iPad Cheapest iPad that's still worthwhile?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by aldo82, Aug 14, 2019 at 12:14 AM.

  1. aldo82 macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2011
    I haven't had an ipad since the first generation and generally don't need one. But due to an unreliable windows laptop being the only alternative to our iphones, we are considering picking up an ipad. The use case is minimal. It will be for web browsing on a larger screen. And for linking to an exercise bike to use the Trainerroad app.

    As someone who always likes the 'best' gadgets I would love an ipad pro. But instead am considering going down the cheap route and getting the best value for money.

    What would you consider the best buy at the moment to minimize spend? Is a 32 gig too limited (I expect so)? Are the older generation ipads fairing well or struggling with the latest OS?
  2. Starfia macrumors 6502a


    Apr 11, 2011
    The current entry-level iPad is a really good value, and it's sometimes on sale. I imagine you could find one for around a third the cost of a current entry-level iPad Pro and still feel like you're luxuriating. Not the cheapest thing you could find on Earth, but the best value. (That is, you could pay a little less for a product that's more than a little older and slower.)

    If you want to go further back, my iPad mini 4 – now several years old – feels a little behind snappy, but gets me by. I would describe my use case for that as minimal as well: occasional reading, day-to-day communication, the thing I sometimes take with me. Since I don't fill it with media, I still haven't felt constrained by the 16 gigabytes.
  3. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2010
    Why ? You can get the iPad Air for cheaper ... I would say the iPad Air or just the iPad. Cheap options. I would get at minimum 64Gb
  4. jeremiah256 macrumors 65816


    Aug 2, 2008
    Southern California
    I’d recommend getting the iPad Mini if you just need an iPad for consumption, especially if you would use it on the go. I see so many people from all walks of life on the train using them. You get a bigger screen than your phone when you need it, but its small enough to throw in a purse/man-bag and not take up too much space. A great companion if you like small phones but sometimes need a bigger screen.

    But, if it’s going to be a stay at home device, the regular iPad is also a fantastic choice.

    The iPad Pro in your case would be overkill. Both the Mini and regular iPad will have 90% of the features of the iPad Pro, to include mouse, Pencil, external drive support at a lower cost.
  5. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    My opinion, sorry if you do not agree.

    Don’t let it bother you!
  6. Closingracer, Aug 14, 2019 at 6:09 AM
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 6:15 AM

    Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2010
    What opinion? There’s no reason to get an iPad Pro 10.5 unless you need that 1 extra GB of RAM and 2 more speakers... the air is cheaper
  7. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    My opinion.

    If you can read, I said 10.5!

    For the money it will fair the best in the long term.
  8. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2010
    For the money the iPad Air will last longer then the iPad Pro 10.5

    If you’re insinuating I can’t read I can. Im not stupid. It was an error obviously
  9. Digitalguy macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2019
    The question is a bit too vague for a clear answer. Especially as you don’t specifiy if you consider used too or only new.
    If you consider buying used:
    the cheapest still worth buying are the ipad air 2, mini 4 and ipad 5th gen
    If you consdier only new, the 9.7 with decent storage should be pretty good (and better than any of the above).
    The cheapest I woukd buy and be satisfied with however would be a 9.7 pro, similar power as the 2018 9.7 but with better speakers, thinner and lighter, laminated and less reflective screen with true tone, better camera and smart connector.
  10. rui no onna macrumors 604

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Clearance sales on the iPP 10.5 have often made it cheaper than a similarly configured Air 3 (particularly if you need high storage and LTE). Heck, iirc Prime Day, 512GB LTE Pro 10.5 was cheaper than 256GB WiFi Air 3. In any case, depending on deals available, Air 3 and Pro 10.5 are both good middle-ground options.

    That said, if one wishes to spend the least amount, the 2018 9.7" iPad is better value than going the used route with 32GB and 128GB WiFi regularly on sale in the US for $250 and $330 respectively. That's practically throwaway pricing and probably less than depreciation on high end models.
  11. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2010
    Well since he can’t go back in time to get the prime day sale .... im talking new prices as of around today give and take a few days when I was looking into ipads.
  12. Richard8655 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 11, 2009
    I've had the basic 5th and 6th generations and never found 32gb too limiting for me. But if you must keep much of your data (music and videos especially) stored there, it may be. But these, in my opinion, when on sale are the best values. Both have fast processors and very nice Retina displays.
  13. AutomaticApple macrumors 68000


    Nov 28, 2018
    Go with the iPad Mini 5 if size isn’t a problem.
  14. rui no onna macrumors 604

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    The discounts were really nice on Prime Day but they haven't gone away completely. Just checked Amazon right now and Pro 10.5 256GB LTE is $659 and 512GB LTE $719.

    And before you mention the MicroCenter Pro 11 deal you got, that one's brick and mortar only and not widely available.

    Like I mentioned earlier, depending on what deals are currently available and what configuration one wants, either Air 3 or Pro 10.5 are good middle-ground options.
  15. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2010
    YMMV but bestbuy priced matched it for somebody who showed me that deal. He used a microcenter in Yonkers and he lived in Boston.

    Fair enough . Didn’t even look at the air 10.5 because I wasn’t shopping for that model at all in LTE ( no use for LTE).
  16. EugW, Aug 14, 2019 at 7:40 AM
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 7:47 AM

    EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Unless you must have it now, wait for the next iPad release, likely in a couple of months, and make your decision then. There will a lot of sales on the old models once the new models are out.

    As for the Air 10.5” vs 10.5” Pro, yes the Air may get updates for a bit longer than the iPad Pro 10.5”, but the quad speakers on the Pro are a HUGE advantage if you ever use the speakers. ProMotion is also very nice, and the extra 1 GB RAM doesn’t hurt either. 3 GB these days is the new minimum going forward, and that’s what the Air has, while the Pro has 33% more RAM. The Pro also has a much better camera with optical image stabilization and flash. Many people won’t use the camera much but having the flashlight function is certainly a bonus.

    I’d recommend the Apple refurbished 10.5” Pro over the discounted Air 10.5”. (There are no refurb discounts on the Air yet.)
  17. rui no onna macrumors 604

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    I've tried it before on other items (might have been a CPU) but it's no go for me. MicroCenter is more than 100 miles away and Best Buy won't price match.

    I check prices for both WiFi-only and LTE as well as different colors. It seems counter-intuitive but sometimes the LTE model is cheaper than Wi-Fi-only. This is more prevalent during clearance sales (perhaps due to lower demand for LTE models).
  18. iLuzionsX macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2019
    You get a 120hz screen with the pro.
  19. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2010
    Cool? From somebody who owned an Air 2, pro 10.5 and a 11 that is nothing ... who cares. It’s nice but 60hz panels are fine. You can’t even tell that much of a difference unless you’re looking for it
  20. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)

    I've had a bottom of the barrel 5th gen iPad for a over a year and I've not wanted more storage or a faster processor. I don't store much more than a couple maps and a bit of music. It's great for just browsing, YouTube, and games but that's all I use it for.
  21. ACG12 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2015
    Have you ever used a 10.5 Pro? It’s the next Air 2 in terms of long term support and it has no real downsides. The A10x is still relevant and it’s not that far behind from the A12.
  22. UnLiMiTeD558 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2009
    For your basic usage, grab a 6th gen and be done. So many people here always recommend overkill models. 6th gen will be good for quite some time. Love mine
  23. pika2000 macrumors 603

    Jun 22, 2007
    The 10.5" Air running the A12 is arguably the best deal, aside from the mini 5. You get practically the latest chip from Apple, thus taking that iPad into at least 5 years of lifespan.

    The A10 regular iPad is no slouch, but then again, Apple already starts discontinuing support for A8 chips (starting with the iPhone 6). So I'd say the A10 iPad would only last for another 3 years or so. Not a bad deal imo, but the 10.5" Air is the better buy if you have the budget.
  24. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    The base 9.7” iPad meets the use cases for 90% of people. It is a good piece of kit that works well.

    I have a 12.9” Pro and love it, but would be happy with the base model. I got the Pro because I want the biggest tablet screen for testing the games I make, and because I had the opportunity to buy an almost new one at a great price (back when the base model was more expensive).

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