Needless Holiday Upgrade for myself: Apple Watch or iPad Pro?

Due to a very generous end of year bonus, I am able to buy myself a needless Apple upgrade. Would you recommend:

  1. Apple Watch Series 1 → Apple Watch 4 w/Cellular
  2. iPad Pro 10.5 WiFi → New iPad Pro 11" w/cellular (pencil and case)
  3. “You’re freakin crazy. Just save your money”

Would love everyone’s advice!

I turned 50 this year, so I did both 1 and 2 (but went from Series 2 -> 4). Not even a bit sorry :slight_smile:

1 Like

Which do you use more? I personally LOVE the new iPad Pro and upgraded from the 10.5.

Needles upgrade, in holiday colors.


You could buy the iPad and sell your old one to Gazelle (or Apple, etc). Use the money from selling the old iPad to purchase a new watch. Trade in the old watch when you buy the new watch (although Apple probably won’t give you much for the series 1).

1 Like

What do you find different about it that makes you say this? I’m very interested.

The 11 inch iPad is better in several ways, the bigger screen, the faster CPU, USB-C and the new pencil. But I don’t use an iPad enough to justify buying that new iPad. My 10.5 iPad is still a great machine, so I keep using it for a couple of years.

Upgrading from  Watch Series 1 to a  Watch 4 series sounds like a good idea, especially if the battery starts degrading, also the watch itself is much faster. That’s something I would do. Consider a Cellular version only when you go out without a phone, I heard several people who have one, but don’t use it on the Cellular network.

I have a series 2 and I wait another year before upgrading it. The ECG and Cellular features are not available here in The Netherlands.

If you yourself think it’s needless, how about 3 and put the money aside for a future purchase?

Though every new iPad is fantastic, if you can’t see the need to change I doubt it’ll be worth the purchase as even the 9.7” is eminently capable. Next year the USB C is likely to become useful…so maybe wait till next year, or the next model.
The watch doesn’t seem to have really broken out yet and is improving massively each year, so I’d wait until it has a killer feature.

As far as a jump from performance I would go with the new watch. Personally, you could save some money on the series 3 unless you need some of the features of the series for but upgrading the Watch you’ll see a noticeable jump in performance. For the iPad I would consider that a more “nice” upgrade where the performance won’t be as noticeable but your enjoyment of it with the pencil will be a little bit higher

@richtack Thanks for having me clarify a bit.

I was surprised I like it as much as I do over my 10.5, to be honest. I’ll say up front part of my decision to upgrade now was to get on the new form factor because I’m shifting how I purchase iPads. I won’t be upgrading them as often in the future and will be treating them more like laptops. That’s not to say I’ll hold onto this iPad for half a decade, but I do plan to make it last 2-3 years.

The “full” screen is amazing — it’s what an iPad was meant to be! It seems silly to say that because the screen isn’t that much different, but it’s an amazing form factor. Also, FaceID on the iPad is game changing fo my use case. Honestly, I can’t wait for it to come to the Mac because it just feels natural using FaceID to get access.

Lastly, surprisingly, the Pencil has really impressed me. It sounds weird, but just having it attached to my iPad all the time means I actually use it. I’m not an artist nor do I mark up a lot of documents. But I use my Pencil for navigating iOS and web pages all the time. And because it’s always with me, I dabble more in trying to draw.

It has all come together while I learn some video editing of my drone footage. The powerful iPad renders video effortlessly, the screen is amazing, and the Pencil has already become second nature on the video editing app (LumaFusion).

I’ll also say I’m extremely happy with the 11” vs the 12.9”. I looked at the 12.9 and for my use-cases, it was too large. I know a lot of people love it though! Basically this 11” iPad is my daily driver computer. I do have an iMac at home for archiving, backup, and general tasks that are more difficult on the iPad.

1 Like

I upgraded from a Series 3 watch to a Series 4 and from the 1st generation iPad Pro 12.9 to the new 12.9" Pro. If I could only do one, it would be the iPad, no question.

Chris, if you were going from Series 1 watch to Series 4, do you think you’d still feel the same?

I’ve never used a Series 1, so it’s hard to say.

This year I upgraded from a Watch 0 to a 4 and an iPad Air 2 to a Pro.

The watch upgrade was a year overdue, I was waiting for the series 3 cellular to come to Vodafone in the UK which I figured it would after 3 or 6 months of EE exclusivity, but it didn’t until the 4 this year, so I already had the money saved.

Of the two, I notice the upgraded iPad the most, so if I had go choose between the two, it would be the iPad.

The series 4 watch is faster, with a bigger screen, but honestly I don’t notice it that much as I don’t spend much time actively using the watch - for me at any rate the watch is a passive device, I mainlly just look at it, and its only really the audo controls when I have music or a podcast playing on my phone that I use.

I actively use my iPad daily, so I really notcied the better screen and faster processor

BUYING UPDATE: So the iPad was just too expensive, so I decided to give the Apple Watch 4 a two week trial.

I knew it was a keeper in the first 15 minutes. More than anything else that I read about in reviews, the game changer was the quicker wake time when I raise my wrist. I’m no longer waiting that extra beat to see the alert/complication/the time. If nothing else, that’s the reason to spend the holiday $$$.

Thanks, everyone!