 

The 7,538 mAh battery is non-removable and can last up to 10 hours, depending on use. The iPad Pro 11 is available in Space Grey and Silver. Also, it can operate on iPadOS 16.1 all the way to iPadOS 17.3.1. The iPad OS updates will be available for several years.

It’s as powerful as the iPad Pro 12.9 inches but with a little less bright screen. 

  • Scratch-resistant display
  • Has cellular connectivity
  • High storage space
  • It’s expensive
  • Smaller screen in comparison to 12.9-inch
  • Awkward camera placement


iPad Pro 12.9-inch
Best Performer

iPad Pro 12.9-inch

  • Released: 2022, October
  • Price: Starting from $1099
  • Screen Size: Large (12.9-inches)
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  • Great for all purposes
  • Large screen
  • High storage space


  • It’s very expensive
  • There’s no memory card slot
  • It’s on the heavy side


iPad Mini
Smallest iPad

iPad Mini

  • Released: 2021, September
  • Price: Starting from $499
  • Screen Size: Small (8.3-inches)
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If you want a more portable tablet, the Apple iPad Mini 6 has a small 8.3-inch screen with a resolution of 1488×2266 pixels and a refresh rate of 60Hz. This tablet model can run on iPadOS 15 and be upgraded to iPadOS 17.3.1. It can be unlocked with a fingerprint for more safety and is also compatible with Apple Pencil USB-C and 2nd gen. 

It can work with an eSIM and nano-SIM, providing cellular support. The non-removable battery is 5,124mAh, lasting up to 10 hours. It has two stereo speakers, as well as two cameras. The main camera is 12MP wide, and the selfie camera is 12 MP ultrawide. 

The device runs on a Hexa-core Apple A15 Bionic processor and has two storage space options available: 64GB and 256GB. They both come with 4GB RAM.

iPad Mini 6 is small yet powerful. It’s best for students who like to read, but the laptop is too big, and the smartphone is too small. You can do your research on it, but it’s a bit too small to take notes. you can get a keyboard for it, but it still is not that comfortable. 

  • Portable device
  • More affordable than other models
  • Can be upgraded to iPadOS 17+
  • No memory card slot
  • The screen is smaller
  • Limited storage space options


iPad Use Cases For Students

iPads can assist students in many ways. Here are some of the most popular use cases for study:

  • Note-Taking: students can take digital notes on iPad and annotate files with Apple Pencil.
  • eBooks: iPads have multiple apps that give you access to thousands of ebooks and digital textbooks.
  • Art: students who are studying art will find out that the iPad is very handy when it comes to graphical design.
  • Productivity: several productivity apps allow students to be more organized: GoodNotes, Notability, Reminders, Notion, etc. That allows you to take notes and create to-do lists.
  • Collaboration: iPads allow communication and sharing notes and documents with other students.
  • Online Class: iPads have great cameras and great audio and many students use them to attend video classes.
  • Research: The iPad allows students to lie on a sofa or bed and gather research more comfortably. iPads have LTE and WiFI connectivity.
  • Multimedia and Entertainment: Students can watch educational videos on iPads, participate in virtual events, and even enjoy entertainment by watching movies.

Certain educational institutions may provide specific guidelines or suggestions concerning the use of iPads or similar devices. It is advisable to check the school’s website or reach out to the institution directly for accurate and detailed information.

How Much Storage Students Need?

How Much iPad Storage Do I Need For Medical School?

The iPad comes with a few storage options. Depending on usage, you can opt for a particular model.

ActivitiesStorage Space
Books5 GB
Notes1-2 GB
Movies (Can’t study all day, can we)7-8 GB
Photos 10 GB
Games and other Applications10-15 GB
Total50-60 GB

Is 64GB Enough Storage For a Student?

Yes, 64GB of storage can be sufficient enough for students. With 64GB of storage, a student can download a few apps, games, ebooks, and textbooks, take notes, attend video classes, browse the web, research, and, of course, use social media and watch Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and other streaming services.

Is a Laptop or iPad better for Students?

ipad vs laptop for students meme

The iPad is a better pick for most students. It’s also the best tablet overall. suppose you don’t require specific software and processing power for schoolwork. But ultimately, this is entirely dependent on your use case and what you expect from your laptop. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, this table should help you to reach a decision:

Processing PowerLesserGreater
Battery LifeBetterWorse
Portability BetterWorse
Digital Note TakingBetterNon-Existent (unless you opt for a laptop with a touchscreen + stylus support.) 
UIEasy-to-useRequires getting used to 
Allowed In Classes?YesYes
Longevity5-7 Years2-3 Years
Parental Controls?YesNo

As you can see from the table above, the iPad is a much better choice for most students when it comes to deciding between a laptop and an iPad. This is because, generally, students need a portable, quick device and don’t want an extreme amount of processing power.

Plus, iPads have no cooling fan, so they have a better audio profile. Compared to most laptops which end up roaring like a jet engine at the smallest of tasks, you’ll have a much more tolerable experience in class.

Regardless, for most students, the iPad is the best choice as it is comparatively inexpensive (especially the base model), is portable, has great battery life, lets you take notes, and has an ecosystem to match.

If you buy Magic Keyboard for iPad, you can use it like a laptop, but it won’t be compatible with laptop software, and it won’t have the processing power that laptops have.

You might be interested in reading about the differences between iPads and laptops.

Pros & Cons of iPad for Students

  • Portable & Lightweight: easy to carry around campus or when studying on the go.
  • Versatility (2-in-1): iPads can work as a laptop and a bigger smartphone. Can be used for a wide range of tasks, from note-taking to web browsing, e-books, multimedia consumption, and some productivity applications.
  • Cellular Connection(LTE): You can buy an iPad with LTE. This guarantees you an internet connection at any place, you don’t need to rely on WiFi.
  • Apple Pencil: you can take handwritten notes on your iPad.
  • Comfort: it’s very convenient to read school material on your iPad (eBooks). In general, it’s more convenient to consumer media on an iPad than on a laptop or smartphone. 
  • Software Limitations: iPads may not support specific software required for certain courses, which can be a significant limitation.
  • Smaller Keyboards: While external keyboards can be used, typing on an iPad may not be as comfortable or efficient as a laptop or desktop computer. (the keyboards are smaller, the trackpad is smaller and they have no function keys.)
  • File Organization: File management can be more challenging on iPads, especially when dealing with many files.
  • More Expensive: iPads can get more expensive than MacBook Air. If you get the best specs, Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard, Screen Protectors, etc. 

Which Is The Best iPad For a Student?

For students, the best option is iPad Air. It’s the best value for money. Overall, the iPad Pro is the best iPad. It has the best screen, storage options, processing power, and other features, like Face ID, that other models don’t offer.

iPad Pro is also a lot more expensive. I believe the best option based on value for money is the iPad Air for Students. It’s compatible with Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil 2. It doesn’t have a 120Hz screen as iPad Pro(iPad Air has a 60Hz screen), but if you’re not an artist oriented on detail, you won’t need it. iPad Air has a laminated screen, just like the iPad Pro (the classic iPad has a non-laminated screen).

Based on these facts, I believe the iPad Air is the best iPad for Students from a value-for-money standpoint. Based on specifications, it’s definitely iPad Pro. But the iPad Air is enough to do all the necessary school work, and in my opinion, the iPad Pro is an overkill for a student.

You can get the iPad Air 64GB for 559 USD in the United States, and for 669 USD, you can get the 256GB model. If you want WiFi+Cellular, you will have to pay extra.

Best iPad For Students
iPad Air
  • OS: iPadOS 
  • Chipset(SoC): M1
  • Storage: 64GB, 256GB
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Camera: 12 MP Wide (Rear), 12 MP Ultrawide (Front)
  • Display Size : 10.9 inches
  • Resolution: 1540×2360 (~264 ppi)
  • Weight: 1.03 lbs
  • Port: USB Type-C
  • Battery: 10 Hours

How is the iPad Air Different From the iPad Pro?

The iPad Air differs from the iPad Pro in several aspects:

  • The iPad Air lacks a 120Hz display, a feature present in the iPad Pro.
  • It offers lower storage capacity and RAM compared to the iPad Pro.
  • While the iPad Air features Touch ID (Fingerprint sensor), it lacks Face ID.
  • The cameras on the iPad Air are not as advanced as those on the iPad Pro.
  • The iPad Air has a lower peak brightness.
  • In terms of processing power, the iPad Air’s processor is not as robust as the iPad Pro’s.
  • Additionally, the iPad Air is smaller in size compared to the iPad Pro.

Older iPads

You can buy an older iPads from older generations to drive down the price:

Tablet NameSceen SizeGenerationReleased DateDisplayResolutionRefresh RateStarting PriceSIMWeightBatteryChipsetMax StorageRAMFront CameraBack CameraPort
Apple iPad Pro 12.912.9-inches52021, MayLCD2048 x 2732120Hz~$1049Nano SIM, eSIM1.5lbs10758 mAhApple M12TB8GB, 16GB12MP12MPUSB-C
Apple iPad Pro 1111-inches32021, MayLCD1668 x 2388120Hz~$800Nano SIM, eSIM1.03lbs7538 mAhApple M12TB8GB, 16GB12MP12MPUSB-C
Apple iPad10.2-inches92021, SeptemberLCD1620 x 216060Hz~$400Nano SIM, eSIM1.07lbs8557 mAhApple A13 Bionic256GB3GB12MP8MPLightning
Apple iPad Air10.9-inches42020, OctoberLCD1640 x 236060Hz~$549Nano SIM, eSIM1.01lbs7606 mAhApple A14 Bionic256GB4GB7MP12MPUSB-C
Apple iPad Mini7.9-inches52019, MarchLCD1536 x 204860Hz~$450Nano SIM, eSIM0.68lbs5124 mAhApple A12 Bionic256GB3GB7MP8MPLightning

iPad Accessories For Students

Screen Protector

Screen Protector

Keyboard Case

Keyboard Case

Wireless Headphones

Wireless Headphones

Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil

Folio Case

Folio Case



Stand For Bed

Stand For Bed



Wireless Mouse

Wireless Mouse

iPad Sleeve

iPad Sleeve


Do iPads Have Discounts for Students?

Yes, you can get a $50 discount buying an iPad if you are a new student enrolling University or College.

Do iPads help students learn?

iPads enhance student learning through features such as digital note-taking, access to educational apps, multimedia learning, collaborative projects, and support for creativity. The devices provide a versatile platform for diverse educational activities, promoting engagement and accessibility in learning.

ernests embutnieks wolfoftablet
Founder & Chief Editor | ernests@wolfoftablet.com

I'm a writer and editor in iPads & Android Tablets, Windows Tablet section. I'm passionate about technology, especially about tablets. I'm on a mission to assist people in discovering their ideal tablets. In addition, I'm dedicated to producing helpful how-to guides and sharing top-notch tips and tricks. In my early carrier I founded and became and editor at worldoftablet and have been a guest author at many other tech blogs. In wolfoftablet I'm focusing on iPads, Tablets, Apple Pencil, Apps, Reviews, Buyers Guides and Tablet Accessories. In free time I like to play games on my PS5 or iOS.