Is it worth the extra money for the pro? Sent from XFINITY Connect Mobile App
Reasons for YES:
Future-proofing - Since the first iPhone Apple has released a new version of the iOS operating system every year. As hardware capabilities improve, more features get added. This has the side effect of leaving older tablets frozen at a specific version. For example, the original iPad cannot update past iOS 5 and the iPad 2 is locked at iOS 9. This is of no consequence if you don't have a need for the new features, but developers such as myself cannot update apps prior to a certain version. Our FootBook app continues to work on iPads stuck in version 5, but we cannot update them. Each year Apple updates the minimum version for which apps can be submitted to the store, so updating older products becomes impossible. For this reason 3 of our 4 apps are unavailable to original iPad owners.
Speed - As hardware capabilities evolve so too do apps evolve to take advantage of the features. Older iPads can suffer performance issues that make apps less appealing to use. At least 20% of the time we spent on our Quilt in the Hoop app was devoted to making it run well on the iPad 2. We did this because a large number of the free iPads given with the 15000 were iPad 2, available to Janome at a reduced price because it was already an "old" product. The older the iPad, the less likely it will be usable with new apps. I guess this is really just a restatement of Future Proofing.
Accessories - Until the iPad Pro there has been no accessories for iPad other than cases. With the Pro we got the Apple Pencil. It only works on the Pro models, and seems to contradict Steve Jobs' original pronouncement that any device that needs a stylus has failed. He was right about that, at least with regard to the stylus products sold at the time. However the Pencil is a remarkable device that opens the door to a lot of interesting apps. Sewing software is usually the very last to be updated for new hardware, but at some point I would expect somebody to develop digitizing software for iPads. It's already been done for drawing and drafting software.
Budget - In today's economy it's very important to watch every penny. If going "Pro" would stretch the budget to an uncomfortable degree, then by all means back down to the most capable iPad that is affordable. It's almost certain that every iPad will eventually become useful only as the cutting board that the clueless pensioner in the YouTube video assumed it was. Even if you buy a model below the Pro level, it will be many years before that happens. We still have two original iPads that only get used when the grandkids come over, but they still gravitate to them to play games.