When buying a new phone or an iPad, buyers tend to look at the base and higher models, which cost more and offers more storage space. Since nobody wants to spend more than is required, and an iPad already costs a pretty penny, it’s a good time to ask yourself — is 64GB enough for iPad? Will you even use that much space? Well, we’ve put together a bunch of points that you should consider before you take the plunge, so let’s get right to it!
Is 64GB Enough for iPad
64GB sounds like a ton of storage if you’re still living in the early 2000s. But literally, everything since then has evolved — the amount of data you consume daily, the number of pics we take, the apps on our devices, the data that said apps store on our devices, and the multimedia present on the websites we visit. All these factors have contributed to our devices requiring a lot more storage space today.
But that said, certain situations may require you to choose an iPad with more memory space, so let’s look at these situations, starting with the type of user.
Type of user
Someone who needs an iPad for casual browsing or the occasional YouTube video does not need an iPad with a 1TB disk. But there are plenty of users who need that and much more! Let’s look at the use case in the examples below.
No one understands the need for storage space more than camera professionals, be it, filmmakers or photographers. While most filmmakers may not choose an iPad as their main editing machine, many photographers do, so let’s get straight to it — there is no way 64GB will be sufficient for a photographer, even an amateur one.
This is because even pictures shot on iPhones are pretty large, and most photographers shoot on DSLR cameras or mirrorless cameras. These cameras produce RAW images, and to give you perspective, a RAW file shot on a basic 16MP camera will be 16 MB. The RAW images are anywhere between 25 to 40 MB in professional shoots.
So if you’re planning on getting an iPad to edit images on, we recommend you look at the iPad Pro’s 1TB or 2TB models. This is because you can not only store images, but your apps will also have a lot of extra tools, presets, and plugins that will require storage space. And if you do decide to edit videos as well, you could get by with the 1TB model that can store about 120 hours of HD camera footage.
Graphic artists may not need as much storage space as camera operators, but it’s still quite close. Artists have a versatile library filled with stock photos, PNG files, brush presets, plugins, etc. Graphic artists typically dabble in editing apps and software (like Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator), which require more storage space. Using apps like Procreate, a detailed sketch or painting with multiple layers can hit 300-400 MB.
We recommend the 1TB model, but you might be able to get by with the 512GB iPad Pro. Anything lower would mean running into storage issues within a few months since designers tend to save everything they see online!
Travelers or People on the go
If you’re someone who has to work while traveling and plan to use an iPad as your primary work computer, then there’s no chance that a 64GB hard disk will suffice. Though you may not need a ton of space, a work computer tends to fill up quite quickly with documents, presentations, attachments, various work software, emails, images, and so on. You won’t need to go as high as 1TB or even 512GB — we imagine that you will be able to manage with a 256GB iPad model. Note that if you work with heavy files, that scenario changes, and you should go for larger space options.
Keep in mind, you’ll need to invest in a keyboard with a touchpad or a keyboard+mouse combo, and we’ve already written all about the best iPad keyboards, so take a look!
Streamers and movie downloaders
If you’re an ardent movie buff and plan to use your iPad as an entertainment device, you should still play it safe and go for an iPad that has at least 128GB of memory specs. This is for a few different reasons — firstly, we are no longer happy with a resolution of 720p, and we all demand high-resolution HD videos or 4K videos. Secondly, most video apps allow you to download files offline if you have a spotty connection. Thirdly, if you ever decide to travel, it makes a lot of sense to build a movie library on your hard disk to make the long wait periods at airports or the long flights more bearable.
With 128GB, we feel that you will be able to store all your documents, photos, apps, and large video files with a little space to spare.
If you’re a gamer, we recommend going for the 256GB model because the 64GB iPad will be quite insufficient for your needs. Games these days easily cross a gig or two in filesize, and the downloadable content can be 2-3x that. Combine that with all the games you want to try, the ones you will save to play later, and a long list of favorites that you will hold on to always, and you will be out of space real quick! With a 256GB iPad, you can download all the games you like and have enough disk space for the additional game data as well.
What is an average user? An average user is the opposite of a power user, who constantly uses his iPad for everything from work to downloading and watching tons of movies. A typical user will open up their iPad once or twice a day and watch a couple of videos, maybe send a few emails, or use it to access Apple Home or cast to their Apple TV device using AirPlay.
For such users, 64GB hits the sweet spot. If you don’t plan to shoot a ton of videos or spend all day sketching, there is no need to get an iPad with extensive memory specs. With 64GB, you can still download all the apps you like, play games, shoot photographs, etc. As long as you don’t go wild with any activity, the 64GB iPad should serve you just fine!
Price per gigabyte
If you’ve decided that you need more space, the next question would obviously be, how much do you have to pay for it? Let’s help you understand the pricing better, we’ve listed all the iPads below and broken it up by cost per gigabyte:
Apple iPad 10.2 2021
Apple iPad 10.2 64GB: $329
Price per gigabyte: $5.14
Apple iPad 10.2 256GB WiFi Model: $479
Price per gigabyte: $1.87
Apple iPad mini 6
Apple iPad mini 6 64GB: $499
Price per gigabyte: $7.80
Apple iPad mini 6 256GB: $649
Price per gigabyte: $2.54
Apple iPad Air M1 2022
Apple iPad Air M1 64GB: $599
Price per gigabyte: $9.46
Apple iPad Air M1 256GB: $749
Price per gigabyte: $2.93
Apple iPad Pro 11-inch 2021
Apple iPad Pro 11-inch 128GB: $799
Price per gigabyte: $6.24
Apple iPad Pro 11-inch 256GB: $899
Price per gigabyte: $3.51
Apple iPad Pro 11-inch 512GB: $1,099
Price per gigabyte: $2.15
Apple iPad Pro 11-inch 1TB: $1,499
Price per gigabyte: $1.50
Apple iPad Pro 11-inch 2TB: $1,899
Price per gigabyte: $0.95
Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 2021
Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 128GB: $1,099
Price per gigabyte: $8.59
Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 256GB: $1,199
Price per gigabyte: $4.68
Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 512GB: $1,399
Price per gigabyte: $2.73
Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 1TB: $1,799
Price per gigabyte: $1.80
Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 2TB: $2,199
Price per gigabyte: $1.10
As you can see, this oversimplified calculation shows you that you can get more value (storage in this scenario) for your money when you buy an iPad Air M1 256GB or the 256GB model of the 10.2-inch iPad 2021.
Our smartphones have taught us that data grows exponentially every year. It’s a similar story for our tablets, and you should keep in mind that as apps and services multiply, your tablet will demand more space as each year passes by. Games used to be 300-500MB a couple of years ago, but as of today, a typical iPad game can easily weigh in at 1 or 2 GB.
But that’s not all! Keep in mind that software updates keep growing in size, which means that your operating system is taking up more space to keep you safe from security risks and add features to your iPad experience. So if you’re rocking a 64GB iPad currently and you feel it slowing down or lagging, check the storage specs, and definitely go for a larger iPad if you decide to get a new one!
Is 64GB Enough for iPad: Local vs Cloud Storage
One way you can circumvent the storage dilemma is by buying cloud storage or using external drives to store your files. Note that these options are ideal only if you don’t constantly need to access your files when you work, like in the case of a photographer or a designer, who needs files to be on the unified memory (without which we can expect glitching or other issues).
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of these options.
There are plenty of external drives that you can buy to go with your iPad, and you can access these using the native Files app. You can also use SD cards to store data. Depending on what you use and which iPad model you buy, you will need one of these adapters:
- Lightning to USB Adapter
- USB-C to SD Card Reader
- Lightning to USB 3 Adapter
- Lightning to SD Card Reader.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind — You can’t format your card or drive with an iPad, and you will have to use a Mac or PC. Additionally, your USB drive can only have a single data partition, and the only file formats supported are FAT, FAT32, exFAT (FAT64), and APFS.
To connect an external hard drive to an iPad, you must go for a powered drive as the output from the iPad will be insufficient. You could also opt for a powered hub or dock. We found some sweet deals for iPad external drives on Amazon, so take a look!
- You can access files immediately and don’t have to download them from the cloud.
- Your files are secure as they’re not on a cloud, which works well if your data is sensitive.
- You can buy additional disks as requirements increase.
- You can quickly hand over a lot of data to colleagues or friends for use.
- A hard disk failure could mean losing all your data.
- You need to carry the disk wherever you go, and there are additional cables and a power supply.
- Sharing/collaborating with office workers is challenging because the files are locally stored.
- Hard disks aren’t exactly cheap.
Here’s a cool video we found on working off external drives if you’re a photographer:
Cloud storage is a boon to many, especially in these times when remote work is common and various teams working off a cloud platform has become normal. It’s really convenient, but does it make sense for an individual user to invest in cloud storage? Let’s look at the pros and cons!
- Cloud storage is inexpensive, and you can choose packages as per your requirement. When you need more space, all you need to do is upgrade your storage plan.
- Cloud storage is incredibly convenient, as you can access your files from anywhere in the world as long as you have a decent internet connection.
- The chances of you losing all your data are pretty low, as there are server backups and redundancies in place.
- Collaborating with your friends and workmates is easier with cloud storage.
- If you don’t have an internet connection, all work halts as you cannot access cloud storage.
- If you decide to switch your cloud service provider for any reason, it can be quite difficult to transfer all the files with the existing hierarchy.
- While data loss is rare, it has happened, and it’s beyond your control.
- Downloading various files can take time compared to local storage, even with a good broadband connection.
You can learn more about iCloud on Apple’s website or about Google Drive on its official page.
Looking at the pros and cons of both local and cloud-based storage, we would encourage you to choose a hybrid model. If you tend to access your files all the time, it’s best if you use a local hard drive. And to make sure you don’t lose that data, you can get a basic cloud plan and backup your files at a fixed time, like at night when you’re done working.
But if you wish to choose just one, we recommend that you choose cloud storage — it’s a lot less likely that you will lose data, and the only disadvantage is that you may have to wait a while to download files. But this issue can be avoided with some planning!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is 64GB enough for iPad 2021?
If you’re a very casual user, then 64GB is sufficient for downloading various apps, playing games occasionally, saving a few movies, and storing your photos and videos.
Is 64GB enough in iPad?
It boils down to usage because a photographer or a designer may need anywhere between 1TB to 2TB of space, whereas an average user can just get the 64GB iPad variant and choose cloud storage when they run out of space.
Is 64GB iPad air enough for medical school?
Medical school will need you to store a lot of notes, images, PDF files, and possibly videos. It makes sense to consider the 128GB instead or opt for a cloud plan, but this will need you to back up your data to free up disk space in case you run out.
What does 64GB hold on iPad?
If you’re not planning to use your iPad for work or design/photo-editing and only plan to use it to watch movies, browse, streaming, and gaming occasionally, you don’t need more than 64GB. It’s only when you shoot a lot of videos or download a lot of media that you need to consider models with more storage.
As you’ve realized by now, the correct answer to the question — is 64GB enough for iPad — comes down to what you plan to use your iPad for. Most users do get by with 64GB of space, but some people manage to fill up their disk in a very short amount of time because they download that many apps or other media. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.
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