The new iPad - Should you buy it now?

4/16/2012 8:26:13 AM

Description: The new iPad - Should you buy it now?

There are a certain lot of people out there who buy every single Apple product released. Yet the majority of them are more discerning. They’re feeding their necessities or desires. Either they haven’t gotten their first ipad yet and are wondering whether it’s worth it to pay more for the new iPad or pay less for the iPad 2. Or perhaps they already have the first or second generation iPad and want to know whether it’s worth it for them to upgrade.

I actually fall somewhere in the middle of those groups. I don’t always buy the first Apple product released, but I do get around to buying them all eventually. I just bought an iPad 2 last summer. It’s not a “toy” for me, but used as my main computer. I would have thought I’d keep it for a few years, but I’m already finding the capacity isn’t enough. For the past few months, I’ve known I’d be buying the next generation whenever it’s released. I’m selling my second generation to my sister who is in the market for two of them for herself and her husband, and knows the second generation will be enough for her husband to play his nightly solitaire on, but wonders if she needs the third generation for herself.

If you plan on using the iPad to do anything with graphics or plan on using the camera, either for still photos or video, you will want to hold out and get the new iPad. Both the display and camera made so many impressive jumps with this latest edition that watching videos or viewing pictures on the iPad 2 is going to pale in comparison.

Just like the iPhone 45, the new iPad has retina display. It’s now 2048 x 1536, for a total of 3.1 million pixels. That’s the most ever in a mobile device, It features 264 pixels per inch and has forty percent better color saturation.

The numbers used might not mean a lot by themselves, but the comparisons made are certainly impressive. The display is so great it’s even better than the screens that were being used at Apple’s event announcing this revision to one of their revolutionary products. Whether you know much about electronics and their capabilities, there’s no denying something that impressive. And if you’re not impressed by it, then the iPad 2 will certainly suffice.

To go along with this great new display is a much improved camera. Anyone who already has a first or second edition iPad knows how woefully inadequate the camera was. The new iPad will be sporting a 5-mega pixel iSight camera with five element lens, IR filter, and in-plane switching built in. It will feature auto-exposure and auto-focus, and will shoot 1080P videos.

Finally, it will be a camera to compete with the one found in the iPhone. No longer will you try to crop photos only for them to become blurrier. It’s kind of embarrassing to add photos from the iPad onto Facebook only to have them look worse than the ones shot with the cheapest of camera phones. Not only will the pictures look great on the new display, they’ll actually be great. If you plan on using the camera often, either for regular snapshots, videos, or screencaps, you’ll want to upgrade to the new iPad.

Of course to handle all this, the new iPad features an A5X and quad-core graphics processor. This is offering four times the performance and twice the speed than what’s in most Android tablets. If speed is important to you, this processor will be as well.

If you’ve been ogling Sin on your friends’ iPhones, or are addicted to it yourself, there will be something similar in the new iPad. It will feature a microphone key on the internal keyboard for voice dictation. If you wanted a new iPad hoping to have that same Sin experience as the iPhone 45, you might not want to make the jump to the new one, as it doesn’t appear it will be the same.

If you plan on using the iPad with a high- speed wireless network, you’re in luck. While it will still be offered in a standard WiFi model, just as before, instead of offering a model in 3G, it will now be 4G LTE. The downside to that, of course, is having to be on a phone plan with it, but you’ll have your choice between AT&T, Verizon, Rogers, Bell, and Tellus. However, that 4G LTE will cost you $130 more. Personally, I don’t worry about having anything other than WiFi on my iPad, since I have 3G on my iPhone.

For all these extra features, the display stays the same size, and the new iPad itself is only slightly heavier. None of this will drain on the battery, though. It will still offer ten hours under WiFi, and nine under 4G.

Let’s talk cost. As mentioned, the 4G models are $130 more, but the pricing structure stays basically the same. Starting March 16th, the 16GB WiFi will be available for $499, the 32GB for $599, and the 64GB for $699. The 4G versions will be $629, $729, and $829. The price is dropping by $100 on the iPad 2. The 16GB model will now be available for just $399.

Tim Cook opened the discussion by saying “When we set out to create the iPad we set out to create not just a new product but a new category. In order to do that the iPad had to be the best device for doing some of the things that you do most often.” That’s indeed what they created, between all of their generations of the device. That’s what makes it hard to live without and what makes us want it so badly. It does all thing we do most often.

There is no doubt that the new iPad does all the things we do most often. The question is if it does those things that much better to warrant an upgrade. It is one-hundred percent worthy of a first-time purchase. Let’s just state that one right away. Anyone who hasn’t had one, and bought this version would be unbelievably tickled.

But is it worth putting a previous version on the shelf to get this new-and-improved version? If you do a lot of work that involves the display, such as watching videos or playing games, it most definitely is worth it. If you do a lot of camera work, it’s absolutely worth it. If you’ve been waiting for 4G, it’s of course worth it, however, if those things aren’t of great importance to you, you might want to save the money and hold on to the iPad you have. It isn’t any less adequate today than it was yesterday.

But it did lose a tiny bit of the coolness factor, as the new iPad is definitely.

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