Which storage size should you get for your iPad Air 4?

iPad Air with a video editing app on display
iPad Air with a video editing app on display (Image credit: Apple)

Which storage size should you get for your iPad Air 4?

Best answer: The 256GB iPad Air 4 is a great value for the price. However, 64GB could be enough depending on how you use your iPad.All the storage: 256GB iPad Air 4 (From $749 at Apple)Less storage, less money: 64GB iPad Air 4 (From $599 at Apple)

Why is the 256GB is a great value?

To make your iPad Air 4 the best iPad it can be, you'll want to make sure you pick up the right storage size for your needs.

If you look at the difference between the two storage sizes of the new iPad Air 4, it's easy to see the $150 difference, which is a sizeable chunk more out of your wallet if you opt for the higher storage capacity; however, if you break it down to price per GB, you start to get a better picture of why the 256GB version is a smart choice. We quickly did the math to see how it breaks down.

  • The 64GB iPad Air = $599, thus 599/64 = $9.36 per GB
  • The 256GB iPad Air = $749, thus 749/256 = $2.93 per GB

When you look at the price per GB it's easy to see you're getting a much better value per GB when you go for the larger storage size. Of course, that's for the Wi-Fi only versions, the Wi-Fi + cellular breaks down like something like this:

  • 64GB = $629, thus 729/64 = $11.39 per GB
  • 256GB =$779 thus 879/256 = $3.43 per GB

You can see the savings per GB are even a little more in the Wi-Fi + cellular version of the new iPad Air since the difference is over $7 per GB.

Plan for the future

A big consideration when deciding how much storage you need is planning for the future because you won't be able to upgrade the storage on your new iPad Air 4, ever; what you buy is what you're stuck with. So while it's important to look at how you want to use your iPad Air 4 today, remember that your needs could change in the future and over the lifetime of your iPad Air 4, once again, the 256GB version offers you way more room to grow and be more flexible going forward.

What takes up the most storage?

iPad Air 4

iPad Air 4 (Image credit: Apple)

It's paramount to know not only how you're going to use your iPad Air 4, but also, how much storage everything takes. Videos and photos take a lot of storage, especially if you take a lot of them.

Even though the new iPad Air 4 only has an single 12MP camera, and can record in 4K for video, these files will still have lots of data and will fill up your iPad Air 4 quicker than you might think. Plus, not to mention that special photos like panoramas or Live Photos take even more space.

Another big consideration is the media you watch. If you like to download movies from iTunes or even episodes of your favorite shows from Netflix, those files are huge and will eat up your storage very fast.

Also, don't forget apps, the more apps you have the more storage you'll use. Some iOS games — especially ones that receive constant updates — can take up GBs of space over time, and if you play a lot of games that will add up to a sizeable chunk of your internal storage.

Bottom line: If you take a lot of photos and video, like to download movies, music, and other media, or are a bit of an app-o-holic, the 256GB iPad Air 4 is going to suit you better.

Cloud storage and streaming

Onboard storage isn't the only option for your iPad Air 4 as Apple offers iCloud Storage for a cost. Everyone with an iCloud account gets 5GB of cloud storage for free, but you can pay for additional storage if you want.

  • $0.99/month: 50GB of storage
  • $2.99/month: 200GB of storage
  • $9.99/month: 2TB of storage

Obviously, this is an ongoing monthly cost; however, to put this into perspective, if you got the 64GB and decided to get the 50GB cloud storage for a $1 per month, it would be 12.5 years before you closed the $150 gap in price between the 64GB and 256GB iPad Air 4.

Don't forget that streaming is a huge part of our daily lives now, and with Netflix, Apple Music, and other streaming services, the need to download media onto our devices can be minimal if you want it to be.

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.