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BIF
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I'm thinking about upgrading my iPad 3 (2011) to an iPad Pro

Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:31 pm

The impetus for this is that I found out this week that my old iPad 3 isn't getting any new updates such as iOS 10. And it's not on the "tested OK" list for a new iOS music device I want to get.

At first, I thought I'd want the 12" iPP, but I see that the camera and screen and maybe a few other things are not quite as good as those in the 9.7" version. And I got to thinking that a 12" tablet might just make my life that much more inconvenient and it's also more expensive than the smaller one, so I'm reconsidering.

I'm thinking of getting the 128 or 256 GB version and one with both WIFI and cellular. For my main tablet, I promised myself I'd always have a cellular connection, because it gives me more flexibility no matter where I am or what I'm doing. By the way, I'm on Verizon for the old iPad and my iPhone 6 Plus (not "S"). Although I constantly think that Verizon is too expensive, I have to admit some ignorance on other carriers. I got in with Verizon around 2008 or '09 (can't remember) and they've been very reliable for me in all the places where I need to travel. So I haven't been motivated to compare carriers in all this time.

I might consider trading in my old iPad to get a reduction in cost. The discount would have to be pretty good, however; since there's almost always a good use for an old tablet, even if it's just for checking email or reading the news.

I'd appreciate any ideas.
Last edited by BIF on Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
deruberhanyok
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Re: I'm thinking about upgrading my iPad 3 (2011) to an iPad Pro

Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:36 pm

I can't speak to any kind of performance/usability improvement you might notice day to day (I've used a Surface 4 Pro and found it a bit unwieldy to use as a tablet at that screen size), but I would suggest, if you decide to buy one, to not do it immediately.

Macrumors' latest update to their roundup sums everything up pretty well but the main takeaway is that there's an expectation that the whole line will receive an update this month.
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BIF
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Re: I'm thinking about upgrading my iPad 3 (2011) to an iPad Pro

Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:43 pm

Oh wow, I didn't know that. Thanks!

Once again, Tech Report saves me a couple hundred dollars in "opportunity costs", just because I took the time to start a thread and somebody else took the time to answer it. THIS is why I keep my gold status up to date. 8)
 
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Re: I'm thinking about upgrading my iPad 3 (2011) to an iPad Pro

Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:05 am

Definitely wait for the upgrades, and buy whichever fits your budget when they are released. The iPad Pro 12" has a worse camera and older-spec screen because the 9.7" was released ~1/2 a year later with 6S-era chips - that's why you can have stuff like always-on "Hey Siri" with the 9.7" and not the 12". Once the updates come out at the next iPad event you should expect the 12" to be the premium option again.

I use my girlfriend's iPad Air 2 as my daily driver, since I gave her my macbook pro for working at home. I also keep my mom's iPad 2 running when I go home to visit, so I have perspective from tech that's significantly older and significantly newer than your iPad 3. Any current-gen iPad will be a *lot* faster than the iPad 3 - it was only slightly faster than the iPad 2 when it was released, and it was the iPad 4 and on that got the significant GPU/CPU increases to deal with the retina screen. multitasking is a lot better in iOS 10 than before, and with a decent keyboard you can do all right with productivity. Microsoft Office for iPad is perfectly fine for spot checking/updating work documents unless you're buried in excel formulas 24/7.

That said, I'm not sure an iPad pro would be much better unless you need the Apple Pencil or a larger screen, specifically. If Apple kills the iPad Airs and only has the 9.7/12 Pro, then it's mainly a matter of speakers (2 vs 4) and screen size.

Definitely stick with Verizon if you travel outside major metro areas - in my experience T-Mobile and Sprint lose LTE coverage really quickly once you leave city borders. When I lived in Texas it wasn't uncommon for my Tmob/Sprint friends to not even have 3G while I still had full-speed LTE on Verizon. That said, iPads are universally compatible with the major carriers so you could stop by a T-mobile store and try one of their postpaid/monthly plans to see how that suits you.
 
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Re: I'm thinking about upgrading my iPad 3 (2011) to an iPad Pro

Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:59 am

That's very good advice; thanks.

I'd like to wait it out if I can, although not having this software title available to my iPad; that will require that I use it on my newer iPhone 6+...which is already more cumbersome.

According to that article above, Apple might announce the new iPads soon this year, or we could end up having a 6-8 month wait, or more. I'll bet we don't find out ANYTHING until WWDC, and maybe not even then.

So I have thought about checking out the used store for a newer iPad mini for cheap. Bigger than a phone screen, but not as much money out of pocket. The pawn shops in my area also seem to have a lot of Apple iPads. With Apple's closed ecosystem (and if I don't get a jailbroken device), I think buying a used iPad would be fairly low risk.

Still thinking about this.
 
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Re: I'm thinking about upgrading my iPad 3 (2011) to an iPad Pro

Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:24 pm

My wife got the 9.7" 128gb Pro last month as an upgrade from her iPad Air 2 and she says it's the best iPad she's ever owned (she changes every version!). Very fast, four speakers and a great camera and not forgetting the great front camera for face time. I've now got her old iPad Air 2 which is way faster than the old iPad Air 1 that I was using which our son now has. I'm an android user by nature and my phone is a Nexus 6P but I must admit that Apple know how to make tablets and the iPad is an excellent device. If I was you I'd buy the Air 2 or Pro now as the new one won't be out till September at the earliest and will be more expensive than the current models. Might as well get some use out of it rather than waiting.
 
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Re: I'm thinking about upgrading my iPad 3 (2011) to an iPad Pro

Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:12 pm

The wait a month advice is sound, so I'll just go ahead and say the performance improvement will absolutely be large. The iPad 3 was that weird middle child that took the CPU cores from the A5/iPad 2, and only added a GPU strong enough to draw on a retina screen for light content. It was I believe the hottest running iPad as well.

Going from 1GB to 4GB on the 12" Pro would also be a big upgrade even on iOS, I always hated how the iPhone 6 reloaded everything so much but the 6S doesn't much at all, and that's going from 1GB to 2GB. Hopefully, the 9.7" Pro also gets 4GB this round.
 
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Re: I'm thinking about upgrading my iPad 3 (2011) to an iPad Pro

Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:59 pm

Update:

Since I started this thread, Apple has announced a new, cheaper 9.7" iPad (I call it the "iPad-not-Pro") to supplant the Air 2. It's basically the same machine, except has the faster A9 chip and 2 GB of memory instead of 1. The new iPad has no laminated screen and is slightly thicker. Available in 32 GB and 128 GB. This is all good and it would work with my current keyboard, so I wouldn't have to buy a keyboard. The new iPad-not-Pro will of course not work with the Apple Pencil.

I priced it out and for the 128 model w/Wifi and LTE, I'm basically looking at $850+. A 9.7" Pro 128, which comes with better cameras, a better screen, four speakers, and the smart-dock thingie is something under $1,000. If I splurge and spend some extra $ for the Apple keyboard and Apple Pencil, the Pro would run me just under $1,100, or about 27% more than the iPad-not-pro.

Given all the benefits, I think the Pro is actually the better choice for me. Coming up with the money will be a bit challenging. I'll keep my eyes open for refurb sales from the Apple Store, and I'll see if I can get any kind of trade-in value on some old devices that I don't use anymore.
 
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Re: I'm thinking about upgrading my iPad 3 (2011) to an iPad Pro

Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:04 pm

Ditto above w.r.t. waiting for new releases.

I've got the 128GB 12" with cellular, and I like it a lot. I use the stylus most days for teaching and taking notes, and if you're taking notes, the 12" is where it's at. I came from a ~10" Win8 tablet, and the "piece of paper" form factor of the 12-incher is superior for taking notes, and reading PDFs at "regular paper size" IMHO. So, 12" is huge (pretty much the same 2D size as a 13" laptop), but I bought it to replace papers and notebooks I used to carry around, and it's great for that. It weighs a lot less than the folder full of scientific papers I used to print out to read. I enjoy reading on this a lot more than on my laptop. I lecture via powerpoint over Airplay, and I hold the tablet in one hand and walk around the room and draw on the stylus, and the weight/size really hasn't been a problem for me. Screen's great, video quality with Skype is great, and the sound is surprisingly good. I don't intend to take still photos with a huge iPad, so the camera is superlative for what I need it for. My outgoing video stream on skype looks better on this than it does on my Broadwell MBP.

I'm using Nebo's MyScript app for on-the-fly handwriting-to-text conversion. It's not as seamless as Windows' implementation, but it works pretty well, and has some cool features for editing text. I use OneNote a lot.

Performance-wise, the only time I ever see it lag at all is when I use the stylus to proofread large Word Docs- seems like this is more of a memory thing, as it's drawing lots of image boxes over the top of things, and if I save and reopen the document it's fast again, so this seems like something MSFT needs to fix in Word. So, I'm not really feeling the need to upgrade when the new one comes out- it's good enough for all of the tasks I do on it. EDIT: I think you'd be fine getting a Gen1 to save some bucks.

For cellular, I opted to try out TMobile in the US- They give you 200 MB free data a month to try to get you to go over the cap and then pay money. I'm still locked into an old old iPhone unlimited data plan on ATT so I can't tether, so this has been really useful a couple times in a pinch.
 
BIF
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Re: I'm thinking about upgrading my iPad 3 (2011) to an iPad Pro

Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:55 am

Thanks for the info.

I thought about the 12" pro. And surely for artwork or even music stuff, the bigger screen would be great.

It may be a few months before I can buy this anyway, and I might need a new laptop first anyway, so I'm going to try to hold out for a gen 2 Pro 12", but if I can't, then the Pro 9.7" would be just fine. It's smaller, which will make it easier to slide it into a full backpack, carry on luggage, or hide it in the car without having to stash it in the trunk.
 
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Re: I'm thinking about upgrading my iPad 3 (2011) to an iPad Pro

Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:16 am

I upgraded my iPad 3 to a new iPad mini this summer. (The cat had decided the old iPad was really a Frisbee and there's only so many cracks a screen can take.) I was undecided for some time on whether the Pro would be more versatile and what was I giving up for the small size. But after years with the iPad 3 I realized what I really use it for. I'm not big on typing on the pad,even though I had an external keyboard for the 3. I prefer the iPad for social media, movies, Googling this or that and general entertainment. Plus it's my main travel companion. For those things the mini was perfect. I always get the most storage I can, so that I can download enough movies to keep me entertained when I can't get online. The mini has been plenty big enough for the few games I like, paying bills, email, entertainment. And the size and weight are so much better for traveling. I did spring for a very nice padded case to prevent the fate of my iPad 3.

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