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Cheap iPads

Find the cheapest iPads and 4G data plans

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Anthony | Edited by Gary

Updated 28 Jun 2018

iPads have been top of the gadget wishlist for years, and the latest iPad Pro will be no exception. Yet iPads aren't MoneySaving by anyone's definition. If you must have one, here are a few tips to help keep the costs down...iPad Pro

iPad prices don't vary much between stores, and Apple itself rarely offers big discounts, yet savings can still be made with the 3G/4G models if you choose the right mobile data plan.

This guide looks generally at the cheapest ways to buy an iPad - whether you want mobile data or 'Wi-Fi only'.

Getting an iPad: Need-to-knows

Apple's iPads are without doubt the world's most popular tablets. Like all Apple products, though - they don't come cheap. So think long and hard before parting with your cash.

An iPad is not a pocket money purchase, so think carefully before deciding to buy one.

Which iPad should I buy?

Model Screen size Chip Storage Price (RRP) More info
iPad 9.7in A9 chip with 64-bit achitecture and M9 coprocessor 32GB, 128GB From 319 iPad*
iPad Mini 4 7.9in A8 chip with 64-bit architecture and M8 coprocessor 128GB From 399 iPad Mini 4*
iPad Pro 12.9in, 10.5in A9X chip with 64-bit architecture and M9 coprocessor 64GB, 256GB, 512GB From 619 iPad Pro*

Discontinued iPads

Many older iPads, including the iPad Air and iPad Mini, have now been discontinued and are no longer sold by Apple. However, if you're after a particular model, you may still find one second-hand or refurbished. See the full list below.

Which iPads have been discontinued?

Tips for choosing your new iPad

Once you've chosen which iPad model you'd like, you'll need to think about whether you want 4G internet access and need a mobile data plan. Consider the following:

  • Wi-Fi or 3G/4G? If you plan to use your iPad while out and about, you should opt for the 3G/4G and Wi-Fi model. If you'll just be using it at home, Wi-Fi only is more suitable (and cheaper). Read below to help you decide whether you need Wi-Fi only or 4G and Wi-Fi.

  • Do you want to use it to make calls? One of the most exciting features of an iPad is FaceTime, a video-calling app. However, FaceTime only works with the latest Apple technology so you won't be able to ditch your mobile yet.

  • How much data do I need? The amount of data you'll need will depend how you plan to use the iPad. Here's a general guideline to help you figure out whether you're above or below average in data usage terms:

If you're worried about your usage, there are a number of free apps that you can download from the App Store that can help you track the amount you're using. Read the data usage section in the Cheap iPhones guide for more info.

Should I get a 4G or Wi-Fi only iPad?

Where to find free Wi-Fi access in the UK

What is 'tethering'?

What about iPad alternatives?

Cheapest iPad Wi-Fi only: Best deals

With a Wi-Fi only iPad, you're just buying the tablet - there's no contract, so cheapest is best. The problem is there's very little price variance.

Apple has strict price controls, so the major reputable retailers all generally charge the same amount for their iPads and discounts are rare. One minor option producing dividends is for those who collect Tesco Clubcard reward points.

However, we do occasionally see a new voucher or code that can get you an iPad discount. When this happens, it's usually a very short-lived deal, but where possible, we'll update this section of our guide with all the details.

Here's a quick summary of current iPad prices from major UK retailers:

Product Apple price Cheapest elsewhere
iPad (32GB) 319 at Apple* 279 at John Lewis* (John Lewis provides a two-year guarantee at no extra cost) and Currys*
iPad Mini 4 (128GB) 399 at Apple* 399 at John Lewis* (John Lewis provides a two-year guarantee at no extra cost), Argos* and Currys*
iPad Pro 10.5in (64GB) 619 at Apple* 579 at Currys*, 619 at John Lewis* (John Lewis provides a two-year guarantee at no extra cost) and Argos*

iPad Pro 12.9in (64GB)

769 at Apple* 729 at Currys*, 769 at John Lewis* (John Lewis provides a two-year guarantee at no extra cost) and Argos*

Prices checked at 5.24pm on Thu 28 Jun. Table excludes online marketplaces, eg, Amazon, as their prices frequently change. Yet they're often cheapest, so always do your own price checks.

Clubcard points can be quadrupled for maximum rewards - read Boost Tesco Clubcard Points for more info.

Student & teacher discount

Apple for Education* is a scheme that gives students, their parents and school staff as much as 15% discount on Apple products, including iPads. The discount on iPads is pretty small, but as Apple deals are so rare even a small discount is likely make going direct to Apple the cheapest option for students buying new.

See our Apple Student Deals blog for more about how you can get it.

Refurbished iPads

You can often find a wide selection of iPads refurbished by Apple* available at a discounted price via its website (delivery's free). If you're buying an iPad, it's worth considering Apple's refurbished models, as they can be up to 80 cheaper than buying new, and there tends to be little difference in condition.

What's more, all of Apple's refurbished iPads include the same 12-month warranty as new ones, plus they come with manuals, accessories, a new battery and a new outer shell, as well as new packaging - so while Apple says they may have the odd scratch, many users have told us what they received was as good as new.

Apple's refurbished stock changes daily, so you should check back regularly if you're waiting for a specific refurbished model to become available.

Others such as Argos* and Tesco* sell refurbished iPads via their eBay outlets, which may be even cheaper, though unless otherwise stated, these are seller refurbished, and won't necessarily meet the same standard as those refurbished by Apple.

Cheapest iPad: Best 4G deals

If you want mobile internet access, you'll need an iPad that's Wi-Fi + 4G. Below are our top picks - if you need more help choosing a model, see our tips for choosing an iPad.

Cheapest overall deal: Buy an iPad and use a Giffgaff Sim card

Best for those who can pay upfront cost, though limited data

The cheapest way to get your hands on an iPad with data is to get the tablet and data plan separately. This comes with a high upfront cost though, so if you don't have s to stump up from day one, see the deal below instead.

Package details Provider Upfront cost Monthly cost Data allowance Overall Get deal
449 for 32GB
from John Lewis*/Currys*
10/mth 3GB/mth 689
over 24 mths
Go*
15/mth 6GB/mth 809
over 24 mths
Go*
18/mth 9GB/mth 881
over 24 mths
Go*

What's the deal? Buy the iPad from John Lewis* or Currys*, and get a Sim-only Goodybag data plan from cheap mobile provider Giffgaff*. For 10/month you'll get 3GB of 4G data, 15/month will give you 6GB, and 18/month gets 9GB.

Who's this suitable for? Getting the iPad and data separately is the best option, if you can cough up for the high inital cost. If you think you will use more than 9GB of mobile data in a month though, consider the deal below from Three Mobile.

Anything else? It's a one-month rolling contract, meaning you can cancel at short notice.

Though the 10/month option with 3GB is cheap, our recent poll found over a third of MoneySavers use more than this on their mobiles in a month. So unless you're going to be using your iPad's 4G just for emails, it's wise to get one of the larger plans.

Lowest upfront cost: iPad and data bundle from Three

Best for those who want to spread the cost, with high data

If you want an iPad but don't have the cash for it upfront, you can spread the cost of the tablet (slightly) over a contract with a monthly data plan.

While more affordable upfront, this is not the cheapest way to get an iPad - paying a higher monthly amount and less upfront normally costs a lot more over the duration of the deal.

Package details Provider Upfront cost Monthly cost Data allowance Overall Get deal
99 for 32GB from Three* 39mth 20GB/mth 1,035 for 20GB over 24 mths Go*

What's the deal? You'll get 20GB of data to use a month, on a 24-month contract, at 39/month. The 32GB iPad* is available for 99 upfront.

Who's this suitable for? Those that either haven't the cash to pay for an iPad outright, or for those that want more mobile data than the plans from Giffgaff above.

Anything else? We reckon 20GB/month is more than enough data, but if you exceed this you'll be charged 1p/MB. If you're worried about your data use, though, it's worth installing a usage monitoring app. See below for more info.

Got an iPad? Cheapest Sim-only

If you already have an iPad but no data plan, getting a Sim will allow you to access the web whenever, and wherever, you are.

All of the newer Apple products require a micro or nano Sim (smaller versions of the traditional Sim card), so make sure you order a data plan that comes with the size you need. Here are our picks:

Three

20GB allowance for 20/mth

Three good for heavy users, 12-month contract*

What: iPad Sim-only 20GB
Cost: 20/month

Contract: 12-month rolling

Should you need lots of data, Three* offers Sim-only deals, one of which gives you 20GB of data for 20/month on a 12-month rolling contract - pretty good if you get through a lot of data. If you want to opt out you'll have to give 30 days' notice.

If you use more than your allocated data, you'll be charged 1p/MB for the remainder of that month until your contract rolls over.

Spotted any other deals? Share your suggestions in the iPad forum discussion.

How to complain about a purchase

If you're not happy about a product or the service you receive, you should first contact the retailer in person, by phone, or in writing. However, if you're still not satisfied, then...

Free tool if youre having a problem

This tool helps you draft your complaint and manage it too. Its totally free, and offered by a firm called Resolver which we like so much we work with it to help people get complaints justice.

If the complaint isn't resolved, Resolver can escalate it for free to the relevant ombudsman or trade body.

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