Earl Gibson

Web Developer

Freelance Artist

Tech Enthusiast

Earl Gibson

Web Developer

Freelance Artist

Tech Enthusiast

Blog Post

Is the iPad Pro 12.9 (1st & 2nd Gen) Worth It in 2024?

December 24, 2023 Business, Design, Tech
Is the iPad Pro 12.9 (1st & 2nd Gen) Worth It in 2024?

The iPad Pro 12.9-inch, particularly the 1st and 2nd generations released in 2015 and 2017, were groundbreaking tablets that redefined mobile computing. But in 2024, with newer, more powerful iterations on the market, the question arises: are these older iPads still worth it? To answer this, we need to delve into their strengths, weaknesses, and how they fare against the current landscape.


Strengths of the 1st & 2nd Gen iPad Pro 12.9:

  • Stunning Display: The 12.9-inch Retina display with True Tone technology remains a marvel, offering exceptional brightness, clarity, and color accuracy. Even in 2024, it holds up remarkably well for tasks like watching videos, editing photos, and reading.
  • Build Quality and Design: These iPads boast a premium aluminum build with slim bezels and a comfortable in-hand feel. They exude a timeless elegance that many newer iPads lack.
  • Pencil Support: The first iPad Pro to support the Apple Pencil opened doors for creative professionals and note-takers. While the Pencil experience has improved in later models, the 1st and 2nd gen iPads are still capable partners for digital art and handwriting.
  • Software Support: While the 1st gen iPad only supports iPadOS 16, the 2nd gen is still eligible for iPadOS 17 updates, giving it access to most of the latest features and functionalities. This extends its lifespan and keeps it up-to-date with the latest technology.

Weaknesses to Consider:

  • Processing Power: Compared to newer iPad Pros, the A9X and A10X Bionic chips in the 1st and 2nd gen models are significantly less powerful. While they can handle everyday tasks and some demanding apps, they might struggle with intensive multitasking, heavy gaming, and future software updates.
  • Storage Capacity: Base models start at 32GB or 128GB, which can feel quite restrictive in 2024, especially for users who store photos, videos, and large apps. Upgrading to higher storage options can significantly increase the cost.
  • Camera System: The cameras in these iPads are decent but fall short of the exceptional quality found in newer models. If photography is a major focus, you might be disappointed.
  • Battery Life: While not terrible, the battery life of these iPads isn’t on par with newer generations. Expect to reach for the charger more frequently, especially with heavy use.

So, is it worth it?

The answer depends on your individual needs and budget.

  • For casual users: If you primarily use your iPad for web browsing, watching videos, light gaming, and basic productivity tasks, the 1st and 2nd gen iPad Pro 12.9 can still be a compelling option. Their strengths in display, build quality, and software support make them viable choices, especially if found at a good price.
  • For creative professionals: While the Pencil support is valuable, the processing power limitations might hinder demanding creative workflows. Consider newer iPad Pro models or alternative tablets like the Microsoft Surface Pro if you rely heavily on resource-intensive apps.
  • For students: These iPads can be good companions for note-taking, reading textbooks, and basic research. However, the limited storage and battery life might be drawbacks for heavy academic use. Consider newer models with larger storage options if budget allows.

Alternatives to Consider:

  • iPad Pro 12.9 (3rd Gen or later): If you prioritize performance and future-proofing, the newer iPad Pro models offer significantly more power, better cameras, improved battery life, and additional features like LiDAR scanners.
  • iPad Air (5th Gen): The latest iPad Air offers a great balance of performance, features, and price. It has a powerful M1 chip, a vibrant Liquid Retina display, and Apple Pencil support, making it a compelling alternative for many users.

Ultimately, the decision of whether the 1st and 2nd gen iPad Pro 12.9 is worth it in 2024 depends on your priorities and budget. Weigh their strengths and weaknesses against your needs and consider the available alternatives before making a decision.

Remember, you can find great deals on these older iPads, especially in the used market. If you’re on a tight budget or simply prefer a more classic iPad experience, the 1st and 2nd gen iPad Pro 12.9 can still be a worthwhile option. Just be aware of their limitations and make sure they align with your intended use.

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