Oldest, Trustworthy iPad?


What is the oldest generation iPad that you would buy 2nd hand? (And what would you pay for it?)

The grand plan now that my wife is working and we have some of that disposable income that I’ve heard so much about, is to have 3 iPads for the kids, and a MacBook Air (2013/4) for the adults (maybe even 2 if I like the MBA enough to get my own).

jimhobo (11) already has a current model iPad.
paddihobo (6) is using jimhobo’s old cracked iPad Air 2.
vinnihobo (3) is using paddihobo’s old 1st gen iPad mini.

The cracked one obviously is what I’m looking to replace (then will sell the cracked one for parts - as well as my old 4th Gen iPad that was cracked 2 years ago, helping to off-set the costs). I’m also going to upgrade the iPad mini to a 3rd Gen - have seen them on eBay for about $200 which is reasonable, but I’m just not sure with the iPad what I should go with…

My sons’ primary school will require paddihobo to have his own iPad in Grade 4 (he’s in Grade 1 now), so in all likelihood I may need to buy a brand new device at that point… so I’m not wanting to go all out here… All I really know is that I don’t want another Air 2 due to the insane screen repair cost.



The Air 2 has the A8X so really you want a 2017 or a 2018 (5th or 6th gen) iPad to be moving forward. The 6th gen should have been replaced by the iPad Air but they kept the old one around to maintain the price point.

In any case, the pick really is the 2018/6th Gen iPad with it’s pencil support, especially for the kids. I’d be looking for a second hand one of those or a good sale. I probably wouldn’t recommend the base 32GB model either, but my youngest (7) manage to fill his up pretty quickly so these days it’s 64GB+. He’s currently using a Mini 2 which is still pretty impressive, although is starting to show it’s age with it’s A7 CPU.

Speaking of mini, that new mini is very very nice and a HUUUUUGE leap up from the 4th gen mini’s A8 with the 2019 Mini rocking the A12! Mind you it all comes at a price.

On second hand stuff, remember that the 3rd Gen iPad is only an A5X, not a huge leap from the iPad Mini’s A5, the Mini 2 with it’s A7 (or the Mini 3 (which is the same but with finger print scanner) is the better option, although it’s starting to get on a bit too.

Really, in the second hand market the 2017 iPad would be the pick, although people tend to ask silly prices making new look pretty attractive.

I notice a fair difference between the smoothness and speed of my Mini 4 and my iPad 2017, between those 2 I’d choose the 2017 without any doubt. SWMBO has an iPad 2018 and the difference between my 2017 and her 2018 is subtle and I don’t normally notice a speed or smoothness difference.

Of course if you want to pay extra to use a pencil then you need a 2018 but for me unless the difference is close in price I’d go with a 2nd hand 2017.

The second hand market is still crazy, people asking silly money for older iPads regularity see iPad Air 2s asking for $400+ for 64gb wifi models.

Yes, Apple products in general see people asking high reserves / buy it now prices - yet when you look at what the same products actually sell for (completed sales that show as green on eBay), there’s quite a separation in reality.

1 Like

I still have an old iPad 2 with the old 30 pin connector, and iPad 4, used by the kids. Seem to still work even though iOS is only upgradable to version 9 for both. I would say get one that can still use the latest iOS?

$247 for a 2017 32GB iPad. Less than I thought I’d be spending for that one! Hopefully it will be good - though only has to last about 2.5 years.

Getting the iPad Mini 3 however - that’s proving difficult.

That’s a great price for a 2017 iPad! If you could grab another one for that price it would be a better option than a Mini 2/3 with their A7 processors (albeit in a larger form factor).

1 Like

Mmm… I was starting to wonder that myself, @The_Hawk. It looks like the Mini3 is on the rare side 2nd hand. Not to mention, I’m sure my 3yo will no doubt be happy with a “full” size iPad just like his brothers…

… Picked up a 2nd 2017 model, also 32GB, but $295 - so an average of $271 each. My original budget was $500, so I’m only 8% over.

Now I just need to kit them both out with reasonable cases to protect them from the monsters, set them up with the kids existing apps, and then sell 1 broken Air2, 1 original Mini, and 1 cracked gen4. Yay.

1 Like