Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Best back-to-school iPad deals and sales for 2021

Now is the perfect time to snag one of the best back-to-school iPad deals out there. With everyone heading back to school or college soon, retailers are keen to entice you into buying a new iPad. Thanks to that, there are some awesome back-to-school iPad sales going on right now, and we’ve narrowed things down to the absolute best offers. Whether you’re looking to invest in the premium iPad Pro or a budget price iPad, there are back-to-school iPad deals for you here. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. We’ve got all the key buying advice you need to consider so there’s something for everyone and every budget. Read on while we explain all. Looking for more general iPad deals? We’ve got you covered there, too!

Today’s best back-to-school iPads deals

LATEST MODEL
Deals are scarce, but considering that the 4th-gen iPad Air has a faster CPU than the Pro, it's a good value even at its regular price. You can grab this one for the same price as the 256GB model. more
If you want the best and beefiest iPad around, the Pro is the one. You can score this third-gen model professionally refurbished in like new condition from the Apple Store for a very nice discount. more
Sizable portability, great power, and huge storage are three must-haves in a tablet like the iPad Pro. more
Max out the 2021 Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 2 terabytes of storage. This much storage with the powerful Apple M1 chip sets you up for video editing when you're in the field. more
The iPad Pro's 128GB storage is ideal for people who do light work. It makes you productive with its all-day battery life which means more content making to come. more
2020 Apple iPad Air has an amazing 10.9-inch Liquid Retina Display with P3 wide color and true tone, an A14 bionic chip with neural motor, and Touch ID for secure authentication/ more
For a portable on-the-go device, the 11-inch iPad Pro can handle all your work and connections. This iPad makes you want to create more with its top-quality performance. more
4th Generation (2020) Apple iPad Air Wi-Fi only with 64GB storage anda 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display. Touch ID for security and 7MP Facetime and selfie camera plus a 12 MP back camera. more
The iPad Air is a sleek and high-performing iPad model that you deserve. The clean Retina display, 12MP back camera, and 256GB storage means you get the most out of this small yet powerful device. more
With an Amazon Renewed Guarantee, this Wi-Fi iPad Mini 2 with a Retina Display comes with 90-day replacement or refund capability if you're not satisfied. more

How to choose an iPad for school or college

Your absolute first place to look before diving into the back-to-school iPad deals is to check out our guide to the best iPad to buy. The guide breaks down all the latest iPad models and determines which model works best for which situation.

Somewhat predictably, the absolute best iPad is the Apple iPad Pro 11-inch but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s perfect for you. Let’s explain.

The iPad Pro is the high-end example of the iPad. Available in either 11-inch or 12.9-inch models, it’s incredibly powerful thanks to being powered by the Apple M1 chip, which you’ll also see in the Mac range of computers and laptops. The larger 12.9 model has a mini-LED Liquid Retina XDR display which looks sublime no matter what you’re doing. It’s particularly well suited for creative types or those keen to do video editing on the move but that’s far from the only group it  will appeal to. It’s also great for watching streaming content and more thanks to the use of 120Hz ProMotion technology. If you can afford it, and the back-to-school iPad deals will help here, you truly can’t go wrong with the iPad Pro.

However, the iPad Pro is expensive, even if you’ve spotted great back-to-school iPad sales.

The best value iPad is always the iPad Air. In our iPad Air review, we referred to it as the iPad Pro for everyone else. That’s how good it is. It offers a wonderful display and pro-level performance as well as great battery life and pretty much everything else you could want. Its base storage is a little low at 64GB but that’s what the back-to-school iPad deals are for — upgrading storage for less.

It’s a midrange tablet so it’s not the cheapest but that means you get a lot of the benefits of the iPad Pro for less. Don’t count on a 120Hz refresh rate but you still get the same number of pixels per inch as the iPad Pro so videos and other content will look great. It’s a solid all-rounder that means you can enjoy Apple Arcade games, writing up notes, and partaking in your favorite shows all from this exceptional device.

On a tighter budget? That’s where the Apple iPad (2020) comes into its own. Well priced and even better priced in the back-to-school iPad sales, it’s ideal if you want an iPad but you don’t need maximum performance. Sure, it’s not as glamorous and it’s not quite as fast as others listed here but you get all the benefits of iPadOS for a good price. It still offers a solid 10 hours of battery life, too, so it’s great for taking to class all day long without having to worry. Just look out for its base 32GB of storage and maybe upgrade to the higher option instead. You’ll run out of room fast otherwise.

Don’t forget about the iPad Mini. Ideally suited for anyone looking for a small-screen tablet, it offers reliable performance and a good 10 hours of battery life, all with a smaller 7.9-inch display that’s perfect for e-reading or when you need the most portable of experiences. We’d lean toward a different iPad performance-wise, but if portability is everything, the iPad Mini is a neat inclusion.

The back-to-school iPad sales are a good time to invest in the latest tech but you can also find older iPads, too. While we’d recommend taking advantage of the big discounts that the back-to-school iPad deals offer to gain one of the above iPads, it can be worth checking out slightly older models. Again, check for storage needs. You can’t upgrade the iPad’s storage so you want to be comfortable with it. Ideally, go a little higher than you think you’ll need. Don’t go too old with your purchase either. Aging iPads are competent and still supported but they’re not ideal, so only buy one of these if you spot a really good bargain.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

Editors' Recommendations