When to buy an iPad Pro

Now that we have seen what is to come in iPadOS, would now be a good time to treat myself to a new iPad, or should I wait?

I have been using an iPad Air 2 since they were launched, so about 4 and half years and it works absolutely fine.

However I have been looking at the iPad Pro releases over the last two years and have been very tempted, but knowing the limitations of iOS 11 and then 12 I hesitated.

An Apple Pencil would be a definite purchase and more than likely a Smart Folio Keyboard. I use a Belkin Bluetooth keyboard with my current iPad and it is very heavy and bulky.

I want to type more on it. I want to use a pencil to mark things up. I want to draw. I want to take it to work everyday and use it in the coffee shop (I drive to work and carry a huge backpack size/weight doesn’t bother me too much).

I’m yet undecided on whether an 11 will suffice or whether I should go for the larger one - I need to visit the store and physically try it.

But getting to my actual question, do you think it is a good time to make the plunge or could there be another iPad Pro released soon that I should wait for?

I know there’s always a newer model around the corner, but I’m not one for changing each year. I want 3/4/5 good years of use out of it.

I’ve been quite good at upgrading recently, I’m “managing” on an iPhone 8Plus, a MBP and a MacMini from 2014, and another MacMini from 2012.

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Any new iPad Pro I think would be a spec bump and who knows when.

But the general advice is always the same. If it’s what you need right now then get it. The only thing it’s ever ‘safe’ to wait for is the iPhone because it’s the only one with a dependable schedule.

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In terms of waiting for the new iPads, what exactly would you like to see in this new iPad which makes you hesitate to purchase a current one? Is there something in the new iPads you see as lacking?

  • Do you want OLED? If so, it will be expensive… I’m guessing £1100+
  • Better camera? Do you need a better camera?
  • More speed? Is the current iPad Pro speed insufficient for your workflow?
  • Lighter?
  • etc

These are the types of questions us buyers need to ask ourselves. For me, there is nothing off the top of my head the iPad needs hardware wise which would make much of a difference at this point besides OLED and perhaps better battery, but these are hardly NEEDS. Everything I want other than that is software related.

It’s fine to want the newest thing, but does the current iPad do everything you want? If the answer is yes then buy the one you want now and sell if for the newer model when it arrives if you deem the hardware improvements worthwhile.

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Don’t think we’ll see an iPad Pro update this year. I’m on a 10.5” and it’s plenty for me and a good upgrade If you want to upgrade now and not spend a load of cash.

Nobody knows if there won’t be an iPad Pro upgrade this fall, but I tend to agree: I do not think that there will be a new iPad Pro this year. Off course, nobody outside of Apple knows for sure if there will be new ones in the short term…

But yes, I think, it is a good time to go for an iPad Pro if you want to have one. :slight_smile:

The iPad Pros don’t have a long record of update dates to predict from, but they’ve been refreshed on average every 450-520 days, and we’re at day 220 or so right now since the current model was introduced. Another 230 days would being us to next January, but since Apple prefers when possible to announce and make available new computing hardware in time for holiday buying either they’ll update the pros around October… or they probably won’t do it until next spring.

There’s no time like the present to take the jump. I have a 9.7" iPad Pro, and the larger size of the current 10.5" iPads is tempting. My only area of doubt is whether I need the features of the Pro or whether the new Air will suffice. Right now I’m leaning toward the Air. At most I’m using the pencil to mark up some documents. I’m not doing a lot of creative/art work/photo & video editing, so I don’t know that the extra few hundred dollars would make sense for me.

But to get back to the original point, yes—this is a good time to invest in new hardware that will last you for several years.

(Off topic, but I need to tell Christian that his avatar is wonderful.)

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Thanks for all the replies. Given that they are opening up the USBC port and I have a 1TB ScanDisk Extreme SSD do you think this negates the need for anything bigger than a 64GB machine?
My Photos sit on my Mac so I would never use a huge amount of space. If I went on holiday and wanted to take some media with me I could put it on the external drive and I am assuming iPadOS will allow me to watch it straight off there and not have to move it into local storage?

I use the 12.9” 2018 with the Smart Keyboard folio heavily, and in exactly the way you’re thinking about using one. I would buy one now. Unless there’s a build quality issue and it starts falling apart there’s no question it’ll be good for a few years.

I recommend 256GB and cellular, even if you don’t turn on cellular for now. I wish I hadn’t gotten wi-fi only because there are a few times a year it’s really inconvenient (I’d cycle the cellular plan and not just leave it on in my situation, though.) My storage use seems to have stabilized around 80GB, which I could prune back, but I think the cost to have everything I need on-device is reasonable.

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I have heard it reported that you can “run” files from an external, but I would get a bit more space to ensure you can move stuff around if you have to. I just bought a Pro with 256 assuming that a change would come to access external storage (thankfully that worked out). But you don’t want to rely on all your storage being on an external drive IMO. 64 could get soaked up pretty quickly depending on your app habit.

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So you can move stuff between the photos and files app (well, copy between them and then delete the origin files) if that’s helpful. You just select your stuff and ‘move to files’ is in the share sheet. So if you did use your iPad to record a lot of video or take a lot of photos this might be workable for you. I am presuming this will work just the same for USB connected storage.

Someone using the beta should be able to confirm this, though.

You can also use the ‘optimise photo storage’ option, so if you’re doing your photography on an iPhone the iPad only downloads thumbnails, and then full photos on demand.

If you’re happy to manually manage your file storage, then 64 may well work for you. I’d look at the storage usage on your current devices, though. If you’re gonna be in the situation where you’re bumping up against your storage limit frequently, even if you can manually manage that, it’s likely to get frustrating after a while.

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On-device storage is likely to be better - e.g. speed, security, bulkiness - than external. But the downsides are twofold: Removability and cost.

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MacRumors tries to keep tabs on potential release dates and lifecycles, FYI:


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I own many Apple products but never a dedicated iPad. I borrowed an iPad Pro 9.7” and within 2 weeks had my very own new iPad Pro 11”. Best move I could have made! My advice: DO IT NOW - you won’t regret it!

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I concur with @NicBee. Buy one now. Best tech purchase I’ve made in the past two years!

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Setup a Camel, Camel, Camel and watch for the $200+ off on Amazon. I got a 12.9 at a huge discount a month ago!! And now with the eventual external storage options with iOS 13, the premium storage prices are lessened.

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Great time to my in my humble opinion. Why live without this model + Apple Pencil 2? They’ve announced new software for it. Drawing is a huge boost to cognitive productivity. I find myself drawing very often. And research suggests drawing is great for memory and comprehension. And with Continuity, it’s super easy to move your drawings from iPad to other devices.

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I did it. Thanks for the encouragement. I just needed that little nudge. 12.9 256 Keyboard & Pencil. :+1::grinning::+1:

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Just bought the iPad Pro 2017 with the Apple Pencil and smart keyboard for £400. This is the 64 GB version with Wi-Fi and cellular. This was an incredible deal. It’s secondhand but still had three months AppleCare warranty.

If you’re still on the edge of whether to buy an iPad or not I recommend buying secondhand because last generations iPad Pro is absolutely fantastic and well worth the purchase. It would’ve cost me over £600 more to have the latest iPad Pro which wouldn’t have been worth it for me just for slightly less bezel, Face ID and a new Apple Pencil and a few little other things.