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The best iPad deals in October 2021

Best iPad deals
(Image credit: Apple)
The best iPad deals

Jump to the iPad deal you want... 
01. iPad Pro deals
02. iPad Air deals
03. iPad Mini deals
04. iPad deals

Finding the best iPad deals is a question of expectations and timing. You can't expect massive discounts on recent models, but if you time your search right – for example, just after a new model is announced, you could snatch a good discount on a new iPad. 

The time is right at the moment. Apple's launch of the new M1-chipped iPad Pro, increase your chances of getting a discount on earlier models, which are still super powerful. The last couple of years has seen multiple new iPads hit the shelves, so there's a huge amount of choice for digital creatives. If you're torn choosing from the iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Air and iPad Mini, we've listed the key features of each and rounded up the best current prices available to help you make your choice. For more help with that, jump to which model should you buy.

Below, you'll find the best iPad deals across the full range, including the most recent 2021 iPad Pro (M1). If you already know which type of iPad you want, you can use the quick links on the right to jump to information and prices for the models from the past few years. Looking for more of the best Apple deals? We've got you covered. We also have a guide to the best Apple keyboards and the best iPad stands.

The best iPad deals available right now

Best iPad Pro (M1, 2021) deals

best ipad deals: ipad pro 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

The 2021 iPad Pro made two great leaps forward. It's introduced Apple's powerful M1 chip, previously used only on Macs, and the 12.9in model has introduced a mini-LED-powered XDR display, making it the best display for colour accuracy, contrast and brightness that can fit in a handbag. 

The mini-LED backlight offers a clear improvement in vibrancy and better control of local dimming gives darker areas more nuance and depth. Many users might never need the amount of power the new model offers, but apps like Affinity Designer will make use of it to ensure they never slow down. See our full iPad 12.9ins (M1, 2021) review for more details

Best iPad Pro (2020) deals

Best iPad deals: iPad Pro 12.9 (2020)

(Image credit: Apple)

The 2020 iPad Pro is much the same in design to 2019's iteration – and we're glad. It's nearly 12.9-inches of pure, beautiful screen, showing off its Liquid Retina display – one of the very best on any mobile devise on sale. Around the back you'll find a square camera bump that houses its dual cameras – a 10MP ultra-wide camera that complements the standard 12MP wide camera – and LiDAR scanner.

As far as performance goes, the 2020 edition of the iPad Pro includes a A12Z Bionic processor that offers an 8-core CPU and a new 8-core GPU, all of which gives a big boost in graphics performance. It's also lightning fast, and has a great battery life, and with the addition of the Magic Keyboard, it's the perfect versatile tablet/laptop for all your needs. 

Best iPad Pro (2018) deals

Best iPad deals: iPad Pro 2018

Thankfully, the smaller of the 2018 iPad Pros is the one that will make a slightly smaller dent in your wallet. Priced only marginally higher than the previous model, you get all the technical benefits of the 12.9-inch model, including second-generation Pencil 2 support, USB-C connectivity with support for peripherals including external displays up to 5K resolution, and of course the near edge-to-edge design.

It’s similarly powered by an A12X Bionic processor, with performance that makes this iPad every bit as capable as a laptop, and will chew through demanding design apps with ease. It has also had a big graphics bump over the previous iPad’s A10X chip.

And it's brilliant for graphic design, with the ever-accurate Pencil accessory now in its second generation, able to clip to the side of the iPad magnetically and recharging completely wirelessly off the iPad’s battery. Want to know more, take a look at our in-depth iPad Pro 11-inch review

Best iPad Air (2020) deals

Best iPad deals: iPad Air (2020)

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The 2020 version of the iPad Air is the perfect midpoint between the Air and the Pro. And coming with an A14 Bionic with Neural Engine, a 12MP rear camera (7MP front), and a UBB-C port, it will be perfect for many creatives' needs. What Apple has done here is provide an iPad Air with many of the screen and CPU specs of the Pro, but keeping the other features down to keep the price down. For example, the 2020 iPad Air does not have face recognition, and the screen itself is 10.9-inches. 

However, with deal prices dipping to around the $540/£540 mark already (this is the 2020 model, remember), this model is really excellent value for money. 


Best iPad Air (2019) deals

Best iPad deals: Apple iPad Air (2019)

The perfect combination of power and portability, the 2019 iPad Air has been resurrected to become Apple’s most balanced digital canvas. It doesn't compromise on performance or push the boundaries of price, making it a very attractive new option. 

It’s a brilliantly sized tablet for drawing and photo editing, thanks to its bright and colourful laminated screen. We just wish it used an easier-to-wield second-gen Apple Pencil. 

Best iPad Mini (2019) deals

Best iPad deals: Product shot of iPad Mini (2019)

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If information serves us correctly, the last time Apple paid its iPad Mini version any proper attention was back in 2015, so it was well overdue an update. Thankfully that came earlier this year, and Apple didn't hold back. 

Deceptively powerful for its size, thanks to its iPhone XS-class chipset, the Mini comes equipped with a bright 7.9-inch display. The most notable update for the design community is the Mini's added support for the first Gen Apple Pencil. Small, highly portable and super-easy to instantly scribble notes and sketches makes this another option for designer's to throw into the mix.

Best iPad (2020) deals

The best iPad deals: iPad (2020)

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You'd think with all the Pros, Airs and Minis flying about, Apple would have phased the original iPad out. Well, if it's not broke, don't fix it – just add to its features, make it faster and lighter and keep its low price low! 

The 2020 iteration of the iPad is the 8th generation of the tablet, and comes with the same price tag as the previous year's model, but with a processor that's around 45% faster (thanks to its A12 Bionic with Neural Engine). Add to that a decent 2160 x 1620 pixels resolution, and this classic iPad remains the one to get if it's browsing and streaming on the fly that you're looking for. 

Best iPad (2019) deals

Best iPad deals: iPad 10.2 (2019)

(Image credit: Apple)

September 2019 saw Apple's most affordable iPad being treated to a few updates, while keeping the core appeal of the best-seller intact. This iPad delivers a bigger screen (but still looks great as Apple also ramped up the LCD's resolution to keep the same pixel density as before), and is a touch speedier, with more RAM under the hood, compared to the 2018 version.

This iteration is also compatible with the Apple Smart Keyboard Cover, making it the cheapest iPad with Smart Connector. All and all, it's the perfect entry-level iPad for all your media viewing, mobile gaming, drawing and sketching needs, and still one of the best allrounder tablets out there. 

The best iPad deals: Which model should you buy?

One of the biggest years for the iPad was in 2018, when the iPad Pro had a complete redesign, ditching the Home button completely and drastically shrinking the bezels around the sides. The 2018 model of the iPad Pro also gained a USB-C port in place of the old Lightning connector, which made it much more versatile, and meant it can be hooked up to external displays. There was also a brand new version of Apple’s Pencil stylus to go with it.

The regular more affordable iPad also had an update that makes it seriously brilliant for graphic designers. It also supports the Apple Pencil, bringing the wide range of stylus-driven iPad graphical and illustration apps to a much wider audience, including the forthcoming update to Adobe Photoshop, which is shaping up to be a potential tablet-sized replacement for the desktop version. If it's a stylus you're after, check out our roundup of the best iPad styluses.

While 2018 was a revolutionary year for the iPad, 2019 saw Apple refine its iPad lineup, launching a new iPad Air and iPad Mini, both of which support the (first gen) Apple Pencil. Since then Apple's upped the performance and displays of successive models, culminating in the 2021 M1-chipped iPad Pro, which offers more power than most people would need at the moment.

Whether you're considering the most powerful iPad Pro, or if the regular iPad will be sufficient for you, you’ll find the iPad is a brilliant tool for graphic design. If you're in the market for more creative hardware generally, don't miss the following articles: Best cheap laptop deals, best monitors for creatives, the best Wacom tablet deals, and smartphone deals for designers.

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Beren Neale

Beren Neale is the deals editor at Creative Bloq. After editing several creative and design magazines - including the graphic design mag Computer Arts - he found his home on the biggest global art and design website, helping digital creatives get the best deals on the kit that they need.