Choosing the correct iPad Pro storage size for your needs can be tricky so in this guide we want to help you decide between the cheapest option (128 GB), the two middle options (256 GB and 512 GB) and Apple’s most expensive 2020 iPad Pro, the 1 TB model.
While you might be tempted to go with Apple’s cheapest iPad Pro or shell out for the most storage, a lot of you will find that you’re probably better off going with something in between.
One thing to remember is that many people will wind up paying for more storage one way or another. So either you’ll spend the money up front or you’ll pay a monthly fee for additional storage via Apple’s iCloud service.
There are several important factors to consider before you settle on one storage size or another and we’ll break down all of the things you need to consider in this guide.
2020 iPad Pro Storage Options
Apple offers four 2020 iPad Pro storage options at different price points.
- 12.9-inch edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display with ProMotion, True Tone, and P3 wide color
- A12Z Bionic chip with Neural Engine
- 12MP Wide camera, 10MP Ultra Wide camera, and LiDAR Scanner
- 7MP TrueDepth front camera
- Face ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
Both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros come in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB formats. The cheapest model is the 11-inch iPad Pro with 128GB while the most expensive option is Apple’s 12.9-inch model with 1TB and cellular data.
The 512GB iPad Pro is $300 more expensive than the base model while the 1TB iPad Pro is whopping $500 more expensive than the 128GB iPad Pro.
If you don’t want to pay full price, you can save money if you’re able to trade in an eligible tablet. We also expect some nice price cuts in the weeks ahead, particularly during the fall.
While you can add additional storage to some Android tablets, the iPad Pro doesn’t come with a microSD card slot. If you want to add additional storage you’ll need to use iCloud or buy a Lightning-compatible drive.
Don’t expect Apple to add new storage options later. Apple typically sticks with storage options for a full year or more.
Pay for Storage Today or Pay Later
If you plan to shoot 4K video, download a bunch of movies for travel, or play a ton of games on your iPad, you’ll need quite a bit of space.
While 128GB might seem like enough, there’s a good chance it’ll fill up quickly and you’ll be forced to a) continuously delete files you no longer need or b) pay for iCloud storage.
Fortunately, iCloud is fairly inexpensive. You can get 50GB of cloud storage for as little as a dollar a month:
- 50GB: $0.99
- 200GB: $2.99
- 2TB: $9.99
Remember, you can share iCloud storage with your family members.
Who Should Buy the 128GB iPad Pro?
The 128GB iPad Pro is the cheapest option and definitely worthy of consideration if you don’t plan on using your iPad for intense work. Here are a few reasons to consider buying the 128GB model:
- You stream most of your movies and music.
- You don’t plan to shoot a lot of 4K content.
- You plan to store your photos in iCloud Photo Library or on a computer.
- You come nowhere close to using 128GB of storage on your current devices.
Who Should Buy the 256GB iPad Pro?
Some of you might want to spend the extra $100 for the extra 128GB of space, even if it’s just for the peace of mind that comes with having additional storage.
Here are a few reasons to go with the 256GB iPad Pro:
- You like to store some of movies and music locally.
- You need or prefer to keep your photos stored locally.
- You plan to shoot 4K content.
- You’re close to using 128GB of space on your current devices.
- You can’t stand having to constantly manage the data on your devices.
The 128GB is an excellent middle-of-the-road option that can work with or without iCloud.
Who Should Buy the 512GB iPad Pro?
The 512GB iPad Pro is a solid option for those that want a bunch of local storage. It should provide enough space for photography buffs, avid gamers, and those who plan to tackle work projects on the go.
Here are a few reasons to consider shelling out for the 512GB model:
- You store a most of your movies and music locally.
- You need or prefer to keep photos stored locally.
- You plan to shoot tons of 4K content.
- You plan to do a lot of work from your iPad.
Who Should Buy the 1TBGB iPad Pro?
As for the most expensive option, there are probably only a few people that truly need a 1TB iPad Pro. This model is aimed at developers who need the extra space for creating apps and those in creative fields like graphic design or music engineering.
If you are an average person, you don’t need 1TB of storage space and you’re much better off going with one of the other three iPad Pro models.
How to Check Your Current Storage
If you’re currently using an iPad, you should check your current storage before you decide. You should be able to gather some great insight into your habits. Here’s how to do this:
- Tap on your Settings app.
- Tap on General.
- Tap on iPad Storage.
This will show you how much free storage you currently have and how much you are using. It’ll also tell you exactly what’s taking up the most storage. For many of you, it’ll be photos and videos, apps, and messages.
If your iPad is around a year old, you should still have around 50% of your storage left. If you are within 10-15% of its capacity, you probably need more storage.
If you’re using iCloud, you should also check on your iCloud storage usage:
- Open Settings.
- Tap on your Name at the top of the screen.
- Tap on iCloud.
This screen shows your iCloud storage use and your current plan. If you tap on Manage Storage you’ll get a better breakdown of how you use cloud storage.
Install iPadOS 13.7 for Better Security
If you value your security, you'll want to install iPadOS 13.7 in the near future.
iPadOS 13.7 doesn't have any known security patches on board. That said, if you skipped iPadOS 13.6 or an older version of iPadOS, you'll get security patches with your upgrade.
The iPadOS 13.6 update brought more than 20 security patches to the iPad line. That made it an important upgrade for most users. You'll get these patches if you skipped iPadOS 13.6.
If you skipped iPadOS 13.5.1, you get its security patch with your upgrade. It's baked in.
If you skipped iPadOS 13.5, iPadOS 13.7 includes iPadOS 13.5's 41 security patches which you can about on the company's security site.
The list includes patches for the company's Mail app, Wi-Fi, AirDrop, Bluetooth, FaceTime, Messages, and Notifications.
If you skipped Apple's iPadOS 13.4 release, you'll get the update's 28 security patches with your upgrade. You can read about all of them on Apple's website right here.
Reports have outlined a vulnerability in Wi-Fi chips made by Broadcom and Cypress Semiconductor that left billions of devices susceptible to attack.
Dubbed Kr00k, the vulnerability allows nearby attackers to decrypt sensitive information that's relayed over-the-air.
Fortunately, it looks like the issue was patched up with the release of iPadOS 13.2, an update that arrived all the way back in October.
If you're currently running a much older version of iPadOS 13 on your tablet, you'll probably want to update your iPad right now.
If you skipped iPadOS 13.3.1 you'll get its patches with your upgrade. The iPadOS 13.3.1 had 21 new security patches on board. If you want to dig into the specifics, you can do so right here.
If you skipped a previous version of iPadOS 13, you'll get additional security patches with your upgrade to iPadOS 13.7.
If you skipped iPadOS 13.3, you get its 12 security patches with your upgrade. You can read about each one over on Apple's security page.
The iPadOS 13.3 update also added support for NFC, USB, and Lightning FIDO2-compliant security keys in the Safari browser.
If you missed iPadOS 13.2, it had 16 new security patches on board. You can read about them on Apple's security website.
If you missed iPadOS 13.1.1, you get a security patch for a third-party keyboard issue. If you're interested in the particulars, you can read about the patch on Apple's website.
If you passed on installing iPadOS 13.1, you get another patch with your iPadOS 13.7 update. You can learn more about it right here.
If you skipped iOS 12.4.1 or any older versions of iOS 12, you'll get their security patches with your iPadOS 13.7 update.
iOS 12.4.1 only had one patch on board, but Apple's iOS 12.4 brought 19 security patches to the iPad line. If you're interested in the specifics, you can read about them on right here.
In addition to those patches, iPadOS 13 itself comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improved anti-tracking features in Safari and the ability to get rid of location metadata in your photos.
You also have the ability to block apps from using Bluetooth and the ability to allow apps to access your location just once.
The operating system will also send you reminders about applications that track your data.
Last update on 2020-09-27. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API
This article may contain affiliate links. Click here for more details.