Help decide between iPad Air 2, iPad 9,7 2017 and iPad 9,7 2018

Discussion in 'iPad' started by caspergirl, Apr 1, 2018.


Which is the best choice?

  1. iPad Air 2 64gb (used)

    5 vote(s)
  2. iPad 9,7 2017 32gb (new)

    2 vote(s)
  3. iPad 9,7 2018 32gb (new)

    31 vote(s)
  1. caspergirl macrumors regular

    May 15, 2010
    I already have one iPad Air and one iPad Air 2 but in the family we need one more iPad.
    I am between three choices. A used iPad Air 2 64gb around 260-270€, an iPad 9,7 2017 32gb new (310€) and the new iPad 9,7 2018 32gb (unknown price but around 330-340€)

    The pencil is nice gadget for note taking but I can live without that. I'm concerned because of the new screen. I heard very bad comments about the non laminated screen and I'm confused. I tend to believe that the 9,7 2018 is a "cheaper" model designed to be competitive to other tablets as "school devices". So they didnt design a better iPad but instead a cheaper iPad.

    What are your thoughts on that?
  2. FeliApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 8, 2015
    The storage on the Air 2 would be nice, and it would be cheaper. Do you need 64GB or can you have 32GB? Also, about future-proofing. If you like to keep iOS updated, Apple tends to phase out devices based on their chip, and the Air 2 has the oldest. It's probably the one which be dropped the soonest. About the laminated screen, no comments. I haven't used one so I don't really know. Both the 5th and 6th gen iPads were the cheaper models compared to the same year's Pros.
  3. caspergirl thread starter macrumors regular

    May 15, 2010
    I don't really need 64 to be frank! I found it in a good price and bought it but I'm perfectly fine with 32gb. I noticed that as "new device" the iPad Air 2 is still more expensive than iPad 9,7. Weird...
  4. Super Xander macrumors regular

    Super Xander

    Nov 6, 2016
    If you can find an used iPad Pro 9.7 with 32gb for 330€ it’s your best choice.
  5. ACST Suspended

    Sep 5, 2016
    It's not. You get a much worse chipset in exchange for a slightly better screen (because laminated) and better speakers (but still not very good). The 2018 iPad is the better deal.
  6. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

    Oct 4, 2007
    A little bit of here and a little bit of there.
    Don't forget about the smart connector. Honestly, having the ASK completely changed my iPad experience. YMMV
  7. Jarrodbcall macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2013
    It’s not an option, but I would vote 2017 used for the best value :)
  8. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    Get the iPad (2018), particularly if there are no sales for iPad (2017).

    Since you already own iPad Air and Air 2, you can make your own decision for non-laminated vs. laminated.

    Most people use their tablets indoors, which makes the laminated display a moot feature. Also as a result, consumers don't mind the slightly heavier and thicker iPad 2017/2018 chassis in exchange for a longer battery life. The iPad Air 2 sold poorly as most consumers were not willing to pay $499 for a secondary media consumption device for use at home.
  9. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    I'm pretty sure 2014 was peak iPad sales. For normal users, not much reason after that to upgrade. Unlike previous generations, the Air 2 is still working quite well despite its age.

    Hence, the introduction of a less expensive iPad line both to entice existing owners of older models to upgrade or entice new customers who wouldn't consider buying a tablet at $400+.
  10. caspergirl thread starter macrumors regular

    May 15, 2010
    To be frank I can't see a difference between iPad Air and iPad Air 2 screen! So I guess I will wait for the new model.

    I I have to choose between a used iPad Pro 32 and a new iPad 9,7 2018?
    I think that the new one will be future proof for more years, but is this correct?
  11. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    This whole laminated vs. non-laminated screen issue is highly subjective. For me, the difference isn't between a "bad" screen and a "good" screen, but between a "good" screen and a "better" screen. People are obviously entitled to their opinions, but the hyperbole surrounding the difference isn't very helpful to folks.

    If you have to choose between an iPad Pro and new 2018 9.7, the answer is... it depends. All things being equal, more (RAM) is better. But the fact that Apple just released a new model iPad in 2018 with 2GB RAM pretty much says all we need to know. That tells me (it might say something else to others) that Apple plans on making iOS run well in 2GB RAM for the foreseeable future.

    I've been a proponent of buying the first model iPad that has the RAM bumped up. That would mean buying the Air 2 (1st iPad w/2GB RAM), then the 1st gen 12.9 iPad Pro (1st gen w/4GB RAM). But the 4GB tier is over 2 years old and so spending extra now for 4GB unless it is required doesn't make a lot of financial sense... at least from a RAM perspective.

    The 2018 9.7 iPad will have at least 3 years of reasonably useful life... probably more. I currently own (and use daily) both an iPad Mini 4 and 1st Gen 12.9 iPad Pro. If Apple does not produce a Mini version of the 2018 iPad, I will give away my Mini 4 and 12.9 Pro and buy a 2018 iPad (and keep my Apple Pencil for use with this 9.7 iPad). But that's me.
  12. Heat_Fan89 macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2016
    I second this advice but honestly my original iPad Air works so well with iOS 11.3 that it still has legs for another year or two, possibly more. I purchased a 2017 iPad last year and the performance upgrade while subjective was too close to call and had me return the 2017 iPad and I kept my Air which I purchased new in 2014. So once I know when the iOS cutoff is that will get me moving towards a new purchase and that's if the features in that version of iOS is a must have.

    As it is right now, I have reduced motion turned off and my Air is silky smooth unless I access the App Store, then I can see some stutter, but since i'm not a huge fan of the new layout I hardly ever access the App Store anymore, so no biggie for me.
  13. newellj, Apr 2, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018

    newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Thoughts/opinions, not answers...this is a close call to me.

    Personally, we have two Air 2 iPads in the house and haven't felt even slightly tempted to get either the 2017 or 2018 iPad 9.7 models. I like the slightly thinner physical package and I like the display better, too. If I were buying without having any iPads in the house, I might very well buy an Air 2 refurb from Apple and get a "new" guarantee.

    What may tempt me is a new 2018 10.5" Pro.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 2, 2018 ---
    I didn't see this earlier. In this case, I'd buy the 2018 9.7".
  14. brandsteve macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2013
    I brought my iPad Air 2 into the Apple Store this morning and compared with the latest iPad 9.7". The glare on the newer cheaper model was a show-stopper for me. I use my iPad to read more than anything else and fighting glare isn't something I want to do.
  15. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    It's a trade off... glare or visible fingerprint smudges. The Air 2 is absolutely terrible with regard to fingerprint smudges. The only iPad worse, is the 12.9 iPad Pro. I applied quality matte screen protectors on both (not to protect but to cut glare and fingerprint smudges)... problem solved.
  16. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    Sales peaked during calendar Q4’2013, where Apple sold 26 million iPads. After iPad Air 2 was launched in October 2014, sales continued to drop to 21 million for Q4’2014. The Air 2 was a massive jump from Air: RAM doubled, laminated display, Touch ID, tri-core, etc. Despite those things, iPad sales continued to plummet. It’s only the past couple quarters where iPad sales have leveled off and showed some signs of rebounding.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 2, 2018 ---
    The iPad (2018) should give you longer service life because of the A10 processor.

    Historically, Apple uses the processor to determine iOS support.
  17. OutSpoken macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    That’s what I thought- I bought the Air 2 at launch and despite a slightly weakening battery, personally have had no reason to upgrade. I reckon it sold pretty well.
  18. Macalicious2011 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2011
    Get a refurbished/used 9.7 iPad pro. One of the least spoken about feature of the iPad Pro are the speakers. It's the one improvement that made me say "wow" upon unboxing at home.

    When I had the iPad 3 I occasionally sat in in a dock for better audio. With the Pro, a dock isn't necessary as audio is fuller, clearer and spreads around the room better. The more present sound gives you an impression of a bigger iPad.
  19. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    How soon do you need to do something? This is April...if I could, I would wait until WWDC to see what Apple does with the Pro upgrades. If nothing else, that should knock the price of the 10.5 and the refurbished 9.7 and 10.5 Pro iPads down a bit.
  20. caspergirl thread starter macrumors regular

    May 15, 2010
    The point is that in the country I'm currently living there is no official apple, only premium resellers so no refurbished devices here. I don't care about the sound because I use airpods for movies or mirroring on Apple TV
  21. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    I'd reiterate getting an iPad (2018).

    Even if you were living in the U.S. and could get a refurbished 9.7" iPad Pro, it wouldn't make sense. The refurb 9.7" iPad Pro is US$469.

    The 10.5" iPad Pro, if discontinued and refurbished today, would be US$499.

    Paying nearly 50% more for 2 additional speakers or ProMotion... it doesn't make sense to me.

    This is why the iPad (2018) was such a groundbreaking event, particularly for those who want Pencil.
  22. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    I've never heard that the Air 2 sold poorly. I thought it was fairly popular. In terms of longevity, it seems like the best model since the iPad 2.
  23. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    It’s pretty well recorded in Apple’s history as such.

    The Air 2 is one of the few products where Apple witnessed a 20% decrease in sales volume in the quarter immediately after its release. Apple didn’t see this with Air 1 and they didn’t see this with iPad (2017).
  24. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    Okay, but to be fair, I think that had more to do with the tablet market at the time than with the Air 2 not being a good product.
  25. spiderman0616 macrumors 68040


    Aug 1, 2010
    Larger screen, faster processor, double the RAM, better front and rear cameras, laminated screen that doesn’t flex and make weird thump noises when tapped, P3 color, higher refresh rate, the list goes on. The iPad Pro is 50% more expensive for a whole host of reasons. Pencil support on the new base model does not magically turn it into an iPad Pro. Just a much better base model due to Pencil support.

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