Buying an iPad on Black Friday? Here are the hidden costs you can expect

iPad 10.9 (2022) cable with Apple Pencil and adapter
(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

If you’re looking for a Black Friday deal on a tablet, you have two options. You can buy a cheap tablet, or you can buy an iPad. This year, with the iPad 10.9 (2022), the best iPads slip further away from the affordable end, and that’s before you add extras like accessories, more storage, and a warranty.

Luckily, Black Friday iPad deals often give you accessories and other bundles with an iPad, even if you can’t get a price break. We’ve broken down every model of iPad that Apple sells and given our recommendations for what extras you’ll want to get the most out of your new tablet. 

Unfortunately, to get the iPad experience you expect, the actual price tag is much higher. Out of the box, any iPad is an incredibly capable device for playing movies, surfing the web, or making video calls. So are the best Android tablets. So are the best Amazon tablets

iPad 10.9 (2022) in Magic Keyboard Folio showing USB-C port

iPad 10.9 (2022) with Magic Keyboard Folio (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

You paid more for the iPad – hundreds more, but there are more costs to consider. Some iPads come with hardly enough storage to handle all of the movies and games you’ll want to download. Some iPad Pro features don’t even work if you don’t upgrade the storage.

We strongly recommend buying the AppleCare+ extended warranty for your new iPad. While an iPad is less likely to leave home than a phone, the larger screen gives you more surface area exposed to danger. The repair cost for an iPad is a much higher percentage of the value of the device than for a phone. You may accept paying $250 to fix a $1000 phone, but how happy will you be paying $250 to fix a $329 tablet?

What accessories are a necessity? Do you need an Apple Pencil to get the most out of your new iPad? Is the 5G network a worthwhile upgrade? There are plenty of extras available for the iPad, so let’s break down each option and decide which are a necessity based on the model you’re considering.

iPad 10.9 (2022): Needs storage and a cover

iPad 10.9 (2022) back

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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iPad 10.9 (2022): costs to consider
Starting cost:$449 / £499 / AU$749
Storage: 64GB; Needed: 256GB$599 / £679 / AU$999
Apple Smart Folio$79 / £89 / AU$129
Warranty$69 / £69 / AU$99
Final cost:$747 / £837 / AU$1227

The iPad 10.9 (2022) is a whole new device this year, but it still only comes with 64GB of storage. We like having more storage on this iPad so we can download a ton of movies and shows to take with us, instead of relying on Wi-Fi on the road or upgrading to a 5G iPad. A Netflix show is around 1.5GB of storage, so a 12-episode season will come close to consuming 20GB of space. 

Most people will be happier with an upgrade, and unfortunately Apple only has one very expensive upgrade option available. For a whopping $150 in the US you can get four times the storage space, 256GB. That’s far too much for Apple to tack onto the price of its base model, but we think it’s an important upgrade to consider.

iPad Pro 12.9 (2022): Needs a Pencil and more storage 

iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) on table

(Image credit: Future)
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iPad Pro 12.9 (2022): costs to consider
Starting cost:$1,099 / £1,249 / AU$1,899
Storage: 128GB; Needed: 256GB$1,199 / £1,369 / AU$2,079
Apple Pencil Gen 2$129 / £139 / AU$19
Warranty$129 / £129 / AU$19
Final cost:$1,457 / £1,637 / AU$2,477

You’re already buying Apple’s most expensive iPad when you start with the iPad 12.9 (2022). You’d think that Apple would include everything you need for the optimal experience, but there are a few upgrades missing. 

For one thing, even though Apple says that you can record ProRes video with this iPad up to 4K resolution, that capability is disabled on the 128GB model of both the iPad Pro 12.9 and iPad Pro 11. You need to start at 256GB to record in 4K. 

Since 4K video consumes 7GB per minute, that kind of makes sense, but it does needle us that Apple starts at a capacity low enough to incapacitate the feature. 

We also think the iPad Pro experience isn’t complete without an Apple Pencil. Even if you don’t plan on handwriting, the Pencil gives you the ability to annotate documents, sign important letters, and even control the device with more precision. We’re not sure the new hover features make the expense worthwhile, but we recommend getting the Apple Pencil 2 with an iPad Pro 12.9.  

 iPad Pro 11 (2022): Needs a keyboard and Pencil

Woman using iPad Pro in coffee shop with keyboard

(Image credit: Apple)
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iPad Pro 11 (2022): costs to consider
Starting cost:$799 / £899 / AU$1,399
Storage: 128GB; Needed: 256GB$899 / £1,019.00 / AU$1,579
Apple Pencil Gen 2$129 / £139 / AU$19
Smart Keyboard Folio$179 / £199.00 / AU$299
Warranty$129 / £129 / AU$19
Final cost:$1,336 / £1,486 / AU$2,276

The smaller iPad Pro 11 suffers from the same drawback as the iPad Pro 12.9 – you can’t record video in 4K ProRes unless you upgrade your storage to 256GB. For this tablet especially, the more portable of the two iPad Pro models, that is an important upgrade. 

Of course, the Apple Pencil 2 is a necessity with the iPad Pro. We also think this smaller iPad deserves a keyboard. The smaller design paired with a Smart Keyboard Folio make this a serious MacBook competitor, with all the Apple M2 power to match. There are plenty of third-party keyboard options available as well, if you don’t want Apple’s matching kit. 

iPad Air (2022): Needs 5G network and a Pencil

Apple iPad Air 5

(Image credit: Future)
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iPad Air (2022): costs to consider
Starting cost:$599 / £569 / AU$929
Storage: 64GB; Needed: 256GB$749 / £719 / AU$1,159
Wi-Fi + 5G Connectivity$899 / £869 / AU$1,389
Apple Pencil Gen 2$129 / £139 / AU$199
Warranty$69 / £69 / AU$99
Final cost:$1,097 / £1,077 / AU$1,687

The iPad Air (2022) is the thin-and-light, ultra portable of the bunch, so we think it needs some special consideration. We like this tablet with the 5G network connectivity, and if we’re going to connect any iPad to cellular, it’s going to be the iPad Air. Having a network connection on such a thin and light tablet makes it easy company for watching shows or even sharing its connection via a hotspot with your other devices. 

Having a network connection might mean you download fewer movies and shows, but the paltry 64GB storage on the iPad Air is really embarrassing, especially at this price. We hate to stomach such an expensive storage upgrade, and the 4X jump in capacity really does cost too much. Still, we have to say the iPad Air is better with 256GB of space. 

We also love using a pencil with this tablet, and the Apple Pencil 2 works just as well with this as it does with an iPad Pro. Unlike the iPad 10.9, the iPad Air can use the newer Apple Pencil and charge it magnetically. 

iPad mini (2021): Needs 5G network and a cover

iPad mini 2021

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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iPad mini (2021): costs to consider
Starting cost:$499 / £479 / AU$749
Wi-Fi + 5G Connectivity$649 / £619 / AU$979
Apple Smart Folio Cover$79 / £89 / AU$129
Warranty$69 / £69 / AU$99
Final cost:$797 / £777 / AU$1,207

Having an iPad mini with a 5G connection would make for a great road trip, and it can handle much more than just streaming movies. It's a great device for maps and directions, as well as simple planning and journaling. Just make sure to get a nice cover to keep it safe, and invest in the AppleCare warranty for when things go wrong

Having an iPad mini with a 5G connection would make for a great road trip, and it can handle much more than just streaming movies. It's a great device for maps and directions, as well as simple planning and journaling. Just make sure to get a nice cover to keep it safe, and invest in the AppleCare warranty for when things go wrong. 

 iPad 10.2 (2021): Needs a cover and AppleCare

Apple iPad 10.2 (2021) in portrait mode on a grey cushion

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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iPad 10.2 (2021): costs to consider
Starting cost:$329 / £319 / AU$499
Apple Smart Folio Cover$79 / £89 / AU$129
Warranty$69 / £69 / AU$99
Final cost:$477 / £477 / AU$727

If you go for last year’s iPad 10.2 (2021), you’ll still find a great tablet. We won’t try to sell you on an expensive storage bump or a premium keyboard. Instead, consider a protective cover like the Apple Smart Folio Cover. The Apple Cover has magnets built in that let the iPad know when it is open and shut. 

We also strongly recommend the warranty, especially for this device. You will have much more fun with your big screen tablet when you’re not worried about cracking it into pieces. Otherwise, the iPad 10.2 still represents the best bargain of the iPad bunch by far. 

Philip Berne
US Mobiles Editor

Phil Berne is a preeminent voice in consumer electronics reviews, having reviewed his first device (the Sony D-EJ01 Discman) more than 20 years ago for He has been writing about phones and mobile technology, since before the iPhone, for a variety of sites including PCMag, infoSync, PhoneScoop, and Slashgear. He holds an M.A. in Cultural Theory from Carnegie Mellon University. 

Phil was the internal reviewer for Samsung Mobile, writing opinions and review predictions about top secret new devices months before launch. He left in 2017. He worked at an Apple Store near Boston, MA, at the height of iPod popularity. He has been a High School English teacher at Title I schools, and is a certified Lifeguard. His passion is smartphones and wearables, and he is sure that the next big thing will be phones we wear on our faces.