Best iPads For College Students

Picture of Nayreth Garcia

Nayreth Garcia

Content Writer At Gradehacker

Updated January, 2022

With colleges transitioning more and more to a digital format, you may be wondering what you need to make your college experience successful. Non-traditional college students have many demands on their time that limit their efficiency and productivity. The best way to overcome these limitations is by leveraging technology.

Best iPads for College young woman using iPad

Even though one of the most common pieces of equipment is computers, sometimes they may not be the most effective device. As a more practical solution, iPads have more functional options and can be easier to carry. But with so many options out there, it can be challenging to know which one will be the perfect student tablet for college. 

Here at Gradehacker, we know how students can struggle to find the most efficient and comfortable devices to study. This article will tell you in detail what the best iPads for college students are.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Device

You want to be sure you get the best iPad that meets the needs of your online courses. With most iPads, you can do basic things like read documents, browse the internet, and stream videos. But iPads that are more “premium” or “premium-like” after a 5th generation will do a lot more.

For example, notes are saved systemwide with Quick Notes, a fast and easy way to take notes anywhere across the system. Also, Focus, which is a new advanced feature that filters notifications based on what a user is doing. Buying a 7th or 8th generation iPad will cost more; however, they come with more advanced features compared to previous generation devices, so be sure you choose a high-quality and powerful device that will meet all your needs.

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Why are iPads the Best for College Classes?

iPads are currently the most popular choice when looking for tablet reviews from other college students. That’s because iPads are a good balance of convenience and performance. They are the easiest to use, have ample wi-fi connectivity, and are really good at multitasking since they have great processors. They also have the largest screen displays, with high definition and the strong brightness that schoolwork demands.

Best iPads for College young women using iPad

They’re great for taking notes and outlining courses. Another advantage of iPads is that they’re very durable. They’re resistant to water and heat damage, making them ideal for all non-traditional students who will be studying in different places or during lunch. An iPad is a powerful tool and a well-thought-out device for students to store textbooks or documents.

We researched the best iPad choices for college students with different budgets and needs, and here’s our list:

This iPad is the most common among college students, and for a good reason. Even though it’s not an iPad Pro, you can get all of the features for a starting price of $599 and save quite a bit compared to higher-end models. It has a compact size of 10.9-inches, which is a perfect balance to take with you wherever you need it without losing the necessary screen space.

It has an excellent screen size with 2360-by-1640 pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi), so you don’t have to worry about how your digital books, videos, or notes will look. The retina display features wide color and True Tone, and you can unlock your device using Touch ID. If you need a keyboard to improve your study time, you can use the 11-inch iPad Pro Magic Keyboard.

Best iPads for College iPad Air 4

Pros and Cons of the iPad Air 5:

iPad Air 5 Pros:

iPad Air 5 Cons:

If you are looking for a more comfortable device to carry with you and don’t mind a smaller screen, the iPad mini is a solid choice. With this iPad, you get similar specifications as the iPad Air 5 but in a smaller size and without a smart connector for a starting price of $499.

The iPad mini 6 has an 8.3-inch Retina display with True Tone. It also uses Touch ID and has the A15 Bionic chip. You can use the second-generation Apple Pencil with it, but it is missing the Smart Connector. For that reason, you won’t be able to use accessories like Apple’s Smart Keyboard. But not all is lost since you can still use other Bluetooth keyboards.

Best iPads for College iPad mini

Here are some Pros and Cons of the iPad Mini 6:



If you have a low budget, the iPad 8th-generation is an option you can’t pass. It has an incredible 10.2-inch retina display that’s big enough to read your textbooks, documents and write down your notes for a starting price of $329. This iPad is not compatible with the Second Generation Apple Pencil, but it is with the first one.

The 8th-generation counts with a Smart Connector making this an excellent feature since it allows you to work with accessories like Apple’s Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil that can definitely improve your work/study time!

Best iPads for College iPad 8th Generation

Since this iPad is available for a much lower price, there are some features that you will have to give up on. For example, this iPad uses the older A13 Bionic chip, but it’s still fast enough for your schoolwork. Its storage capacity only comes in 64GB or 256GB, so you may need to be pickier and organized with the information you save. If you don’t have any inconvenience giving up these features, this iPad will be an incredible companion.

Here are some Pros and Cons of the iPad 8th-Generation:



If you don’t have a specific budget, the iPad Pro will be a fantastic acquisition for a starting price of $799. You can select the more convenient size for you since it comes in both 11-inch and 12.9 inches varieties. Both sizes have the Liquid Retina display and have different storage options, from 128GB to 512GB or 1TB or 2TB if needed. This is spectacular.

Best iPads for College iPad Pro

The iPad Pro comes with a bezel-less design, and yes, that means no more Home Button and more screen space. This is the only iPad that uses Face ID for biometrics, and it has the latest M1 Bionic chip with Neural Engine from Apple. You will be able to take photos of documents, class boards, or presentations like a pro with the 12 MP back camera, and your classmates and professors will see you very clearly with the 10 MP TrueDepth front camera.

Here are some Pros and Cons of the iPad Pro:



An iPad Can Be Your New Best Friend!

When deciding which iPad to buy for college, it’s important to consider the features that are important to you. Some students may prioritize price, others performance, and others the iPad’s convenience.

College is a great place to learn and grow. If you are a non-traditional student and think that having a desktop or laptop computer doesn’t suit your needs, an iPad may be a practical and good solution. The best way to decide which iPad is the best fit for you is to break down your priorities and determine which features are critical to your college lifestyle.

You can click here for a more detailed comparison between the different iPads.

We hope this article helps you clear your doubts to find the best iPad for your college journey. Here at Gradehacker, we want to make sure you’re always one step ahead so these articles may interest you: