Which storage size should you get for your iPad mini 5?
Best answer: The iPad mini (2019) comes in two storage sizes: 64GB and 256GB. Which one you should get will depend a lot on how you use your iPad mini, but most people probably only need the 64GB model.Get the iPad mini: iPad mini 5 (opens in new tab) ($399 at Amazon)
You have two size options on the new iPad mini, and you'll probably be fine with the smaller one
The fifth-generation iPad mini is available with either 64GB or 256GB of storage. That's twice the storage than was available in the iPad mini 4, and it makes answering this question a little more complicated. Because while 32B is probably the bare minimum that you'd want to have on an iPad, 64GB is probably enough for most people.
Who should get the 64GB iPad mini?
If you plan to use your iPad mini primarily as an entertainment device for streaming shows and movies, playing games, and reading books, then 64GB should be enough on a day-to-day basis. When you stream shows, you don't have to worry so much about storage space, and even an episode of an hour-long TV show can come in at under 1GB. If you consume a lot of media, you'll definitely notice that you're using your iPad's storage, but you should have a good deal of space free at any given time, especially if you tend to delete downloads of shows and movies you've watched.
If you're planning on using your iPad mini for more professional tasks (which is completely possible if you can deal with the small screen size), then again, how far 64GB gets you will depend on the kind of work you do. If you're downloading large files all of the time, you might want to go with a bigger iPad. But if you're working on presentations or reports, doing research, or just writing notes, 64GB should be enough for you, especially if you're accessing your work from a cloud service like iCloud, Dropbox, or OneDrive.
Personally, I worked for a good couple of years on a 64GB iPad Pro, writing articles and editing a lot of RAW photos. While I would sometimes need to engage in some aggressive photo management, 64GB was certainly still workable by the time I picked up a 256GB 2018 iPad Pro.
Who should get the 256GB iPad mini?
If you plan on working with a lot of large files, such as photos, on your iPad mini, then I'd strongly suggest getting the 256GB model. I may have been able to make 64GB work, but I had to be diligent about my storage when I started using my iPad more seriously for my job here at iMore. Standard documents shouldn't take up a lot of space, but photos, digital paintings, CAD files, video projects, these can all start taking up space fairly quickly.
And here's the thing about the iPad mini: it's powered by the A12 chip, the same system-on-a-chip found in the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. It's great. It's not quite up there with the A12X in the 2018 iPad Pros, but it's still a powerful processor. And if you've got that kind of power, it stands to reason that you might want to use it for things like faster photo editing, digital art creation, professional drafting and prototyping, and more. The files produced by these sorts of applications can be very large.
And let's move away from work for a moment and head back to entertainment. If travel a lot and like to take several movies, TV episodes, and/or a lot of music, books, or podcasts with you, you'll use up 64GB pretty quickly. At four times the storage capacity as the base model, 256GB is probably the best storage capacity for you, especially if you'll only connect to the internet intermittently.
This tiny tablet packs a punch.
Apple's latest refresh to its small tablet packs an A12 system-on-a-chip for a lot of processing power, as well as support for the Apple Pencil, making it a perfect for activities like taking notes. It's small size and storage capacity up to 256GB makes it a great travel companion for both work and play.
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Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.
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