iPad Pro buyers guide

iPad Pro - hero

There are a lot decisions to make before you lay down some cash to buy or upgrade to the new iPad Pro, which goes on sale starting Wednesday, November 11th. For starters, you need to decide whether you really want an iPad Pro and not another iPad such as the iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 4. Once you know you want the Pro, then you need choose the storage capacity and the color option you prefer. You also should think about whether you want a Wi-Fi-only device or if you need the WiFi+ Cellular option. With a device this large, you may also want to factor in insurance when making your purchase. If you find all these decisions overwhelming, don’t worry. We are here to help with this handy guide that’ll breakdown each of these decisions and help you choose the perfect iPad Pro.

Should you upgrade to the iPad Pro?

The iPad Pro is a new category of tablet for Apple and one that blurs the line between tablet and notebook. With its optional keyboard and Pencil, the iPad Pro mimics the form factor of a notebook, while retaining the core components of a tablet. It offers much more flexibility than your typical iPad, allowing you to draw in fine detail, take handwritten notes and type with ease into your tablet device. It’s perfect for the business or power user who wants a notebook like device, but prefers the portable size of the tablet and the ease of iOS.

Wi-Fi-Only or WiFi + Cellular?

The iPad Pro will be available in two versions — WiFi-only or WiFi + Cellular. As their name implies, the WiFi-only device is optimized for at home or in office use where there is an available WiFi internet connection. The WiFi + Cellular option costs $130 more and includes a cellular modem capable of connecting to wireless carrier networks worldwide. When deciding which model to purchase, you must evaluate where you will be using your device. The WiFi-only version is great if you will be using the tablet in a few known locations such as your house, your office or the local internet-friendly coffee shop. If you plan to travel with your iPad Pro, then spending the extra to obtain a cellular modem is essential.

32GB or 128GB?

Storage space is another important but often overlooked factor to consider when buying an iPad Pro. If you are purchasing the cellular version of the iPad Pro, then the decision has been made for you already as the cellular iPad Pro is only available in a 128GB capacity. If you are purchasing a WiFi version then you get to choose between a 32GB version for $799 and a 128GB for $949. If you plan on using the iPad Pro as your workhorse tablet, then you should spend the extra to purchase the 128GB version as you will quickly run out of space with a 32GB device. The 32GB version is appropriate for users who want to check out the device but minimize their investment in the platform.

Which color iPad Pro to buy?

Similar to other iPads, the iPad Pro is available in space grey, silver and gold. Your color choice is dependent on your personal preferences and how you use your iPad. If you play a lot of games or watch a lot of media, the black bezel looks great as a frame around your content. If you are concerned about scratches, then silver is the better choice as the light color tends to hide any blemishes. Gold is the standout color that is classy. But do note that if you’re planning to buy the Smart Keyboard then it is available only in charcoal gray initially, which will probably go well with the Silver and Space Gray iPad Pro.

Which iPad Pro insurance to purchase?

The iPad Pro has a large display, which means there is a lot of screen area that can crack in a fall or break in a bump. Purchasing insurance is a necessity to protect the device. The best option for Apple devices is usually AppleCare+, which provides accidental damage coverage as well as extend the standard warranty. While manufacturing issues are fixed for free, there is a deductible you must pay if you break the device and need a replacement. All repair claims are processed in your local retail store, allowing you to get your device repaired or replaced very quickly. Apple hasn’t released the details on its AppleCare+ plan for the iPad Pro, so we really can rate that plan at this point.

Another option is SquareTrade, which tends to be less expensive than AppleCare+, but requires you to send in the device for repair. The mail-in process used by SquareTrade is less convenient than the in-store AppleCare+, but it costs less upfront and provides a similar level of coverage.

Warranty plans also are available from third-party companies such as Asurion, from wireless providers if you own a cellular iPad Pro model or as a rider on your home owner’s or renter’s insurance. Some credit card companies also offer insurance when you purchase your device with their credit card You’ll need to check with your credit car company for details.

Which carrier to choose?

The iPad Pro is an unlocked, universal device that will work on a variety of different carriers worldwide. It is not being sold based on your carrier, so you no longer have to worry about the wireless provider when purchasing the device. You simply buy the tablet from Apple and then bring it to your carrier of choice to active the Apple SIM or obtain a carrier SIM. If you already have an existing tablet with a SIM card from your carrier, all you need to do is remove the Apple SIM that ships with the iPad Pro and place your SIM card into your new device.

Share your plans

Apple’s new iPad Pro will be available to order online starting Wednesday, November 11 and will arrive at Apple’s retail stores, select carriers and Apple Authorized Resellers beginning later this week. Pricing for the iPad Pro starts at $799 for the 32GB WiFi-only model and climbs to $1079 for a 128GB WiFi + Cellular version. Apple also will sell the optional Apple Pencil for $99 and the Smart Keyboard for $169.

Do you plan to purchase an iPad Pro when it goes on sale tomorrow? If so, which model, storage and color will you choose? Let us know in the comments.