What is Your Choice for iPad 2 or 3?

Oct 31


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tan quilin

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I shall share my experiences from my past two years of iPads ownership altogether especially for those who have not yet had an iPad. I shall also reveal a treasure trove of info on how you can choose for free mind in hopes of making this the most helpful iPad2 or 3 review.


I chose an Apple iPad MD364LL/A 32GB version with below reasons.

1. The new apps that will support the retina display are supposed to take more memory. So you should expect that whatever you had on your older iPad will take more space on this new one.

2. I feel that the days of 16GB being enough may soon be passing. With my 16GB iPad,What is Your Choice for iPad 2 or 3? Articles I had to start managing my iPad memory. I had to start deleting it.

3. The more powerful the iPad becomes the more I expect to use it. And with this means, more memory will be needed. The iPad has never been my primary "computer" but with this iteration it might be there. I can plug an HD screen into it via HDMI now and use a nice blue-tooth keyboard. However, you have to use the iPad itself as a gigantic touchpad as you cannot use a pointing device. It mirrors what on the screen. So it is clumsy-but-possible. Still we are getting so close to throwing the ipad down on the desk at work and just start working. So for the first time I plunked down my hard earned money for the Apple iPad MD364LL/A 32GB version. I think the 16GB version will be like having a 4GB iPhone 2G.

I recommend that most iPad 2 owners upgrade only if they really want or need the retina display, especially for people who do a lot of reading on iPad Or if they bought a wifi-only iPad 2 and always regretted not getting cellular internet. Now is their chance. If neither of these is true for you, stick with your iPad 2. It is still an absolutely great device and still a very worthy purchase for people who want an ipad but cannot afford or do not need the retina display.

What about 3G vs. 4G? If you have an iPad 2 with 3G, should you upgrade to enjoy the faster speed of 4G? The answer is only if you use it a lot. 4G on the new iPad is very fast. My iPad 2 does not have 3G. So I cannot say how much faster. My verizon iPhone 4S has 3G and it is way slower than a wifi connection but 4G on the new iPad is at least as fast as a good wifi connection. People who live in wifi unfriendly homes should think twice before buying the new iPad.

That said, the cellular service is not cheap. Most people use it only when wifi is not available. You have wifi at home, at work, at most coffee shops, libraries and hotels. The exception would be people that have an expensive plan with a high data allowance. If that is you and you use cellular connectivity a lot, then you have a good reason to upgrade. 4G is crazy fast.

iPads with 3G or 4G also have a true GPS receiver built-in that will work anywhere you can get a cellular internet connection. Actually, the GPS radio inside the 3G/4G ipads will pick up a signal anywhere. Even you are not in a location with service but you cannot see your location on a map unless you either: 1. You have internet access so that the maps can be accessed from the cloud or 2. Pre-download the maps to your device but they will take up a TON of space, at least a few GB, depending on the app you are using. But the 4G model contains a true GPS chip. It is very precise and combined with 4G connectivity. Your iPad can take advantage of some great navigation apps. For example, your iPad can effectively become a Garmin with a huge 10" display and there are lots of apps for hiking in the national parks or fishing or aviation that take full advantage of the GPS inside the iPad models with 3G or 4G. I almost had forgotten to include it even though I love to use the GPS mapping on my iPad.

In case you are considering a 4G iPad with Verizon, you should know that Verizon offers two types of service plans. You should know the difference between them before you buy. I did not and it was a hassle and unnecessary expense.

The two plans are "post-paid" and "pre-paid." Pre-paid has no activation fee. Post-paid has a $35 activation fee. The cheapest pre-paid plan is $20/month for 1 gig. The cheapest post-paid plan is $30/month for 2 gigs. So if you use wi-fi as much as possible and do not use 3G/4G a lot, you have got 2 reasons to choose pre-paid.

The pre-paid plan also has an option for 2 gigs for $30, same price as the post-paid plan, and you can pre-pay for larger amounts of data for the same prices you would pay with the post-paid plan. So you really do not give up anything by choosing the pre-paid plan, as far as I can tell. You control the pre-paid plan from the ipad itself (under settings > cellular). You can easily set up the account, choose the option you want, buy more data if you need it and do all this without any help from Verizon customer service. Furthermore, you can purchase data only when you will need it with no activation fees. You control the post-paid plan from the verizon website. You can "suspend" service when you don't need it, for a limited amount of time and you won't be billed during this time. If you suspend it, better write down in your calendar when the suspension will end because you'll start getting billed automatically on that date. I think there are restrictions on how many times per year you can suspend the service and how long you can suspend it for. There are no such restrictions on the pre-paid plan. I learned that Verizon stores make a commission when they sell you a post-paid plan. That's probably why the guy set me up with a post-paid plan when I bought the iPad. He acted like he was doing me a favor by setting up my device. That's shameful, and all of this is a huge surprise to me - I've been with Verizon for 8 years and generally had excellent customer service, both on the phone and in Verizon corporate stores.

Despite these hassles, I still recommend Verizon to folks considering an iPad with 4G cellular. Verizon's 4G service covers way more of the U.S. than AT&T's 4G service. And you can avoid the hassles I experienced by telling the Verizon store NOT to set you up on a post-paid plan when you buy the iPad - or, better yet, buy it from an Apple store. In short, you can notice the difference the retina display makes for photos, videos, and games. Yet, the experience of using the iPad 2 is still quite excellent. The fact is that, even at a lower resolution, the iPad 2's IPS display is exceptional.

What about battery life? I am still very happy after 5 weeks. Excellent battery life and no heat problems as some have reported. The retina display has 4x the pixels of the iPad 2 display and requires a lot more power, which would drain the battery faster. But the new iPad also comes with a much bigger battery inside that's why it is 1/10 of an inch thicker and an ounce or so heavier than iPad 2. Apple says battery life is about the same and that seems to be true in my experience in the four weeks since I bought it. For intense ipad users a sluggish charge time is definitely going to be a deal breaker when purchasing the new iPad. Additionally, the fact that the new iPad's battery does not charge when it is plugged and simultaneously running some 'heavy' apps will add to its disability. For Navigation lovers, iPad 2 will certainly have an edge because of its quick charge time while you are on the go.

What about the improved camera? Sure, it takes better pictures than the joke of a camera on iPad 2. But do most people use their iPad for photography, anyway? If you have an iPhone 4 or 4S, your camera is just as good or better and it's more convenient for taking pictures than using the iPad. Ditto for most smart phones. And only the rear-facing camera was improved; the front-facing camera is just as crappy as before. And that's a shame, because the front camera is the one I would actually use for skype and facetime.

What about dictation? I find it works about 80% less in a noisy room. Sure, it is easier to dictate and then edit the few errors that result than to type something from scratch on the iPad's on-screen keyboard. But I don't think most people will use the dictation feature enough for it to matter in the upgrade decision. People who write a lot on the iPad will already have an external keyboard (or should get one).

If neither of these is true for you, So who should buy the new iPad? The biggest and perhaps the only visible plus of the new iPad thus far seems to be its display. All other features are more or less subdued by its lack of basic luxuries. For instance, the higher RAM feature is neutralized by the higher demand for memory, so on and so forth. So, if you are a digital photographer, the new iPad is the tablet of choice for you. No other display will give you even the closest visualization of the pixels that you captured. If you are a low to medium level surfer and like to read books and magazines with colorful graphics and display, the 3rd generation is the way to go.

Game lovers who have extremely sensitive senses for sensing the speed, the new iPad is your gadget. If you are a big fan of shooting pictures and videos with your tablet which is kind of odd, though, the new iPad is your tool. But you have to give me a genuinely convincing reason for choosing a tablet over a digital camera or even an iPhone to shoot quality photos and videos.

Beyond this I would seriously recommend to meticulously outweigh risks verses benefits of buying the 3rd over 2nd generation iPad. And, who should buy the iPad 2? Well, everybody else who does not meet the above criterion. If you are an aggressive tablet user and must hold it for an infinite number of hours without having to bear the discomfort due to its higher temperature or weight or strain to your `retina', you are a born to use iPad 2.

iPad 2 is light on your pocket if you are a big time GSM user. Since there are no unlimited data plans for iPad so one must use the data prudently to avoid being billed multiple times in a month. Both Verizon and AT&T offer no more than 5 GB of data per charge for iPad. Here again the classification of aggressive vs. low to medium user should help you decide between iPad 2 and the new iPad. If you are a big time video chatter buying the new iPad will not make your experience any better than ipad 2 since no change has been made to the front camera of the tablet. Second, if you are chatting on a GSM plan you will now be burning more Mb/minute that you would with the previous version.

Conclusion, consider the New iPad if you are a big time digital photographer, professional or hobbyist and if you are a low to medium tablet user. For everybody else, your choice is iPad 2.

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