Are Refurbished iPads Good or Bad? Pros and Cons

Refurbished iPads can be a good option if you want to save some money compared to the cost of a brand-new one. But there is always a risk that a refurbished iPad won’t last as long, and it might not qualify for AppleCare and other types of coverage. 

This post will explore the good and bad of refurbished iPads. I’ll give you some pros and cons on both sides of the topic to provide you with all you need to know to make an informed purchasing decision. 

Let’s dig in. 

Refurbished iPads: Pros and Cons

Refurbished iPad ProsRefurbished iPad Cons
Cheaper than buying a new iPadMight not last as long
Can still get newer model iPad Not always eligible for AppleCare coverage
Apple certified refurbished options are reliableThird-party sellers aren’t as reliably 
Multiple retailers give you options for purchasingPrivate party sellers come with substantial risk

iPads are sweet, and they can come in very useful in many different situations. However, these awesome tablets are some of the most expensive, so exploring refurbished options can be worthwhile. 

The most significant advantage of purchasing a refurbished iPad is that you’ll pay less than the cost of a brand-new one. That can be good news for anyone on a budget or if you simply don’t have enough money for an iPad, to begin with. 

The downside is that a refurbished iPad might not last as long as a new one. There really isn’t any way to tell if a refurbished one will last a long time, so that is always a risk when you don’t buy brand new. 

Another benefit of refurbished iPads is that you can typically choose from various makes and models. This gives you plenty of options to look into, and you can find iPads that are still packed with the latest features and functions. 

A certified refurbished iPad will come with a warranty if you buy from a certified retailer, like the Apple Store or Best Buy. But this isn’t available with every retailer, so you should research and ensure you are covered, at least in some way. 

Refurbished iPads from reputable retailers are pretty easy to find. You can look at the big box stores I mentioned above, and there are also plenty of options online to explore. That makes it easy to find a model you want at an affordable price. 

But if you buy a refurbished iPad from a third-party seller or private party that doesn’t offer a warranty, there are no guarantees that the iPad will work properly. That’s a considerable risk you take, even if the price is right. 

Best Place to Buy Refurbished iPad

If you look over the pros and cons mentioned above and want to move forward with getting a refurbished iPad, you are probably wondering where to start. There are several locations where you can purchase one without worry. 

Purchasing a certified refurbished iPad directly from Apple is the best option. You can find these at the Apple Store online or by visiting a physical Apple Store or other official Apple retailer. These have all been expertly refurbished with official Apple parts. 

A certified refurbished iPad directly from Apple also comes with a one-year warranty, which is a great option when you are buying a used product. This will allow you to get more repairs or a replacement during that year. 

Other big box stores such as Best Buy or Amazon also offer certified refurbished iPads. Either of these options can also work, but just be sure to read any fine print and try to secure a warranty in case the device malfunctions after you purchase it.

What’s the Best Refurbished iPad?

If you’re a user who likes to wait a bit after a new product gets released, or if you’re simply on a budget, the items here are the way to go.

1. iPad Pro

In 2010, Apple revolutionized the tablet. Since then, the industry has never been the same. This refurb model is fantastic. It boasts a brighter screen and faster performance compared to its predecessor.

The new iOS installed allows you to multitask, and you won’t even know this tablet isn’t brand new. Stream shows, play games, or run a business on this iPad without missing a beat. That doesn’t even mention the discounted price.

What We Like:

  • Bright, beautiful picture
  • Amazon Renewed label ensures you receive a double-checked, reliable device
  • Solid battery life

What We Dislike:

  • A bit heavy compared to its Air 2 sibling

2. iPad Air

Speaking of the Air, Apple knocked it out of the park with this innovative model. Even though Air came out quite a few years ago, this tablet is still very capable for both work and play.

It’s easy to set up for any user level and arrives like new. The Core intel processor is sharp and Apple hit a home run with the design and color.

Did I mention the camera is a serviceable 8 MP and your battery lasts an entire day on one charge? This is a great design all around.

What We Like:

  • Gorgeous design and picture quality
  • Spacious 64 GB of memory
  • Thin and lightweight

What We Dislike:

  • Some issues with aftermarket parts during the purchase

3. iPad Mini

Yes, the Mini is smaller (measuring just a hair under eight inches) but to many, that’s the draw. Don’t be fooled by its name, your movies stream beautifully with 2048 x 1536 resolution.

It operates on Apple’s new iOS system and utilizes the A8 Dual-Core Chip. This Mini is also loaded with a 128 GB capacity, allowing you to store virtually unlimited work documents or apps as you see fit.

What We Like:

  • Offers a lot of space with 128 GB storage
  • Crystal clear 1080p HD Video Recording
  • Great size for those looking for less tablet with the same capabilities

What We Dislike:

  • Small screen could affect typing for certain users

Choosing a Refurbished iPad: What to Consider

In the case of refurbished items, the potential for issues is greater than if you were getting it new. Not only are features like battery life and operation efficiency important, but you have to take into account why the iPad is in the refurbished situation in the first place.


Knowing where the refurbished iPad came from can be crucial. Always ask who inspected it and who ultimately deemed it worthy to resell? This information is key to whether or not the device is worthy of your hard-earned money.

Amazon’s 90-day return policy is nice, but everyone wants to buy a machine that doesn’t have to be returned. Beware of third-party vendors that may not have the positive reputation of “renewed” Amazon products.


In several situations, you’re getting a completely new outer casing. In those situations, the outside shouldn’t have a dent or fingerprint anywhere on it.

If you do your research, there’s no reason your refurb shouldn’t look and feel exact to the new model with the same performance speed. Always give preference to models that look how you imagine they should.

Accompanying Parts

Read up on what comes with your refurbished iPad. It isn’t uncommon to have just the tablet show up without a charger or headphones only to go back to the description and see those omissions in the fine print.

Make sure you know exactly what comes with your device and whether or not you’re ok with using aftermarket chargers to save a few bucks.


Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to if refurbished iPads are good or bad. 

Can refurbished iPads be trusted? 

If you purchase a refurbished iPad from a certified retailer, you can trust them because they are typically backed by a year-long warranty. This will cover any issues you might have with the iPad during the first year you own it. 

Are refurbished iPads the same as new? 

Refurbished iPads are not technically the same as new ones, but there is a good chance that you’ll get one that is basically new. Refurbished iPads have had certain parts fixed or replaced, so they function like new, even though they have been used. 

What does it mean if an iPad is refurbished? 

A certified refurbished iPad means that the device has been repaired with official Apple replacement parts. An expert has also inspected it to ensure everything is working properly. Refurbished also just means that a used iPad has been fixed up. 

Do refurbished iPads have new batteries? 

Every certified refurbished iPad will come with a new outer shell and a fresh battery. But if you get a non-certified refurbished iPad, the battery might not be new. That’s another reason to choose a certified refurbished option. 

Final Thoughts

Refurbished iPads offer a great way to get your hands on a highly functional tablet without spending top dollar for one. But you always run the risk of having a device that doesn’t last as long as it would brand new. 

If you choose to purchase a refurbished iPad, always buy from a certified retailer, so you at least get some sort of warranty. This will give you peace of mind and help ensure your investment works properly. 

Have you ever purchased a refurbished iPad or another device? What was your experience with it? Let me know in the comments below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *