iPad Advice

boombox15

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Jun 17, 2013
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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
I am thinking of buying a new iPad. Now with several models to choose from, its a harder decision that it used to be. I like the idea of now being able to buy a new 10.5 inch iPad for under $500.

I am considering either the 10.5 inch iPad Air, or possibly the $329 iPad. The only thing that I don't like about the $329 iPad is that it has not been updated and still uses the A10, which might start to get a bit slow. Is it possible that Apple will update the $329 iPad soon with at least a faster processor?
 
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joeblow7777

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Sep 7, 2010
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It's not like the A10 is under powered. It'd expect it to last at least a few more years before it can be called slow,
 

EugW

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Jun 18, 2017
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I agree A10 is not slow, but it’s not exactly fast anymore either. Also, the $329 iPad is limited to 2 GB RAM, and its screen isn’t quite as nice as the 10.5” models. Furthermore, the entry level model is 32 GB. I don’t know how much storage you need, but even for relatively light users, 32 GB can be quite restrictive. 64 GB provides a lot more breathing room, but the lower end iPad models do not have a 64 GB option. It’s either 32 GB for $329 or else it is 128 GB for $429.

Right now on the Apple USA refurb store, you can get a 64 GB iPad Pro with A10X (which is a lot faster) that has a 10.5” screen, Smart Connector, True Tone, Pro Motion, quad speakers, and good camera, and it’s only $469. Or else you can get a 256 GB model for $559. These models come with 4 GB RAM.

Alternatively, you can get the new iPad Air 64 GB with True Tone and 3 GB RAM for $499.

Both of these latter options are way nicer than the $329/$429 model, and offer more future proofing too because of the much faster SoC and because of the increased RAM.

I don’t expect Apple to release a budget iPad update any time soon. I could be wrong, but I think Apple is going to ride the 2018 iPad until at least 2020, and hope that you’ll be convinced to spend extra on the iPad Air.
 

Crow_Servo

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Feb 17, 2018
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Personally, I would go with the Air, between that and the base model iPad. A12 is a chip that’s only about six months old, while the A10 is 2 1/2 years old. I made the mistake of buying the Mini 4 last year with the A8, and it stuttered a little on iOS 11. On iOS 12, it was pretty smooth, but it seemed too dated to me. I picked up the Mini 5 today, and it’s light years better. I learned my lesson to get the latest chip from now on. Plus the Air and Mini have better screens (laminated, wide color and True Tone). It’s worth it IMO.
 
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ericwn

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I would look for an older 10.5” Pro to see if you can find a deal on that one.
 

haruhiko

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Sep 29, 2009
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The iPad mini seems to be a better deal at 399 than the budget iPad. Latest CPU with laminated screen with support for P3 color. If you absolutely need the screen estate the iPad Air seems great too since it's basically an 10.5 inch iPad pro sans promotion. For me I'm using an iPad Pro 11 inch at home and at work, with the new mini for portability.
 

joeblow7777

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Sep 7, 2010
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I agree A10 is not slow, but it’s not exactly fast anymore either. Also, the $329 iPad is limited to 2 GB RAM, and its screen isn’t quite as nice as the 10.5” models. Furthermore, the entry level model is 32 GB. I don’t know how much storage you need, but even for relatively light users, 32 GB can be quite restrictive. 64 GB provides a lot more breathing room, but the lower end iPad models do not have a 64 GB option. It’s either 32 GB for $329 or else it is 128 GB for $429.
For most usage like web browsing, media consumption, and light productivity I don't think that the performance difference is remarkable. The A-series chips are really becoming overkill for mobile devices.

Take it with a grain of salt, but when Apple launched the 2018 iPad they claimed that with the A10 it was more powerful than "most PC laptops".
 

ElectronGuru

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Sep 5, 2013
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I’m not in charge of apple but if I were, I would not choose to make a 329 iPad. I would only be selling a 329 iPad if I had so many old parts left over I had to make one just get sell off those parts.

If so, I would not take perfectly good newer parts and make a better 329 iPad. I would finish selling through the old parts, then bring the bottom price back to 399 until I had new old parts to repeat the cycle with.
 

boombox15

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Original poster
Jun 17, 2013
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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
One thing I have been reading is that some reviewers are saying that the 10.5 inch iPad Pro is the better deal, and the apple refurbished store has them for $469.

Can someone explain why this is the case? The iPad Pro has a 2 year old processor which would make it quite a bit slower compared to the new iPad Air, right?
 

EugW

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Jun 18, 2017
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One thing I have been reading is that some reviewers are saying that the 10.5 inch iPad Pro is the better deal, and the apple refurbished store has them for $469.

Can someone explain why this is the case? The iPad Pro has a 2 year old processor which would make it quite a bit slower compared to the new iPad Air, right?
No. A12 is about 20% faster for CPU than A10X but A10X is already fast. In reality you wouldn’t really notice the difference most of the time. For GPU sometimes A12 is faster but sometimes A10X is faster.

However the iPad Pro has several other advantages which overall make it a better machine.

If you really want more performance, the machine to get is the 11” Pro.
 
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Mackinjosh

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Aug 21, 2014
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One thing I have been reading is that some reviewers are saying that the 10.5 inch iPad Pro is the better deal, and the apple refurbished store has them for $469.

Can someone explain why this is the case? The iPad Pro has a 2 year old processor which would make it quite a bit slower compared to the new iPad Air, right?
Slower (not perceptible right now though) and worse battery on the older Pro. Not to mention the flashlighting issue. It's being recommended because it isn't noticeably slower yet, has 4 speakers and pro-motion (a battery drainer though).
 

EugW

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Jun 18, 2017
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Slower (not perceptible right now though) and worse battery on the older Pro. Not to mention the flashlighting issue. It's being recommended because it isn't noticeably slower yet, has 4 speakers and pro-motion (a battery drainer though).
I think ProMotion is only a battery drainer in specific circumstances. My battery life on the 10.5” Pro is excellent. In fact, the way ProMotion works, it could actually theoretically save power in specific situations.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,330
4,723
One thing I have been reading is that some reviewers are saying that the 10.5 inch iPad Pro is the better deal, and the apple refurbished store has them for $469.

Can someone explain why this is the case? The iPad Pro has a 2 year old processor which would make it quite a bit slower compared to the new iPad Air, right?
No. A12 is about 20% faster for CPU than A10X but A10X is already fast. In reality you wouldn’t really notice the difference most of the time. For GPU sometimes A12 is faster but sometimes A10X is faster.

However the iPad Pro has several other advantages which overall make it a better machine.

If you really want more performance, the machine to get is the 11” Pro.
I went to the Apple Store today to check out the new Air, and took my 10.5" Pro with me.

Aside for things like the speakers and the camera, and having the much smoother ProMotion on my iPad Pro 10.5", otherwise for stuff like surfing and navigating around the OS, the two iPads felt EXACTLY the same. I couldn't tell them apart at all, except for the ProMotion when scrolling.