"Which iPad is right for my needs? Do I need more than 16GB of storage - and what about 3G? What's the difference between the iPad with Retina display and the iPad Air? What's a Retina display, and are they worth the money? It's all so confusing!"

So you're thinking of buying a new iPad, are you? Great! Then you've come to the right place. In our iPad buying guide, updated for spring 2014, we'll highlight the reasons why we think you'll love your new iPad, help you decide which iPad is right for you, and give you advice about where to buy your iPad.

Once you've got your sparkly new iPad in your hands, you can read the final two parts of our iPad buying guide, which take you through the setup process step-by-step, and then point you in the direction of the best iPad apps to download.

What's the difference between an iPad mini and a full-size iPad?

And if you're thinking about buying a tablet computer but aren't sure whether an iPad is for you, we can help. We've come up with 10 reasons you might want to buy an iPad, and you can find them over in our 10 reasons to buy an iPad feature.

Which iPad model is best for you?

There's a lot to consider when picking an iPad, and we've dealt with the various issues across a number of articles.

In our iPad buying guide 2014, we walk you through each stage of the buying decision, and compare all four iPads that Apple currently sells: the iPad 4 with Retina display, the iPad Air, the iPad mini 1 and the iPad mini 2 with Retina display.

For a quick summary, however, here are the pricing details of Apple's iPad line-up, as of March 2014:

iPad range pricing details spring 2014

We've also set the various iPads against one another in comparison reviews: 

iPad Air vs iPad 4 comparison review

iPad mini 2 vs iPad Air comparison review

iPad mini 2 with Retina display vs iPad mini 1 comparison review

Finally, we look at each of the iPad models individually in the following articles:

iPad Air review | What people hate about the iPad Air | What people love about the iPad Air

iPad Air and iPad mini 2: What's the big deal? | 5 features missing from the iPad Air

iPad 4 with Retina display review

iPad mini 1 review

iPad mini 2 with Retina display review | iPad mini 2 review of reviews

iPad mini 2 with Retina display

Where to buy your iPad

Of course, the most obvious place to buy your iPad is from Apple itself, but that's not the only way. Here, we take you through the options.

If you do want to buy your iPad from Apple, there are two ways of doing so. The first is to head down to an Apple Retail Store and pick one up. You can buy the iPad Air, iPad 4 (generally referred to as simply 'iPad with Retina display'), iPad mini (2) with Retina display and iPad mini (1) from Apple at time of writing.

Ordering online won't mean you'll have a new iPad in your hands right away, but it should mean that it's on its way to you in the post. Apple's Online Store is taking orders for the iPad Air, iPad 4, iPad mini 2 and iPad mini.

Customers in the US are able to order their iPad Air online for in-store pickup, but UK customers don't have that option, so will need to go to a store to buy an iPad or order online for home delivery.

The other option from Apple, if you've not got your heart set on one of Apple's newest iPads, is to visit the Apple Refurbished Store. You can save loads of money by opting to buy a refurbished iPad from Apple rather than splashing out on a brand-new iPad.

Should I buy a refurbished iPad?

It's not just Apple that sells iPads, though. Retailers including Tesco, John Lewis, Argos and Curry's and PC World also sell iPads, including the newest models, as do phone carriers such as Three, EE, and Vodafone, though you'll only be able to get a cellular iPad with a contract from them.

Three's iPad Air prices start at £7.50 a month for 1GB of data on a rolling monthly contract and a £499 up-front cost. If you go for a two-year contract, you can get the iPad Air for £25 per month for as little as £179.

Vodafone's prices start at £28 per month for an up-front payment of £129, while EE's start at £26 per month on a two-year contract and an up-front payment of £99.

iPad Air: Which iPad is best for me?

How to set up your iPad

Once you've actually purchased the iPad, you'll need to set it up. We've put together a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

How to set up an iPad

The best apps to download on your new iPad

There are more than a million apps in the iOS App Store, with nearly half of those designed specifically for the iPad. That's a lot of apps to choose from, but here, we share the best apps to download on your new iPad so you know which are worth getting.

Best of Apple's own apps for iPad

Apple's iWork and iLife apps are now free for new iPad and iPhone customers. So, if you've just purchased a new iPad, it's worth downloading them as they could come in handy for many tasks.

The iWork suite is made up of Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Pages is a Microsoft Word competitor - a word processor that lets you create text documents. Numbers is a spreadsheet program that includes graph and chart creation, too. Keynote is the Apple equivalent of PowerPoint, enabling users to create slideshows. All three of these apps have support for iCloud, so you can sync documents across all of your devices.

iLife includes iMovie, iPhoto and GarageBand. iMovie will allow you to create a home movie, while iPhoto is a photo editing and organising tool. With GarageBand, you can create a musical masterpiece.

Best third-party apps for iPad

In addition to Apple's apps, there are some other apps that'll help you make the most of your iPad.

First up, we enjoy watching TV shows on our iPad, so BBC iPlayer and 4OD, which both enable you to download shows for offline viewing, would be the first apps we'd recommend downloading.

Then there's social media, another popular use for the iPad. There are dedicated apps for Twitter and Facebook, as well as other popular social sites such as Pinterest.

You might notice that Apple's weather app, while rather lovely to look at, is a little lacking when it comes to showing the weather forecast for the rest of the week. While not as good-looking as Apple's offering, we recommend the Met Office Weather app, which gives detailed information and highlights weather warnings for the week. See The best iPhone weather apps for more recommendations.

Recently redesigned for iOS 7, Evernote is a popular note-taking app that lets you make lists, too.

Master iOS 7: Get to know iOS 7 using our 40 tips

iOS 7

Talking of lists, Clear+ is one of the best to-do list apps we've come across for iPad. 

If you like photography and enjoy editing photographs, we'd recommend Snapseed. Its features allow you to edit photos in almost any way you desire. We haven't yet found an app to replace Snapseed as our primary photo editor.

For more great apps, follow the links below

Best iPhone & iPad apps for entertaining children

Best iPhone & iPad apps for university students

Best games for iPad

Another thing that the iPad is great for is gaming. Follow the link below for a selection of our favourite iPad games.

The 75 best games for iPad and iPhone

Real Racing iPad game review