Best iPad for Students [2024 Guide]

The best iPad for students depends on what type of work you tend to do. Some students may want a small tablet to throw in a bag, while others may want a powerful device to edit long videos. Whatever your needs are, there’s an iPad that serves you the best. Right from taking notes and drawing to editing and graphics design tasks, Apple offers some great iPad options for anyone studying in a school, college, or university.

Now that Apple has launched the new iPads, this might be the perfect time to upgrade your old tech or buy a new iPad for college. We’ve handpicked 5 iPads with unique offerings to meet the requirements of students pursuing studies in different fields. Here are the best iPads for students you should consider in 2024. 

Which Is the Best iPad for Students?

iPad ModelWhy You Should Choose
11-inch iPad Air (6th gen, 2024)Overall best iPad for students
11-inch iPad Pro (7th gen, 2024)Best iPad for coding
iPad mini (6th gen, 2021)Best iPad for note-taking
13-inch iPad Pro (7th gen, 2024)Best iPad for Video Editing
iPad (10th gen, 2022)Best budget iPad for students

1. 11-inch iPad Air (6th gen, 2024): Best Overall iPad for Students

11-inch iPad Air M2
Tech SpecsiPad Air (6th gen)
Display11-inch Liquid Retina Display
Weight462 grams
ProcessorApple M2
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
CameraRear: 12MP wide
Front: Landscape 12MP Ultra Wide
Battery Life1o Hours
Apple Pencil supportApple Pencil Pro, Apple Pencil (USB‑C), Apple Pencil hover
Color optionsBlue, Purple, Starlight, Space Grey
Price (Education pricing)Starts at $549
iPad Air M2 Tech Specs

We think the 2024 iPad Air M2 is the best student iPad that strikes a perfect balance between power and value. With an 11-inch Liquid Retina display, modern aesthetics, lightweight design, and an upgraded M2 processor, this is a fabulous choice for students. The most highlighting feature of the new Air is the inclusion of the M2 chipset, the same processor that powered the 2022 iPad Pro, and several modern Macs as well. It provides enough power to suffice most students’ needs while being way more affordable than an iPad Pro. Thanks to the lightweight design, you can easily carry it in your bag all day.

The 11-inch 2732×2048 display offers great color reproduction and brilliant angles, making the iPad Air an ultimate companion for class usage, research, and entertainment. With the latest Apple Pencil Pro and Apple Pencil hover support, the M2 iPad Air stands tall amongst the best iPads for drawing that can help you train your artistic muscles. You’ll find a 12MP wide camera on the rear panel and there’s a 12MP front-facing camera that allows for Center Stage and is now sensibly positioned to the landscape mode.

You may find this student iPad a bit on the pricey side, but it also comes with a 128GB storage space, which is double the base storage on the older iPad Air (2022, M1) it replaces. Starting at $549 (with Eduction pricing), the M2 iPad Air is the best iPad for artists and offers the best value for money. If you need a bigger display, Apple also offers a 13-inch variant of the M2 iPad Air.

Highly capable M2 processorNo Face ID
Front camera supports Center Stage
The base model offers 128GB of storage
Nice color options

2. 11-inch iPad Pro (7th gen, 2024): Best iPad for Engineering & IT Students

11-inch iPad Pro M4
Tech SpecsiPad Pro (2024)
Display11-inch Ultra Retina XDR OLED
Weight444 grams
ProcessorApple M4
Storage256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
CameraRear: Landscape 12MP Wide
Front: 12MP TrueDepth
PortThunderbolt / USB 4 port 
Battery Life10 Hours
Apple Pencil supportApple Pencil Pro, Apple Pencil USB-C, Apple Pencil hover
Color optionsSilver, Space Balck
Price (Education pricing)Starts at $899
11-inch iPad Pro 2024 Tech Specs

If budget is not an issue, you can never go wrong with the latest M4 iPad Pro. It’s the best-in-class Apple tablet that brings an incredible fusion of power and performance. Boasting an excellent Tandem OLED display, incredibly light & thin construction, and the remarkable M4 chipset, the 2024 iPad Pro is the pinnacle of Apple’s tablet lineup.

The new Ultra Retina XDR OLED is the brightest display Apple has ever made, kicking out up to a whopping 1,600 nits. It also supports ProMotion technology with a butter-smooth 120Hz refresh rate. That means, besides work, you can do a lot of gaming in between. The OLED iPad Pro is super duper impressive if you’re a technology or engineering student, a video editor, or are involved in other strenuous tasks. Bear in mind that such top-notch power and price can be overkill if you’re an average student.

Like the 2022 iPad Pro, the newest Pro features a 12MP f/1.8 primary camera so you can take photos of all your presentations, documents, and other school work. That said, it has lost the 10MP ultra-wide camera present on the previous iPad Pro M2. You shouldn’t face any issues unless you’re a photography enthusiast. The front camera supports Center Stage, so you’ll always be in the frame when you’re talking to your classmates or attending online lectures. Not to forget, you can always pair some of the best iPad Pro accessories with it, like the latest Apple Pencil Pro or Magic Keyboard.

All in all, if you can afford and take advantage of all the power that’s offered, the 11-inch iPad Pro M4 is gonna be your best bet.

Stunning OLED displayAvailable only in two colors
A powerful M4 chipsetExpensive
Thin and lightweight
Nano-texture option for 1TB and 2TB variants

3. iPad mini (6th gen, 2021): Best iPad for Note-taking and Reading

Best iPad for Students [2024 Guide]
Tech SpecsiPad mini (6th gen)
Display8.3-inch Liquid Retina display
Weight0.65 pound (293 grams)
ProcessorA15 Bionic chip
Storage64GB, 256GB
CameraRear: 12MP wide camera
Front: 12MP ultrawide camera with Center Stage
Battery Life10 Hours
Apple Pencil supportApple Pencil (2nd generation), Apple Pencil (USB-C)
Color optionsSpace Gray, Pink, Purple, Starlight
iPad mini 6th-gen Tech Specs

For students looking for the best portable iPad for college, the iPad mini 6 makes a superb choice. With a smaller 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display with an overall design that looks like a smaller version of the 10th-gen iPad or iPad Air models. Don’t let the small design fool you. The iPad mini 6 has an A15 Bionic chipset, that’s found on the iPhone 13 Pro Max, so you get enough power in a small package.

The compact design and Apple Pencil support make the iPad mini a fantastic option for note-taking, reading, and class usage. The small and lightweight design particularly comes in handy in lecture theatres or while you’re on the go in public transport.

The iPad mini easily fits in any bag and you can easily carry it around your campus. There’s no home button, so the screen space isn’t compromised. The Touch ID is shifted to the Top/Power button. Talking about the connectivity options, you get Wi-Fi 6 support and LTE 5G availability, depending on the model you choose. It offers a maximum storage of 256GB, which is enough for most student needs. Weighing a mere 293 grams, the iPad mini 6 is the lightest and the most portable iPad for students.

Sleek and lightweightToo small for some
Easily fits into a backpack or a handbagNot compatible with Magic keyboard or Smart Keyboard Folio
Center Stage for FaceTime calls
Better display and more power than standard iPad models

4. 13-inch iPad Pro (7th gen, 2024): Best iPad for Creatives and Editing

13-inch iPad Pro
Tech SpecsiPad Pro (2024)
Display13-inch Ultra Retina XDR OLED
Weight579 grams
ProcessorApple M4
Storage256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
CameraRear: 12MP Wide
Front: 12MP TrueDepth
PortThunderbolt / USB 4 port 
Battery Life10 Hours
Apple Pencil supportApple Pencil Pro, Apple Pencil USB-C, Apple Pencil hover
Color optionsSilver, Space Balck
Price (Education pricing)$1199
13-inch iPad Pro 2024 Tech Specs

The latest 13-inch iPad Pro knows no limits. For a tablet, the new Pro offers a damn big screen to work on. It provides the largest screen in the entire iPad range and packs an intense amount of power with the brand-new M4 chip. Now, the big screen doesn’t mean the iPad is difficult to use and carry around with. It’s magically lightweight and portable with a very slim chassis. When you equip a Magic keyboard accessory, the 13-inch iPad Pro makes a super solid laptop replacement, and no other tablet comes even close to it. This makes a great option for creatives and design students who crave a laptop-like experience.

You get to choose from loads of storage options, that go all the way up to 2TB. Whether you want to do your everyday college work, install professional software, or have to work with dozens of apps, the 13-inch iPad Pro offers high storage options that will last you a long time. So, you don’t have to upgrade because of any storage problems. If you prefer a matte-like display or work in challenging lightning, you may consider going for a nano-texture coating on the M4 iPad Pro.

Sure the 13-inch iPad Pro M4 is an expensive commitment, but it’s a worthy investment in the long run. The 2024 Pro is crazy powerful that you won’t even think about replacing it when the next model launches. You can choose to spend more now, you can save some nice money in the future. To put it simply, the M4 iPad Pro is the best iPad for editing and graphics design students who want the best of the best experience.

A big and beautiful displayExpensive
Powerful M4 chipsetOverkill for most students
Works as a laptop replacement
Future-proof specs

5. iPad (10th gen, 2022): Best Budget iPad for Students

iPad (10th gen, 2022)
Tech SpecsiPad (10th gen)
Display10.9-inch Liquid Retina display
Weight477 grams
ProcessorA14 Bionic
Storage64GB, 128GB
CameraRear: 12MP Wide
Front: Landscape 12MP Ultra Wide
Battery Life10 Hours
Apple Pencil supportApple Pencil (1st gen), Apple Pencil (USB-C)
Color optionsSilver, Blue, Pink, Yellow
iPad 10th gen Tech Specs

Thanks to the recent price cut by $100 and the farewell of the 9th-gen iPad, Apple has made the 10th-gen iPad more affordable at $349. Plus, you can save an additional $20 with the Education pricing. This makes it the best student iPad under $350. Now, being a budget device, it doesn’t mean this iPad makes any compromises in features. In fact, you essentially get the same suite of features as the premium iPad Air and iPad Pro models, in a lightweight chassis.

With a 10.3-inch Liquid Retina Display, the iPad 10 is amazing for taking notes during class, attending online lectures, or watching tutorials. The standard iPad makes a lot of sense for most people, especially with the 5G support for on-the-go usage and a true landscape 12MP camera for weekly FaceTime video calls to home. You can also opt for the Magic Keyboard Folio and turn your tablet into a laptop in your library or classroom table. The adjustable kickstand with a 14-key function row is an added bonus.

While the iPad 10 is a solid pick for college students, it doesn’t support Apple Pencil 2. You can use the Apple Pencil (1st gen) or go for the Apple Pencil USB-C model to get over the dongle stupidity. Sure there are some caveats, but with a modern design, decent display, and a solid processor, the iPad 10th-gen is a wise investment for students on a budget.

AffordableNo Apple Pencil 2 support
Air-inspired designThe storage tops out at 256GB
Available in several color options
Price reduced in May 2024

Factors to Consider Before Buying an iPad for College

Apple offers four models in the iPad lineup- iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro. Each one of them has some unique features that make it difficult to decide which iPad is worth buying for students. There are some important factors you must consider while choosing the best iPad for college. This will make sure you pick the right model.

1. Screen Size

An iPad comes in different sizes, ranging from the portable 8.3-inch screen on iPad mini to a laptop-like 13-inch display on iPad Pro, and even iPad Air now. Each screen size serves different purposes and over several benefits. If you’re looking for the best iPad for reading, taking notes, or on-the-go usage, you might want to go for a smaller model. In case you wish to replace your laptop with an iPad or crave a laptop-like experience, it’s worth going for a bigger model.

2. Chip

Today, the Apple processor comes in various forms, with the M4 chipset being the latest in the pack. With mind-blowing capabilities, the M4 chipset offers a blazingly fast performance that’s up to 2x faster than the previous iPad models with the M2 chipset. That being said, not everyone needs such processing powers. In fact, the M2 and even M1 chipset offer amazing performance for everyday tasks like reading, drawing, sketching, making presentations, and working with different apps.

3. Storage

Students must also consider the storage while buying an iPad for class usage. Typically, an iPad Pro offer more storage options than the other options. You can go up to a 2TB storage variant with the modern iPad Pro models. Whereas, you have to settle for up to 256GB of storage space with the standard iPad, iPad mini, and some iPad Air models. Thankfully, Apple has amped up the storage game on the new M2 iPad Air by offering a 512GB and a 1TB option.

If your everyday routine requires dealing with a lot of files & apps, and you solely want to rely on your iPad, you must go for higher storage variants. On the other hand, if you’re a light user or you also own a laptop or a PC, storage shouldn’t be a major concern.

4. Accessories

Apple offers a range of iPad accessories, and the compatibility is fragmented across the lineup. There are four different Apple Pencil models, three different keyboard attachments, and a wide range of iPad cases. While some iPad models support all the modern accessories, whereas some just don’t. If you don’t want any accessories, this shouldn’t bother you. However, if you wish to use some accessories with your tablet, you should make sure both are compatible.

5. Price

Inevitably, price is an important factor to consider. You must have an idea about how much you are willing to spend. Apple provides a diverse array of iPad models across different price points. You can get an iPad for as little as $350 or can splurge over $1000 on the top-of-the-line model. Students can find the best iPad for college from $349 to $1199, depending upon the model.

Do Students Get Discount on iPads?

Yes, Apple offers student discounts on iPads. Apple Student Discount or as the company calls it “Apple Education Pricing” is a special discounted pricing available to everyone in the education industry. So, current and newly accepted students and their parents, faculty, staff, university/school board members, and homeschool teachers of all grade levels can get discounts on iPads and other eligible Apple products. The best part is Apple offers student discounts on all iPad models, from the affordable iPad to the premium iPad Pro. You can get student discounts on the Apple Online Store for Education or even at physical Apple Stores.

For more details on iPad Student Discount, head to our detailed guide.

Which iPad are you planning to buy? Don’t forget to share your plans in the comments below.

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