iPad Pro How much sooner will the 10.5" iPad Pro (A10X) start slowing down compared to the iPad Air (A12)?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by saintforlife, May 28, 2019.

  1. saintforlife, May 28, 2019
    Last edited: May 28, 2019

    saintforlife macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2011
    I typically use iPads for 3-4 years and am currently deciding between the 10.5" 2017 iPad Pro and the 2019 iPad Air.

    The iPad will mostly be a media consumption (Netflix and YouTube) and web browsing device for me, and I don't play any games on it. I put a high premium on lag-free and stutter-free user experience and don't like to wait too long after clicking or typing something for the screen to respond. While ProMotion and quad speakers are great selling points for the iPad Pro, I am just concerned that given that the CPU on the Pro is already two years old, I am not sure how it will hold up to iOS 13, 14 and 15 upgrades at which time it will be 5 years old.

    I have never used ProMotion in my life other than at the Apple store, so I am not sure if I will even miss it. Should I just go ahead and get the iPad Air for future proofing purposes?
  2. Seanm87 macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2014
    It’s 2 years newer so would assume it will last 2 more years after support for the 10.5 pro is ceased.

    In answer to your question though, based on what you’ve said, the air is a better choice for you.
  3. Shirasaki macrumors G3


    May 16, 2015
    A12 definitely can future proof a few years down the road, while 2017 iPad Pro can greatly enhance your media consumption experience, with ProMotion or not.
    If I were you, I might just save a bit longer and go straight for iPad Pro 11” or 12.9” given A12X more future proof and that more practical pencil design. But for media consumption in a budget, iPad Pro 2017 might just be enough.
  4. AlexJoda macrumors 6502a


    Apr 8, 2015
    The most important point to future proof an IOS device is the amount of RAM. In this case the 2017 iPP has more RAM (4GB) than the 2019 iPA (3GB). So it looks like the 10.5 iPP is not less future proof...For media consumption the iPP is definitely the better choice because of ProMotion and the much better speakers....
  5. Seanm87 macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2014
    I would disagree with this. Apple discontinues support for devices depending on what A chip they have, not ram.
  6. playtech1 macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2014
    The iPad Pro has features that you should notice in the media and web-browsing activities you mention, namely the better screen and speakers. As for the difference in speed between the A10X and the A12, it is not huge - 20% at best and the A10x's GPU is faster than the A12. In real world 'feel' I suspect the Pro Motion will have more of a positive impact on responsiveness than the A12 chip.

    In terms of iOS support, I suspect both will be fine for the 3 to 4 years you are looking to get out of it.
  7. spooklog macrumors regular


    Aug 10, 2015
    New Hampshire
    I agree that both should fare pretty well in 3 or 4 years time. But I would seriously consider getting just a minute or two of hands-on experience with the 2017 iPad Pro 10.5" to appreciate its ProMotion technology. My purchase of that iPad was almost an impulse after discovering it in Best Buy and poking at it randomly. I immediately noticed the screen had a very different "feel"--smooth and buttery, compared to other iPads.

    Give both a test drive if you can. If not, I doubt you can really go wrong, both machines are very nice and should be future-proofed for 3 to 4 years.
  8. AutomaticApple macrumors 65816


    Nov 28, 2018
    For your use case, the Air would be best.
  9. aakshey macrumors 68000


    Jun 13, 2016
    Both devices are likely to be dropped before they get really laggy. If not, at least the Pro will have an unprecedented lifespan (unlikely knowing Apple, but possible). This is due to 4 GB RAM. But then Mac is supported a long time as well.
  10. gtg465x, May 29, 2019
    Last edited: May 29, 2019

    gtg465x macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2016
    The standard $329 iPad is the best selling iPad and the latest generation still uses an A10 and 2 GB of RAM. Considering it's still the latest model in 2019 and more people are buying that than the Air or Pros, you can bet Apple will be supporting it for quite a while. And the 10.5 Pro has double the processor and RAM as that model, so it should be supported for even longer.

    Also, we can look at the latest iPads to lose support to gauge how long Apple is supporting iPads. iOS 13 is rumored to drop support for the original iPad Air, which originally shipped with iOS 7. That means it got 5 major iOS updates (8, 9, 10, 11, and 12). The standard iPad (6th gen) with the A10 was launched last year with iOS 11, so I would expect it to get 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16. So the iPad Pro 10.5 should AT LEAST get 4 more years of updates (13, 14, 15, and 16), and possibly more considering its significantly better specs than the current iPad (6th gen).

    So while it's possible the new iPad Air 3rd gen will get updates longer than the iPad Pro 10.5, I don't think it's worth choosing for that alone. Both have many years of updates ahead of them.


    Just for fun, I made a little graphic of update predictions. I believe non-X processors will receive 5 years of updates, and X processors will receive at least what non-X processors receive, plus possibly an extra year. The iPads are ordered by release date.


    Attached Files:

  11. AlexJoda macrumors 6502a


    Apr 8, 2015
    I think an Apple IOS device has lost its „future proof“ status long before Apple discontinues support for it. That has more to do with the question if the device is still usable without serious limitations and that has a lot to do with the amount of RAM....
  12. Digitalguy, May 29, 2019
    Last edited: May 30, 2019

    Digitalguy macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2019
    That is true but may not be applicable to the future. I would not apply to the future what has happened in the past. The ipad started with way too little RAM (256MB) and a well optimized OS. Until IOS 7 and even 8, 512MB RAM were kind of fine and you could not multitask anyway... IOS 9 changed the situation with multitasking and, added to the move to 64bit apps, made slow even 1GB RAM devices. Since then however things have not changed and 2GB devices have been working well on IOS 9, 10, 11 and 12. And this may well hold true for some more IOS updates. The move from 1 to 2 GB is much bigger than from 512 to 1GB as IOS ram requirements are far from doubled And all the more so for 3GB and 4GB devices, which I don’t expect to slow down at all over the next 5-6 years. So while in the past it was a matter of whether the update was worth the trade-off, now it’s more how long will Apple support a given CPU. The only question mark is for 2GB devices... We’ll see. I recently bought a cheap ipad pro 9.7 to compare how ios 13 will impact it compared to my current IPP 9.7 which I will leave on ios 12 for comparison purposes for a while. So we’ll have a first answer this year already.
  13. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    I think you meant 512MB. ;)
  14. AutomaticApple macrumors 65816


    Nov 28, 2018
    I think he just leaked the amount of RAM the 2029 iPhone will have. :p

Share This Page

13 May 28, 2019