iPad buying advice

bgo544

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Nov 25, 2003
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I've never owned an iPad, but am thinking of getting one for my wife for Christmas. She wants a tablet that she can use to run the peleton app while she uses our non-peleton exercise bike, and something for Face-timing family, who all have iPads/IPhones. Ideally one of the larger-screen versions (9-10 in). Looking around online, there seem to be a billion different versions and generations, so I'm not really sure what to target for upcoming sales. Looking mostly at lower-priced options. Any advice about what model/generation to target would be appreciated.
 

LoneWarrior1

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I work with iPads as a core function of my job. Given what you've described, I think the 8th generation iPad with the 10.2-inch screen will work well for your needs. The camera will be lower grade and you won't be able to access the latest iPad pencil or the new Magic Keyboard, but it'll be fire for the Peloton, FaceTime, and general internet browsing etc. You just might run into features down the road (like a memoji) that are cool/appealing but are not accessible because you bought the entry-grade iPad.
 

donutogre

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As someone who reviews gadgets for a living and also personally really enjoys iPads, agree with the recommendation for the eighth-generation model with the 10.2-inch screen. Basically, it's the current one that was just refreshed a few months ago. You can often find the base model for around $250 from Amazon, etc.

For her use cases, definitely don't spend extra on apps. I might recommend more than the 32GB base storage.... if you, for example, wanted to save a few movies for watching offline on a plane, it would chew through that quickly. 128GB is plenty, and that'll give her more room to do more with it if she really likes it.
 

BaseballJones

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All I can say is this: I bought one a year and a half ago, just a regular iPad and an iPencil to go along with it. It is, without a doubt, the best piece of tech I've ever owned. It's absolutely fantastic.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Nov 16, 2004
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If I had money to burn I'd get the iPad Air. It's basically a pro looking unit, which I own a Pro because the options when I bought it sucked and I love. At $599 it's a great machine and has the latest chips and some bells and whistles.

But, it's really hard to justify paying double the regular iPad. You could buy that iPad now, 3 years down the line buy another one and you are at basically the same cost of an Air you'd have to have for 6 years instead of 2 new iPads.
 

luckiestman

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Jul 15, 2005
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Or maybe skip the 200 buck fee for the name Ipad and buy something not from Apple.
Man, I don’t agree. I think most apple products are solid. Also, for a gift I always try to get the person what they want vs what I think they should have.
 

Zedia

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Jul 17, 2005
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Man, I don’t agree. I think most apple products are solid. Also, for a gift I always try to get the person what they want vs what I think they should have.
I still wish 12 year old me got that Atari system instead of the Magnavox Odyssey!

I love my iPad Air (64 gb), definitely avoid the bigger Pro. I would also get get Apple care (it may come automatically for a year?). You'll also get Apple TV sub if you don't already have one.
 

gtmtnbiker

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Jul 15, 2005
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I'm a longtime iPad user (started with iPad 2, then Air 2) who got the Pro 10.2 earlier this year. Mainly for the FaceID capability because I got tired of using TouchID. The only issue is that I'm not as happy with FaceID on the iPad because it doesn't always work correctly. I think this is due to the size of the device so the camera is not always correctly seeing my face.

This is in contrast with my phone which almost always just work due to the small size.
 

Bowhemian

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I still wish 12 year old me got that Atari system instead of the Magnavox Odyssey!

I love my iPad Air (64 gb), definitely avoid the bigger Pro. I would also get get Apple care (it may come automatically for a year?). You'll also get Apple TV sub if you don't already have one.
Holy crap Magnavox Odyssey. We had the yellow one. It was so very futuristic in the mid-70’s
 

glennhoffmania

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For what it's worth, I don't like Apple and I got the Galaxy Tab 6 in the spring. It's fucking awesome. I'd highly recommend it.
 

donutogre

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Man, I don’t agree. I think most apple products are solid. Also, for a gift I always try to get the person what they want vs what I think they should have.
Yeah, in terms of performance and app availability, iPad is pretty much the only game in the tablet world, until you start getting into full fledged computers like Microsoft's Surface lineup. $330 for the basic iPad remains one of the best deals in tech.
 

gtmtnbiker

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Yeah, in terms of performance and app availability, iPad is pretty much the only game in the tablet world, until you start getting into full fledged computers like Microsoft's Surface lineup. $330 for the basic iPad remains one of the best deals in tech.
I would also add reliability, battery life and form factor as pluses for iPad. I had a Surface Pro 3 and I'll never go back to that lineup again. Battery life is horrible and it's unreliable. Never again.
 

kevlog

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Big iPad Air fan here - I've used the same one for six years now - with 64GB capacity - and I actually launched a successful photography hobby with it in 2014. (I've since moved on to real cameras, etc., but I've actually taken pics with the iPad that have been displayed in various galleries in Boston). It easily holds several photo editings apps - like Snapseed, plus the usual FB, IG, News apps, Netflix (watched many an episode during my Boston commute, pre-Covid), Twitter, etc. Comes with iMovie (which I've used to put together corporate training vids that I threw onto Youtube), and much more (Google Photos, Spotify, SoSH - all the cool apps!).
 

bgo544

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Thanks for all the tips, I'll look at the base iPad and the Air, depending on what kinds of deals pop up this week.
 

Omar's Wacky Neighbor

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Dang, Microcenter near me has an open box 256gb A14 late 2020 iPad Air 4 for $527.

My old iPad is slower than molasses and has a hard time loading any number of web sites. This is probably worth pulling the trigger on, right?

EDIT: cheapest that I had previously seen this model for from a reputable dealer is $577 (also MC), and that open box was gone in less than a day.
 

Joe Sixpack

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Dang, Microcenter near me has an open box 256gb A14 late 2020 iPad Air 4 for $527.

My old iPad is slower than molasses and has a hard time loading any number of web sites. This is probably worth pulling the trigger on, right?

EDIT: cheapest that I had previously seen this model for from a reputable dealer is $577 (also MC), and that open box was gone in less than a day.
I just replaced a 6th Gen iPad with the 2020 iPad Air and it was well worth it. Definitely go for it.
 

Joe Sixpack

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As I mentioned to my wife: my 4+ year old Galaxy phone loads pages faster than my current iPad.
I barely used my old ipad and I am using the new one constantly. It's all around better and it just makes it much more of a go to device for me. The screen is better, and the stereo speakers make for a better tv/video experience if you're watching stuff. And it's obviously much faster.
 

EdRalphRomero

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I need a tablet primarily for reading comics. I have always been a Fire user but can't get apps for either Marvel or DC. I had an older iPad that worked great for it but I couldn't update its OS any more and therefore couldn't use the Marvel and DC apps. I made a bad choice and bought an inexpensive Lenovo tablet, but it can't load half the books in the DC app (some sort of memory issue I was told). So if anyone could point me to a less expensive but fully functional option for this specific purpose I sure would appreciate it. I am happy with an older iPad but don't want to spend money just to run into the same OS issue.
 

Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

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Apple's basic iPad at $329 for 32 GB is still great. That's the one you want. It should last for years. The newest iPad that can no longer get the latest OS was released in 2012, so it should comfortably last you 7-8 years.
 

EdRalphRomero

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Apple's basic iPad at $329 for 32 GB is still great. That's the one you want. It should last for years. The newest iPad that can no longer get the latest OS was released in 2012, so it should comfortably last you 7-8 years.
Thanks. That looks to be the move. I have tried to go cheaper, and just wound up costing myself more money. So I am going to pop for the new ipad. Appreciate the info!
 

Omar's Wacky Neighbor

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Thanks. That looks to be the move. I have tried to go cheaper, and just wound up costing myself more money. So I am going to pop for the new ipad. Appreciate the info!
If you're near a MicroCenter, they have NiB iPad 8 32gb for $289, less if you can find an open box.

EDIT: if you need more storage, Costco has iPad 8 128gb on sale for $349.
 
Last edited:

Omar's Wacky Neighbor

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Leaving in a bit to the studio :)
Dang, Microcenter near me has an open box 256gb A14 late 2020 iPad Air 4 for $527.
Oh, goodness, this Air 4 is quite a bit faster than my current Air 1 or possibly Air 2 (I forget): downloading apps, loading web pages, you name it.

My only concern is that the warranty has only six more months on it; open box so someone activated it in late January. And no free year of AppleTV+ either.
 

milfordsoxfan

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Oh, goodness, this Air 4 is quite a bit faster than my current Air 1 or possibly Air 2 (I forget): downloading apps, loading web pages, you name it.

My only concern is that the warranty has only six more months on it; open box so someone activated it in late January. And no free year of AppleTV+ either.
I happened to snag the 2020 (non M1 chip) Pro 11" on a sale from Best Buy yesterday. It was between that and the Air 4 - the price difference was only $50 after a store credit. This thing is soooooooooo much faster than the ~2016 9.7" one I have. I didn't realize the old one was slow until I got this thing. Don't know if I made the right choice between the Pro and the Air 4, but I have two weeks to figure it out.
 

Gambler7

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Our daughter (just turned 10) asked for an iPad for Christmas though we bought the Samsung A7 tablet instead. I didn't realize the base iPad was as low as $330 now. The Samsung tablet was $200. Any opinions on these two tablets? If we decided to change to the iPad is there any chance of me finding one of them before Christmas? They seem to be sold out everywhere.
 

Joe Sixpack

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Our daughter (just turned 10) asked for an iPad for Christmas though we bought the Samsung A7 tablet instead. I didn't realize the base iPad was as low as $330 now. The Samsung tablet was $200. Any opinions on these two tablets? If we decided to change to the iPad is there any chance of me finding one of them before Christmas? They seem to be sold out everywhere.
I would get the iPad if you can find one.
You can set up an alert here:

https://www.nowinstock.net/computers/tablets/apple/ipad/
 

Ferm Sheller

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Our daughter (just turned 10) asked for an iPad for Christmas though we bought the Samsung A7 tablet instead. I didn't realize the base iPad was as low as $330 now. The Samsung tablet was $200. Any opinions on these two tablets? If we decided to change to the iPad is there any chance of me finding one of them before Christmas? They seem to be sold out everywhere.
B+H photo says "more on the way" and you can live chat or call them and ask whether they'll be available by Xmas. (Scroll down a bit and look to the right.)

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1664330-REG/apple_mk2l3ll_a_10_2_ipad_wi_fi_64gb.html
 

Gambler7

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Dec 11, 2003
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B+H photo says "more on the way" and you can live chat or call them and ask whether they'll be available by Xmas. (Scroll down a bit and look to the right.)

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1664330-REG/apple_mk2l3ll_a_10_2_ipad_wi_fi_64gb.html
I would get the iPad if you can find one.
You can set up an alert here:

https://www.nowinstock.net/computers/tablets/apple/ipad/
Thanks. I set one up and just got a notification from B+H that it was in stock. By the time I put in my payment info and ordered it said it wasn't available.
 

Gambler7

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Sorry to hear that. Good luck -- I hope you find one!
Just had an alert pop up that Walmart had them in stock. I ended up grabbing two and they are supposed to be delivered tomorrow. My only concern is the cost was $299 each, which is below the Apple listed price at $329. I double checked the Model No. and it seems to be the same. Thanks for the heads up again!

On another note, does anyone have any input on an iPad vs the Amazon Fire Kids Pro (they say ages 6 - 12) for an almost 7 year old? Should I just go with the iPad?
 

Joe Sixpack

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Just had an alert pop up that Walmart had them in stock. I ended up grabbing two and they are supposed to be delivered tomorrow. My only concern is the cost was $299 each, which is below the Apple listed price at $329. I double checked the Model No. and it seems to be the same. Thanks for the heads up again!

On another note, does anyone have any input on an iPad vs the Amazon Fire Kids Pro (they say ages 6 - 12) for an almost 7 year old? Should I just go with the iPad?
Yes, just go with the iPad for the kid. The Amazon Fire is very limited, you don't have access to the full/normal google app store, it's amazon's. Also the parental/screen time controls on the ipad are just way better and more flexible.

Our kids are currently 8 and 7 and we switched them from Amazon Fire to iPads about 1-2 years ago and it has worked out much better for them. We gave them our old ipads (6th gen I think?) last time we upgraded.
 

OfTheCarmen

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Jul 18, 2007
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IPad's for kids are completely fine. My son (11) has been iPad'ing for years at this point. I would recommend getting a "kid" case for it.
 

JoePoulson

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Woo hoo I was able to snag one just now as well from Walmart. Got a kid's case and a screen protector from Amazon so we're all set for Xmas for my son. WHEW.
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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FYI, I just ordered a 64gb Air from Apple.com and am picking up today at the Manchester Apple store. Many store options to choose so they may have some quantities out there.