Waffling About iPads

May 11, 2024

After this week’s iPad event I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do about iPad upgrades. I’m an iPad weirdo, and currently have a 3rd gen iPad Air that I use mostly for reading and gaming. I also have a 2020 12.9” iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard that I use for meetings, writing, and research.

The Air is now over 5 years old, and is starting to feel a bit sluggish. It has 3 gigs of RAM and a single core Geekbench score of 1320. The Pro was the weird one with the A12Z processor and 6 gigs of RAM. It has a single core Geekbench score of 1326, but much higher multicore and Metal scores than my current Air. It’s also still fairing better because of the extra RAM. The main reason I’d like to upgrade the Pro is because I only really use it in the Magic Keyboard, and the camera is on the left side. In calls, it means I’m always looking off into space.

Before the event my assumption was that I’d trade in the Air, make the current Pro the reading/gaming machine, and get a new Pro. Now I’m waffling about just replacing the Air this year (maybe with another Air), and waiting until next year to replace the Pro. The Pro is still going strong, and I can live with sideways glancing during meetings for another year.

There are a few reasons I didn’t upgrade immediately. One, I’d love to see how the new Pros with M4 stack up Geekbench-wise. There was recently a Geekbench score submitted that might have been from the new Pro. If so, that score is amazing at around 3695 — more than 2.5x faster than my current Pro! I’d like to have this confirmed, though.

Another is the price. The new Pro has a lot of functionality tied to its storage tiers, and the storage prices are the usual brand of Apple insanity. There’s a lot of “well, if I just spend X more” FOMO going on. Ideally, I would get a 1 TB 13” model so I’d get all the cores and max RAM, but that, along with the new Magic Keyboard, costs almost $3,600 CAD after tax. Yozwa! A more reasonable choice is the 512 GB model, but that’s still around $3,000 CAD. I could go down to 256 GB which is around $2,600 CAD… it’s easy to feel like I should just spend a bit more to get something I can use for longer.

Anyway, with all this, I think I’ve convinced myself that I’m going to wait until WWDC before doing any upgrading. I’m still curious if there will be more of a software story on June 10 about what people can do with all the power of the M4 in these new Pros.