Apple's best iPads for video editing also happen to be the best tablets for editing video; no other manufacturer can beat the iPad when it comes to delivering smooth and fast editing, colour grading and video rendering.
Over the years, we've reviewed all of the iPad generations, and our list brings together the current iPads available today, in the order that we'd recommend them for video editors (which is not necessarily in the order you might think). To test these iPads, we put them through benchmarks tests from the likes of Cinebench, as well as performing our own tests on download and upload speed of video and rendering. We also spent time playing around in programmes such as Final Cut Pro and testing out factors such as overall usability and battery life.
Whether you’re looking for the absolute best iPad for video editing, regardless of price, or you’re only starting out and want something cheap, we've gathered every option for you on this list. Just note that the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard are added extras, so you may want to factor this in.
The best iPad for video editing available now
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You might wonder why the latest iPad Pros aren’t in our top spot. That’s because both models of the iPad Pros (M1, 2021) are still very powerful video editing tablets, even by today's standards. Better yet, they’re more affordable than ever before, with many retailers eager to sell off their stock by offering discounts. That makes them the better value models for most people.
Of course, if you’re looking for the most powerful, you can check out their successors, which are sitting at number three as our premium pick. But, rest assured that as mind-blowing as the M2 chip in the new iPad Pros is, the iPad Pros (M1, 2021) are still knocking it out of the park. That’s especially because both have the same number of CPU cores and RAM options.
These M1-powered models' 8-core CPU, as well as 8-core GPU, will see you through your video editing workloads smoothly, especially when paired with 16GB of memory. Meanwhile, the Liquid Retina display (Liquid Retina XDR on the 12.9-inch) with a P3 wide colour gamut will ensure that all those colours are well-reproduced, as we found in our iPad Pro (M1) 12.9-inch review.
The lightest iPad isn’t too far behind 2021’s iPad Pros in terms of performance, thanks to Apple upgrading the line in a massive way with the M1 chip. And, really, the only thing that holds this model back when it comes to editing is its limited storage options – Apple tops you off at 256GB, strangely enough – and only 8GB memory. If you’re a video editor, you know the difference 16GB RAM can make to hasten your workflow.
Still, that 8-core CPU, alongside the 8GB GPU, doesn’t fool around. And, if you think the 4th-generation iPad Air, powered by the snappy A14 Bionic chip, was impressive, you’ll be blown away by the massive difference in performance here – as we were in our iPad Air (2022) review. Just like the iPad Pro 11-inch (2021), it boasts a Liquid Retina display with a P3 wide colour gamut and 264ppi pixel density, which means you’re getting crisp, detailed, vibrant picture quality with well-reproduced colours to help you make great videos.
Bear in mind, however, that while this is a more affordable proposition, it’s hardly the cheapest option. Its kitted-out model is almost as pricey as the base iPad Pro 11-inch configuration. But, seeing as video editing is a demanding process, you can hardly expect us to give you something that will interrupt your creative workflow or make you wait longer than you should, especially if you’re doing it professionally. If you want the most budget option that’s better suited for beginners and students, check our number four option instead.
There’s no denying it, the iPad Pro (2022) models are the most powerful iPads of them all. Thanks to that M2 chip inside, which boasts an 8-core CPU and a 10-core GPU, these leave pretty much everything else in the dust due to its speed. If only they weren’t bogged down by their steep price tag, which not a lot of people are willing to pay – not with the slightly more affordable M1 iPad Pros still holding their own when it comes to demanding workloads.
Still, if you have the money to spend, the iPad Pro (2022) will essentially future-proof your portable or on-the-go video editing setup. Especially if you upgrade to the 16GB RAM on hand. Go for the iPad Pro 12.9-inch, and you’ll enjoy a peak brightness of 1,600 nits and a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio – just the ticket if you’re editing HDR content.
You might be disappointed by the lack of battery life upgrade here, as it remains at 10 hours maximum on a single charge, like that on their predecessors. But, when you think about how much more power you’re getting, especially when you’re using video editing software that tends to use the GPU more, you’ll realise that it is, in fact, more power efficient. See our iPad Pro (M2, 2022) review for more details.
The latest iPad has gotten a massive upgrade in specs, thanks to the A14 Bionic chip that’s now powering it, and the larger, brighter screen. Both contribute to taking the original iPad line from being the iPad for most users to being one of the most capable tablets out there that can handle CPU-hungry and GPU-intensive tasks… like easier video editing workloads, for example.
That’s right; the previously underestimated, often overlooked iPad is now capable of seeing students and fledging video editors through their demanding creative process. We’ve witnessed this first-hand in our iPad 2022 review. And, you need not spend more than $750 / £750 for it either (although be warned, it went up in price when it got its new chip).
Due to its limitations in RAM – you can only get an 8GB one – we cannot confidently recommend it to professional video editors. Time is money, after all. But, if you’re just starting and still honing the craft, this one’s a money-saving ace.