All iPads Suggestions on which iPad to buy

Tom Dalkins

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 14, 2020
12
0
Hi,



I'm wanting to buy an iPad - but really struggling to figure out which is the best for my money. I'll be using it for pretty much everything I do digitally and online, especially with the new iPadOS.



I've been looking at the latest model iPad Pro, iPad Pro 2017 (10.5 and 12.9), and the latest iPad Air 3rd generation. I can get the 2017 Pro, second hand, for around £300, whereas a second hand Pro (latest model) is around double that price second hand, and even more new. The iPad Air sits in the middle of these prices brand new.



I'd love a Pro for it's ProMotion Technology, better sound system and camera, but I'm swaying towards the 2017 model to benefit from a better price.



My main worry: will I get much usage out of buying a 2017 model now, if Apple discontinue updates for this model in a couple of years time? Is it worth just spending double the amount and going for a 2018 model? Or is it a much wiser decision to go for a brand new iPad Air?



Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
7,197
3,334
My main worry: will I get much usage out of buying a 2017 model now, if Apple discontinue updates for this model in a couple of years time? Is it worth just spending double the amount and going for a 2018 model? Or is it a much wiser decision to go for a brand new iPad Air?
Apple just released another iPad with A10 last year (10.2" iPad 7th gen). At the very least, I'd expect 3+ years of updates for the 2017 iPad Pros with the faster A10X chipset (and 1GB more RAM). The 2014 iPad Air 2 is still supported in iPadOS 13 and in all honesty, even that's not awful to use. Definitely showing its age but it isn't unbearably slow like the iPad 2/3 were on iOS 8-9. Unless you game or do other processing intensive tasks such as video and photo editing, I wouldn't worry about performance on the 2017 Pros.

Reckon the major point of concern is you don't have warranty in case the Pro 10.5 develops a bright spot. Battery might also be a concern. My 10.5's down to around 80% iirc and needs to be charged more frequently.

Consider accessories as well. The Pro 11 has USB-C (with up to 7.5W output) and potentially offers greater flexibility.
 
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Tom Dalkins

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 14, 2020
12
0
Apple just released another iPad with A10 last year (10.2" iPad 7th gen). At the very least, I'd expect 3+ years of updates for the 2017 iPad Pros with the faster A10X chipset (and 1GB more RAM). The 2014 iPad Air 2 is still supported in iPadOS 13 and in all honesty, even that's not awful to use. Definitely showing its age but it isn't unbearably slow like the iPad 2/3 were on iOS 8-9. Unless you game or do other processing intensive tasks such as video and photo editing, I wouldn't worry about performance on the 2017 Pros.

Reckon the major point of concern is you don't have warranty in case the Pro 10.5 develops a bright spot. Battery might also be a concern. My 10.5's down to around 80% iirc and needs to be charged more frequently.

Consider accessories as well. The Pro 11 has USB-C (with up to 7.5W output) and potentially offers greater flexibility.
Thank you. I think I've come to the conclusion that it's best to go for a brand new device, or something that's almost brand new and is covered with a fair amount of warranty.
 

muzzy996

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
586
524
Yeah as someone with a Gen 2 iPad Pro (12.9) who has experienced the touchscreen sensitivity issue I would recommend refurbished from Apple if it’s a possibility in your area and then leverage some of that savings to purchase AppleCare+.

I don’t think the issues are widespread so it could be considered just an abundance of caution to do so. Just know that it is a risk. Definitely purchasing second hand from an unknown seller has more risks than refurbished from a source that will give you a warranty.

The Air 3 is a nice device. I wouldn’t have any concerns buying one new.
 

Tom Dalkins

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 14, 2020
12
0
Yeah as someone with a Gen 2 iPad Pro (12.9) who has experienced the touchscreen sensitivity issue I would recommend refurbished from Apple if it’s a possibility in your area and then leverage some of that savings to purchase AppleCare+.

I don’t think the issues are widespread so it could be considered just an abundance of caution to do so. Just know that it is a risk. Definitely purchasing second hand from an unknown seller has more risks than refurbished from a source that will give you a warranty.

The Air 3 is a nice device. I wouldn’t have any concerns buying one new.
Agree with you there - though I wasn't really aware of sensitivity issues on the Pros', thanks for the heads up. Definitely sounds like it's worth buying brand new or directly from Apple.

Do you have any advice regarding storage? Obviously Air's start at 64gb, and I use iCloud to back everything up on my phone (pay for 200gb), but I'm not quite sure if there's an easier way of accessing photos etc. on a daily basis other than visiting icloud.com?
 

muzzy996

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
586
524
Agree with you there - though I wasn't really aware of sensitivity issues on the Pros', thanks for the heads up. Definitely sounds like it's worth buying brand new or directly from Apple.

Do you have any advice regarding storage? Obviously Air's start at 64gb, and I use iCloud to back everything up on my phone (pay for 200gb), but I'm not quite sure if there's an easier way of accessing photos etc. on a daily basis other than visiting icloud.com?
I have zero experience using iCloud for photo storage other than having opened links to photos that others might have shared, so I can’t speak towards how it works. I use Google Photos exclusively because my primary device is an Android phone, but if iCloud works anything like Google Photos then I would imagine that browsing of photos that have been archived to cloud and not on the device would be seamless within the photo catalog. The thumbnails would take a minimal amount of space compared to the original files and you’d of course have to be online to view images zoomed in that aren’t on the local device (as you noted).

All of that said, storage needs are really a subjective thing based on personal use. For me 64gb is small but that doesn’t necessarily apply to you or anyone else. I’m currently using 150GB of my 256GB of storage. Half of what I’m using is video and audio media (movies that I own or have downloaded in apps like Netflix, or Disney+ for offline viewing, audio playlists for offline listening on Google Music, Spotify and Pandora).
 

Ludatyk

macrumors 68000
May 27, 2012
1,771
766
Texas
Do you have any advice regarding storage? Obviously Air's start at 64gb, and I use iCloud to back everything up on my phone (pay for 200gb), but I'm not quite sure if there's an easier way of accessing photos etc. on a daily basis other than visiting icloud.com?
All depends on what you plan to store on the iPad... cannot give you any advice without knowing your potential usages will be.

But as far as me.. I tend to download music and videos such as movies and tv shows locally. Everything else I store in the cloud... such as photos or certain files I need to access.
 
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Reflej0

macrumors member
Jan 3, 2020
61
21
I answer for my experience with the iPad Pro 2017 256GB 10.5" it was simply spectacular, I had it a month since I bought it to try it and then sold it.
It has certain qualities of Pro like: Pro Motion (120hz), 4 stereo speakers, better camera (although not a decisive factor), laminated screen, truetone and better graphics processor than current models of iPad Mini and iPad Air (Geekbench Metal) .
Discard the iPad Pro 11 is very expensive and apart this is the best option, I think the answer is obvious if you can afford it, buy it and go.
The comparison with the iPad Mini 5 and iPad Air 3 is difficult, since the A12 processor weighs heavily on the comparison although in summary:

The iPad Mini 5 and iPad Air 3 will have more support in the future, perhaps exemplifying that in 2025 the iPad Pro 2017 offers a worse performance than the iPad Mini 5 / iPad Air 3, but currently (and would believe that in 2020 and 2021) the performance in the usual tasks (and heavy ones too) is the same (you will only see a difference in synthetic tests).

Any option will do well, perhaps there would be many more decisive factors such as comparing an iPad Pro 2017 512GB versus an iPad Air 3 256GB LTE or simply the price if there is a very good offer of iPad Pro 2017 (you considered it a very good offer for you).
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
7,197
3,334
Do you have any advice regarding storage? Obviously Air's start at 64gb, and I use iCloud to back everything up on my phone (pay for 200gb), but I'm not quite sure if there's an easier way of accessing photos etc. on a daily basis other than visiting icloud.com?
When it works, the Optimize Storage setting on iCloud Photo Library just keeps small thumbnails on your device and downloads original images on demand when you view them. You just use the normal Photos app to browse and view your images.

Alas, it doesn't always work properly. Just around the holidays, I got a red/orange exclamation point when I tried opening some of my images instead of downloading the originals. Needed those images for technical troubleshooting so that was mighty frustrating. I had to AirDrop the pics from iPhone to iPad.

Local storage is reliable. Cloud storage is dependent on internet, service availability and prone to occasional software glitches. It really depends on your usage and circumstances how much storage you require locally on device.
 

Northern Man

macrumors 6502a
Aug 25, 2013
691
963
Agree with you there - though I wasn't really aware of sensitivity issues on the Pros', thanks for the heads up. Definitely sounds like it's worth buying brand new or directly from Apple.

Do you have any advice regarding storage? Obviously Air's start at 64gb, and I use iCloud to back everything up on my phone (pay for 200gb), but I'm not quite sure if there's an easier way of accessing photos etc. on a daily basis other than visiting icloud.com?
I use Apple Photos and iCloud with my Macbook Pro and iPhone. It works very well and quickly. I also use Google Photos (paid for original quality) as a back up and no complaints there either.
 

emembee

macrumors regular
Oct 31, 2013
236
55
Surrey,UK
Don’t forget the cellular option, hugely expensive on the Pros but may be worth it if you need networking away from wifi.
 

darkchronicle

macrumors newbie
Jan 14, 2020
4
6
I don't recommend the 2017 iPad Pro series as it is having a design flaw which you will eventually get the bright white spot issue on the screen. (google it for more info)

I suggests you to get the 2018 version instead if budget is not your main concern!
 
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