iPad Air vs refurb 2017 Pro 10.5

YourNameHere004

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 27, 2009
3
1
I've got a choice between the 2 titled ipads and want to get some opinions. i love the 120 refresh rate of the pro, but the air has the A12. i also dont want to get the 2018 pro because i like having a home button (call me old fashioned, although i wish it were haptic) and a headphone jack.

my main question is does the A12 show any significant differences from the A10X as far as daily use goes? i'd use it to play a few games, but nothing that would be terribly demanding. i dont play online battle royale games, and the most 3D intensive game i ever play is The Room series (which works fine with occasional stutters on my ipad 4). im sure the tru-motion would shine through on that, but would i see any difference with the A12?

Ive seen the geekbenches for the 2017 vs 2018 Pros and it makes me cry. but again, WHICH apps out there would justify me getting an A12(X bionic)? im guessing something like final cut pro or maybe photoshop or similar apps that involve design (which id never use). in the end, im leaning towards the 2017. you opinions please? TiA.

ps - a friend with a 2017 has recently had his ipad get really hot after 15 mins of usage with any app. he recently upadted to 12.2, but said its been an issue for about a month now. he said he didnt have the problem before. he has been known to play pubg for hours on end (sometimes while the ipad is plugged in) if that makes any difference. any ideas? thanks again!
 

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,078
1,208
5045 feet above sea level
I got the air as I believe there will be longer a12 support than a10x based on apple iOS upgrade patterns.

However, the 10.5 pro does have promotion, 4gig of ram vs 3, and 4 speakers vs 2. However, I have read that the promotion eats up a portion of the increased ram so it may be a wash between the two devices. Additionally, the gpu in the 10.5 pro is quite a bit faster than the a12. The air does have a better screen in terms of colors than the 10.5 pro and doesn't yet have reports of a white spot affect

Ultimately i choose the air for the a12 and for my needs, it's been great. It is really a toss up only if you can find the 10.5 pro ON SALE for the same price as the new air IMO
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,327
4,722
I got the air as I believe there will be longer a12 support than a10x based on apple iOS upgrade patterns.
Yep. I believe the 10.5" Air will get one more year of iOS updates than the 10.5" Pro, but some believe it may be as much as 2 years.

However, the 10.5 pro does have promotion, 4gig of ram vs 3, and 4 speakers vs 2. However, I have read that the promotion eats up a portion of the increased ram so it may be a wash between the two devices.
Maybe a bit, but not 1 GB worth in regular usage.

ProMotion is great though, as are the 4 speakers.

Additionally, the gpu in the 10.5 pro is quite a bit faster than the a12.
In Geekbench the 10.5" Pro is way faster in Metal than the Air 3. However, that is not necessarily true in other tests. The A12 more than holds its own, and often can beat the Pro's A10X in GPU tests. Either way, I wouldn't really worry about that since they're both very fast.

The air does have a better screen in terms of colors than the 10.5 pro
I don't think that is true at all, or at least not visibly as I've compared them side-by-side. Both are wide colour gamut and at regular brightness levels, they look pretty much identical to me. However, the 10.5" Pro can get significantly brighter than the Air 3, which can help in a very bright room or outside.

and doesn't yet have reports of a white spot affect
True, and the internal shielding of the Air seems to be slightly different, which may or may not help.

Ultimately i choose the air for the a12 and for my needs, it's been great. It is really a toss up only if you can find the 10.5 pro ON SALE for the same price as the new air IMO
The Apple refurb Pro costs less than the new Air at retail actually. OTOH, Apple Care for the Air is cheaper, and the Air can also use the cheaper Crayon instead of Apple Pencil (although Apple Pencil is reportedly more glitch free, and also supports pressure sensitivity if that matters to you).
 
Last edited:

YourNameHere004

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 27, 2009
3
1
i appreciate everyone weighing in. so my brother's co-worker just got a 2018 pro as a gift and is selling his 2017 for some quick cash. hes a long time friend, so i dont think he'd screw me over. the ipad is a 256gb+cellular fully unlocked, never had any probs or the white spot issue, immaculate condition, Poetic brand case along with official apple keyboard smart cover. about 18 months old of here and there usage and very well maintained. he's asking for $550. the same specs for a new air is $779.

im leaning towards the pro at this point. but i still want to know what exactly are the apps that would run smoother on an A12 as opposed to A10X fusion?

also, as far as future support, i tend to not update higher than 2 ios versions than the original because of planned obsolesce. its currently on 12.1.4, and thats where it would stay.

one last question: if i were to jailbreak this pro, is there any tweek that would bring back the old style gestures from ios11? i found the multitasking/control center much easier on the old version.

thanks again!
 
  • Like
Reactions: EugW

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,327
4,722
i appreciate everyone weighing in. so my brother's co-worker just got a 2018 pro as a gift and is selling his 2017 for some quick cash. hes a long time friend, so i dont think he'd screw me over. the ipad is a 256gb+cellular fully unlocked, never had any probs or the white spot issue, immaculate condition, Poetic brand case along with official apple keyboard smart cover. about 18 months old of here and there usage and very well maintained. he's asking for $550. the same specs for a new air is $779.

im leaning towards the pro at this point. but i still want to know what exactly are the apps that would run smoother on an A12 as opposed to A10X fusion?

also, as far as future support, i tend to not update higher than 2 ios versions than the original because of planned obsolesce. its currently on 12.1.4, and thats where it would stay.

one last question: if i were to jailbreak this pro, is there any tweek that would bring back the old style gestures from ios11? i found the multitasking/control center much easier on the old version.

thanks again!
A12X you mean. A12 isn’t much of an improvement over A10X but A12X is a big upgrade.

Anything that maxes out the CPU like software rendering of video will be way faster on the 11” Pro and 11” has more headroom for gaming. Furthermore for stuff like video editing some have said the 11” feels somewhat smoother than the 10.5” with complex projects. Also, the 11” has more headroom for games.

That said, A10X is already 50% faster than the Samsung’s latest S4 tablet. Samsung’s S5 coming out this year will finally be able to beat A10X but not by a huge amount, sort of in the ballpark of A12 but nowhere near A12X. I mentioned before that for some applications developers have managed to really leverage the strengths of A10X, meaning that they actually feel faster on the 10.5” Pro than some less well optimized applications do on recent MacBook Pros.
 
Last edited:

kerbero9

macrumors member
Aug 7, 2008
92
47
i appreciate everyone weighing in. so my brother's co-worker just got a 2018 pro as a gift and is selling his 2017 for some quick cash. hes a long time friend, so i dont think he'd screw me over. the ipad is a 256gb+cellular fully unlocked, never had any probs or the white spot issue, immaculate condition, Poetic brand case along with official apple keyboard smart cover. about 18 months old of here and there usage and very well maintained. he's asking for $550. the same specs for a new air is $779.

im leaning towards the pro at this point. but i still want to know what exactly are the apps that would run smoother on an A12 as opposed to A10X fusion?

also, as far as future support, i tend to not update higher than 2 ios versions than the original because of planned obsolesce. its currently on 12.1.4, and thats where it would stay.

one last question: if i were to jailbreak this pro, is there any tweek that would bring back the old style gestures from ios11? i found the multitasking/control center much easier on the old version.

thanks again!
That a great price for that 2017 pro bundle. Hard to say no to that.
 

TailsToo

macrumors member
Jul 13, 2010
81
179
New Jersey
I went to the Apple Store to look at the 2019 Air, and I have to say I was rather disappointed. To be honest, it really doesn’t seem much different than my iPad air two from 2014. Maybe in a couple years when iOS will make use of the A12, but for now the screen the speed and really the experience doesn’t seem much different.

At least on the 2017 pro, you get promotion and the quad speakers. I really wish Apple would’ve made the 2019 iPad Air a more compelling update.
 

kristalsoldier

macrumors 6502
Aug 10, 2013
382
108
I went to the Apple Store to look at the 2019 Air, and I have to say I was rather disappointed. To be honest, it really doesn’t seem much different than my iPad air two from 2014. Maybe in a couple years when iOS will make use of the A12, but for now the screen the speed and really the experience doesn’t seem much different.

At least on the 2017 pro, you get promotion and the quad speakers. I really wish Apple would’ve made the 2019 iPad Air a more compelling update.
Aside from iOS and how a more powerful iPad like the 2019 pro can leverage it, in what way would you have preferred Apple had made the 2019 model more compelling?
 

TailsToo

macrumors member
Jul 13, 2010
81
179
New Jersey
Aside from iOS and how a more powerful iPad like the 2019 pro can leverage it, in what way would you have preferred Apple had made the 2019 model more compelling?
I don’t think they know who it’s for. At min, the quad speakers. People consume media on it, and consumers would get more value from that feature than pros.

Also, the camera. Yes, not the biggest deal, but the camera is the same as in the 2014 Air 2. A better camera can’t be found for the price point?

And really, even the price isn’t that great. There’s no new ground broken by this iPad, but it’s priced the same as the top tier iPad would have been a couple of years ago.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,327
4,722
I have the iPad Pro 10.5" and I have checked out the Air 3 10.5". I also own two iPad Air 2s.

There are a bunch of things that make that Air 3 better than the Air 2.

1. It's a bigger screen. The size difference is actually fairly noticeable, but because the bezel size is reduced, the overall size isn't quite as big as you might expect.
2. Wide colour gamut. This is quite noticeable to me.
3. True Tone. I really like this feature.
4. Speed. It's noticeably faster. Everything is smooth, all the time. The Air 2 is no slouch, but it's starting to show its age.
5. Smart Connector. I bought the Apple Smart Keyboard and it's a revelation. I use it 90% of the time with the keyboard now, because it is a full size keyboard with 18 mm key spacing, something that is impossible with a matched keyboard for a 9.7" iPad. It's very comfortable to type on. Plus, since there is no Bluetooth involved, there are no Bluetooth issues to worry about. It Just Works. Plus, having the keyboard attached means half the screen isn't occupied by an on-screen keyboard.
6. Memory. While 2 GB RAM in the Air 2 is acceptable, it's starting to become a bottleneck now. I don't feel that bottleneck with my 4 GB iPad Pro, and I suspect I wouldn't usually feel that on the Air 3 with its 3 GB RAM either, at least for now with regular usage.
7. Pencil support. I find using Affinity Photo and LumaFusion annoying with my finger. It's nicer having Apple Pencil for that. Also, for the rare times I take written notes, Pencil works.

In the end, I chose to get the iPad Pro to get ProMotion, better camera (with flash), and quad speakers, as well as the additional RAM, but I also think the Air 3 is a significant upgrade over the Air 2, particularly if you want to use a keyboard.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Donar