The iPad for Students [Updated 2024]

The iPad is a good productivity tool for students in 2023, regardless of whether you want to buy the Pro, Air, or basic iPad model. I have been using iPad Pros since 2016, so it’s been a little over seven years now. I have stuck to owning a single iPad at a time, and I use it every day (at every waking moment) to study and evaluate productivity apps. Find out which iPad best suits your needs.

My medical school set up

When I was a student, I kept all my notes and textbooks on a single device. Because of that, I never lost any notes. My room and study area became refreshingly cleaner and tidier than ever before, and my school bag was much lighter. I didn’t have to carry around all my medical school textbooks because I had soft copies of all of them on my iPad Pro. Physical textbooks are generally larger, weightier, and bulkier than digital ones. I certainly did not miss them.

My note-taking app back then was Notability, which I have since dropped for Noteful. It let me audio record lectures that I would play back later while going through the lecture material to create my final study notes. It was a much improved workflow from what I had before going paperless. I had a rather cumbersome setup where I recorded lectures on my phone. But finding them later was a daunting task. I hardly ever used the audio recordings altogether, because tracking and labelling them was just a mess. When I went paperless, my audio recordings became much easier to manage. Notability synced my handwritten and typed notes to the lecture recordings. It became very easy to track and find the recordings I needed when reviewing my lecture notes. It was a life-changing digital transformation. I have not used paper for ANY notes since!

What iPad should you get?

The iPad Pro line is a bit pricey, but as a student, you don’t need to buy the Pro line iPad to start your digital transformation journey. Any current iPad with at least 256GB of storage will work great for taking digital notes and storing your digital textbooks. 64GB is too small when you want the device to at least last you through college or university (that’s about five years, give or take). We are surprised Apple is even still making iPads with 64GB in 2023! My first-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 128 GB WiFi model, lasted me four years before I quit medical school. I was very happy with it, and I didn’t upgrade it until I needed something with larger storage for video editing. So, strictly for digital note-taking and study, 256GB is more than enough.

I’ve always hoarded my notebooks. Four years after quitting medical school, I still have all my notes, and I don’t plan to let go any time soon. Back in university, my iPad Pro became my notebook. I simply couldn’t part with it. If my iPad Pro 2015 hadn’t been as good as it was, I would have definitely upgraded. I would have replaced it in a heartbeat. My obsession with digital note-taking does not allow me to settle for dysfunctional devices. So, believe me when I tell you, ANY current iPad you buy for taking notes will work (just make sure it is 256GB). But, to really know which iPad suits your needs best, go here so we can help you buy an iPad that you will love!

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