Apple gives customers three storage options in the iPad: 16GB, 32GB or 64GB. Before making the decision as to which is the right model for you, it’s a good idea to consider how much space you might need on your iPad. If you like downloading movies or playing video games, the large drive is probably the better option.
If you don’t always have access to a Wi-Fi network or don’t plan to connect your iPad to a computer, the larger drive might be the best way to go as well. Whichever size you choose, keeping your future needs in mind will help you make the best choice.
More Storage Means More Stuff
If 16GB of storage sounds like a lot, you may be in for a rude surprise when you begin downloading apps, movies and songs to your new iPad. The iOS 6 operating system takes up about 750MB — that’s three quarters of a gigabyte. Movies are about 1GB each. While many apps are only 100MB to 500MB in size, graphics-oriented apps such as first-person shooters or role-playing games can easily take 1GB each.
When you download a few movies and a couple dozen each of apps and songs and take a couple dozen pictures, you will soon find yourself maxing out that 16GB iPad.
Freedom From Your PC
Unlike previous models, current Apple iPads no longer require that you connect them to a computer for activation or backup through iTunes. If you’re not a fan of iTunes or just don’t want to bother with connecting your iPad to your computer, having a large amount of storage on the device will let you keep more files on your iPad.
You can back up important files using Apple free iCloud service, however if you want more than 5GB of storage space (excluding items you purchased through iTunes), you have to pay an annual fee. Third-party options like Dropbox can give you additional online storage as well.
Freedom From Wi-Fi
If you have a fast, reliable Internet service with unlimited bandwidth, having a lot of storage on your iPad may not be that important. If your service is not reliable or if you find yourself in places where wireless access isn’t available, those extra gigabytes are going to come in handy. With 64GB of storage, you can download a couple dozen movies and a few hundred songs only once and then enjoy them whenever you want.
When you compare the prices, gigabyte by gigabyte, the 64GB version of the Apple iPad is the most economical. Doing the math at the time of publication, the 32GB version of the iPad is $100 more than the 16GB version, meaning you are paying $100 for 16GB or $6.40 per additional gigabyte. The 64GB version is $200 more than the base model, meaning you pay $200 for 42GB or only $4.76 per additional gigabyte.