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ggx12

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 21, 2021
187
206
Hi everyone,

I have been wanting to get an iPad for a long time and I am super excited about the 2021 refresh (M1, display, 8GB of RAM, thunderbolt, center-stage). However, I've discovered a pretty nice deal on amazon on the 2020 models (899 euros for the 12.9 model, 128GB Wifi). Given the price bump (1219 euros for the 2021 model), the difference is quite material and would cover the pencil and smart keyboard. Would it be a bad choice to go for the old model?

In a nutshell, the price of the 2020 model discounted is in the limit range of what I would pay for a very nice iPad, while if I splurge for the 2021 model, I am expecting a possible laptop replacement... (which feels realistic considering the specs)

I am not sure how much stock they have so I don't want to wait for too long (e.g. waiting for the reviews) and therefore asking for your opinion!
 

isoft7

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2011
965
564
I think people are too hyped over the M1 iPad... nothing is going to change in user experience beyond increased benchmark numbers and reduced render times in Luma Fusion type programs. How much reduction? Hard to tell. People try to extrapolate data from the Mac Minis but that isn't a valid comparison at all. Will it truly be 70% faster? Impossible. It's not going to reduce render times by anywhere near that much.

So, in regards to your question, is the 2020 going to be enough performance when you consider the discounts available. Of course it will. It absolutely will be. The 2020 iPad (and 2018 for that matter) are overkill for the mobile structure of IpadOS, and will remain overkill for years, even with the M1 being faster.

However, will you be happy knowing there's a newer model? Thats probably more important a question. I know a lot of people buy the newest release every cycle just because they "have to have" the newest model, not because there was anything wrong with the current model, or anything they do that justified needing the performance. It's psychological.

I would argue, a 2020 a good discount is more than enough performance since these wild ideas of massive iPad/MacOS hybridization are more than likely wrong. But, if you feel at all like you're going to be left wondering "what if" then I would say wait and just get the M1 edition. Are you going to see the performance differences? Probably not. But you might "think" them, and that could very well justify the cost.
 

ggx12

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 21, 2021
187
206
I am fine with not having the latest and the greatest. I am typically mostly focused on getting the right value (for my personal usage) at the right price (which is why I thought that offer was interesting). I guess I am going to take the risk and wait for the reviews to see how they compare the performance of both models. At worst, WWDC will be soon upon us and I am sure they'll still be 2020 models going on the cheap.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,348
12,277
If you've never bought an iPad yet, I think the heavily discounted 2020 Pro might be a better option for you.

I'm coming from a 2017 iPad Pro so I already have an idea where upgrades (primarily RAM and storage) would be helpful even with current firmware.

With that said, I wouldn't consider it a laptop replacement at this time. While I do think WWDC will bring improvements, I don't expect to see significant shift to happen overnight.
 

xxray

macrumors 68040
Jul 27, 2013
3,009
9,083
I think people are too hyped over the M1 iPad... nothing is going to change in user experience beyond increased benchmark numbers and reduced render times in Luma Fusion type programs. How much reduction? Hard to tell. People try to extrapolate data from the Mac Minis but that isn't a valid comparison at all. Will it truly be 70% faster? Impossible. It's not going to reduce render times by anywhere near that much.

So, in regards to your question, is the 2020 going to be enough performance when you consider the discounts available. Of course it will. It absolutely will be. The 2020 iPad (and 2018 for that matter) are overkill for the mobile structure of IpadOS, and will remain overkill for years, even with the M1 being faster.

However, will you be happy knowing there's a newer model? Thats probably more important a question. I know a lot of people buy the newest release every cycle just because they "have to have" the newest model, not because there was anything wrong with the current model, or anything they do that justified needing the performance. It's psychological.

I would argue, a 2020 a good discount is more than enough performance since these wild ideas of massive iPad/MacOS hybridization are more than likely wrong. But, if you feel at all like you're going to be left wondering "what if" then I would say wait and just get the M1 edition. Are you going to see the performance differences? Probably not. But you might "think" them, and that could very well justify the cost.

I would normally agree with this except for the fact that the 2020 model has almost the same processor as the 2018 model, making it 3 years old at this point.

But at the same time, iPadOS still has to be optimized for the base model iPad, which is only on an A12. And A12Z is still the most powerful currently released iOS/iPadOS chip ever. So ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ what do I know?
 

Christopher Kim

macrumors 6502a
Nov 18, 2016
673
616
This isn't crazy in the least, and I think there'll be quite a few people who might end up going this route. I bought a new-in-box 2018 11" iPP at a big discount after the 2020 iPPs were released, though that was an easier decision as the 2020 update was pretty marginal.

As others have mentioned, a lot of the "value" of the 2021 iPPs depend on what iPadOS developments are announced at WWDC.

The only thing I'd add is that, you may see even greater discounts on the 2020 models 1) after 2021's are actually available to order, and 2) post-WWDC. So unless you need an iPad now, it could be worth waiting until June. You'd get the benefit of both, 1) more accurately being able to value the true "benefits" of the 2021's, and 2) potentially greater discounts on the 2020's.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,348
12,277
I would normally agree with this except for the fact that the 2020 model has almost the same processor as the 2018 model, making it 3 years old at this point.

But at the same time, iPadOS still has to be optimized for the base model iPad, which is only on an A12. And A12Z is still the most powerful currently released iOS/iPadOS chip ever. So ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ what do I know?

Frankly, I have no issues buying an iPad 8th gen with A12/3GB RAM and expecting to be able to use it for 5 years. However, that's ~1/3-1/2 the price of the 2020 iPad Pro. Purchased right now, I somehow doubt the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro will last 2-3 times as long as the 8th gen. What you do get from the Pros are snazzy features and updated aesthetic.
 
Last edited:

tann

macrumors 68000
Apr 15, 2010
1,943
811
UK
Unless you really want the screen I would go for the 2020. That's a great deal.

M1 is great, but people are getting way overhyped for it. It's all marketing, the M1 is no more powerful than the anticipated "A14X".
 
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Broadus

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2011
1,108
649
Upstate SC
I'm thinking along the same line as the OP. I have a 2017 10.5" iPP that's still plugging along fine, but my 65-year-old eyes could use a larger screen. My 15" MBP is my primary computer, so I'm not looking for an iPad to do heavier things than reading books, running relatively simple apps, and browsing websites. I suspect that a 2020 12.9" will do well for another five years.

The M1 iPP may very well be the best thing that Apple has done in a long time, but I doubt I would notice the difference with what I do except for the display, and right now we don't know how big an improvement that will be, do we?
 

tobefirst ⚽️

macrumors 601
Jan 24, 2005
4,610
2,335
St. Louis, MO
Can you wait for WWDC? I wonder if there's anything that will be announced then that will be specific to the M1 chip that would be of value. The 2020 (and even the 2018) were already so far ahead of the competition and software, and then Apple bumped it to the M1 and are actually displaying RAM now, that I can't help but think there is another shoe to drop.

If there isn't anything announced, then I definitely don't think it is crazy to go for a discounted older model.
 
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ggx12

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 21, 2021
187
206
So much valuable feedback! I think the best is indeed to wait WWDC...
 

ed.

macrumors regular
Jan 31, 2008
217
175
The one thing I would also consider is the longevity in terms of iPadOS support: getting the latest model over the next-to-last usually assures you an extra year or two of OS updates. In the case of A12Z vs M1, because there's a big performance jump and more RAM, maybe even more than one year or two.
 

ChampD1012

macrumors newbie
Jan 23, 2006
23
9
I said this in another post...Grabbed a Open Box Excellent Condition 1 TB 2020 12.9 iPad Pro for $1120 at Best Buy. They have some available at $1150 right now...

The new 2021 1 TB 12.9 iPad Pro would be $1800...unless you really want that display and M1...i would roll with the 2020 one...

iPadOS will support it at least until iPadOS 18...maybe longer than that...
 
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Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
34,259
49,439
In the middle of several books.
Hi everyone,

I have been wanting to get an iPad for a long time and I am super excited about the 2021 refresh (M1, display, 8GB of RAM, thunderbolt, center-stage). However, I've discovered a pretty nice deal on amazon on the 2020 models (899 euros for the 12.9 model, 128GB Wifi). Given the price bump (1219 euros for the 2021 model), the difference is quite material and would cover the pencil and smart keyboard. Would it be a bad choice to go for the old model?

In a nutshell, the price of the 2020 model discounted is in the limit range of what I would pay for a very nice iPad, while if I splurge for the 2021 model, I am expecting a possible laptop replacement... (which feels realistic considering the specs)

I am not sure how much stock they have so I don't want to wait for too long (e.g. waiting for the reviews) and therefore asking for your opinion!
I don't think you are crazy. The 2020 iPad Pro is a very powerful iPad with lots and lots of software update life left. It can still do a lot of heavy lifting. I really enjoy mine.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,348
12,277
I said this in another post...Grabbed a Open Box Excellent Condition 1 TB 2020 12.9 iPad Pro for $1120 at Best Buy. They have some available at $1150 right now...

The new 2021 1 TB 12.9 iPad Pro would be $1800...unless you really want that display and M1...i would roll with the 2020 one...

iPadOS will support it at least until iPadOS 18...maybe longer than that...

Don't care much about the display but I unless I can get 1TB cellular (AC+ eligible) for $1200 or less, don't think I want to give up Thunderbolt, 16GB RAM and 5G.
 
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georgivelev

macrumors member
Jan 23, 2011
92
89
I have an iPad 12.9” 2020. Probably my last 12.9” iPad as the price of this device skyrocketed while its use cases have remained the same. We have a promise that it will do better in the future. However, this promise has been staying around for more than 3 years.

I enjoy using it for facebook, browsing reading music sheets and other books, banking and so on and so forth. Do I need a M1 for all these operations - definitely no! Before the 2020 I had n iPad Air 2 (with A8 as far as I remember) and it was powerful enough for all of that. I just wanted the bigger screen.

My point is, unless you use very processor-heavy programs (like what???) and need heaps of RAM (for what???) you don’t need that super power in an iPad Pro. I am not a designer, probably Photoshop, Excel and movie-creators meet that requirements. The only “pro” program I use on the iPad is Cubasis - the mobile version of Cubase - and it really can eat up all the RAM you have with virtual instruments and plugins - however, I used it to just record me playing the Viola and while it was up to the job, I had to process the recording on my mac mini.

In my view, the iPad Pro is still an overpriced half-baked solution for “pro” programs, I cannot use it to finish a product and still need a computer.

The alternative, iPad Air 4, is a much better price-to-value proposition, and the best one in that regard is the regular iPad. However, I need 256GB of storage which the regular iPad does not offer as an option.
 

harriska2

macrumors 68000
Mar 16, 2011
1,913
1,036
Oregon
I'm finding the 2020 IPP 12.9 128 GB is only $100 less than the 2021 ($909 vs $990 with military discount). I'm not interested in a "renewed" model.
 

Bokes

macrumors 6502
Mar 4, 2008
467
14
For me it’s all about the new screen.
sharper, better color, etc
I hope it’s a similar wow factor of going retina
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,348
12,277
My point is, unless you need heaps of RAM (for what???) you don’t need that super power in an iPad Pro.

Safari and MS Office. Even YouTube, seems like. Everytime I use YouTube, my tabs reload when I go back to Safari (on 2017 Pro with 4GB RAM). 6GB is an okay upgrade. 8-16GB even better considering I haven't seen super good deals with my desired configuration. 12.9 1TB Cell is still $1500+.
 
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Christopher Kim

macrumors 6502a
Nov 18, 2016
673
616
I'm finding the 2020 IPP 12.9 128 GB is only $100 less than the 2021 ($909 vs $990 with military discount). I'm not interested in a "renewed" model.
I would wait - once the 2021’s are actually available and in the wild, I expect the refurb prices to come down. And I know many ppl don’t like secondary markets, but price discounts there (like on Ebay or Swappa) can be very strong.

In Canada, we have Kijiji (like a Craigslist), and as long as you’re smart about it, it can be great. I’ve sold a lot of my Appple gear (iPhones especially, almost every one I’ve had), and bought new-in-box iPads and Apple Watches at great discounts vs directly from Apple. These can especially be true for 1-gen-old model items (like the 2020 iPP is about to be) - plenty of small biz / stores with some inventory of older generation stuff they want to sell.
 

Resqu2

macrumors 6502a
Apr 23, 2011
862
293
My 2018 IPad Pro 12.9“ still works great and I’m really starting to use LumaFusion to edit my 4K helmet cam videos which hit 2gb or more for each 15 min video. I have no issues with these on my IPad. I can’t see how you can go wrong with a new 2020 model.
 

AutomaticApple

Suspended
Nov 28, 2018
7,401
3,377
Massachusetts
Hi everyone,

I have been wanting to get an iPad for a long time and I am super excited about the 2021 refresh (M1, display, 8GB of RAM, thunderbolt, center-stage). However, I've discovered a pretty nice deal on amazon on the 2020 models (899 euros for the 12.9 model, 128GB Wifi). Given the price bump (1219 euros for the 2021 model), the difference is quite material and would cover the pencil and smart keyboard. Would it be a bad choice to go for the old model?

In a nutshell, the price of the 2020 model discounted is in the limit range of what I would pay for a very nice iPad, while if I splurge for the 2021 model, I am expecting a possible laptop replacement... (which feels realistic considering the specs)

I am not sure how much stock they have so I don't want to wait for too long (e.g. waiting for the reviews) and therefore asking for your opinion!
I don't think it's crazy at all. If anything, I think it's generally a good idea to aim for a discounted 2020 version.
 
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LogicalApex

macrumors 65816
Nov 13, 2015
1,274
1,902
PA, USA
I'd say right now is the worst time to buy a 2020 iPad unless it is 50% off or more. Your best bet is to wait it out until WWDC and then decide if there is anything that moves the needle for you there since we know the hardware station for the new iPad Pro. If there is anything announced that's interesting you will have more people dumping IPP 2020 models softening the price even more (especially if you don't care for the additions) and if nothing magical comes about the pricing on the used ones will still hover around where they are right now.

I get that there is a debate on how awesome or lackluster this update will be. You can't get hyped on this early, but since this is your first iPad waiting about another month seems prudent to me.

I am convinced Apple didn't decide to disclose RAM on an iPad and add a historically abnormal amount of RAM to it by accident. I think there will be some serious surprises at WWDC that may make 2020 iPads really tank in value. Especially since they are pretty much the same as the 2018 with super minor tweaks.
 
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