Remembering the EarlyiPads That Started the Tablet Market Today

September 15, 2022

Paying homage to the iPad 1, iPad 2, and iPad 3

Why are we choosing to roll back the years to the ancient times of the first three versions of the iPad when we’re now at iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini models now? 

You may not realize the grand influence these models had in pioneering a new industry in the consumer electronics market. Technology is constantly reinventing itself, with new devices released almost every year, and that is precisely what happened with the iPad. The updates with which Apple surprises us are so spectacular that they overshadow previous models. However, you probably forgot how useful they still are today and perhaps fail to realize that behind the glitz and glamour of Apple’s marketing, the advances are perhaps not that ground-breaking, and you could save yourself hundreds in cash by ignoring the lavish new models for a vintage, cheap, refurbished iPad instead.

So on this page, we have set out to compare the first three iPads, what they have in common, their important differences, and, more importantly, the type of consumer that can still benefit from a cheap quality iPad with these models. 


iPad 1: the model that changed everything

Often referred to as ‘the Original’ and at the time known as iPad 1G (1st Generation), the first iPad has a special place in technology history. On the one hand, it involved the launch of a totally new device without another that resembled it at that time, with the technical advances that this implied. And on the other, it forever changed the way of consuming audio-visual content.

Now, seen from today, at a time when megapixels and gigabytes are falling out of our pockets, this first iPad is also the most technically limited, of course. It was a great touchstone to check the acceptance of this device among the general public, and although it was a resounding success, it needed to adjust many aspects of its hardware and software in the next version.

If we stick to technical analysis with today’s eyes, the technical specifications can be very basic: 256 MB of RAM, no rear or front camera… And we must not forget that incompatibility problems can arise, not only with the more modern accessories but with new generation applications.

What users will enjoy with this tablet

So who can be interested in this model? Well, many people, although it may not seem like it. In the first place, not particularly demanding users who use their tablets for fairly simple use, such as reading books or newspapers or watching videos with an acceptable viewing quality.

Second, it can be a good option for users who would probably miss out on a more powerful tablet. We are talking, for example, of the oldest members of the family and that, at their age, they are no longer there to take computer courses but to enjoy touch and intuitive devices.

On the extreme opposite end, the youngest of the house could use this one as they embark on their first steps with this type of entertainment: offering them a more advanced model could be risky because it is more exposed to knocks and other potential damages… but rest assured that soon they will want a better one to get the most out of it. Children are real sponges!

Finally, the original iPad can also be a true collector’s model. Although this device can still meet the expectations of many users, it will also have earned its place in a collection with, for example, Amstrad computers and Nintendo 64 game consoles. It can already be considered vintage!

iPad 2: a commercial success and in many homes

The second iPad was launched on the market in 2011 and was, in fact, the first contact of many users with this revolutionary device. 

As mentioned above, after the touchstone that was the original iPad, this second generation significantly improved the first, with some elements that the general public already demanded. For example, its two cameras (rear and front), although its technical specifications are quite basic (compared to today), they allow not only to take photos and videos but also to use the already popular video call apps and video games.

Apart from that, the RAM memory was doubled (now 512 MB), and the battery was slightly enhanced. However, other details remained intact, such as the chip (1 GHz), the resolution of its screen (1024 x 768 pixels, 132 dpi), and the internal storage (16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB).

However, what improved this iPad the most was its dimensions and weight: 241.3 x 185.7 x 8.8 mm and 601 g. That is the smallest and lightest model of the three.

Who might be interested in this iPad? Everyone!

This model was adopted by all after the first version, once they knew the capabilities and the efficiencies the iPad 2 could do. Practically any user that owns an iPad uses it for a multitude of things. Especially students, VOD streamers, gaming fans, and non-technical professionals.

And thanks to its two humble cameras, it is also suitable for users who need a device to make video calls, which are increasingly a necessity today: Google Meet, FaceTime, Skype, etc., essential in studies, at work, and also in private life.

iPad 3: a fleeting but brilliant presence

Paradoxically, the third iPad, which was also known commercially as ‘the new iPad,’ until within a few months of its launch in 2012, Apple then launched the next one, the iPad 4, also in 2012. Commercial failure? Technically poor version?

Well, neither, to be honest. It was actually a strategic decision by the company, which decided to speed up the transition to devices with another connector: the 30-pin connector, which was too large, was left behind for a more compact and manageable one, the so-called ‘Lightning.’

But if we stick to the technical specifications, important improvements were introduced in this iPad, and some of them were kept in many other later models. One of the big jumps was experienced by RAM memory, now 1G. The same thing happened with the internal storage, which went on to have 128 GB of space in the most powerful version.

The rear camera also improved a lot, which happened to have an aperture of f / 2.4 and to photograph at 5 MP, while its videos were scaled up to 1080p. The front camera, on the other hand, is mounted the same as the previous version. In addition, it was the first tablet with a Retina display, now with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels at 264 dpi.

Who should opt for this iPad?

Of the three iPads that we are analyzing, this is the one with the best technical features. Therefore, it is a good option for those users who, in the value for money, give more importance to quality.

That does not mean that the price is high: at Back Market, there are different costs, depending on their state of conservation and specifications, but it will not be difficult for you to find this model for less than £99.

Reconditioning: a smart decision…

Deciding between 1, 2, or 3 is normal, although we have already explained which one you could choose according to your profile and your expectations. However, what there is no doubt about is the purchase option: since these versions have not been manufactured or sold in traditional retailers for a long time, you will only have the option of buying them reconditioned or second-hand.

Refurbished iPads are the only ones that can give you real confidence, especially if you buy them at Back Market: our devices are reviewed, repaired (if applicable), and certified by the best technicians we partner with. And we are so sure that they work like a charm that we dare to give you a 12-month guarantee.

…and a natural choice

Finally, we cannot forget something that is increasingly important for iPad users: the responsible consumption of technology. Buying a refurbished device is like rescuing this electronic device from the landfill since many of these devices are not recycled properly.

It is a small contribution to slowing down the pace of production of electronic devices, which is putting a lot of pressure on certain natural resources, such as minerals needed to manufacture components.

So if you don’t need to spend a fortune on the latest iPad, go ahead and buy these devices responsibly, even if they are the oldest in their range. They still have a lot of life ahead of them!


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