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iPad 32GB vs 128GB (2020): How Much Storage Do You Need?

Several versions of the Apple iPad are available on the market and each type offers different storage options. Some Apple tablets have 32GB as their smallest storage capacity while others go up to a hefty 1TB. For this comparison guide, we’re focusing on the minimal 32GB and the moderate 128GB with the latter costing only slightly more. If you had to choose from an iPad 32GB and an iPad 128GB, which do you think would give better value for money? Let’s find out.

Our Pick
Apple iPad 9.7 (128GB, WiFi)

The 6th-generation Apple iPad has a multi-touch Retina display, Apple A10 Fusion system-on-chip, and 1.2MP FaceTime HD and 8MP rear cameras. Available in Space Gray, Gold, and Silver with up to 128GB storage.

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iPad 32GB vs 128GB Comparison Chart

ModeliPad 2018 WiFi 32GBiPad 2018 WiFi 128GB
 iPad 2018 32GB WiFi OnlyiPad 2018 128GB WiFi Only
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Weight1.05 lb1.05 lb
Dimensions9.45 x 6.67 x 0.30 inches9.45 x 6.67 x 0.30 inches
ProcessorApple A10 FusionApple A10 Fusion
Battery8,827 mAh8,827 mAh
RuntimeUp to 10 hoursUp to 10 hours
Rear Camera8 MP8 MP
Front Camera1.2MP1.2MP
Video Recording1280×720 @ 30 fps1280×720 @ 30 fps
Internal Storage32GB128GB

Cloud Storage

It will not be necessary to get the 128GB iPad if you’re planning to integrate with cloud services extensively.

ipad 2018 icloud
Cloud integration adds storage space in using the iPad (32GB)

Apple offers numerous options for integrating with cloud services, including iCloud, Google Drive, One Drive and DropBox. The Files app on the iPad allows you to manage all of your files in one place too. In this way, the iPad 32GB option could be enough for your needs.

iCloud gives free and unlimited storage for content purchased through iTunes as well. These include apps from the App Store, TV shows, movies, iTunes music and iBooks. Plus, there is separate 5GB storage for iCloud Drive, iCloud Music Library, iCloud Photo Library, data and backups. What’s more, additional iCloud storage can be purchased at low prices.

Media

A 128GB iPad gives you more space for storing media content offline though an iPad 32GB is acceptable for streaming.

ipad 2018 media
If you stream rather than store, an iPad 32GB offers enough storage.

A standard definition (SD) iTunes movie takes up 1 to 3GB of space while a high definition (HD) movie is 3 to 6GB in size. TV shows are half the size of movies but have numerous episodes. Meanwhile, music files are generally small but tend to add up if downloaded by the album. A 128GB iPad is able to accommodate all of these and more.

Our Pick
Apple iPad 9.7 (32GB, WiFi)

The Apple iPad 9.7-inch (6th Gen) sports a multi-touch Retina display, Apple A10 Fusion system-on-chip, M10 coprocessor, and 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera. It's available in Space Gray, Gold, and Silver colors.

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If you mostly stream through Spotify, Pandora, HBO, Amazon, Netflix, Home Sharing or Apple Music, iPad 32GB storage is acceptable. These apps also offer localized offline storage options for when you’re travelling. These allow you to download a select few items that you can delete later on so internal storage won’t get full.

Photos & Videos

When you need to store a lot of photos and videos on your tablet, a 32GB iPad will quickly get filled to capacity.

ipad 2018 photos & videos
Need to store a lot of photos and videos on your device? Buy the iPad 128GB.

The 9.7-inch iPad is equipped with an 8-megapixel rear camera and 1.2-megapixel front camera. Video recording is at 1280×720 @ 30 fps. Taking a few photos and videos with the iPad itself shouldn’t take up 32GB. Anyway, you can offload multimedia content to the cloud.

128GB storage is required if you’re planning to edit with your iPad. When you use your tablet in conjunction with an advanced camera, a larger storage size is necessary. This is because the files generated by a DSLR or mirrorless camera are generally bigger than those from the iPad.

Games & Apps

Creative types and gamers will benefit from the greater capacity of a 128GB iPad.

ipad 2018 gaming
A 128GB iPad is more suitable for gamers and creative types.

Apple and other developers try to keep apps light but programs are increasing in complexity. Sooner or later, an iPad (32GB) will be packed with game packs, updates and graphics-intensive apps. This is especially true for users who are gamers or are the creative types.

To perform graphics-heavy design work on the iPad, 128GB should be the baseline for storage space plus an iCloud plan. A 32GB iPad is good enough for casual games and social media apps though.

Verdict

When choosing between an iPad 32GB or 128GB, it’s wiser to pick the 128GB option. Paying slightly more for greater storage will be worth it in the long run, especially since there are no expandable memory options available.

Our Pick
Apple iPad 9.7 (32GB, WiFi)

The Apple iPad 9.7-inch (6th Gen) sports a multi-touch Retina display, Apple A10 Fusion system-on-chip, M10 coprocessor, and 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera. It's available in Space Gray, Gold, and Silver colors.

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Our Pick
Apple iPad 9.7 (128GB, WiFi)

The 6th-generation Apple iPad has a multi-touch Retina display, Apple A10 Fusion system-on-chip, and 1.2MP FaceTime HD and 8MP rear cameras. Available in Space Gray, Gold, and Silver with up to 128GB storage.

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You can save money with the iPad 32GB but you’ll have to be mindful about your files. Having 128GB from the beginning means you can download games, movies and other content without much worry about full storage. This makes a 128GB iPad more forward-thinking and convenient to use than the 32GB one.

FAQs

📌 Is the iPad 32 GB enough?

For most people, the iPad 32 GB is enough. It can store plenty of apps and games, photos, songs, and videos. However, you’ll be better off with the iPad 128 GB if you want to keep a huge photo collection, a ton of HD movies, hardcore games, and an extensive music library.

📌 What’s the difference between the iPad 32 GB and 128 GB?

The iPad 32 GB has a smaller capacity than the iPad 128 GB. It’s acceptable if you mostly stream videos and songs and offload photos and other media to the iCloud.

📌 How many photos, songs, videos, apps, etc. can the iPad 32 GB or 128 GB hold?

It’s difficult to determine how many photos, songs, videos, apps, and games you can store because of how their sizes vary. On average, you can keep thousands of photos, hundreds of songs, several apps and games, and a couple of videos on the iPad 32 GB. It goes without saying that iPad 128 GB can hold at least four times more the amount of files.

📌 Do the iPad 32 GB and 128 GB have a microSD card slot?

No, the iPad 32 GB and the iPad 128 GB don’t have a microSD card slot. You’ll need to use the iCloud to expand their storage, so to speak.

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Andy Mathews
Andy Mathews

Lead Editor at Compare Before Buying. Product researcher and tech enthusiast passionate about consumer products, comparison charts and surfing.