Should You Buy the iPad 2

Deal breaker: iPad 2 doesn't support iOS 10

The iPad 2 was released in 2011, and Apple kept it in production until 2013. It was designated as Apple's entry-level iPad, with Apple reducing the price after the third-generation iPad was released in 2012. Millions of iPad 2s were sold around the world, so there is no surprise that many iPad 2 models come up for sale on eBay and Craigslist. It isn't alone, though. All the Apple iPad models have a robust presence in the used tablet market. The question is, should you buy an iPad 2? 

Illustration of iPad 2 in a store
Lifewire / Nusha Ashjaee

The fact that the iPad 2 is so popular may make it seem like a good purchase, but the iPad 2 is the second oldest model of Apple's tablet. More importantly, it cannot run iOS 10 or higher. As a result, the iPad 2 won't get the new features added to the operating system each year and will run slowly compared to newer models. 

So, should you skip the iPad 2? Probably. It often sells for over $100. Sometimes, the iPad 2 has additional storage space or cellular connectivity that drives up the price, but in reality, it is not worth much more than $80 to $90, no matter how much storage it boasts. 

A better deal can be had on the iPad Mini 2, which can be purchased for about $200 refurbished from Apple. However, if you can't afford it, buying an iPad 2 for $90 or less is a decent compromise. Even if you use it for only two years, you end up paying about $4 a month for it. 

What About the iPad Mini? Is It Worth It? 

The iPad Mini and the iPad 3 both share the same basic chipset with the iPad 2. The iPad 3 has a faster graphics processor to power the Retina Display, but for most apps, it runs just like an iPad 2. The chipset in the first Mini is much the same as the iPad 2. Like the iPad 2, neither of these iPads can run iOS 10 or later.

The same rule of thumb applies to these tablets as to the iPad 2. If you can find one under $100, they may be worth it, but you can't expect their life expectancy to extend beyond the next few years. 

What About the iPad 4?

The fourth-generation iPad often sells for around $200. This is around the same price as the iPad Mini 2, which is faster than the iPad 4. However, if you are patient, you can sometimes find the iPad 4 selling for around $150 on eBay. At that price, it is worth it. The fourth-generation iPad and the iPad Mini 2 both are capable of running iOS 10, and they are both fast enough that apps will run smoothly on them.

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