All iPads Which iPad for youngest kid?

Dualvansmommy

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Original poster
Dec 31, 2014
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I’ve spend solid 4.5 hours today troubleshooting my youngest son iPad mini 4. Now it’s up & running ok...for now.

But I feel it’s really on its last legs and want to start thinking about next iPad. Which one should I get for him?

Ideally I want the next iPad to last him till his 10th birthday when we get him his iPhone. He just turned 6, so 4 years is how long I want the device to last.

I do have my current 10.5 iPad Pro that I can pass on to him while upgrading myself a new one.

Would the iPad generation in Apple lineup do him well and hold for another 4 years if I bought him that or iPad mini 5? What about iPad Air? Basically any iPad with best bang for money that can hold out 4 more years.
 

urkel

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Nov 3, 2008
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Just curious but what exactly went wrong with the iPad Mini 4 that you suspect its dying?

We had two iPad Mini 4 for the two kids and traded in one for a Mini 5 for Pencil support. We’re about a year later and the experience (to them) is almost identical. If the Mini 4 can be salvaged then I’d keep it until they’re a bit older and will take advantage of the upgraded options.
 
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Dualvansmommy

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Original poster
Dec 31, 2014
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Just curious but what exactly went wrong with the iPad Mini 4 that you suspect its dying? .
It keeps freezing up on him. So I deleted a lot of apps & games he doesn’t play often. Now his storage is 55% free, which should keep it running smoother. I did that few weeks ago.

Yet keeps freezing. Then the screen passcode locked us out, he managed to change the passcode but didn’t remember new one, locked us out. So I had to reset and start it over as new with his backed up iCloud. All of that took 4 hours today cuz kept running into activation issues.
 

rui no onna

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Oct 25, 2013
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I do have my current 10.5 iPad Pro that I can pass on to him while upgrading myself a new one.
This is what I'd do if replacing the Pro isn't too expensive (e.g. if you have 512GB LTE, probably better off buying the kid a cheaper iPad).

Is you child okay with a bigger iPad? If not, then the mini 5 appears to be the only option.
 

millydog

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Oct 21, 2007
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If you want him to keep it for 4+ years, I’d go with either the iPad mini 5 or iPad Air 3 (same internals, different sizes, Air has additional smart connectors for the Apple keyboard as the only real difference and could even share the keyboard with your iPad Pro 10.5 as it’s the same keyboard). These iPads have the latest processor and 3 GB ram, so I’d expect comfortable performance for the 4+ years.

The standard iPad has an older processor. You’d still get 4 years out of it, but it’s likely to be slowing down by the 3rd year. I’m pretty sure that the latest standard iPad also uses the same keyboard as the Air 3 and Pro 10.5. This iPad will be the slowest after 4 years, although children can usually put up with it. So that is the cheapest option.

The other option would be to pass on your 10.5 if you are considering an upgrade soon yourself. This is what I do. I’d wait until the 11” gen 2 and get that for yourself if cash isn’t the issue here.

So none of the above are bad decisions, it’s a matter of personal preference.
 
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Dualvansmommy

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Original poster
Dec 31, 2014
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None. Let him play outside until he gets addicted to a screen at an older age.
He already plays outside a lot as it is. He only plays on his iPad for 30 mins a day, if at that in the mornings before school. The iPad was actually a hand me down from the hubby. It comes in useful whenever we need to drive someplace 45 mins away, which we do almost every weekend due to older sibling sports events.
 

Dualvansmommy

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 31, 2014
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If you want him to keep it for 4+ years, I’d go with either the iPad mini 5 or iPad Air 3 (same internals, different sizes, Air has additional smart connectors for the Apple keyboard as the only real difference and could even share the keyboard with your iPad Pro 10.5 as it’s the same keyboard). These iPads have the latest processor and 3 GB ram, so I’d expect comfortable performance for the 4+ years.

The standard iPad has an older processor. You’d still get 4 years out of it, but it’s likely to be slowing down by the 3rd year. I’m pretty sure that the latest standard iPad also uses the same keyboard as the Air 3 and Pro 10.5. This iPad will be the slowest after 4 years, although children can usually put up with it. So that is the cheapest option.

The other option would be to pass on your 10.5 if you are considering an upgrade soon yourself. This is what I do. I’d wait until the 11” gen 2 and get that for yourself if cash isn’t the issue here.

So none of the above are bad decisions, it’s a matter of personal preference.
Thanks. Some food to think about. I’ll see what makes sense in the event his iPad dies out. But for now, I’m leaning between iPad Air 3 or passing down my 10.5 iPad Pro. I prefer not to buy the most expensive current version since he isn’t that much of a frequent user, and as a 6 year old shouldn’t be either! So trying to be more practical yet makes sense for the longevity and bang for money.
 

ssledoux

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Sep 16, 2006
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I vote mini 5 because the base iPad with the older processor may not last as long as you're wanting it to last. I think the base is a great iPad, don't get me wrong - most of my grandkids have them, but I just picked up a mini 5 for one of my granddaughters, and she loves it! She'll likely get more years out of it than a 7th gen.

The Air 3 is nice, but it's big. My oldest grandson has one, and I think it's a bit much for hauling around. I wish I could talk him down to a mini - I'd like to get them all back to minis.
 

ThunderSkunk

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Dec 31, 2007
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None. Let him play outside until he gets addicted to a screen at an older age.
A bmx bike & time at the local track. Swimming & sailboating lessons. A couple Boundary Waters canoe trips. Horseback lessons. Meet the other kids who don’t stare at screens all day, make friends and enemies, win and lose a lot, learn interpersonal skills, get exhausted, get hurt, grow, try stuff instead of sitting in a living room looking at pictures of other kids trying stuff and passing unqualified judgement on them. ...that’s what we have our entire adulthood for.
 
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parker5011

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May 17, 2018
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I wish, just once in these forums, we would be able to just answer the specific question without trying to parent other kids parents. Maybe he wants an iPad for the kids school, maybe he wants it when he goes on long trips, who cares?! He asked a question, let’s answer it.

To your question: I’d get the mini 5. It should let at least 3 years in apples current cycle.
 

ssledoux

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Sep 16, 2006
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I wish, just once in these forums, we would be able to just answer the specific question without trying to parent other kids parents. Maybe he wants an iPad for the kids school, maybe he wants it when he goes on long trips, who cares?! He asked a question, let’s answer it.

To your question: I’d get the mini 5. It should let at least 3 years in apples current cycle.
I agree. All my grandkids have iPads, and got them fairly young. Two of my sons-in-law are military, so there has been a LOT of travel over the years. Those iPads have saved a lot of tears in the car. Something I've done for the younger ones is record videos of myself reading them books. Not only is it something they can watch other than Mickey Mouse, but it also keeps them familiar with my face and my voice while they are young enough to "forget" me between visits. Well, that and FaceTime. ;-p

Now the older ones use them for home schooling/education in addition to playing games, but all the kids play outside a lot, and love being active. We have screen time limits set on all the iPads, and the only things that are unlimited are educational games - they have a 2 hour total limit daily for everything else combined. They don't really have any TV though, so that includes them watching a video or approved TV show as well. I know a heck of a lot of kids that spend more time than that in front of a TV or video game each day - not sure why the iPad gets such a bad rap.
 
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Ruggy

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Jan 11, 2017
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I would say the 5 for the pencil as has already been said.
When they are small with small hands, the larger ipad is just too heavy for them.
I haven't got the latest one though and haven't kept up on ipads, but certainly the Air we have is rarely used by the kids.
The mini is a perfect size for kids. But if you have the pro then you can try that out and see.

Mine have the 4minis at the moment but we have a 5 too and they really love drawing with it.

Yes they can use a pencil and paper- and they do- but they spend hours and hours drawing with the 5.

But 4 years is a long time. I doubt you'll get 4 years out of any of them.
 
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Seanm87

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Oct 10, 2014
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I really wouldn't worry about longevity of the base iPad. Apple wouldn't sell something that drops software support after a few years. I think the a10 will get at least 4/5 years if they are still selling it new.
 

Beerstalker

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Jun 14, 2011
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I would try to hold off until the end of March/early April if you can keep the Mini 4 running. By then we should find out if there is going to be a spring iPad release of any type. They most likely won't update the entry level iPad after only 6 months, but it has been done before (3rd-4th gen). The Air 3 and Mini 5 will both be a year old then, and the Pro series will be almost 1.5 years old, so really anything could be updated.

If you can't wait then I would just go with the 2019 iPad 10.2". For a kid that age there really isn't any reason to buy anything but the cheapest model. Accidents happen, and they tend to happen a lot more with little kids, ha ha ha.

My 6.5 year old is still perfectly happy with her 5th gen iPad that she has had since her 4th birthday. She has never had any issues carrying it around or holding it, even with the otterbox defender case. Of course we don't really leave her with it for hours on end either, so maybe that is why the size/weight isn't as big of a deal?
 

AutomaticApple

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Nov 28, 2018
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I wish, just once in these forums, we would be able to just answer the specific question without trying to parent other kids parents. Maybe he wants an iPad for the kids school, maybe he wants it when he goes on long trips, who cares?! He asked a question, let’s answer it.
Nosy parents will be nosy parents.

Anyways, it sounds like the iPad mini 5 would suit the kid best. It's the same size as the iPad mini 4.
 
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Thysanoptera

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Jun 12, 2018
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Basically any iPad with best bang for money that can hold out 4 more years.
My 5 year old twins have 6th and 7th gen Ipads with Logitech Crayons (unlike Apple pencil it has colored accents, is flat, doesn't roll and doesn't require the stupid dongle - which I already lost - to be charged from a cable). I've found out they prefer bigger screen (I have a mini too), it is easier on the eyes (they keep them further away), looks more like a piece of paper when drawing/writing, and better fit for gadgets (osmo etc). Essentially, the cheapest Ipad with pen support does the trick for them.

I kind of sense that you want to upgrade and I can totally relate to this, in this case give just give him the Pro and buy yourself a new one, the 10.5 Pro should be supported as long as the new base iPads, they have the same series CPU after all.