New 2020 or Refurbished 2018 iPad Pro 12.9"

I have a very heavily used 1st generation iPad Pro 12.9" that has been an amazing device since the moment I first turned it on.

I’m getting close to pulling the upgrade trigger, however given the limited improvement of the 2020 model, the refurbished 2018 is a strong contender. I’d be getting the 512GB one with LTE, so the 2020 refurb would save me $550 (enough to fund the Magic Keyboard).

2020 New - Au$ 2,409.00
2018 Refurbished - Au$ 1,859.00

I’m hoping someone here might be able to give me the reason that I haven’t considered to jump either way. But right now LIDAR and upgrade cameras and one more graphics core don’t appear to stack up.


Get the older model.

You will find no tangible difference in day-to-day functionality with the new model.

Also, like you said you can buy other things with the $550 savings. Treat yourself to the Magic Keyboard (even though I think its a ripoff) and perhaps even some new Air Pods with that saved.

1 Like

I love my 11in 2018 Pro. I’m usually all about the upgrade but saw no reason to this year. I only use the camera to scan documents and AR doesn’t interest me just yet…although Angry Birds AR is pretty fun on my phone. I would go with the refurbished and get the keyboard, a pencil, and a Paperlike screen protector with the difference.

We just bought a big 2020 model, but it’sa change from a smaller Pro so different to your case.

What’s relevant though is that my conclusion when comparing models was that the Lidar wasn’t worth it, and the cameras weren’t that important. Since my wife uses Procreate a lot though, I’m hopeful the 6GB RAM will bring benefits (in terms of multitasking, not the app itself apparently).

Refurbished wasn’t an option here, but if it was I’d say refurbished and a Magic Keyboard represents better value for money.

Given the price difference, I would really go for the 2018. It’s almost the same machine and what you get with the 2020 really does not justify 500 $A I believe. Get the Magic Keyboard with that money :wink:

+1 for going with 2018 iPad Pro. Absolutely love my 12.9. I tend to be an “upgrader” to latest and greatest but feeling no urgency to do so for 2020 pro. I don’t have an apparent use for Lidar at this time.

I’d get the 2018 unless you are a developer and might possibly benefit from the rumored Xcode on iPad that the 2020s might gain this year—but that would only change my recommendation to wait and see. Australian prices are crazy. :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

Thank you for the replies, sometimes you just need a nudge in the right direction by some smart folks.


I would go for neither and wait - unless it’s urgent. (I’m in the same position, typing this on an original 12.9” Pro, which I’d love to replace.)

That is a good call, too.

Procreate and Stardew Valley crash less, which is certainly memory related (a bug, but hastened by limited RAM). That’s not just “new machine freshness@, I did a wipe off the old one recently to see if an upgrade was warranted.

Other than that the improvements are barely noticeable from her first gen 9.7@ iPad Pro.
No regrets though, as it IS better, and she went big.

If the choice is between a refurb 2018 + Magic Keyboard or a 2020 without, I would get the 2018 + Magic Keyboard. It’s not even close for me. I always have my iPad attached to a keyboard and the new keyboard makes an enormous difference in usability for me. Also, the 2018 iPad is ridiculously overpowered for what I use it for, so nothing that I do feels like it’s stressing the thing at all.

Your use cases may be different than mine though. The point about the extra RAM and Xcode is a good one though, so if that’s a consideration for you then waiting may be a good idea. Waiting sucks though :stuck_out_tongue:

I want to see more experiences with detaching the iPad from the keyboard: I think the jury’s still out on whether this is easy or not.

If the ((necessarily) heavy) keyboard is easily detached I think I’d want it. If not I wouldn’t. (But my buying decision is at least 7 months away.)

It’s easy. Open the thing and just lift the iPad off, close the thing. Done.

I have the 11" version: It’s very easy with two hands and almost impossible with one.