[iPad] Refurbished iPad 3 ($379) vs iPad 4 (Black Friday $458) - MacRumors Forums
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 02:59 AM   #1
JesseJamez
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Refurbished iPad 3 ($379) vs iPad 4 (Black Friday $458)

As the title says, I bought an iPad 4 for $458 on black Friday. 2 days prior to that, I had received the refurbished iPad 3 I ordered from apple store(amount paid:$379). Both are great deals, but way too similar in features to warrant keeping more than one. So far the major real-world differences i've noticed are:
-iPad 3 seems to run "hotter" than the iPad 4, which stays relatively cool over long periods of use.
-iPad 4 loads online videos faster, specifically with YouTube. I noticed a 5 second(give or take) difference in loading times during several side by side comparisons.
-lightning connector is definitely preferable aesthetically speaking, and with ease of use as well.
There weren't any other perceivable differences. Web pages load at the same rate. Videos look smooth and beautiful on both. Everything seems about the same except for the "twice as fast processor" and "twice as fast wifi" which I don't notice because I'm not running on a t1 or using my iPad as a server(I'm sarcastic but still objective). I know there's gotta be a use, I just don't see it. Does anybody have any similar experiences? Or perhaps know why the iPad 3 was discontinued other than the fact it would undercut sales of the iPad 4? Is the 4th gen upgrade worth $80. Anyone go from a 3 to a 4 and never look back?
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 03:04 AM   #2
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The higher resale value of the 4 makes it worth it alone. Not to mention twice the speed for just $80, seems pretty obvious to me.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 03:15 AM   #3
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You got yourself a very good deal. The heat problem alone should allow you to make your decision which to keep.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 03:51 AM   #4
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Yeah I was lucky enough to hear about both deals. For a price difference of $120, the 3 had my full attention but with a difference of $80, I'm right on the fence. I was also thinking about resale value 88keys, I'm wondering what both would sell for 6-12 months from now. If I bought a iPad 3 at 379 and sold it in good condition at 350(accurate estimate?) a year from now, that's only a 30$ loss. I'm thinking the iPad 4 could sell at $450 a year after release but im guessing all these estimates. $20 difference in loss in negligible to me, but if it's higher, that would certainly be something to take into consideration. The time I waste on making all these decisions would pay the cost difference and then some. But at the end of the day, I'll know I made the right decision.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 03:57 AM   #5
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Question for you. Which screen/display is the more pleasing? Any yellowing that others have mentioned on either the 3 or the 4? Whites nice and white? If both are good, I'd go with the 4, absolutely!
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 04:19 AM   #6
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I will check tomorrow. Interesting, I haven't heard much about yellow screens.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 05:44 PM   #7
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Don't forget the ipad 4 has better battery life than the 3. I'm getting 1-2 more hours of usage. I had the 3 then returned it for the 3 refurb then got the 4. I don't regret getting the 4. It's a much better device. Will last you longer, get updates for longer, higher resale value. Wifi is much faster and I love the screen made by LG.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 06:21 PM   #8
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So for $79 you get a faster CPU, faster GPU, HD FaceTime camera, better rear cam pics (from the DSP in the A6X), better WiFi ... and personally, I think the Lightening connector is a very nice improvement.

Seems like a no-brainer.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 06:24 PM   #9
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So for $79 you get a faster CPU, faster GPU, HD FaceTime camera, better rear cam pics (from the DSP in the A6X), better WiFi ... and personally, I think the Lightening connector is a very nice improvement.

Seems like a no-brainer.
Plus the resale value of the 4 will be higher then the 3.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 06:39 PM   #10
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Plus the resale value of the 4 will be higher then the 3.
Yeah, another good point, heck, the resale difference [in the shorter term] is probably close to the price difference of those two iPads.

So there you go ... buy a 4th Gen

FWIW, I upgraded my 3 to a 4 for twice the upgrade cost the OP indicated and have +zero+ regret.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 09:09 PM   #11
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i used to have an iPad 3, which i bought for full price on October 3. apple allowed me to return it and pre-order the iPad 4, which i did. i got the iPad 4 and in all honesty the difference was not very significant. app folders opened up a split second more quickly and web pages loaded maybe 1-2 seconds more quickly. games played exactly the same (Metal Storm) and despite the A6X being twice as fast as the A5X, the A5 on a non-retina display still plays Metal Storm more fluidly. that Retina screen truly is a beast and i still feel that the A6X isn't fully adequate for the Retina. but i digress...that's a topic of discussion for another forum.

i saw that the iPad 3 refurbs substantially dropped in price right when the iPad 4 was announced. the iPad 3/4 64GB LTE that originally was $829 brand new was now $679... talk about a steep price drop ($150). i returned the iPad 4 and bought the iPad 3 version for $679. before i did this though, i thought about what my intentions were with this iPad 3. was i intending to hold onto it for 3 years or am i buying it to use for a year and then flip when the redesigned iPad 5 comes out? most likely it will be the latter. thus i concluded that going with the iPad 3 was the better was to go. an analogy to this situation would be trying to decide to buy a used car or a brand new car if you knew you would be selling it soon. most logical people would buy the used vehicle since after 1 year of ownership it will not have depreciated as much from the purchase price as much as the brand new one. going back to the iPad, the $679 iPad 3 64GB LTE iPad a year from now when the iPad 5 comes out, will probably have a resale dip to $600. the iPad 4 64GB LTE on the other hand, will likely drop from $829 down to the $679 price that the refurb iPad 3 used to be at. in my situation, after doing the simple math, the iPad 3 is the better way to go. however, not everyone's situation is the same as mine as they might not be planning to upgrade to the iPad 5. this scenario also doesn't end up being as extreme if you are comparing base model 16GB wifi models and you throw in Black Friday pricing too. that gap ends up being more narrow and then i might say just go with the iPad 4.


moving onto the other new features of the iPad 4. i have an iPhone 4S and i've owned iPods since 2005 so to be honest i won't miss the Lightning port - i'm too entrenched in 30-pin cables and accessories for the benefits of the new port (reversible) to negate the inconveniences. i have about a dozen 30-pin cables - several throughout the house, car, office, several at the lake house, briefcase, backpack, etc just to name a few. while wifi sync is great, it's not ideal for transferring 15GB of Season 2 of Game of Thrones to my iPad. i know eventually the Lightning cables will be generic, but they're not now and they won't be $0.99 probably for 2 more years. again like i said above, i am thinking about the now and for the next year.

not having a Facetime HD camera in the iPad 3 is OK - it's not like 720p will make my face more attractive. if anything it'll make it uglier lol. my girlfriend has the Mini so i at least get to see her in 720p when we occasionally Facetime which is maybe once every 2 months when i am on a business trip. if i was in a long distance relationship though, then i could see the 720p Facetime HD camera being a must.



so yeah, that's pretty much my reasoning why i went from and iPad 3, to and iPad 4, back to and iPad 3. i'm sure many will disagree with my logic and that's OK - that's why we're consumers...we each have our own opinion
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 01:34 AM   #12
JesseJamez
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Wow thanks for the great responses. The price differences of the higher capacity models definitely make the refurb 3's more appealing. I finally got around to comparing the two screens. With safari opened on a blank page, there was a noticeable difference and I captured it with my iPhone 5. I didn't notice any yellowing on the 3 or 4. Instead the 4, seemed to display a red hue, while the 3 was much more white. This adds another factor to the mix.


4th gen on the left, 3rd gen on the right

Last edited by JesseJamez; Nov 28, 2012 at 01:38 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 03:00 PM   #13
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After sleeping on it, the screen comparison is really weighing in. I mean, look at the 4. The screen looks terrible compared to the 3. That's one compromise I won't make as the screen is 85% of the device for me. Jeeze quality control seems to be an increasingly widespread issue, but that's another topic ill be adding some time soon.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 03:06 PM   #14
Medic311
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welcome to the Retina Screen Lottery - while your chances of winning are better than the Powerball, expect to lose a few times.

i got lucky with the iPad 4 - the screen was just as perfect as the 2nd exchanged iPad 3
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 03:34 PM   #15
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Plus the resale value of the 4 will be higher then the 3.
The resale difference may not be that much more than $80.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 03:38 PM   #16
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I had problems with the 3, so I returned it and bought the 4 and loooooove it! The only problem I have is what case to buy for it. Lol
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 03:44 PM   #17
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I'd go with the 4th gen. It is worth it for the little price difference and not refurbished which I personally would not care for regardless of its condition.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 05:18 PM   #18
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lol @ retina screen lottery. Yeah that would seem to be the case.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 12:31 PM   #19
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I got a nice screen so no complaints but if the screen was poor I would definitely return it. I find the screens identical but the performance is noteworthy. I've yet to really feel heat in the same way the 3 would heat up and the battery seems to last longer on the 4. Web pages load much faster to me. Some apps load faster, some don't. I get the feeling iOS isn't super optimized for the 4 the way it is on the 2 & 3.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 01:06 PM   #20
Awakener
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In your situation choosing the 4 seems like a no brainer. Honestly if $79 mattered that much I wouldn't even get an iPad.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 01:17 PM   #21
dazz87
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I was in the same boat thinking bout getting the Refurbished Ipad 3 when the 4 was release, the diff in price was $120.00 Thank god I waited for the bestbuy deal and amex deal. $564.00 out the door including tax for 32gb. Diff is only around 60 bucks....
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 03:31 PM   #22
JesseJamez
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Ill definitely exchange it if I decide to keep it. Yeah 79 isn't really a lot but I like to save where i can. Dazz87, is the Amex deal still going on? I did not hear about that one!
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 03:43 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by JesseJamez View Post
Ill definitely exchange it if I decide to keep it. Yeah 79 isn't really a lot but I like to save where i can. Dazz87, is the Amex deal still going on? I did not hear about that one!
dont know if I could post the info but I send you a pm. Its still alive for the amex deal.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 04:09 PM   #24
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In Canada, we had a great deal on Black Friday, Staples was offering the iPad 4's starting at $469 and offering a $50 coupon on top of that. Some people were lucky to get the price matched with Future Shop's 454.99 bringing the cost to $404.99 for the 16gb iPad 4.

so $26 difference for me, I'm leaning towards keeping my iPad 4 and hope I got a decent screen.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 10:05 PM   #25
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In Canada, we had a great deal on Black Friday, Staples was offering the iPad 4's starting at $469 and offering a $50 coupon on top of that. Some people were lucky to get the price matched with Future Shop's 454.99 bringing the cost to $404.99 for the 16gb iPad 4.

so $26 difference for me, I'm leaning towards keeping my iPad 4 and hope I got a decent screen.
Dang that's a good deal. For $26, I don't think I would even think about it. $100 off seems too good to be true for a brand new, just introduced iPad ESP since your not signing any contracts with a wireless carrier. I hear Canadian tax is way less than what we pay in California as well so you probably paid less than I paid for my refurbished 3($418). I suggest taking it to the apple store and comparing it with the floor models to make sure your screen is good(open up a blank safari page and go through the brightness in increments comparing yours to another). If there is a perceivable difference, show an apple employee. It's still under warranty and will be replaced.
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