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I also bought the iPad 1 and was similarly burned. The iPad 2 however has had tremendous longevity. I think the iPad 1 came out just one generation too early.

Define "longevity"? I'm typing this on an iPad 3 running iOS 9 and it's definitely showing its age. The hardware is in perfect condition but it struggles to render many web pages and the wifi (although better than on iOS 6-8) is hideously slow compared to my midrange Android phone.

The iPad 2 was sold side-by-side the iPad 3, 4 and iPad Air in Apple's stores. The iPad Mini also is essentially an iPad 2 in a smaller form factor as well.

So if you had gotten an iPad 2 on day 1, I feel like you would have had a reasonably long life on the device.

Your case with the iPad 3 is a little unique. It was the first device with a retina screen and was arguably underpowered for that task. This is why apple replaced the iPad 3 with the iPad 4 just 6 months later in the same year.

The iPad 1 and the iPad 3 are both underpowered for their typical workloads. The other iPads however have stood the test of time fairly well. My iPad Mini 1 (which is essentially an iPad 2) is a little slow, but serviceable and my wife's iPad 4 still works great.

Interesting, thanks for the history lesson! I got my iPad 3 at a discount when they were running out stock, and chose it specifically for the retina screen. It's done well, all things considered, but it definitely seems underpowered these days. Apps are fine but web browsing is quite clunky.

I basically stopped using my iPad2 a couple of years ago because it's too slow, interactively. I do leave a weather radar app running on it in the kitchen, just as a display. If I had to interact with it, it's painful.

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