iPad Pro ipad pro 2017 vs 2018 12.9

Discussion in 'iPad' started by ella78, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. ella78 macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2019
    Hi, I am looking for some advice if possible please, I have decided to get an ipad pro, I want the 12.9 inch screen but I am unsure on wether to get the newest 2018 model or a refurbished 2017 one.

    I want to use it for web browsing, watching movies, and all the usual stuff but I am also looking to start photo and video editing - nothing majour and not in a proffessional way just for my own personal use and sharing with friends and family - I want to use luma fusion, lightroom etc

    I can pick up a refurbished 2017 model for around £650 with 256gb or the newer 2018 model for £1065
    I don't mind the price difference if I really get more for my money, will I be able to use all the same features on the older ipad pro as on the newer one, is it worth the upgrade or should I get the cheaper refurbished one and see what 2019/2020 brings

    any help would be really appriciated, especially from anyone who has used both for photo and video editing if they can give a comparison

    thank you so much for any help
  2. unibility macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2012
    Hello. I do not own the iPad Pro 12.9 inch model. I do own the 2017 iPad Pro 11 inch 512GB and the iPad Pro 11 inch 1TB mode. The main reason why I upgrade to the 2018 model is our daughter uses it for watching YouTube and for her learning games. Plus I wanted an iPad all for myself.

    But also some of the 2017 iPad Pro models including mine has developed a permanent white glow a little above the home button that apple has acknowledged is an issue but will not address but with a cost.


    In term of usage I use Procreate with the 2nd generation Apple Pencil and though I have not used it much it is enjoyable. Everyday use seems to be a little faster and despite both models being 11 inches the 2018 lineup is smaller without the top and bottom black bars.

    Sorry this reply probably does not answer your question but just thought I share it with you.
  3. AlexJoda, Apr 19, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019

    AlexJoda macrumors 6502a


    Apr 8, 2015
    After using the first two generations of the 12.9 iPP nearly every day I decided agains buying the third generation. There is no functional improvement beside the design change. The 3. gen has the same display with ProMotion, P3 and TrueTone as the 2. gen which was the biggest improvement for the iPP line.

    With the Folio covers the 2018 iPP is even heavier and thicker than the 2017 model and FaceID is more a disadvantage for me because my iPad is laying often flat on the table in which case only TouchID is working to unlock it.

    I did not use the pencil that much that the wireless charging is a big point for me and I like the "old" design a lot with the thin edges and bezels to hold the device (the 2018 iPPs are really appearing thicker although they are a bit thinner spec-wise). For a big device like 12.9 iPP the reduction in width is not that important anyway because it remains a big device that is not as portable as a iPad Mini. I carry it in a journal sized leather bag together with documents and that bag would be the same for the 2018 iPP.

    The processor improvements for multi-core usage is not noticeable even for photo and light video editing. The 4 GB RAM (apart from the 1 TB iPP) is the same which is more important in my eyes and I still have the headphone/microphone jack and stabilized camera which I use for vlogging. The biggest possible improvements are laying in the OS anyway (hopefully IOS or better iPad OS 13) which will a benefit for both generations the same way.

    Save your money and get the 2017 iPP. Even the accessories are much cheaper to get at the moment and I never heard of bended first or second gen iPPs :)
  4. AutomaticApple macrumors 65816


    Nov 28, 2018
    Such thing exists?
  5. EugW, Apr 19, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019

    EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    I have the 10.5" iPad Pro 2017 and I have tested it side-by-side against the 11" iPad Pro 2018, and my friend has the 12.9" iPad Pro 2018.

    For regular simple usage, the 10.5" is more than sufficient in terms of speed, as it is extremely fast. However, there are very rare stutters in the UI that most people wouldn't notice, but if you have the 11" beside you you can occasionally notice on the 10.5" because they are not there on the 11". So, that is to say that the 11" is perfectly smooth in the US, the 10.5" is near-perfectly smooth.

    For surfing it's great, but the one thing I've noticed is that the extra screen width of the 11" matters, vs the 10.5". The extra 0.5" actually helps, not just with single window browsing, but it also provides a nicer Split View experience with other apps. However, that's irrelevant for since you're interested in the 12.9" model which has the same screen size for the 2017 and 2018 models.

    One thing I've noticed where lag/performance can matter however is in video editing and photo editing apps. I couldn't directly compare this on the 2018 iPad Pros because they didn't have the same apps loaded, but I definitely notice the lag in certain actions on my 2017, whereas other people say that that 2018 models often have much less lag.

    OTOH, video exports from LumaFusion on my 10.5" Pro can be very fast. It seems the hardware encoder in the A10X chip is already very good. Below are some tests I did, for HEVC 4K 8-bit transcodes.


    I don’t have Compressor or Adobe Media Encoder, so I just used QuickTime.

    Sony Nature Camp 2’07” video - 76 Mbps 4K 10-bit 59.94 fps
    MacBook (QuickTime 10.5 Mojave HEVC export): Forever. Not feasible. Probably was 10-bit encode (software)
    iPad Pro (LumaFusion 1.7.7 HEVC 30 fps export): About 2 minutes, converted to 8-bit I believe.

    Sony Nature Camp 2’07” video - 79 Mbps 4K 8-bit 59.94 fps
    2017 MacBook Core m3-7Y32 (QuickTime 10.5 Mojave HEVC export): 8’37”
    2017 iMac Core i5-7600 (QuickTime 10.5 Mojave HEVC export): 4’52”
    2017 iPad Pro A10X (LumaFusion 1.7.7 HEVC 59.94 fps export): 3’51”
    2017 iPad Pro A10X (LumaFusion 1.7.7 HEVC 30 fps export): 2’03”


    That's performance. What about other factors?

    The accessories here for the 11" iPad Pro cost a lot more than the accessories for the 10.5" Pro, and there are none of the good sales the people in the US get. That, and the decent refurb pricing on the 10.5", made a big impact on the decision for me to get the 10.5". Pencil for the 10.5" is cheaper, and for some reason Apple Smart Keyboard is available in Canada occasionally at a deep discount, but the same is not true for the 11" model.

    Pencil 2 on the 11" Pro / 12.9" 2018 Pro is much less awkward because it magnetically attaches and charges on the iPad Pro. Plus the double-tap really is a nice feature. Otherwise, it feels exactly like the Pencil on the 10.5" (except that the original Pencil is all round and will roll off the table).

    The Apple Smart Keyboard on the 2017 models do not protect the back, so I bought a back case for it. This actually makes buying sleeves for the 2017 models harder, because a lot of the tight fit sleeves don't fit well with added back covers. The Apple Smart Keyboard on the 2018 models protects the back (but not the sides). There are also two different stand angles on the 2018 vs. the 1 on the 2017. OTOH, for the 2017 model, when you fold the keyboard back, you get the flat cover. On the 2018 model when you fold the keyboard back, you get exposed keys which feels weird. The solution though is just to take the cover off.

    On the 2018 model, if you double tap the keyboard when the screen is off, it takes you to the home screen, after having invoked Face ID. On the 2017 model, if you double tap the keyboard you get to the lock screen, and have to reach out and invoke Touch ID. So, what I do is don't bother with double tap. Instead I just immediately reach out for Touch ID and press the home button to get taken directly to the home screen.

    The 2017 models support USB 3, but require a dongle, and don't provide much power natively. To power a lot of external peripherals, you need to plug in an external power source. (The Apple USB 3 dongle has a Lightning port input for power.) The 2018 models have native USB-C and also can provide more power out the port natively. The 2018 models can also charge external devices like your iPhone.

    On the 2018 models when I'm holding them in landscape mode, my hand covers the camera and Face ID sensor, and covers part of the edge of the screen. On the 2017 models, there is no such problem.

    If it hadn't cost $500+ more Canadian to get the 11" iPad Pro and its accessories, I would have bought the 11". However, in the US, there are some decent deals on the 2018 models at Amazon and Best Buy. In that context, and considering you're wanting to get into video and photo editing, I'd recommend you go with the 2018 iPad Pro.


    The one other thing that annoys me about the 2018 models' pricing is their tiered memory, despite the fact all of them are already pricey. All of the 2017 models are 4 GB RAM, but only the 1 TB 2018 model gets 6 GB RAM. My next iPad Pro will likely be an 11" 6 GB model with hopefully 128 GB base storage. That's not available now, but I am happy to wait a few years to get that, since my 64 GB 10.5" is sufficient for me for now.
  6. unibility macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2012
    The do.

    2018 iPad Pro 11" 1TB w/cellular | $1,99.00 + TAX.

    2017 iPad Pro 10.5" 512GB w/cellular | $1,111.09 + TAX (Amazon)
  7. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Sure would like to be able to pay that price for a 1TB iPad. :p
  8. AutomaticApple macrumors 65816


    Nov 28, 2018
    Damn! Where can I buy it for that cheap?
  9. unibility macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2012

    Sorry. 2018 iPad Pro 11" 1TB w/cellular | $1,699.00 + TAX. I forgot the 6 before posting the response.
  10. UnLiMiTeD558 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2009
    They were questioning the existence because you said 2017 11” pro model. They were nitpicking the post
  11. AutomaticApple macrumors 65816


    Nov 28, 2018
    I’m kidding.
  12. tps3443 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 24, 2019
    Just curious, How much of the 1TB in storage have you filled up so far?
  13. Soccerrick10 macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2019
    I have had all three versions of the 12.9 iPad Pro. The third is the best of the lot. But, I would say the only real difference you will see in the near future is if you take it with you often. Mine goes with me everyday and THAT was enough to justify the upgrade. I just got back from Germany and have trips to China, India, France and Mexico coming up.

    As soon as we get a real version of Safari, I can leave the laptop home! I have a web based app I need access to every day that isn’t fully supported on their scaled down web version. Everything else I do for work, the iPad Pro handles beautifully.
  14. ella78, Apr 20, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019

    ella78 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2019
    thank you so much everyone for the input it's gave me a lot to think about and I'm still not 100% sure which way to go but hopefully will get there in the end i think I am leaning more towards the 2018 model, the annoying thing is that shops here don't seem to be stocking the 2017 version anymore so I am unable to see it or feel it, the 2018 felt easy to handle and was nice when I had a little look at it in store, I think another fear is that they release a better one in the next few months and I will of wished I had waited and got the newest one lol, but I guess that is the risk we take with all this fast moving technology
  15. cibonak macrumors 6502


    Oct 15, 2014
    try to buy a used one on craigslist or facebook market…. or similar

    i bought on Kijiji ipp 3gen LTE 64g 700$ US which is a good deal i believe
  16. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    Accessories wise believe me or not the iPad Pro 11-inch is actually cheaper than the older Lightning models because it can use off the shelf USB-C accessories, including card readers, HDMI adapters, Ethernet adapters (!), etc. you also get 10Gbps transfer speed from your computer if you have the right USB-C cable.
  17. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    The old Lightning models can use USB-A accessories, as long as you have an (OEM) Apple Lightning to USB 3 camera adapter, which goes for about US$20 on eBay or US$39 from Apple. Unfortunately, it's an extra dongle to carry around, and requires additional power more often than the 3rd generation models do for their accessories. Fortunately, it has a Lightning power input that can charge the iPad Pro as well.

    I can confirm that my existing USB-A keyboards, Ethernet adapters, flash card readers work. USB drives also work but of course without proper file system support in iOS, it's moot. My HDMI adapter didn't work, but then again, I don't know if it would work for the 3rd generation either. I bought it for my MacBook and even for my MacBook some HDMI adapters will work but others won't. It seems Apple changed something in 2017 since a whole bunch of adapters that worked for the 2016 models didn't work for my 2017 model.

    It works at USB 3 speeds for the 2nd generation models (including my 10.5" iPad Pro), and the 12.9" 1st generation model. For the 9.7" 1st generation model there is only USB 2 support though, since the 1st gen 9.7" only has a USB 2 chipset in it.

    Other people have confirmed MIDI devices and microphones (like in the video) work as well. I have also confirmed I can even plug in my iPhone to transfer photos and videos over to my iPad.

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16 April 19, 2019