Apple has been rolling out two versions of its iPad line; the base 32 GB version and the 128 GB version that costs a whopping $100 more.
Faced with these two options, it’s easy to get caught up with confusion; on the face of it, the 128 GB storage promises the ease of use and will probably last you for years, but on the other the idea of getting the same device with the same specs but reduced storage for $100 lesser sounds very appealing.
The amount of storage space ideal for you is one of the toughest decisions to make when buying a new device, or an iPad in this case. It is difficult to judge just how much storage is right for you until you actually need that storage.
Do you splash the cash or do you go for the cheaper option?
And for that instance, do you even need the extra storage?
Is 32 GB enough for an iPad?
There are many factors that come into play when answering this question. Let’s break it down.
What will you use your iPad for?
Perhaps the most important factor that will help you decide if you can work with 32 GB in an iPad is what you use it for.
For instance, if you’re a student who’s looking to buy an iPad for solely school or college related work, you will find that 32 GB is more than what you’ll ever need.
For a student, the usual apps you might need may be GoodReader, Notability, Microsoft Office, Google Docs etc. (or maybe a wide variety of online classroom apps as well as video calling apps like Google Classroom, Zoom, considering the time we are living in right now).
But you will find that even with all these apps on your iPad, you can download textbooks and PDF files and store lectures and other media on your device with no hassle. 32Gb is more than enough for you then.
On the other hand, if your main use case scenario revolves around gaming; you’ll find that the 32 GB memory will fill up quickly. The typical games you might be downloading on your iPad would include all time favourites such as Fortnite, Asphalt 9, PUBG mobile, Codemasters’ Grid Autosport and Modern Combat 5 and more, which all have an average weight of 2.5 GB (though casual games take up less), meaning that little storage would be left behind for anything else. This is why most gaming-oriented devices come with a base storage version of 128 GB.
Similarly, for most corporate users, their phones or devices are required to hold chunks of documents, spreadsheets, presentations, .pdf files and others. Not to mention the productivity apps they might have to run. Therefore, though 32 GB is not necessarily too little for a corporate user, they may find the extra bucks spent and the peace of mind that comes with it to be well worth it.
However, for a typical user looking to get an iPad for casual daily use with some typical essential apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Chrome etc., 32 GB will be more than likely to meet your needs.
How much media do you have to watch or store on your iPad?
Another important factor to consider as the huge and bleeding edge display that comes with the modern iPad comes with the promise of exceptional video quality; many users buy iPads solely for this intent!
For most avid media consumers, if the main source of the content that they watch is through digital apps like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube etc., then the 32 GB variant would be just fine for them.
Meanwhile if you’re looking to download and store movies and videos off the internet or Netflix, the 32 GB storage might not last you for very long. Here’s why;
Most movies these days either come in 720p or 1080p versions. With 720p quality, the average movie takes up a storage of around 1 GB whereas with the 1080p HD quality that many of us are more likely to prefer, a typical movie takes up 2 GB or 3 GB of storage. This translates into the capacity to store an average of 25 movies at a time in 720p quality and 10 movies in 1080p quality.
For a cinephile; these are rookie numbers!
Not to mention that the space these movies do eventually end up taking will mean that little storage is left behind for the other essential apps you might need.
Therefore, if your use case scenario involves storing a lot of high quality movies, you’re better off spending a few bucks extra to get more storage.
Are you an avid listener of music?
A similar factor as watching movies on your iPad, albeit with significantly less dramatic impact on your decision.
For most iPad users, the main mode of listening to music would be on digital platforms. Perhaps you prefer Apple Music or Spotify or maybe even Pandora, either way you won’t feel the need to download albums upon albums on your device.
This is especially true if the main use of your iPad would be at home or some place with a stable Wi-Fi connection.
If you are looking to download and store music however, as a heads up, your typical modern day song takes up anywhere between 7 MB to 10 MB depending on their quality and length. This translates into an average of a 100 songs per gigabyte of space.
Are you a shutterbug?
With the recent breathtaking advancements made in cell phones and tablet cameras, you’d be tempted to take at the very least a few photos on your device, right?
Luckily for you, if your use case scenario revolves around the occasional use of the camera with a few photos in your gallery, you will find that 32 GB will do just the trick for you.
For a shutterbug, however, or someone looking to use their iPad to store a lot of pictures, 32 GB might not cut it for you.
With greater camera quality comes greater image size meaning that most images taken by phone and tablet cameras these days have an average size of 10 MB. Couple this with the vast amount of media downloads you get with applications such as WhatsApp, you’ll probably only get to store a few thousand photos before you run out of storage entirely; far from ideal for a shutterbug!
Do you use or plan on using cloud storage?
Though the iPad, and most of Apple’s products for that matter, doesn’t come with the option of getting expandable storage, there are some ways you can work around this.
One method that has been gaining a lot of traction recently is cloud storage. With Apple’s iCloud, you could convert your limited 32 gigs of storage to potentially 200 GB or 2T B depending on your budget and needs.
Another way would be to get an external storage device and store all your multimedia on it but it doesn’t beat the convenience that comes with cloud storage facilities like iCloud or Google Drive; storing all your data in one place and the option of syncing it across multiple devices.
Are you on a tight budget?
Another important factor, perhaps the most decisive for most users has to do with the budget they have.
Though the idea of getting roughly 100 gigs of storage for an extra $100 is not a bad deal at all, for those on a budget it might be best to stick with the 32 GB variant.
A casual user would have to try hard and go out of his way to deplete 32 gigs of storage so opting to get the 128 GB version might not be justified. If you’re not likely to use that extra storage, you probably don’t need it in the first place which is why spending the extra bucks might not be a good proposition for you.
For an iPad that comes with 32 GB of storage, taking out all the storage needed for essential iOS files, on average you’re left behind with roughly 28 GB to store your data on.
For a casual user, with the typical use case scenario revolving around the use of essential social media and iPad apps, this storage is very unlikely to run out anytime soon. and if it may, but any chance, then there’s always the option of getting cloud storage later on if you feel that the lack of space is hindering your usage.
For someone who travels a lot and stores quite a bit of multimedia and games on their device, a 32 GB storage (or the actual 28 GB on offer) is far from ideal. For these users it’s best to get the 128 GB variant (with over a 100 GB of usable storage), especially if they don’t intend to use premium cloud storage services.