Which iPad Air or iPad mini 5 Storage Capacity Should You Buy — 64GB or 256GB?

BY Khamosh Pathak

Published 23 Mar 2019

Which iPad Air or iPad mini Storage Capacity Should You Buy

Apple brought the iPad Air back from the dead and for just for the heck of it, updated the iPad mini too. You can think of it as an elevated version of the 2017 iPad. Or as a lighter version of the 2017 iPad Pro. iPad Air has the same body, 10.5-inch screen, Apple Pencil support, and Smart Keyboard support. And at $499, it’s much cheaper than the newer iPad Pros. The iPad mini has the same exterior it did before, just with newer components.

The iPad Air is an iPad Pro on a budget. You get a fast processor, just not all the bells and whistles like the new design, Face ID or magnetically charging Apple Pencil 2. If you don’t care about those things, it’s a good idea to save money and buy the iPad Air. The next step after deciding the buying the iPad Air or iPad mini is choosing the storage options. Read our guide to find out which storage tier you should go with.

Which iPad Air or iPad mini 5 Storage Capacity Should You Buy?

Capacity and Pricing

There’s the breakdown of the different capacities and prices of the 2019 iPad Air. Because this is not an iPad Pro, it comes in only to storage capacities and tops out at 256GB (while the iPad Pro goes all the way to 1TB).

iPad Air Wi-Fi (64GB): $499

iPad Air Wi-Fi (256GB): $649

iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular (64GB): $629

iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular (256GB): $779

iPad mini Wi-Fi (64GB): $399

iPad mini Wi-Fi (256GB): $549

iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular (64GB): $529

iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular (256GB): $679

iPad Air and iPad mini: Who Should Buy the 64GB Model?

iPad Air 2019 Drawing

64GB model will be more than enough for most users. And it’s nice to see a non-Pro iPad being offered at 64GB base configuration (the standard iPad still ships with 32GB memory).

The 64GB model will be enough for work purposes. If you’re going to use the iPad Air or iPad mini for answering email, downloading and using productivity apps like MS Office or even drawing and design apps (like Procreate, Pixelmator or Affinity Photo). The same goes if you’re only going to be streaming media from Netflix and YouTube and don’t see yourself carrying a couple of movies and TV shows with you at all times. In that case, you can save the $150 upgrade price and spend it on something else – like the Apple Pencil or the Smart Keyboard that will help you be more productive on the iPad. Simply adding the Smart Keyboard will transform your iPad from a touchscreen tablet to a productive laptop.

iPad Air: Who Should Buy the 256GB Model?

The 256GB model is perfect for future proofers. Or for Apple users who want to buy the best possible version of the given product. The thing is, unlike an Android tablet, you can’t expand the memory of an iPad down the line. So if you think you might need the extra storage space, you can only act now.

If you’re going to be using the iPad to edit photos or videos (and there many awesome apps on the App Store that let you do just that, sometimes faster and better than using an old PC), you should strongly consider going for the 256GB model. It will be worth the upgrade in pricing.

Apps like LumaFusion let you edit and export 4K footage. Even a 5-10 minute project will run a couple of GBs of memory. The same goes for photo editing projects in Affinity Photo. With the Adobe suite coming to the iPad in a couple of months, the 64GB storage space will only feel tighter.

One way to think of it is – are you are a consumer or a creator? If you plan on only consuming media or doing a bit of communication on the iPad, you can manage with the 64GB version (you can move around movies from one drive to another, or delete them after viewing).

But if you’re a creator or any kind, especially if you’re a visual content creator and you plan on using the iPad Air in a professional setting, it’s a good idea to spring for the 256GB model. You’re spending $150 more, but you’re getting a lot more out of it as well.

The 256GB model will also be the perfect choice for any type of content consumption. If you don’t use Netflix or if you have your own media collection that you travel around with, the 256GB version will be more suitable. The same goes if you pay for YouTube Premium and you like to save YouTube videos for offline viewing.

Buy iPad Air (2019)

iPad mini: Who Should Buy the 256GB Model?

iPad mini Apple Pencil

The iPad mini still has a 7.9-inch screen. You just won’t be able to use it in the same productive way as an iPad Air. You can’t, for instance, get a Smart Keyboard Cover for it. So if you’re not going to be editing 4K videos on the iPad mini, it doesn’t really make sense to spend $150 more to get the higher storage option.

But there is one reason why you might want to do that: media and games. The iPad mini is amazingly portable. You can throw it in your bag or purse and always carry it with you. This way it can become your go-to media machine. Get the 256GB version, load it up with all the TV series you want to binge in the next couple of weeks or download the games you want to play, and then forget about the data usage.

Buy iPad mini 5

Which Capacity Will You Buy?

We hope the above guide helps you in deciding which storage capacity to pick for your new iPad Pro. Have you decided yet? Or do you have any questions? Feel free to ask us in the comments below!