Cheap iPad deals are rare, we know. But that doesn't mean they don't happen. Right now is a particularly good time to be shopping around, with Apple's WWDC just a few days away and a new iPad Pro line-up already announced this year, we're sure to see some amazing deals on some of Apple's older (but still brilliant) iPad models.
The last couple of years has seen multiple new iPads hit the shelves, which means a great, wide choice of options for creatives. But with so many models to choose from – iPad Pro, Air, Mini etc – how do you know which is right for you? And can you use the best iPad apps for designers on all of them?
Don't fret, we're here to help. Not only does this guide to the best iPad deals present the lowest prices on each of these devices, but we've listed all of the key features to help you make an informed decision (jump to which model should you buy).
Here are the best iPad deals across the full range, including the new 2020 iPad Pro, 2019 10.2-inch iPad, the iPad mini, and iPad Air.
- Browse the iPad range at Apple.com
01. The best iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2020) deals
The latest iPad Pro is much the same in design to last year'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.
02. The best iPad 10.2-inch (2019) deals
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.
03. The best iPad Mini (2019) deals
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.
04. The best iPad Air (2019) deals
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.
05. The best iPad Pro 11-inch (2018) deals
Thankfully, the smaller of the 2018 iPad Pro is the one that will make a slightly smaller dent, rather than a massive crater, in your wallet. Priced only marginally higher than the previous model, you get all the technical benefits of the 12.9-inch model - 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.
06. The best iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2018) deals
The slimmer bezels surrounding the newly designed larger sized iPad Pro gives you a massive among of space to work on your visual creation. But with a light and portable build and support for USB-C, the iPad Pro is basically like a giant glass slate that’s just right for turning your ideas into reality, with all the touch and stylus interactivity of iOS.
But the new iPad Pro isn’t just about aesthetics. Inside it has an A12X Bionic processor, a chip that is right up there in benchmarks against desktop Intel processors in PCs and Macs, with more GPU performance, 4GB of memory and up to 1TB of internal storage.
We think the larger iPad is the all-round best iPad for graphic designers. But unfortunately, along with the increase in specs and new features, the new iPad Pro has seen a big bump in pricing, which accelerates rapidly with additional storage. It's totally worth it if you can afford it, though. For a more in-depth look at this model, head over to our iPad Pro 12.9 review.
07. The best iPad (2018) deals
The regular iPad has fewer features than the iPad Pro from either this year or last. It uses an older processor, less memory, wider bezels and a less fancy display. But crucially, it now supports Apple Pencil (first generation) and costs significantly less than the iPad Pro. Squeezing into a wider range of budgets, it’s a much more affordable choice for a design tablet with fully baked stylus support, without compromising on interactivity.
It uses the A10 Fusion processor, a chip which might be a few generations old, but is still no slouch at all, and is capable of running all current iOS apps with slick, fluid performance.
With excellent all-round performance and Pencil support, most designers will be best off with this model, as it’s especially good value for money. And right now, Walmart has some even more incredible savings:
Ok, that's a lot to take in. Need a recap? Here are the very best iPad deals we brought you today...
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 has seen Apple refine its iPad lineup, bringing some great new upgrades to its iconic tablet.
Back in March we saw Apple launch a new iPad Air and iPad Mini, both of which support the (first gen) Apple Pencil.
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. And we’ve scoured the web for the best iPad prices anywhere.
And 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.