I sold my iPad Air two years ago. Stopped using.

And this summer, my sister asked me to sell her iPad 4. I saw it and was surprised – it was new, as if it had been unpacked only yesterday. And I bought it myself for 7000 rubles. For the sake of interest.

He’s 5. Works on iOS 10, supporting about 95% of the system’s capabilities. Yes, something has been cut: for example, interacting with two applications at the same time, or minimizing a video into a small window.

Okay, I’ll get by.

Reset, signed in to your account, and got full access to the Apple ecosystem.

What’s next?

Not a nostalgia post

I expected to see a “tube” tablet, which is only suitable for social networks and viewing content. Folk “klikuha” is such a photo frame. Still, 5 years is an honorable age.

You could write a “farewell” post, remember the old days…

But no.

I did not begin to hang labels in advance, and as an experiment I downloaded it in full, including some work tasks. The goal is to make the most of it.

But, without noticing it myself, I just started using it.

And now I’ll objectively talk about the iPad 4 from the perspective of a “modern” person from 2020. This experience will be useful when choosing a new tablet. But the main thoughts are at the very end.

Let’s start.


First, it’s sharp: the same pixel density as the new iPad Pros.

Secondly, very rich color reproduction: the colors are bright, deep, at the level of iPhone 6 and 6s screens. Cons – a little “faded” black and the presence of an air gap.

Thirdly, full support for the sRGB profile: it opens up the possibility for professional photo adjustments.

Fourth, it’s a 5-year-old display that Apple uses in its budget 2017 iPad today. Even next to the flagships, it looks good, something like this looks like the same photo on the screen of the iPad Pro 10.5 (left) and iPad 4 (right):

The display is a window into the world of technology, the line that separates us from them. The overall impression of interaction with the tablet, which, in fact, is one large display, very much depends on it. And on the iPad 4 it’s great.

Good photo editor

Is it possible to comfortably work with photos in RAW, draw and maybe even design something?

Yes. Large screen with full support for the sRGB profile, durable A6X processor, fresh iOS 10. And a lot of programs.

I use Lightroom and Pixelmator, the iPad 4 pulls them all out and everything works great. Using Lightroom, I shoot RAW on the iPhone, the pictures go through the cloud to the tablet for processing. Comfortable.

You can work with layers, comfortably process photos for social networks, do “plastic” and retouching on the big screen. I’m sure there are even more opportunities, and there is a huge amount of fresh software in the App Store.

But some “professional” editors do not support older hardware. For example, Affinity Photo. In the future, fancy Photoshop analogues will pass by.

And Apple Pencil for more precise interaction with elements is not recognized.

But such tasks are not relevant for everyone. In massive and even complex editing scenarios, the iPad 4 performs well, in the near future the emergence of new programs will continue and the relevance of current ones will be maintained.

Important: the iPad 4 has become a good photo editor relatively recently, and not out of the box. With the release of new software. But more on that later.

Works great with creative software

On the road, I sketch arrangements in GarageBand, then open them up in Logic Pro on my Mac for further work.

GarageBand for iOS has turned into a real portable studio in recent years, the program has been significantly upgraded. And yes, the iPad 4 is still in business.

I used to use the cramped 5.5-inch screen of an iPhone, and I was about to buy a powerful iPad Pro. But the Quartet intervened.

No lags, heavy projects launch quickly, responsive navigation. Yes, the iPad Pro will be even faster, but the difference is negligible. It is very comfortable to work.

I also use the Logic Remote app. The tablet turns into a virtual midi keyboard with a bunch of settings, a mixer, a drum machine, and performs a number of other useful functions for Logic Pro.

Ok, need to create a movie in iMovie? No problem. Maybe even in 4K.

As a result, almost all creative tasks are performed on the iPad 4, if not like clockwork, then at least comfortably.

There are even fun styluses for drawing. The quality of their work is acceptable, and it’s definitely more convenient than drawing with a finger, but no more. The screen is not optimized for this.


After 5 years, the iPad 4 remains the go-to device for communication, and there is nothing surprising in this.

All current versions of modern messengers and services work very well. FaceTime, Skype, Slack, email clients, iMessage, Telegram, Facebook, Twitter and so on.

In iMessage, sometimes there are animation slowdowns and some kind of thoughtfulness, but everything is within the comfort. Third party software works flawlessly.


I’m not good with office applications. Tested the iA Writer editor, worked in notes and in Pages.

I know that there is a “desktop” Microsoft Office for iPad, including Word and Excel. With full support for the Quartet.

The old man does not have a Smart Connector for connecting an Apple branded keyboard. But there are inexpensive compatible solutions from third-party manufacturers. I tested several models from Logitech, this bundle can turn the iPad 4 into a good typewriter.


After the iPhone 7 Plus, web surfing on the iPad 4 seems to be slow: pages open slowly, sometimes tabs are unloaded from memory. Why in 2012 did it seem to me that everything was “flying”?

Not all sites have become heavier in 8 years, and iOS 10 is unlikely to significantly affect browser performance. Apparently, the matter is in the habits of the “spoiled” user from 2020. Yes: the longer you use it, the less you notice these “brakes”.

In general, sometimes flipping through the pages on its large screen is convenient. But not more.

Entertainment and games

I played Vainglory on iPad 4 for a long time. In some places it’s not 60 frames per second, in some places it’s short freezes and minor brakes, but the game is relatively “gluttonous”, with serious 3D graphics and effects.

Fresh Warhammer 40,000 also pulls without problems. Yes, some details and effects are cut down for the sake of performance, and heavy games will look better on the new iPads.

But most importantly, it’s playable.

Games without heaped graphics are revealed at a stable 60 frames. Various applications for viewing content and videos, such as YouTube, work well.

Nothing to add, the iPad 4 remains a great entertainment tablet. But for the most “beautiful” games you need something more powerful.

Reading and the main disadvantage

Reading on a large Retina screen is convenient.

There is no Night Shift mode and True Tone display, which save eyesight and make reading comfortable, but this is not a big problem, because in Safari and in iBooks you can adjust the color scheme by including a nice warm background.

The problem is in weight devices. iPad 4, against the background of Air and younger Pro, is felt in the hands of a rather heavy thing. But, again, a matter of habit, before it I had a light Air, so I caught the difference. Especially when reading lying down.

Moving in time

Hi all.

General impressions and outlines of the article were painted at the end of the summer. Now – the end of October, iPad 4 has already gone to other owners.

Could he surprise? No. Did he exceed my expectations? Definitely.

He perfectly demonstrated Apple’s approach to supporting and updating their devices. And my intentional adaptation of my tasks for it grew into working use, and this motivated me to switch to a new 10.5-inch model. I am very glad.

But before summing up, I will publish one more opinion.

A person has been using iPad 4 since 2012 to this day. Does programming. The other day he provided a photo tablet and answered my questions.

Let’s start.

Hello Karen. Tell us how you use iPad 4 today?

Hello. I use iPad for study and entertainment. You can also read a fictional story on an iPhone, but this will not work with educational and professional literature. For example, notes and documentation on the phone have to be “zoomed in”, bringing the screen closer to itself. Immediately lost concentration.

Even on the tablet, I control the computer with remote access. It is very convenient if you need to see if something has been copied, or turn on the music on the speakers. In general, this temporarily turns the iPad into a full-fledged computer, and you can even work if you really need to.

Videos and games are also much nicer on the iPad.

Strongly slows down? Do you want to switch to something more powerful?

He is slow, sometimes he thinks for a long time. At the same time, the games run without any problems. Of course, you want a more powerful tablet, but is it worth paying about 40,000 rubles if it only performs the functions of the previous one a little better?

Only the lack of support for iOS 11 made me think a little.

It was said that its performance would be revealed over time, with the release of new software. The same is being said about the new iPad Pros. Do you agree with this? Has your tablet become smarter and has much more features than it had out of the box 5 years ago?

At the time of purchase, the iPad was very powerful. No wonder it’s still relevant after 5 years. Now it is a peppy overweight old man, but the functionality has increased significantly, absorbing almost all the improvements of the four new firmware. Split View, however, flew by. But a very important update was the ability to work with files more freely.

A lot of things have been reworked. Well-equipped office programs appeared, such as Word and Excel, players that can read any desired video format, sophisticated photo, audio, and video editors.

From the games I remember Realracing 3, the first game that showed the wonderful capabilities of the device. I stuck in it for a long time. And then others began to catch up, now I play Vainglory.

Therefore, answering your question, yes, its scope and capabilities have expanded significantly since the unpacking.

For 5 years, Apple has released a large number of new tablets. Is there one among them that you really wanted to take and upgrade?

I thought about updating only with the release of the new iPad Pro 10.5, the previous versions were not particularly attractive. I think it has a great form factor, and it’s very powerful and future-proof, like my iPad used to be.

iPad 10.5 anti-glare coating in action.

But when the effect of the novelty presented subsided a little, I thought – why, because my iPad continues to please me. This is where it has stopped to this day.

Thank you!

It was interesting to hear the opinion of an ordinary user. It’s time to draw conclusions.

Summary and my thoughts

A tablet is not a device that the buyer plans to update every year or even two. I do not speak for everyone, we take the situation as a whole.

And the iPad, which was purchased five years ago, has still received new features and operational security updates. Apple’s support for its devices has long been known, but it is with tablets that it becomes more relevant than ever, because they are bought for long-term use.

I haven’t heard anything like this from other tablet makers. And I do not see a single competitor to the new iPad, both in terms of software and hardware.

Yes, there are solutions for full-fledged Windows 10, but this is a completely different user experience, yet incomprehensible “for whom and why”, a narrow and not fully formed category of either tablets or laptops. But the devices are very interesting, and perhaps someone will even be able to find a useful use for them.

“Can an iPad replace a computer?” – there is no single answer for everyone. It all depends on the tasks of a particular user.

Some workflows can already be transferred to the iPad: the software, albeit slowly, has begun to catch up. But sometimes you have to search and use several applications at once, due to some missing function in one of them.

Software situation today:

  • on the iPad it is very convenient to perform tasks on the go, some are completed completely, some are then finalized on the Mac;
  • software for professional tasks already exists, but not always all the necessary functions are available (depending on your needs);
  • development of both iOS and third-party programs continues at a good, healthy pace; Recently, there has been an increase in attention from developers and Apple.

Recently there have been rumors about the development of macOS for the ARM architecture and the partial rejection of Intel processors in computers. It’s still too early to talk about a full-fledged macOS for iPad, but at least there is ground for new ideas.

The release of iOS 11, almost uncompromising in terms of iPad Pro hardware. What awaits us next will be seen, but I look forward to a lot of interesting things, including major releases from third-party developers.

Latest article about iPad 4

The iPad 4 proved that if you buy an Apple tablet today, you won’t be left out tomorrow. And the day after tomorrow. And maybe even in 5-6 years.

I think for at least another year, iPad 4 can be considered relevant. iOS 10 is still pretty fresh. Later, it will already begin to become obsolete morally, support for new applications and their updates will be reduced.

But it’s too early to say goodbye to him. And, most likely, many of us still have Apple tablets of an even more honorable age.

iPad Pro 10.5: from 46 990 rubles
iPad Pro 12.9: from 53 990 rubles
Apple Pencil: 7 990 rubles

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iPad 4 operating experience in 2020 and new Apple tablets.

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