How is the iPad Air 1st gen holding up in 2018?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by retta283, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. retta283 macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2018
    Kingman, AZ
    Been looking at getting a cheap iPad to run iOS 12, the Air 1 is the oldest and cheapest. How does it perform on iOS 12?
  2. randystand macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2009
    I found iOS 12 to really speed up and improve my iPad Air 1. Was still easily usable for all functions. Recently just given it to my dad after I upgrade to the new iPad Pro.
  3. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
  4. casperes1996 macrumors 68040


    Jan 26, 2014
    Horsens, Denmark
    A lot better than iOS 11, but still absolutely terrible
  5. Heat_Fan89 macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2016
    I have an Air 1 running iOS 12 and i'm really pleased with the way it runs, no complaints. That said if you are looking to buy an iPad, skip the Air 1 and buy yourself the 2018 iPad. I picked up the latest 2018 iPad for $249 on Amazon. It performs better than the Air and is a great value if you can get it on sale.
  6. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    A 2017 entry-level iPad is going to be a much better value even if it costs a little bit more, but there probably won't be much difference in price.
  7. Codeseven macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2008
    My Air 1 runs just fine on iOS 12. But for just $249, I would definitely go that 2018 iPad at Amazon route.
  8. retta283 thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2018
    Kingman, AZ
    $249 for the 2018 is a good deal. I'll look into it.
  9. iapplelove macrumors 601


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
    I just sold mine after 5 solid years of ownership. Don't need two iPads and didn't want to pay for Red Dead 2 so Game Stop gave me 75 cash for it lol..

    Battery life on mine was still epic, it could go for days on full brightness.

    Safari lags but will most certainly get the job done. Youtube app works great, same with Google search etc.

    I also ran Djay Pro which worked just as good as my new 12.9" imo.

    If you can score one cheap I say buy it!
  10. Robertjan88, Dec 18, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018

    Robertjan88 macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2018
    I did have an iPad Air (1st Gen) till several months ago. iOS12 did improve the speed quite a bit, however it would very much depend on what you will be using it for.

    E.g browsing is fine. Light photo editing should be fine as well. More complex (resource intensive) photo editing (e.g. on Affinity Photo or other software), 3d gaming etc. might be an issue. Apart from that the startup time was killing. Clicked nearly 1.5 minutes in the end. :(

    Apart from that, I had it since release and, in the end, the battery didn't last longer than several hours before charging was required. If you need 6-8 hours of battery, I would test this.

    The new 6th Gen iPad (2018) might be a better option for you. Or wait till the 2019 version.
  11. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68030

    PBG4 Dude

    Jul 6, 2007
    I kept my Air 1 on 10.3.3 so I can run old 32 bit apps.
  12. Silver Idaten macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2015
    Stratford, CT
    The Air 1 had what seemed like a consistently garbage display, maybe it was just me but all of them seemed half yellow and half white, and it was very noticeable. I don’t mean the very particular ridiculous people that whine about their iPad being too yellow, I mean you look at it and you can clearly see half is yellow and half is white.

    I’d get a 2018 iPad instead, the WiFi versions are all on sale and you could probably get a 128GB one for just above $300.
  13. jongriff macrumors regular


    May 28, 2003
    My main iPad is an Air, I don’t use it much at all because I’ve been on my XS Max but coming back to it it feels very slow in most tasks. It does them all fine, just painfully slow when compared to the modern phones, even simple things like loading webpages. I’m on the most up to date iOS 12 and now it’s left as a Sonos remote and not much else.

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