The best cheap iPad deals
Finding the best cheap iPad deals is no easy feat. Discounts on these sought-after devices are rare and difficult to find, especially as Apple rarely offers savings on any of its products. But that doesn't mean cheap iPad deals don't exist, you just need to know where to look. With Amazon Prime looming, we're already seeing some top Prime Day deals on Apple products, and expect to see even more in the coming days.
Which iPad deal should you choose?
2018 was huge for the iPad, in more ways than one. The new iPad Pro had a complete redesign, ditching the Home button completely and drastically shrinking the bezels around the sides. It now has a USB-C port rather than the old Lightning connector, so it can be hooked up to external displays. There’s a brand new version of Apple’s Pencil stylus to go with it. And with the latest A12X Bionic processor, it can deliver computing performance that rivals desktop PCs.
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.
And 2019 is following closely in last year's footsteps when it comes to iPad news. 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 6 smartphone deals for designers.
Read on for the best iPad deals to be had right now...
01. iPad Pro 11 (2018) deals
Thankfully, the smaller of this year’s 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 last year’s 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.
02. 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:
Apple iPad (2018) 128GB:
Save $100.99: In one of the cheapest iPad deals we've seen this year, you can save a whopping $100 on a brand new 128GB iPad (2018). The 9.7-inch tablet boasts advanced cameras, a better display, Touch ID, support for Apple Pencil and over a million apps available on the App Store. Don't miss this incredible deal! View Deal
Apple iPad (2018) 32GB:
Save $70: If you want the same model but don't need quite as much memory, Walmart also has this cracking deal on the 32GB iPad (2018). Now at under $250, this deal is going to fly off the shelves so you best be quick if you don't want to miss out. View Deal
03. iPad Pro 12.9 (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.
04. 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.
- Read more: iPad Air (2019) review
05. 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.
06. iPad Pro (2017) deals
We’ve gushed about the new 2018 iPad Pro, but 2017’s model was fantastic too. It’s still available from Apple and outpaces the 2018 iPad with the beefier A10X, which has more graphics cores and better multi tasking performance.
Although the iPad Pro can no longer claim exclusive Pencil support, since the cheaper 2018 iPad now offers that feature, there are a few technical areas where the older iPad Pro has an edge. This includes a fully laminated screen with a 120hz refresh rate, for extra smooth performance.
But that said, while some of the deals you can find on the older iPad Pro model might be tempting, at Apple’s official pricing the newer 11-inch 2018 iPad Pro is only £140 more. Given the improvements in this year’s model, we’d recommend stumping up the extra cash to go with the newer iPad Pro.
Ok, that's a lot to take in. Need a recap? Here are the very best iPad deals we brought you today...