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Refurbished iPads: These 14 Used Apple Tablets Are Still Worth It

Which refurbished iPad models can still be confidently purchased? Here are 14 iPads that we can still recommend today that you can buy used.

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Apple iPad 7 experience

Which used iPad models are still worth it today?

In this guide, I have compiled the best refurbished iPads options for you, which will likely receive updates for at least two more years in the future.

In general, you have to decide for yourself which of the following models meets your requirements. It doesn’t have to be Apple’s Pro model, for which you can spend about 1000 euros even used in the latest generation – for most, the cheaper models like the iPad Air or iPad are also worthwhile.

Recommended Used iPads: An Overview

  • Best Performance: 12.9″ iPad Pro from Generation 3. This has an IPS display with high resolution and a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz. In the 6th generation, it is equipped with the powerful M2 chip, making it a real powerhouse. In addition, the 12.9″ iPad Pro features an ultra-wide-angle camera with LED flash and the ability to use 5G.
  • Powerful and compact: 11″ iPad Pro from Generation 1. Compared to the 12.9″ model, the 11″ iPad Pro shares the same advantages and strengths. The only difference lies in the display. This model has a lower color dynamic range than the 12.9″ model, resulting in lower maximum brightness. Nevertheless, the 11″ model has a high-quality display with high resolution and rich colors.
  • Performance packed within sleek design: iPad Air from Generation 4. In its 4th generation, it uses Apple’s A14 Bionic chip, also used in the iPhone 12. In the current 5th generation, the iPad Air is even equipped with the powerful M1 chip. Similar to the 11″ iPad Pro, it offers a high-quality 10.9″ IPS display. It also has a 12-megapixel camera with a wide-angle lens. The iPad Air also supports 5G from the 5th generation onwards.
  • Compact yet powerful: iPad mini from Generation 6. As the name suggests, it is a compact tablet with an 8.3″ IPS display. It is powered by the A15 Bionic chip, providing decent performance. Like the iPad Air, it has a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera on the back and supports 5G from the 6th generation.
  • Good Allrounder: iPad Gen 8. The 8th generation iPad is equipped with the powerful A12 Bionic chip and has a 10.2″ IPS display. Although color accuracy and pixel density are not on par with newer models, the display still offers very good image quality. The built-in 8-megapixel camera allows for solid shots. From the 10th generation onwards, 5G is also supported.

Good Refurbished iPads: All Details

Now let’s take a closer look at all the iPad models that are still recommended today. I especially recommend the models that support the new iPadOS 17. However, I recommend slightly newer versions, as they will likely receive updates for at least two more years.

12.9″ iPad Pro Generation 3 and above

iPad Pro 2020 with Lightroom

In the 3rd generation, the 12.9″ iPad Pro is equipped with an Apple A12X Bionic chip and, depending on the model, with 4 or 6 GB of RAM. With this power under the hood, editing 4K videos in Adobe Premiere Rush or images in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom is smooth, even when working with large RAW files.

However, there is a catch: The model can noticeably heat up when handling RAW files or playing demanding games. Nevertheless, this device scores with a laminated 12.9″ IPS display – Apple calls it Liquid Retina Display – with a resolution of 2732 x 2048 pixels and Apple’s ProMotion technology, providing a smooth refresh rate of 120 Hz.

On the back is a main camera with 12 megapixels with LED flash, and on the front is a 7-megapixel camera.

Let’s take a look at the 4th generation of the 12.9″ model, which is equipped with the Apple A12Z processor and 6GB of RAM: Compared to the predecessor, there is no groundbreaking performance improvement here. Photo and video editing apps as well as games run smoothly on this model, and the display is the same as the predecessor.

With the 5th generation of the iPad Pro, the Apple M1 chipset is used. With variants offering 8 GB or 16GB of RAM and 5G support, this model sets new standards in terms of performance. Most games do not push the limits of the M1 chip here, making it significantly more powerful compared to its predecessors. The display has also improved – a Liquid Retina XDR display – Apple’s term for Mini LED technology. It features stronger contrast and a peak brightness of 1600 nits with HDR content. However, some users have noticed the blooming effect, which inflates bright content on a dark background and makes it appear larger.

Now, to the current model: The 6th generation of the iPad Pro with the M2 chipset and optionally 8GB or 16GB of RAM, which even outperforms its predecessor with the M1 chipset in benchmark comparison. This model also supports 5G.

Whether in games or applications like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, or Premiere Rush – everything runs just as smoothly here. Outside of benchmark tests, it is hardly possible to detect real performance differences compared to the predecessor. And here too, the iPad gets quite warm when editing videos or playing demanding games.

The display also shows no changes compared to the 5th generation.

With this generation, there is also an innovation with the Apple Pencil: The Hover Feature. The iPad Pro recognizes when the tip of the Apple Pencil 2 is hovering over the display with a maximum distance of 12mm. Depending on the function and app, a corresponding effect unfolds. For example, if the stylus hovers over an icon, it is highlighted, and in drawing apps, it shows a preview of where the stylus would land or what mixed colors would look like.

11″ iPad Pro Generation 1 and above

iPad Pro 2020 tablet

In its 1st generation, the 11″ variant is identical to the 3rd generation of the 12.9″ model. The only difference lies in the display: Here, it has a resolution of 2388 x 1668 pixels. Apart from that, internal hardware and features are the same.

The 2nd generation of the 11″ model is also identical to the 4th generation of the 12.9″ model, except for the display, which continues to be an IPS panel.

The 3rd generation is also identical to the 5th generation of the 12.9″ model. In general, hardware and features are always the same, but the display is smaller, and an LCD is used instead of a Liquid XDR.

Overall, the 11″ variant is more compact and lighter than the 12.9″ variant. However, the keyboard is also slightly smaller. In addition, the price of the 11″ model is lower, although both models basically offer the same performance.

Read: Word for iPad and other writing apps tested

iPad Air Generation 4 and above

Apple iPad Air 4 test

The iPad Air 4th gen is equipped with the A14 Bionic processor and 4GB of RAM. It offers a 7-megapixel front camera and a 12-megapixel main camera on the back, which, although without a wide-angle or LED flash, allows for high-quality shots.

The device has a 10.9″ IPS display with a refresh rate of 60 Hz, providing rich colors and a wide viewing angle – and that with a resolution of 2360 x 1640 pixels and 500 nits of brightness. In addition, the display is fully laminated.

From the 5th generation onwards, the iPad Air is equipped with the Apple M1 processor and 8GB of RAM, making it significantly more powerful than its predecessor. This allows games to run smoothly at the highest settings. The performance is also remarkable in apps like Adobe Photoshop or video editing apps like Adobe Premiere Rush or LumaFusion. The display is the same as in the previous model.

iPad Mini 6

Apple iPad Mini 6 Review

The 6th generation iPad mini is equipped with a powerful Apple A15 processor, clocked at 1.9 GHz, combined with 4GB of RAM. With this configuration, games and apps can effortlessly operate in the highest resolution. Applications like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom also run smoothly on this device.

It has a laminated 8.3″ IPS display with a resolution of 2266 x 1488 pixels and a brightness of 500 nits. However, a drawback is the jelly effect: This occurs when you hold the iPad upright, scroll, and it appears shaky. This happens because one half of the display scrolls faster than the other.

Since the 6th generation, the iPad mini also presents itself with a modern design, making it look like a shrunken iPad Air. It is also equipped with a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle front camera and supports the Center Stage feature. In addition, there is a 12-megapixel camera on the back for solid photos and videos. From the 6th generation onwards, the iPad mini also supports 5G.

iPad 8 and above

Apple iPad 8 test

The 8th generation iPad is powered by an Apple A12 Bionic chip and offers 3GB of RAM. It easily handles everyday tasks, and even more demanding applications like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop can be run smoothly.

The 10.2″ IPS display with a resolution of 2160×1620 pixels and a brightness of 500 nits offers good color reproduction, but it is not laminated, leading to a visible air gap between the screen and the IPS plane. Additionally, the jelly effect is noticeable even with this model.

The 8th generation iPad also has an 8-megapixel main camera for solid photos and videos and a disappointing 1.2-megapixel front camera.

In comparison, the 9th generation iPad is equipped with a more powerful Apple A13 Bionic chip and also has 3 GB of RAM. The display is unchanged from the predecessor, but the front camera has been upgraded to 12 megapixels and supports the Center Stage feature.

Also Read: Best iPads for Students Tested

The 10th generation iPad comes with the same basic design as the iPad Pro and iPad Air. It uses the Apple A14 chip with 4GB of RAM, providing improved performance compared to its predecessors. This generation also offers a 5G version for the first time. The screen grows compared to the predecessors to 10.9″ with a resolution of 2360 x 1640 pixels and supports Apple’s True Tone technology. Like its predecessors, the display is not laminated.

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