Is The 2020 iPad Pro worth buying in 2022?

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And is it still relevant?

iPad Pro
Photo by Daniel Romero on Unsplash

Approximately two years ago I made the decision to upgrade my ageing 2018 iPad to the 11″ 2020 iPad Pro. The main reason for the upgrade was me starting my master’s degree.

I guess I needed a better device I could use for notetaking, research as well as writing my assignments on the go. That was the plan anyway as roughly around that time, the Covid-19 pandemic hit, meaning I couldn’t go anywhere.

Fast-forward a few years, and not only have I graduated but my iPad Pro has become my main computer. I use it for writing blog articles, watching YouTube videos, reading as well as light video editing. The iPad Pro has easily replaced my laptop and it breaks my heart saying this, but the computer I built.

How My iPad Pro Became My Primary Computer

With the latest iPad Pro being built with the M1 chip, you may be wondering whether a two-year-old model featuring the A12Z Bionic chip is still worth considering?

Let’s start by talking about the latest iPad Pro…

At the time of writing this article, the latest 11″ M1 iPad Pro costs £699 on Amazon here in the UK. At the same time, a refurbished 11″ 2020 model without the M1 chip costs £508.49.

The refurbished price, isn’t actually that bad, considering the fact that it’s still a relatively new device and I’m saying that as someone who used to manage Apple IT infrastructure where we kept iPads for 5 to 6 years.

Contrary to that, the average user who wishes to buy an iPad, which by the way isn’t a cheap investment in general, will want it to last for at least a couple of years.

The main advantage of the 2021 model is Apple’s new M1 chip, which comes from the MacBook Air, Pro, iMac and Mac Mini. With the 2020 model, the chip is actually an upgraded iteration of the previous A12X chip found in the 2018 iPad Pro.

Looking at benchmarks provided by CPU-Monkey, I don’t think that users will notice a considerable difference between the M1 and A12Z chips, particularly when performing everyday tasks.

Other significant advantages include a Thunderbolt / USB 4 port, a slightly improved camera, a next-generation Neural Engine and Smart HDR 3 for photos. If you decide to go with the 12.9″ model you also get an improved display.

Overall, whilst the 2021 M1 iPad Pro does offer advantages over the 2020 version, I think that the improvements will be difficult to spot by the average user and as someone who uses the 2020 iPad Pro, I can confidently say that the 2020 model performs extremely well, even with video editing.

What about the 2022 iPad Pro?

That’s actually a really good question!

With the release of the 2022 iPad Pro being a few months away, you’re probably wondering whether you should wait. Particularly as Apple usually launches new products in September but has been known to use other months in the Autumn.

As with many new releases, you often find that prices of predecessors drop. Sometimes, they drop quite a lot and sometimes they don’t. That’s why waiting for a new product to be released just to buy the older version can sometimes be a waiting game.

At this moment and time, we can only speculate that the new iPad Pro will include Apple’s M2 chip and that it will run on iPadOS 16.

So is the 2020 iPad Pro worth buying in 2022?

To begin with, I think that in this day and age, it will be very difficult to find a brand new 2020 iPad Pro, therefore if you are thinking of going down this route, you will be looking at the second-hand market, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

Doing a quick search on Amazon in the UK, I found that at the time of writing this article, a brand new iPad Pro 11″ (2021, 128GB) costs £699 whereas a refurbished one costs £650, that’s a saving of only £49!

Which isn’t great! I mean one can argue that you may be able to find better prices elsewhere but, I still think it’s a poor saving!

If we compare it to the pricing of the 2020 version which costs £508.49 refurbished on Amazon, we’re nearly saving £200! Which to me sounds like an excellent bargain, particularly during the cost of living crisis!

Summary

To summarise my post, I definitely still think it’s worth buying the 2020 version, even if it’s second-hand. I mean, I think it’s fair to say that for many people an iPad will be used as a secondary device. At the same time, I don’t think that the improvements made in the 2021 model are going to be noticeable during standard use.

Now, I haven’t had a chance to use the 2021 model personally, but I have had a go on it and during the short time I had with it, I didn’t notice any difference in the performance, but then again, I didn’t get a chance to do any tasks requiring higher performance.

On the other hand, with Apple’s new M1 chips being used in newer models, I have found myself wondering whether the 2020 iPad Pro is still relevant and the way I’m looking at it is that in terms of overall performance it’s still pretty much relevant.

What do you think?

If I was to go out today to buy an iPad Pro out of my own pocket, I would definitely consider the 2020 iPad Pro, but one thing I would at least try doing is inspecting the condition of it first, particularly the battery.