Can't decide which iPad to buy

Dj64Mk7

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Original poster
Sep 15, 2013
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I'm looking to purchase my first iPad, while still getting the best value for my money. I was particularly looking at the refurbished iPad Air 2, refurbished 9.7" iPad Pro, or the 10.5" iPad Pro. I'm primarily looking at the cost:longevity:performance ratio.

Thanks for help.
 

richpjr

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off_piste

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Oct 25, 2015
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I'd go for the 10.5 because it will by far have the longest usable life with its CPU/ram combo. Also, when you factor in an extra $200 spread out over what will probably be a six-year usable life then it's not such a large out lay.
 
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Chupa Chupa

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Jul 16, 2002
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Value is relative to what you can afford and also what you need based on actual intended use. That said BestBuy has brand new 9.7 Pros for $125 off. That makes the iPad Pro 10.5 $300+ more expensive. So the question is all the exclusive benefits of the 10.5 worth an extra $300?

I have a Pro 9.7 myself. The 10.5 is sweet but I can't justify the price as-is relative to what I can sell my 9.7 for. Maybe when it goes on sale I'll think about it but I'm pretty happy with my 9.7 and not really all that wowed by the 10.5 to the point it's one of those products I just gotta have.
 

MrEcted

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Apr 21, 2011
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My vote is on the 10.5. This thing is seriously a little beast and it makes my dad's Air 2 look like a choppy mess.
 
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Royksöpp

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Nov 4, 2013
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My vote is on the 10.5. This thing is seriously a little beast and it makes my dad's Air 2 look like a choppy mess.
Come on now, it's not that bad. The Air 2 was a little beast when it came out and it still keeps up just fine. It's only marginally faster than the 5th Gen 2017 iPad.
 
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Mainsail

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Sep 19, 2010
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I am struggling with the same question. I haven't used an iPad for a few years, but the improvements to iOS 11 for iPad might just bring me back. As I see it, most people will replace their iPads every 3-4 years, and I really don't think it matters that much if I buy the Pro or the standard iPad. Why? Technology improves rapidly, so regardless of my choice, in a few years, I will probably be enticed away from my existing iPad to add features, improved screen, lighter weight....whatever. Pro users will be enticed by better Pro features, and typical iPad users will be attracted to new features available on the standard iPad.

To get the full benefits of the Pro over the standard model, I would purchase the Apple pencil and a keyboard compatible with the connector. I mean there isn't much point in paying the premium for the Pro model if you aren't going to use the Pro technology and features. I figure $250 for accessories.....which doesn't really include something to protect the back of the iPad....but let's not worry about that now. So, a base Pro 10.5 in is going to run $900 ($650 +$100 pencil + $150 Keyboard cover).

The base iPad can be purchased on discount for less than $300. You can get a decent case on Amazon for about $12. Now, if you just want an iPad to simply: surf the web, reply to email, edit some documents, read books, watch videos, keep calendars and contacts, enjoy photos etc., then it is pretty hard to justify the 3x price difference between the Pro and standard iPad. I think this is especially true if you own a desktop or laptop for more taxing computing needs.

Honestly, I think my wife and I could get by just fine if we each had a standard iPad and shared our Mac Mini desktop. It would be a very very rare occasion when simultaneously we both had computing needs that could not be done on our iPads, and we were competing for time on the desktop. It would probably never happen. And, if it did happen, it would not be much of a competition anyway.....she would win every time. ;)
 
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Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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I'd go for the 10.5 because it will by far have the longest usable life with its CPU/ram combo. Also, when you factor in an extra $200 spread out over what will probably be a six-year usable life then it's not such a large out lay.
I think it would be really helpful if we knew what the OP's intended uses and price points are. They have three different iPads listed and two of them are Pro models. Even though everyone is all about the new 10.5 iPad, the 9.7 Pro is still a great iPad and will likely receive support for years to come. It also depends what the OP wants to spend as well.
 

Dj64Mk7

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Original poster
Sep 15, 2013
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I'm sorry everyone. I should have explained what I will be using this for.

- General purpose web browsing
- App testing
- GarageBand
- taking notes in OneNote
- photo editing
[doublepost=1498494988][/doublepost]
I think it would be really helpful if we knew what the OP's intended uses and price points are. They have three different iPads listed and two of them are Pro models. Even though everyone is all about the new 10.5 iPad, the 9.7 Pro is still a great iPad and will likely receive support for years to come. It also depends what the OP wants to spend as well.
Once again, I'm so sorry. It was a major oversight to not mention that in the OP.
 

Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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I'm sorry everyone. I should have explained what I will be using this for.

- General purpose web browsing
- App testing
- GarageBand
- taking notes in OneNote
- photo editing
[doublepost=1498494988][/doublepost]

Once again, I'm so sorry. It was a major oversight to not mention that in the OP.
Thanks for expanding on that. I think based on your intended uses, For editing and taking notes, then perhaps the Pro would be more suitable, especially if you add the Apple Pencil, it would add to the experience.

Apple sells the 9.7 Pro refurbished with a warranty if you want to save some money. Otherwise, if you want the latest specifications, then I would consider the 10.5 Pro.
 

Dj64Mk7

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Original poster
Sep 15, 2013
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Thanks for expanding on that. I think based on your intended uses, For editing and taking notes, then perhaps the Pro would be more suitable, especially if you add the Apple Pencil, it would add to the experience.

Apple sells the 9.7 Pro refurbished with a warranty if you want to save some money. Otherwise, if you want the latest specifications, then I would consider the 10.5 Pro.
What I'm trying to decide, is whether it's better to save some money by going refurbished, or take advantage of Best Buy's sale that's on until the 1st of July (this Saturday.)
 
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Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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What I'm trying to decide, is whether it's better to save some money by going refurbished, or take advantage of Best Buy's sale that's on until the 1st of July (this Saturday.)
What kind of sale is Best Buy offering on the iPad? And is that something that you think you would want new or refurbished? It comes down to if you want the latest specifications or if you simply want to have an iPad Pro features, that you can purchase for a refurbished price with a warranty.
 

QCassidy352

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Mar 20, 2003
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I'd go for the 10.5 because it will by far have the longest usable life with its CPU/ram combo. Also, when you factor in an extra $200 spread out over what will probably be a six-year usable life then it's not such a large out lay.
Anything you can buy today will be a total dog in 6 years. I'd rather buy the low end today and upgrade to the new low end in 3 years than try to squeeze 6 years out of the current high end. Since the 10.5" is basically twice the price of the 9.7", the math works.

(Or get a discounted 9.7" pro if you can find a good deal)
 

Dj64Mk7

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Original poster
Sep 15, 2013
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Anything you can buy today will be a total dog in 6 years. I'd rather buy the low end today and upgrade to the new low end in 3 years than try to squeeze 6 years out of the current high end. Since the 10.5" is basically twice the price of the 9.7", the math works.

(Or get a discounted 9.7" pro if you can find a good deal)
Does discounted equal the Best Buy sale?
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/apple-9-7-inch-ipad-pro-with-wifi-128gb-space-gray/4902900.p?skuId=4902900
 

off_piste

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Oct 25, 2015
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Anything you can buy today will be a total dog in 6 years. I'd rather buy the low end today and upgrade to the new low end in 3 years than try to squeeze 6 years out of the current high end. Since the 10.5" is basically twice the price of the 9.7", the math works.

(Or get a discounted 9.7" pro if you can find a good deal)
We're still using an iPad 3, 2011 iMac, and 2011 laptop. They all work fine. The iPad 3 is slow now but still perfectly functional. You're also not counting resale value in your equation. We'll probably sell my wife's 10.5" in a year or two for a newer model and the cost will be substantially offset.
 

QCassidy352

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Mar 20, 2003
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Yeah that's a good deal, if you're looking for the 128gb model.

We're still using an iPad 3, 2011 iMac, and 2011 laptop. They all work fine. The iPad 3 is slow now but still perfectly functional. You're also not counting resale value in your equation. We'll probably sell my wife's 10.5" in a year or two for a newer model and the cost will be substantially offset.
I put the iMac and laptop in a different category because laptops and desktops are more mature product categories and therefore advancing at a far slower rate than tablets.

As for the iPad 3, i think that proves my point; it's a very dated and slow device in 2017 that hasn't had full iOS support since iOS 6 and can't run the current iOS at all.

I actually think resale value helps my argument because I believe one would get more for the sale of two low end iPads (the 2017 model in 2020 and the 2020 model in 2023) than the sale of one high end 2017 model (10.5") in 2023.

I'm not knocking the iPad Pro at all. It's amazing and a great choice for many people. All I'm saying is that if your needs are basic, I'd upgrade the low end more often rather than the high end less often.
 

jgo78

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Nov 11, 2008
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Anything you can buy today will be a total dog in 6 years. I'd rather buy the low end today and upgrade to the new low end in 3 years than try to squeeze 6 years out of the current high end. Since the 10.5" is basically twice the price of the 9.7", the math works.

(Or get a discounted 9.7" pro if you can find a good deal)
Not me, I'm the opposite. I don't like constantly being the low end of technology, why not get the latest and greatest if u can afford it? It's like the people who waited to buy the PlayStation 3 because the PlayStation 4 just came out. Or when the PlayStation 5 comes out, they think ill get a good deal on the PlayStation 4. Those people are always behind with the times and never enjoy the best with everyone else.

But it comes down to what you can afford i guess.
 
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Closingracer

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2010
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I'm looking to purchase my first iPad, while still getting the best value for my money. I was particularly looking at the refurbished iPad Air 2, refurbished 9.7" iPad Pro, or the 10.5" iPad Pro. I'm primarily looking at the cost:longevity:performance ratio.

Thanks for help.
I would go with the iPad Pro 9.7 if you don’t care for the 20% screen real estate and don’t need the newest specs I would get the 9.7 . Just as good still and you can save a few bucks .
 

off_piste

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2015
763
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I would go with the iPad Pro 9.7 if you don’t care for the 20% screen real estate and don’t need the newest specs I would get the 9.7 . Just as good still and you can save a few bucks .
9.7 Pro is a great product and would likely serve OP's needs well but it's also certainly not just as good. The ram difference alone will probably translate into a two year usable life difference. Then there's the CPU, larger screen, and faster refresh rate.
 
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Badrottie

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May 8, 2011
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I'm looking to purchase my first iPad, while still getting the best value for my money. I was particularly looking at the refurbished iPad Air 2, refurbished 9.7" iPad Pro, or the 10.5" iPad Pro. I'm primarily looking at the cost:longevity:performance ratio.

Thanks for help.
I will decide for you....give me your money and I will pick up 10.5 iPP you will be happy when I delivered to you.
 

SinkOrSwim

macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2012
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California
Longevity depends on what you intend to use it for. I'm still rocking the iPad Air 1. No complaints for what I use it for. But looking to upgrade to the iPad Pro 10.5 due to the beefier internals and the pencil... need to up my game in productivity. It seems like my iPad Air 1 would look like a much newer device once iOS 11 arrives in the Fall. I hope so.
 

Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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9.7 Pro is a great product and would likely serve OP's needs well but it's also certainly not just as good. The ram difference alone will probably translate into a two year usable life difference. Then there's the CPU, larger screen, and faster refresh rate.
While I agree the latest iPad Pro's will serve better in long-term needs, the OP'S uses are Fairly light and it seems they are trying to save money. I would still say the 9.7 Pro is more Enough capable and perhaps has another two years of support for iOS support. So either refurbished or new, but I would lead to refurbished for cost related, which still offers a warranty.