Is 128GB enough for iPad Pro 2021? Which storage option should you get?

14
We may earn a commission if you make a purchase from the links on this page.
Is 128GB enough for iPad Pro 2021? Which storage option should you get?
The 11- and 12.9-inch 2021 iPad Pro models have just been revealed. The new iPads are powerful, slim and have beautiful displays. The Apple M1 processor in the 2021 iPads is a true powerhouse, and with the 12.9-inch iPad having a display with Mini-LED technology, the dedication to the Pro market from Apple is impressive.

But the new tablets don’t offer expandable storage, or at least not really. Of course they can connect to an external drive via USB-C, but that takes away from the point of the iPad - to be light, powerful and mobile. You could also buy iCloud storage, but this quickly becomes more expensive than buying a larger storage version in the first place. So, even though the iPad Pro has the best specs in the business, there’s no point in buying it if you’re going to run out of storage. 

You can also read our comparison of iCloud storage plans.

Apple iPad Pro 11-inch (2021)

$799
Buy at Apple

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021)

$999
Buy at Apple

Which iPad storage variant is the one for you? Which one should you choose so you don’t have to worry about storage? Let’s find out below.

Is 128GB enough for iPad Pro? How much can 128GB hold?


If you’re a light user and think you’ll be just fine with the base 128GB version of the iPad Pro, you might want to think again. Nowadays, apps are getting bigger and bigger in size. Even if you don’t consider yourself a power user, only a couple of games like PUBG: Mobile or Asphalt 9: Legends will take over 2GB each.

Photos take a lot of space too. The iPad Pro with its Liquid Retina display is perfect for browsing through your albums, which are easy to synchronize with your iPhone. Photos captured with the iPhone or iPad are about 1 to 2MB each, and live photos are even bigger. Videos take even more space. If you’re planning on using your new iPad Pro to store your photos and videos, it will be wise to consider the 256GB storage version.

If you use your iPad mostly for entertainment, say Netflix or Amazon Prime, and often download movies and TV-shows so they are available for you offline, you will probably run out of storage space pretty quick that way too. Just one downloaded episode from any series on Netflix takes about 300MB. This means that one series’ full season would take about 6GB. And what if you wanted to download all of the seasons and even other titles as well? 6 seasons take around 36GB of storage, and that’s just for one title. If you add a couple more, you are looking at at least 100GB of storage taken, and that’s how you run out.


Is the 256GB iPad Pro worth it?


Of course, the $100 difference between the 128GB and 256GB versions of the new iPad Pro series is also something to consider, but the iPads are already expensive, with a starting price of $799 for the 11-inch model and $1099 for the 12.9-inch one. So the $100 saving probably isn’t worth it, if you’re going to worry about running out of storage.

There is also another key factor to consider: the more storage your iPad has, the better value it will have if you one day decide to sell it or trade it for a newer model. Base models often depreciate more.

I truly believe that the 256GB version of the iPad Pro (2021) is the best to buy.
 

iPad Pro (2021): do you need the 1TB version, or is 512GB of storage enough?


The simple answer to this is probably no, you don’t really need the 1TB version. And I will tell you why that is. 1TB of storage is a lot even for laptops these days. Consider that your iPad Pro uses iPadOS and not macOS. This means that apps and games take less storage, your operating system takes a lot less space too. At the end of the day, aren’t 512GB already too much?

I would imagine that if you’re a person who considers buying either one of these iPad Pro storage versions, you are probably going to use your iPad for work. Sketching things on the iPad with Apple Pencil is fun, easy, and now proven to be a reliable way for the professional artist’s creations to be made.

The iPad Pro also has a lot of video and photo editing capabilities. It is easy and fast to edit large chunks of video files on the Pro tablet, but if so, you are going to run out of 1TB too. For example, a 5-minute 4K video can take up to 1.75GB. Do you even need these videos permanently stored on your iPad when you can plug in an external storage drive? With its USB-C Thunderbolt port, the iPad Pro can be easily paired with an SSD drive, which is a convenient, inexpensive and easy solution for moving files across your devices.


And last but definitely not least, you should consider that there is a major difference between the prices of the two iPad Pro storage versions. The 512GB 2021 11-inch iPad Pro costs $1099, and the 1TB version costs $1499. This is a $300 difference, which is more than enough to buy a large SSD external drive, which is something that you probably won’t even need, because 512GB is already a lot of storage. For the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the prices are $1399 for the 512GB version and $1799 for the 1TB one. Again, a $300 difference.

The 1TB version comes with 16GB of RAM instead of 8, but at least for now iPadOS runs just fine on 8GB. You can read our article about the RAM of the new iPad Pro.

Finally, you should note that it will cost you $200 less to buy the 512GB Cellular iPad Pro model, which now has 5G connectivity, than buying the 1TB Wi-Fi only model. Your choice.

For me, the 512GB version of the iPad Pro (2021) is the one that offers the best value. If you’re planning on editing videos or/and storing lots of photos, you’re better off saving $300 and buying this one.

iPad Pro (2021) - Who even needs 2TB?


If you want the most expensive, highest spec iPad Pro, then fine, go buy the 2TB model which in its maximum spec costs $2399. The only reason for you to buy the 2TB iPad Pro is if you are really serious about editing video and plan on using it instead of a MacBook or a PC, and also, if you really, really don’t like using an external drive for your work. Otherwise...it’s just not a good investment.

Also read:

New reasons to get excited every week

Get the most important news, reviews and deals in mobile tech delivered straight to your inbox

FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless