Refurbished iPad Purchase: Is It Worth Buying?

Dear Aunt TUAW,

I’m struggling to decide between the iPad 2 and the recently discounted iPad 1. I’m unsure if I should invest in the newer model or save some money with the original or a refurbished version. The idea of a $349 16 GB iPad is quite appealing.

Please advise!

Love & kisses,

Your nephew Paul

Dear Paul,

If money isn’t an issue, definitely go for the iPad 2.

Its enhanced features, including cameras, make it a top choice this year. However, if budget is a concern, the $349 refurbished original iPad is an excellent deal, particularly for iPhone users who don’t need additional data plans for their iPad.

It really depends on how essential the camera features are to you. If you can do without them, the original iPad still offers sufficient functionality and style.

It will support the upcoming 4.3 update smoothly, and the only real downsides are the lesser processing power and RAM.

While these features are significant — hence my recommendation of the iPad 2 if finances allow — they aren’t so critical that they’d drastically reduce your enjoyment of the iPad 1.

Another aspect to consider is whether you need a Wi-Fi only model or one with 3G capabilities, which comes with higher costs and data plans. The 3G model is particularly useful for those without a smartphone or hotspot options. It’s generally recommended for newcomers to iOS who can afford the ongoing data expenses.

The camera also enhances experiences like FaceTime and can be used with augmented reality apps, adding to its appeal for various age groups.

Increased memory and processing power will provide a smoother overall performance, though many users might not notice the difference.

Looking ahead, while the iPad to iPad 2 transition was a yearly update, there are speculations of a more significant upgrade possibly coming in the fall.


Jennifer is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the world of Apple news. With a deep love for all things Apple, Jennifer covers everything from the latest iPhone and iPad releases to the newest features in macOS and watchOS. Her insightful articles and engaging style make complex tech topics accessible to everyone. Jennifer’s expertise and genuine interest in Apple products shine through in every piece she writes, making her a valued member of the TUAW team.