Best used iPad under $250 for kids?

Hi there,

I’m tired of sharing my devices with my kids - time to get them their own iPads. Does anyone have any advice on how old of an iPad I could get that would still be functional and be eligible for updates for at least a couple of years? I see refurbished models from 2018 on Amazon around $200 - is that too old?


I think that’s too old. I thought Apple had new ones around $300, but I’m not 100% sure. Maybe check Apple for refurbished iPads.


I’d say it’s a better investment to get the base iPad with AppleCare. Then if they break them, they can get a cheap replacement. My kids smashed the screen on two different iPads last year, and they have new replacements without having to fork out the full price again.


For $280 you can get a base model refurbished directly from Apple guaranteed to work as new. That’s what I’d do, personally.

Otherwise you’re likely getting a several year old iPad with a garbage battery.


Refurb 9th gen iPad ($279 US) and AppleCare+ ($69 US) is the perfect solution.

Yes, you are spending $100 more than what you were hoping to… but its the smart move long term.


I have four kids. The older ones got new iPads this year. The youngest inherited one of the 2018 iPads from her older siblings. It works great. The older kids were shocked that their new iPads weren’t all that much faster than the old one. But the new ones are definitely more capable.

I’d say, a 2018 might work for you depending on how old your kids are and what they are planning to do with the iPads. The biggest drawback to the 2018, is that it’s going to be yet another generation behind if a new one is released this year. That means your useful life with it may not be that long and the $200 may not be an exceedingly good value. In that sense, I do agree with the wisdom of the prior comments.

But, we still have one rocking in our house and it works like a gem. … cracked screen and all. :slight_smile:

I think this is the key. Your hand-me-down going to the youngest is effectively “free” - it’s been bought and paid for for several years. Or I suppose you could say that it’s effectively $75 or $60, since you likely paid about $300 or so for it and you’re getting the 4th or 5th year of usage out of it. :slight_smile:

In that sort of scenario, yeah - a 2018 is still really usable as a stage of the “iPad hand-me-down” cycle. Anything that’s still functional is great.

But that’s not where I think an iPad should enter that cycle - unless it’s in the neighborhood of $100 or so. A 2018/2019 is likely to have a heavily-worn battery and is on the cusp of aging out on software updates.

And also…AppleCare is a good investment, but for an iPad for kids it might be even better to invest in a rugged case of some sort. AppleCare is great, but the goal is not to need it. Of course like everything else with Apple, having both is optimal. :slight_smile:

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