The best PhD student iPad for 2023

In today’s digital and online first age, having the right tools can make all the difference for a PhD student. One increasingly important device is an iPad, which can offer a range of features to enhance productivity and streamline the notetaking and searching aspect of research. I t can be a good investment in a tool that will help you stay as productive as possible

With so many options on the market, finding the best iPad for PhD students can be overwhelming.

That’s where this article comes in.

We have compiled a list of the top iPad models that PhD students should consider, taking into account factors such as:

  • performance,
  • functionality,
  • and budget.

From the powerful and versatile iPad Pro to the more affordable iPad Air, we have rounded up the best iPads for any PhD student’s needs. So whether you’re conducting research, taking notes, or presenting your findings, there’s an iPad out there that can help you excel in your academic journey.

Which is the Best iPad for PhD Students?

When it comes to choosing the best iPad for students, it depends on their specific needs and budget.

Apple offers a range of ipads starting from the basic ipad, ipad mini, and iPad pro, each with varying features and specifications.

One of the bestselling models of iPad for PhD students includes the Apple 2021 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi, 64GB).

Apple 2021 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi, 64GB)

There is a good reason why this iPad is one of the bestselling iPads. It is one of the most affordable iPad models in the entire line and still is able to hold its own against other tablets in its price range. With 3 GB of RAM this iPad can run any graduate student and you need.

One of the downsides is that this iPad is running Apple is A13 chip. This puts it in line with a 2019 iPhone but it will still do everything you needed to do. It makes a great e-book reader, article finder, notetaker, and everything you can want for a graduate student iPad.

For students who need a fair bit of storage and want to multitask or use productivity apps, I highly recommend the iPad Pro 11. It’s powerful, comes with a keyboard and apple pencil, and can even replace a laptop for most students.

Apple 2022 11-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi, 128GB)

This iPad is one of the most up-to-date releases and packs a powerful punch.

It has more than enough power to carry you through your entire PhD and is a little bit more future proof then the 2021 version. It has more than enough memory to store all of your research papers and has an excellent display which means your eyes won’t get tired whilst going through all of your literature.

The ability to take notes, and do all of the creative stuff to means that it may even be possible to replace your laptop completely with this device.

For those who want a smaller device to take with them in their bag to university the Apple 2021 iPad Mini (Wi-Fi, 64GB)

Apple 2021 iPad Mini

The 8.3 inch iPad mini is a fantastic portable tablet that you can easily take with you to graduate school. It is one of the bestselling tablets worldwide and has a bit more power than its older relatives with an A1 chip which is also found in current Apple iPhone 13 models.

This pad is perfect for notetaking, reading, and searching through all of those papers in a convenient and small package.

For some, the smaller screen size can feel a little cramped but many people get used to the size of the screen very quickly.

For grad and Ph.D. students, the iPad Pro is a great investment as it can handle advanced tasks and research work. Overall, choosing an iPad for students in 2022 depends on their usage and requirements, but the iPad Pro 11 is a solid choice for most students.

Are iPads and Tablets Good for PhD Students? 

iPads have become increasingly popular among PhD and graduate students due to their portability and versatility.

Many students love their iPads and it replaces a large portion of their laptop workflow. One thing I love about working on a tablet is that I can take a paper anywhere with me and read it comfortably whilst also having it backed up to my cloud server. 

I never have to worry about losing notes again.

Tablets made by Apple are very popular because they are equipped with a variety of useful features, including the ability to take handwritten notes using the Apple Pencil. People like the Apple brand and trust the usability of these devices.

PhD students can also attach a keyboard to their iPad, making it a more practical option for typing up papers and assignments.

iPads are a useful tool for graduate students who are looking for a portable, all-in-one device to take notes, study, read and simplify their research workflow.

What Are the Benefits of iPads for Students? Apps, notes, and more

IPads and other tablets offer a convenient and portable platform for reading and annotating textbooks, PDFs, and research materials.

With the ability to take notes and organize them efficiently using note-taking apps, iPads also eliminate the need for carrying around physical books and notebooks.

It’s much easier to edit and highlight text digitally with the touch of a finger, no need for markers or pens.

iPads allow students to access a wide array of educational and productivity apps, increasing efficiency and usability of their devices.

What Are the Limitations of iPads for Students?

While iPads can be incredibly useful for students with their portability and access to countless educational apps, the limitations of the device in terms of productivity and type of work it can handle might be frustrating for some graduate students.

One of the biggest challenges by find when using any smart device for work and research purposes is that I can easily become distracted by the other more fun iPad apps and websites on the device.

If you can afford it, it is better to have a device that you have dedicated to research work only.

Using an iPad for heavy-duty productivity tasks such as video editing, figure or schematic design, and programming can be a challenge due to its limited screen real estate, storage capacity, and lack of professional-grade software.

Although the iPad has made improvements in recent years with the release of the iPad Pro and macOS-like features such as multitasking, it still falls short when compared to its laptop and tablet counterpart in terms of versatility and power.

Apple has already switched their Mac computers to their own M1 chip in 2022, which could make MacBook an even better productivity device choice for value students.

iPad Accessories: Which Ones Do You Need?

Apple’s iPad is a powerful tablet that can be transformed into a productivity machine with the right accessories.

The best accessories for any grad student using their iPad for work includes:

  • screen protectors
  • cases
  • keyboard
  • Apple Pencil
  • Power banks
  • external storage (cloud storage)
  • comfortable bag
  • dongles for various peripheral devices

Some users may also need a MacBook Pro for more powerful computing needs. In general, the type of accessories you need will depend on how you want to use your iPad, but a keyboard, screen protectors, and storage are a few essentials to consider.

How do I get the Apple student discount?

If you’re a student, it’s always great to save money. One way to do this is to take advantage of the Apple student discount. To qualify for this discount, you must be enrolled in an educational institution, such as a college or university, and have a valid student ID or other proof of enrollment.

You can purchase products from the Apple Education Store, which offers discounted prices on computers, iPhones, iPads, and other Apple products.

To access the Education Store, simply go to Apple’s website, click on the “Education” link, and select your school from the list provided. Once you’re on the Education Store page, you can browse products and get the discount applied by purchasing through the store.

How many GB do I need for an iPad for grad school?

The amount of GB one needs for an iPad for grad school largely depends on the individual’s usage and preferences.

A good rule of thumb is to opt for at least 64GB of storage in your iPad since grad school involves handling large amounts of data such as:

  • research papers,
  • notes,
  • textbooks
  • figures
  • schematics
  • data
  • code
  • videos
  • images
  • and much more

which can quickly eat up storage space.

This storage capacity also allows you to store media files like music, movies, and pictures without worrying about running out of space.

Moreover, 64GB is sufficient for running productivity apps like Microsoft Office, Google Drive and other study-related applications.

It is advisable to consider higher storage options if you intend on storing larger media files or needs more space for other personal data.

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.