The iPad 2 is coming up on its three-year anniversary next month, and Apple is actually still actively selling the legacy tablet in its store, but rumor has it that the company is thinking about finally giving it the boot at some point this year, officially discontinuing it in order to make room for another entry-level iPad.
It certainly seems that Apple wants the older tablet on the way out, as well as a handful of retailers who are trying to get rid of iPad 2 inventory. Walmart, for instance, is discounting the iPad 2 by knocking off $100 and marking it at $299, which is really good price for an iPad, even if it’s three years old.
However, the original iPad mini costs the same $299, and just $100 will get you the even more impressive iPad mini with Retina display, which is rocking way better internals and the obvious high-resolution display. However, for those that want a full-size iPad without spending an arm and a leg will probably consider the iPad 2, but should they? Let’s look at some pros and cons.
The iPad 2 Is Cheap
If you want to buy an iPad on the cheap, the iPad 2 is about the cheapest you can go and still get a fairly good experience. The $299 sale at Walmart is about the best price you’ll get for a brand-new model, while used versions sell for a little over $200 on eBay or Craigslist. You can’t really get any better than that for a full-sized iPad.
Otherwise, Apple sells the iPad 2 for $399 regularly, which is the same price as the iPad mini with Retina display. One comes with a larger display, but the other comes with improved performance, which brings us to our second point.
The iPad 2 Is Slow
The iPad 2 is a great for everyday usage, like checking email, browsing the web, reading, etc., but if you’re wanting to do any mobile gaming or something that requires a lot of processing power, don’t count on the iPad 2 to deliver the performance that you might need.
We’ve talked with several iPad users who are still rocking the iPad 2 (most of whom are casual users) and they’re having no problems with the performance of the tablet, even running the new iOS 7. So simple tasks can still very much be initiated on the iPad 2, making the tablet a good and cheap solution for everyday consumers, but for those wanting a little power, you might want to look at newer models.
It’s Great if You Still Rely on 30-Pin
Consumers were genuinely upset when Apple introduced a new connector on the iPhone when it launched the iPhone 5 back in September 2012. This meant that users would eventually need to replace their crop of 30-pin connectors. However, there are still some folks stuck in the legacy days, whether they still have an older iPhone or an iPod, some people just may not want to part with their 30-pin cables just yet.
This makes the iPad 2 a great choice for those kind of users, and if they just need a cheap tablet without all of the performance gimmicks, then it’s a win-win situation. Of course, eventually, Apple users will need to succumb to the fact that one day they’ll need to finally upgrade to the new Lightning connector, but luddites like to ride it out until the very end, usually.
Don’t Expect Future Software Updates
Perhaps one of the biggest downsides of getting the iPad 2 now is that you probably won’t see any future support for the tablet from Apple. iOS 7 is probably the last iOS version that iPad 2 users will get. Granted, iOS 7.1 may still be headed to the older slate, but we can pretty much guarantee that iOS 8 won’t make it.
Although, we are glad to see iOS 7 on the iPad 2, since it’s the first complete overhaul of iOS that Apple has done. Considering that iOS 8 will most likely only be an update including a few new features, the progress from iOS 7 to iOS 8 probably won’t be as dramatic as was the progression from iOS 6 to iOS 7. Still, for those who are wanting the latest software updates and features will most likely want to get a newer model.