Padding along.

I bought my first iPad in September of 2010, it was a 16 GB one with WiFi & a SIM card. It was very useful a month later, my nephew on the other side of the country was getting married & I used it a lot while visiting & touring for three weeks.

This was replaced by an iPad 3, of almost the same spec as the first one but in 32 GB capacity. (A friend bought the old iPad.) This was the first with a Retina display & frankly, it was a disappointment in performance. I added a 16 GB iPad Mini with WiFi only to try that out. It had 512 MB RAM compared to the 1 GB of the larger unit. Both had (admittedly different) 1 GHz processors. I gave them both a shootout on Geekbench, to my surprise the Mini was actually faster, due no doubt to the fact it didn’t have to drive a fancy screen.

Later, the iPad Mini 2 came out, this time with a Retina screen. I took both my existing iPads (in their original packaging) to an Apple reseller who at the time offered generous trade-ins on new Apple kit. They paid me $400 for the iPad 3 & $170 for the Mini. In return I paid $179 and came out with a new Retina WiFi & Cellular iPad Mini of 32 GB capacity.

This lasted me until March of 2017 when the iPad 5 arrived & for a change I went with 128 GB capacity, so I could have all my photos & all my music on one device. It was a WiFi & Cellular one, too. I managed to sell the Mini 2 to another friend.

Then in December of 2019 I won a 64 GB iPad Mini 5, 2nd prize in a Mac User Group annual raffle. Initially I was disappointed not to have won first prize, a top-spec iPad Air 3. Then a bit later I compared the two units & realised the Air 3 & Mini 5 shared the same internals, the only difference being WiFi vs Wifi/Cellular & a bigger battery.

Roll on 2020, the iPad 5 was showing its age, the battery life wasn’t good and it would have been nice to use the Apple Pencil & Sidecar with my Mac as a second screen but the hardware wasn’t good enough, had to be the iPad 6 for that. Or the Mini 5, except it was too small to use as a monitor.

I did a bit of thinking, learned the iPad 5 was worth $230 as a trade-in on a new iPad 8 with a 10.2 in screen, 128 GB & the A12 processor as used in the existing Mini & the old iPad Air 3. I’m well pleased with the decision, as a second screen beside a 13-in MacBook Pro it’s quite useful and the extra screen area (½ an inch more on the diagonal) compared to the iPad 5 make a surprisingly large difference.

I took the iPad 5 to the Post Office with a printed QR code. Scanning this spat out an adhesive postage-paid mailing label & instructions to provide padded packaging to send it to Apple’s trade-in partners. Now waiting for it to arrive at their place where it will be examined for any defects: there are none other than a tired battery. All my iPads, iPods & iPhones over the years have been in durable cases, as I can be somewhat clumsy. The protection has paid off.

Once it’s been checked over, I’ll receive a $230 refund on my credit card. This figure represents 27% of the purchase price of the iPad 8.