iPad Maybe the iPad 2 isn't THAT bad...

EugW

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jun 18, 2017
7,327
4,721
After the new 2019 iPad Air was announced, I quickly went to the Apple online store and ordered the 10.5" iPad Pro 10.5" it replaced. (I got it for CAD$619 at the refurb store, or US$465.) That brought us to 4 iPads in this house, with an iPad 2 running iOS 9.3.5, an iPad Air 2, another iPad Air 2, and the 10.5" iPad Pro.

However, everyone disliked using the iPad 2. My kids barely tolerated it, and I despised using it, so I restored it to the factory defaults and gave it to our housekeeper.

As hoped, after that reset/restore with no extra apps installed, the iPad 2 is noticeably faster than before. Yes it's still quite slow, but it's usable now. Previously, it was basically unusable IMO. I don't dare run more than just one Safari tab but at least it works. Launching of the keyboard is also still quite laggy, but nonetheless it's much less laggy than before.

So, while I would not want to use this as my primary driver, maybe in the greater scheme of things the iPad 2 isn't THAT bad in a pinch, as my housekeeper was quite pleased to get this as her one and only tablet.
 

*~Kim~*

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2013
656
99
UK
In retrospect it has done well. The iPad 3 is stuck on the same version of iOS despite being a year newer and having more RAM(?), and the original iPad must have become obsolete years ago.

I plan to give my 3 to a relative but will have to breathe more life into it by using a newer device to access older versions of some apps for them.

Having had an iPhone 4 in 2010 I decided not to get an iPad until Retina came to them, so would never have bought the 2, but it seems that it was a huge step up on the original.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,375
8,759
Prescott Valley, AZ
After the new 2019 iPad Air was announced, I quickly went to the Apple online store and ordered the 10.5" iPad Pro 10.5" it replaced. (I got it for CAD$619 at the refurb store, or US$465.) That brought us to 4 iPads in this house, with an iPad 2 running iOS 9.3.5, an iPad Air 2, another iPad Air 2, and the 10.5" iPad Pro.

However, everyone disliked using the iPad 2. My kids barely tolerated it, and I despised using it, so I restored it to the factory defaults and gave it to our housekeeper.

As hoped, after that reset/restore with no extra apps installed, the iPad 2 is noticeably faster than before. Yes it's still quite slow, but it's usable now. Previously, it was basically unusable IMO. I don't dare run more than just one Safari tab but at least it works. Launching of the keyboard is also still quite laggy, but nonetheless it's much less laggy than before.

So, while I would not want to use this as my primary driver, maybe in the greater scheme of things the iPad 2 isn't THAT bad in a pinch, as my housekeeper was quite pleased to get this as her one and only tablet.
Perspective. That is what some of us have been banging the drum about. Many here have been chasing the latest and greatest the minute it is available and have disdain and sometime outright anger over anything that isn't the top-tier.

Those older devices didn't cease to be usable simply because something newer was released. My iPad 1 (that I pre-ordered on day-1) is still being used today... as a "picture tube" in my vintage TV project.

Welcome to the club!
beer2.gif
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
6,843
3,112
After the new 2019 iPad Air was announced, I quickly went to the Apple online store and ordered the 10.5" iPad Pro 10.5" it replaced. (I got it for CAD$619 at the refurb store, or US$465.) That brought us to 4 iPads in this house, with an iPad 2 running iOS 9.3.5, an iPad Air 2, another iPad Air 2, and the 10.5" iPad Pro.

However, everyone disliked using the iPad 2. My kids barely tolerated it, and I despised using it, so I restored it to the factory defaults and gave it to our housekeeper.

As hoped, after that reset/restore with no extra apps installed, the iPad 2 is noticeably faster than before. Yes it's still quite slow, but it's usable now. Previously, it was basically unusable IMO. I don't dare run more than just one Safari tab but at least it works. Launching of the keyboard is also still quite laggy, but nonetheless it's much less laggy than before.

So, while I would not want to use this as my primary driver, maybe in the greater scheme of things the iPad 2 isn't THAT bad in a pinch, as my housekeeper was quite pleased to get this as her one and only tablet.
Nah, I wouldn't have the patience for it. Apple A5(X), I wouldn't want to use beyond iOS 6 except for video streaming/playback.

I know the 2013 iPad Air often gets lambasted for its 1GB RAM but I'd rather use the Air on iOS 11 rather than iPad 2/3 on iOS 9.
 

Lets Go

macrumors member
Mar 30, 2017
41
17
Upstate NY
I was going back and forth between the new iPad Air 3 and new discontinued 10.5 pro. I ended up buying an refurbished Wifi/cellular 10.5 iPad Pro with 64gb from the Apple website. I paid $579(US). I think that is $200 off the original (New) price? It is also $50 cheaper than the new Air 3.

I am hoping that is a good deal.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jun 18, 2017
7,327
4,721
I was going back and forth between the new iPad Air 3 and new discontinued 10.5 pro. I ended up buying an refurbished Wifi/cellular 10.5 iPad Pro with 64gb from the Apple website. I paid $579(US). I think that is $200 off the original (New) price? It is also $50 cheaper than the new Air 3.

I am hoping that is a good deal.
That seems like a pretty decent deal. Congrats!


Those older devices didn't cease to be usable simply because something newer was released.
Actually that's precisely what happened. For me, the iPad ceased to be usable because iOS 9 was released and I made the mistake of upgrading to it and not using it enough to know I should downgrade back to iOS 8 when I still had the chance.

Cleaning it up with a reset helped a lot, but of course I like to have lots of apps on my iPads which would just slow it back down again.

I thought of using it as a photo frame, but I think the housekeeper will get more use out of it.
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Nah, I wouldn't have the patience for it. Apple A5(X), I wouldn't want to use beyond iOS 6 except for video streaming/playback.
iPad 2 was fine on iOS 7 IMO.

I know the 2013 iPad Air often gets lambasted for its 1GB RAM but I'd rather use the Air on iOS 11 rather than iPad 2/3 on iOS 9.
Agreed. 1 GB with A7 is usable. Not ideal, but usable.

2 GB with A8X or A9 is quite usable, although both the memory and the CPU here are starting to show their age, as of iOS 11. Actually iOS 12 does better than iOS 11 but the writing is on the wall.
 
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rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
6,843
3,112
Perspective. That is what some of us have been banging the drum about. Many here have been chasing the latest and greatest the minute it is available and have disdain and sometime outright anger over anything that isn't the top-tier.
Personally, performance beyond A9 is gravy for me and if I didn't have high storage requirements, I'd be perfectly happy with the entry level iPad. However, I still wouldn't want to use an iPad 2. Apple A9 is the point where I find CPU fast enough for normal use.

Those older devices didn't cease to be usable simply because something newer was released. My iPad 1 (that I pre-ordered on day-1) is still being used today... as a "picture tube" in my vintage TV project.
I think Apple made a pretty good choice not updating the iPad 1 past iOS 5. With its single-core processor and 256MB RAM, it would have fared poorly with updates.

Mind, back in 2011, ARM was considerably slower compared to then-current x86 processors. The chips weren't really designed with multi-tasking in mind and neither were the graphics up to dealing with all the eye candy and transparencies present in iOS 7 onwards. It's perfectly understandable that they couldn't keep up. All things considered, early chips were, what, Pentium III level or something?

It's just natural that as tablet technology matured, service life has increased as well. We've already seen that on PCs. Five years old or older processors handling Windows 10 just fine. Heck, I believe some of the Atoms used in brand new Windows 10 PCs have just recently matched performance of 2008 Core 2 Duo.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jun 18, 2017
7,327
4,721
Personally, performance beyond A9 is gravy for me and if I didn't have high storage requirements, I'd be perfectly happy with the entry level iPad. However, I still wouldn't want to use an iPad 2. Apple A9 is the point where I find CPU fast enough for normal use.
I posted something similar just before you, but included A8X, for reasons well illustrated in the graph below.

I made the jump from my iPad 2 at the iPad Air 2 back with A8X in 2014, and then yesterday made the jump again with the iPad Pro 10.5 with A10X. Those were the big performance jumps for iPads. (There is another jump with the A12X, but it's too expensive for my tastes.)

Screen Shot 2019-03-20 at 5.25.29 PM.png


Meanwhile, my 2017 Core m3 MacBook gets about 7000.
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
6,843
3,112
2 GB with A8X or A9 is quite usable, although both the memory and the CPU here are starting to show their age, as of iOS 11. Actually iOS 12 does better than iOS 11 but the writing is on the wall.
Depends on usage probably.

We've got Air 2, iPad 5th gen, iPad Pro 9.7 and iPad Pro 12.9 (2017) in the household and apart from Excel and app installation, the Air 2 doesn't feel slower compared to the others. The 5th gen, apart from app installation, feels just as fast as the Pro 9.7 and Pro 12.9 (with ProMotion disabled :p). Granted, no gaming nor photo/video editing.
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I posted something similar just before you, but included A8X, for reasons well illustrated in the graph below.

I made the jump from my iPad 2 at the iPad Air 2 back with A8X in 2014, and then yesterday made the jump again with the iPad Pro 10.5 with A10X. Those were the big performance jumps for iPads. (There is another jump with the A12X, but it's too expensive for my tastes.)
I intentionally skipped A8X. It's okay if one already has it but between Air 2 and 5th gen, I do find either the faster single-core performance or faster storage controller on the A9 quite beneficial (for Excel in particular, which loads notably faster and less prone to stutters on the 5th gen). :)
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jun 18, 2017
7,327
4,721
Depends on usage probably.

We've got Air 2, iPad 5th gen, iPad Pro 9.7 and iPad Pro 12.9 (2017) in the household and apart from Excel and app installation, the Air 2 doesn't feel slower compared to the others. The 5th gen, apart from app installation, feels just as fast as the Pro 9.7 and Pro 12.9 (with ProMotion disabled :p). Granted, no gaming nor photo/video editing.
Don't get me wrong, I think the iPad Air 2 is fine for most users. In fact, I might have kept it another year, had I not needed to pass it down to my kids.

However, I feel that the iPad Pro 10.5 (2017) just is more responsive and smoother, even just for surfing, and it's not just because of ProMotion.

It shouldn't come a big surprise though, since the performance of the iPad Pro 10.5 (2017) is 2.4X as fast as the iPad Air 2 (2014). What I haven't tried yet though are HEVC files. I have some issues playing some of my HEVC files on the iPad Air 2, since that iPad has no hardware HEVC decode acceleration. I trust they will be totally fine on the iPad Pro 10.5. Truthfully though, I don't have a huge number of problematic HEVC files, so it hasn't been a major concern for me. The A8X does play back iPhone encoded 4Kp30 HEVC pretty well, albeit with shorter battery life than desirable.
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
6,843
3,112
Don't get me wrong, I think the iPad Air 2 is fine for most users. In fact, I might have kept it another year, had I not needed to pass it down to my kids.

However, I feel that the iPad Pro 10.5 (2017) just is more responsive and smoother, even just for surfing, and it's not just because of ProMotion.

It shouldn't come a big surprise though, since the performance of the iPad Pro 10.5 (2017) is 2.4X as fast as the iPad Air 2 (2014). What I haven't tried yet though are HEVC files. I have some issues playing some of my HEVC files on the iPad Air 2, since that iPad has no hardware HEVC decode acceleration. I trust they will be totally fine on the iPad Pro 10.5. Truthfully though, I don't have a huge number of problematic HEVC files, so it hasn't been a major concern for me. The A8X does play back iPhone encoded 4Kp30 HEVC pretty well, albeit with shorter battery life than desirable.
Lol, I mostly go to forums and other text heavy sites. I reckon 70% of my iPad usage is reading. Paired with ad blockers and with ProMotion disabled, the Pro 12.9 performed about the same as the older iPads for my surfing. Often, the bottleneck was internet connection speed.

I can imagine A10X being faster on media-heavy pages, though.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jun 18, 2017
7,327
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Lol, I mostly go to forums and other text heavy sites. I reckon 70% of my iPad usage is reading. Paired with ad blockers and with ProMotion disabled, the Pro 12.9 performed about the same as the older iPads for my surfing. Often, the bottleneck was internet connection speed.

I can imagine A10X being faster on media-heavy pages, though.
I have a Gigabit internet connection, and 5 AirPort Extreme WiFi network. :)



https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/extreme-overkill-airport-mesh.2171677/

 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
6,843
3,112
Nice. Unfortunately, gigabit's not an option where I live.
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iPad 2 was fine on iOS 7 IMO.
Not for me. I'd often switch to my desktop or laptop (Sandy Bridge or newer, 8-16GB RAM) because web browsing on the iPad annoyed me (slow and glitchy).

Situation is so much nicer now. Nowadays, the iPad is my first choice for surfing and most other tasks and I rarely use any of my PCs. Heck, only time I use the laptop now is when I need to load it prior to a long trip (we use it both as Plex server and TV client on vacation).
 
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AutomaticApple

macrumors 68020
Nov 28, 2018
2,187
695
Massachusetts
After the new 2019 iPad Air was announced, I quickly went to the Apple online store and ordered the 10.5" iPad Pro 10.5" it replaced. (I got it for CAD$619 at the refurb store, or US$465.) That brought us to 4 iPads in this house, with an iPad 2 running iOS 9.3.5, an iPad Air 2, another iPad Air 2, and the 10.5" iPad Pro.

However, everyone disliked using the iPad 2. My kids barely tolerated it, and I despised using it, so I restored it to the factory defaults and gave it to our housekeeper.

As hoped, after that reset/restore with no extra apps installed, the iPad 2 is noticeably faster than before. Yes it's still quite slow, but it's usable now. Previously, it was basically unusable IMO. I don't dare run more than just one Safari tab but at least it works. Launching of the keyboard is also still quite laggy, but nonetheless it's much less laggy than before.

So, while I would not want to use this as my primary driver, maybe in the greater scheme of things the iPad 2 isn't THAT bad in a pinch, as my housekeeper was quite pleased to get this as her one and only tablet.
Want to make it zippy fast?
 

trsblader

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2011
423
159
I'm still using my ipad 2 actually. 16gb of storage with almost all of it left. I use it just for books and doing quick mockups for work and it really isn't that bad (for those purposes). To load books I do have to trick it some since iCloud sync doesn't work for books (works on my phone and mac devices and even on my Hackintosh) which is sort of a pain. I've been trying to talk myself into buying a newer iPad with pencil support but with my workflow I just can't see spending money to replace my iPad 2 until it dies. That said, I'd never game on this thing, almost all the apps I use on my phone don't support the iPad 2 anymore, opening the app store and updating the apps that used to have support was painful. I tried to use Safari on the iPad 2 the other night with 2 tabs and I bet it took over a minute to open the 2nd tab and be able to type in a URL.
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
6,843
3,112
Want to make it zippy fast?
Changing accessibility and background apps is the first thing I do after finishing setup on all my iPhones and iPads on iOS 7+. The iPad 2 and 3 on iOS 7 were tolerable with those modifications. Nowhere near zippy, but tolerable.

The iPad 2 and 3 were still unbearably slow on iOS 8+, though. Like, I wouldn't use them for web surfing slow. The iPad 4 on iOS 10 was noticeably better. Still slow but tolerable. :)
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jun 18, 2017
7,327
4,721
I'm still using my ipad 2 actually. 16gb of storage with almost all of it left. I use it just for books and doing quick mockups for work and it really isn't that bad (for those purposes). To load books I do have to trick it some since iCloud sync doesn't work for books (works on my phone and mac devices and even on my Hackintosh) which is sort of a pain. I've been trying to talk myself into buying a newer iPad with pencil support but with my workflow I just can't see spending money to replace my iPad 2 until it dies. That said, I'd never game on this thing, almost all the apps I use on my phone don't support the iPad 2 anymore, opening the app store and updating the apps that used to have support was painful. I tried to use Safari on the iPad 2 the other night with 2 tabs and I bet it took over a minute to open the 2nd tab and be able to type in a URL.
It sounds like you still need an iPad, and that's your only one. In my case we had three iPads, so having the iPad 2 as the third wasn't a huge problem. However, in your case with just one iPad that you need to use for certain things means it's time to upgrade IMO. Stop fighting with your old iPad 2 and get yourself any iPad with 2 GB or more, or preferably 3 GB or more.

At the US Apple Store in the refurbished section:

$239: iPad (5th gen) WiFi 32 GB - Apple A9
$369: iPad (6th gen) WiFi 128 GB - Apple A10 (smaller storage options not currently available)
$419: iPad Pro 9.7" WiFi 32 GB - Apple A9X
$469: iPad Pro 10.5" WiFi 64 GB - Apple A10X

In that list, IMO the two good values if you don't need a lot of storage are the $239 5th gen and the $469 Pro 10.5".
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,375
8,759
Prescott Valley, AZ
Brand new 6th gen is frequently available on sale from other retailers (including Amazon) for $249/32GB and $329/128GB. No need to go through Apple's refurb section.
Absolutely. These days, there is no reason to buy a refurb when they can be had new for less. (unless there's an "emergency" and one can't wait a few weeks for another round of sales)
 

YaBe

macrumors 6502a
Oct 5, 2017
830
1,430
As hoped, after that reset/restore with no extra apps installed, the iPad 2 is noticeably faster than before.
But....but ....but... I thought Android slowed down with time, while iOS would not..... /s

Wonder how the Android hater would answer that.. :p
 

trsblader

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2011
423
159
Stop fighting with your old iPad 2 and get yourself any iPad with 2 GB or more, or preferably 3 GB or more.
I'd hardly call it a fight. I load new books once every few months, and the actual iBooks app on the iPad still works great. Books open, pages turn, etc. The app I use to do mockups still works extremely well even after hours of use at a time with no noticeable lag. My iPad sits on my bed stand at night and then travels to work to sit on my desk during the day. When I'm home and want to browse the web I prefer an actual computer still with multiple monitors, desktops, and keyboard shortcuts. The price isn't the issue -- I'd gladly shell out a thousand bucks for something that is useful to me. For my needs, paying $500 every couple years while not taking advantage of anything I paid for is the issue.

I understand most people use an iPad more than I do and constantly watch stuff and play games, need multiples, etc. and your advice is sound for them. I just don't. If I want to watch movies, I use my 4k tv, when playing games I use consoles, when doing heavy workloads I use a computer built to handle them, etc.

Not trying to convince anyone to go buy an iPad 2 on Craigslist, just adding my 2 cents about the iPad not being THAT bad.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jun 18, 2017
7,327
4,721
Absolutely. These days, there is no reason to buy a refurb when they can be had new for less. (unless there's an "emergency" and one can't wait a few weeks for another round of sales)
That’s a great price. We don’t seem to get these deals on Amazon.ca here in Canada as often.

I’ve certainly never seen the iPad Pro 10.5” anywhere near the CAD$619 (US$464) I just bought it for on the refurb store. Camelcamelcamel says it went down to $758 once at Amazon.ca, but right now it’s $775... which is stupid because the Apple Store is selling them brand new for $729 in-store.
 

*~Kim~*

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2013
656
99
UK
I must be doing something wrong or the UK never gets these kind of deals. That said I'd gladly buy a refurb had the Mini not got 2 processor versions above the 2018 iPad.
 

tps3443

macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2019
1,301
833
NC,USA
Yea I don’t think I could use anything less than a iPad 6th gen 9.7” and even then the storage space is not enough for me.

The iPad 6th gen 9.7 is smooth, and great with just about any application. But, I can feel a difference from my iPad Pro 11” and it is mostly the refresh rate makes the device feel slower with scrolling. And it gives your brain the false perception that the device is slower even those the 6th gen is operating just fine.