All iPads More future proof - 2019 iPad Air (A12) vs 2017 iPad Pro (A10X)?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by saintforlife, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. saintforlife macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2011
    Based on my previous experience with iPads, the processor seems to be the bottleneck as the device gets older and slower. Given that, is the 2019 iPad Air with the A12 processor more future proof than the 2017 iPad Pro with its A10X chip? Is the Air a better buy if you don't care about the 4 speakers or graphics speed or 120 Hz refresh rate?
  2. bodonnell202 macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2016
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    The advantages of the 10.5" Pro are Promotion, Quad speakers, better rear camera and an extra GB of RAM , but given how Apple supports it's devices the 2019 Air will likely receive software support for 2 years longer than the 2017 Pro given that it has a chip that is 2 generations newer. The neural engine in the A12 may also become more important in coming years.
  3. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Future proof is the processor. Better processor means more iOS versions before they drop support.
  4. Freakonomics101 macrumors 68000


    Nov 6, 2014
    They’re too close to compare. The amount of RAM can make a big difference.
  5. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    "Future-proof" is not a "thing". It's a matter of how important the specific features of each model are to you, what price you'll pay for each, and what you plan on using the device for.
  6. RecentlyConverted macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2015
    The days of future proofing are long gone (if they ever existed)
  7. Davefevs macrumors regular


    Dec 14, 2015
    Bristol, UK
    My 2015 IPP 1st Gen is 3 1/3 years old, it works (32gb) is my biggest issue. I use it every day in work making notes, drawing process flows etc using notability. At home it’s mainly consumption with 10% office, e.g. excel.
  8. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017

    The Air has less memory, so it is less future proof in that regard.
    The Air has a more recent SoC, so it is more future proof in that regard.

    My GUESS is that the Air 10.5" will get 1 more year of iOS updates as compared to the iPad Pro 10.5". However, I bought the iPad Pro 10.5", because it's actually CHEAPER on the refurb store than the Air at retail, and the Pro is a much nicer device overall due to ProMotion, the quad speakers, and the better camera with flash (and flashlight).
  9. Allentown72 macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2019
    Right, you will have to upgrade due to storage issues long before you do for the processor (My Ipad Mini 2 still gets updates but is slow and full) but it is what, 6 years old?

    Given that you can buy an Ipad pro 2017 with 256gb of storage for $150 more than an Ipad air with 64gb of storage right now...well. You decide. On the performance side, having to tax the processor more to fetch programs due to the less 1gb of ram could make the difference in processors essentially nil in terms of real world ability to keep up with future updates.

    Generally on cell phones what kills them is low ram and eventually the processor just can't keep up with all the memory swapping and stay smooth. Many of the older phones processors however would be perfectly capable of keeping up with modern updates if they only had more ram.
  10. dwig macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2015
    Key West FL
    +1, today it's more like looking for what is "less short lived", particularily with Apple products.

    As a general rule with Apple "glued together single piece" products, the device "life" is largely based on date of last sale. Devices like the Mac Mini, where the RAM is replaceable and the mouse, keyboard, and display are separate devices, life can be "extended" by replacing a faulty accessory. It's similar with iMacs. On the other hand, MacBooks and iDevices have to be considered short life "disposable" devices.
  11. Mackinjosh Suspended

    Aug 21, 2014
    They'll devise new chips in the future that will negate all the "future proofing" in the current chips. Just buy the tablet you currently prefer and expect to get 2-4 years out of it. Keep it in great condition by using a full body case and you might even get a good chunk of money for it the next time you need to upgrade.
  12. Allentown72 macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2019
    Of if you are a PC guy you can literally pull out any component and upgrade on an ongoing basis without hiccup. Be that as it may as even that ages you run into an issue where EVERYTHING needs to be upgraded and other than a nice case you may like, you still end up gutting it and starting over with almost a new build. My case has a clear monitor on one side and it displays graphics and computer vital signs right on the side of the box in real time so i may keep it this time around and do just that. I don't mid upgrading tablets every 3 to 5 years though..they are usually way over due by then.
  13. Hofstede macrumors member

    Dec 15, 2014
    A10X is going to be slow in the near future given the exponentially rising speed of ARM processors. RAM deals with background activities, whereas processors deals with the processing speed. As such, with the 2 generations of improvement on A12 over A10X, you are going to get a much faster processing speed on iPad Air 2019 than iPad Pro 2017 even with 1GB less of RAM and the absence of 4 speakers and pro motion technology.
    When ProMotion at 120 Hz, intensive background activities, or sound quality is a priority for you over processing speed, GIVEN THAT you want a budget device, then you may consider buying an iPad Pro 2017. However, if budget is not your concern, why not purchasing an iPad Pro 2018 which is the most future-proofing device in the market?
  14. Josieb1, Apr 18, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019

    Josieb1 macrumors regular


    Nov 3, 2013
    The thing that might be more important with regards to Future Proofing the Pro 2017 10.5 is that a lot of those devices suffer from displas issues, I.e white spot/spots on the screen. It may mean that two years down the line the Pro 10.5 might be affected by this issue then suddenly its value is reduced.
  15. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    For what it's worth, I recently tried installing Grid Autosport on the iPad Air 2 (A8X) and it wasn't supported (chipset missing features—no idea what those features are). Meanwhile, it installed and runs just fine on the iPad 5th gen (granted, not quite the prettiest).
  16. Allentown72 macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2019
    What is the most demanding task an ipad would be asked to do? Play games

    How much faster is the A10x than the A12 when rendering large amounts of graphics intensive tasks is required? 30% faster.

    Nuff said.

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15 March 25, 2019