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Ipads
September 24, 2012 6:14 PM   Subscribe

Choosing between Ipads, how?

We are looking to gift an Ipad to my siblings (guy and a gal) but have no idea which one to go with. Are there any sites that have a side by side comparison to help us decide. Will be used for web surfing, videos, facebook and some office stuff. Any personal experience with these would be helpful also. Thank you
posted by pakora1 to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
If you buy them a 3G one you're potentially increasing their bills with a new mobile broadband contract. Personally I find my 16G wifi model adequate for the kinds of tasks you list.
posted by singingfish at 6:24 PM on September 24, 2012


iPads refer specifically to Apple's products, and there is little difference between them. What difference there is:

Model. Apple currently sells the iPad 2 and what they call "the new iPad," but most think of as the iPad 3. Frustratingly, depending on the store it can be hard to tell the difference at checkout. iPad 2s sell for $100 less and are a step down the road to obsolescence. (Apple already doesn't release updates for iPad 1s anymore, and they're only a year older than 2s!) So try to get a 3 if possible.

Capacity. They come in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB sizes. A large app can take up 300MB or more. (The highest I've seen is a port of The Bard's Tale, that's over a gigabyte!) But for most of the uses you suggest the 16GB model will be fine; it's mostly games and heavy media use that requires the larger sizes, and even then 16GB will probably last you pretty well. One size increase raises the cost of the machine by about $100.

Connection. Apple makes Wi-Fi only iPads, and those that also have 3G cellular network internet. That will cost some $100+ extra, plus data use will cost extra. If you plan on using the iPad around town a lot it might be worth it to go for the 3G version. Me, I go with WiFi, but I keep a list in my head of places that offer free Wi-Fi. This includes all McDonalds and Starbucks, many bookstores (though you might need to get a discount card), and various other places you'll have to discover for your town. The 3G version also provides GPS. Whether you have 3G data you can still connect to and use WiFi networks. You don't HAVE to have a contract to use a 3G iPad, but you'll be stuck using it for WiFi and it just needlessly increases the price.
posted by JHarris at 6:27 PM on September 24, 2012


Here's an iPad comparison chart.

If you buy them a 3G one you're potentially increasing their bills with a new mobile broadband contract.

Nope, you don't have to sign a contract. Hell, you don't even have to sign up for it. When they do, it's a month to month bill, they can keep it running or shut it off anytime they want.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:36 PM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


For the specific uses you mentioned, any would work. If they potentially want to use it away from wifi, or for GPS navigation, you'll need the 3G versions.
posted by odinsdream at 7:14 PM on September 24, 2012


The "New iPad":

+ Much, much, much better screen
+ Better rear camera, although it's still not great
+ LTE support, which give you massively faster cellular data speeds (assuming you are in the US and get the cellular model). The internet speeds on wifi are not affected.

- heavier than the iPad 2
- poorer battery life than the iPad 2

The screen on the "New iPad" is pretty extraordinary. You may not notice a huge difference using it casually at the store but it's the kind of thing that makes everything else look bad after you get used to it.

If you do feel that you want the cellular model, I'd go with the Verizon model. Verizon's data plans are better.
posted by The Lamplighter at 7:14 PM on September 24, 2012


iPad 2s sell for $100 less and are a step down the road to obsolescence. (Apple already doesn't release updates for iPad 1s anymore, and they're only a year older than 2s!) So try to get a 3 if possible.

Apple usually issues updates for products as long as they are able to handle them, technically. The first iPad was released with only 256mb of RAM, which was pretty inadequate even at the time. The iPhone 3GS, released a year earlier, has the same amount of RAM but is far less constrained by it because of the lower resolution screen. And the iPhone 3GS received the iOS 6 update while the original iPad did not.

The "new iPad" isn't really faster than the iPad 2. In fact, in some ways it's actually slower. Significantly slower. All the internal improvements made to the third gen product were to ensure that it was able to (barely) keep pace with the iPad 2 despite the outrageously high resolution screen.
posted by The Lamplighter at 7:23 PM on September 24, 2012


It still means they stopped updating iPad 1s just slightly over two years after the product was released. I notice the iPad 3 has twice the memory of the 2, again.
posted by JHarris at 7:40 PM on September 24, 2012


It still means they stopped updating iPad 1s just slightly over two years after the product was released. I notice the iPad 3 has twice the memory of the 2, again.

It does, and it needs it to support the higher resolution screen. The iPhone 3GS was pretty overpowered considering its low screen resolution and that has enabled it to be a reasonable phone even three years after it was released. The new iPad is not like that, and I'm not certain that it will have a useful lifespan any longer than the iPad 2. just a guess.
posted by The Lamplighter at 7:45 PM on September 24, 2012


No one has ever said "damn, I wish I hadn't spent that money on extra hard drive SSD space. They probably won't need the 64GB, but it's trivial to fill up 16GB. Infinity Blade 2 is something like 1.5GB on it own.
posted by griphus at 8:10 PM on September 24, 2012


And, just in case this is a useful data point, you may wish to delay your decision until mid-October. A poorly kept secret is that Apple will be having another announcement on 10/10/12 regarding the iPad Mini. I'm a big fan of following MacRumors for insight, particularly the Buyer's Guide.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 8:51 PM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


You only need to ask yourself one question. Do you give a shit about how much you spend? If not, them get the top of the line, 64GB WiFi + 3G model. Couldn't hurt. If you give even a little shit about how much you spend, get the basic $499 16GB WiFi model. It's still an iPad, which is a kickass gift, even at the entry level. Also, black is the only acceptable color of iPad.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:53 PM on September 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've had an 16GB iPad 2 since they were released. I've only recently got to the point where it's run out of storage space. It's all apps, mind you. I don't really keep other files or music on it. And I'm quite happy just to take a lot of the apps off - I can put them back on again if I (ever) need them.

So for me, the 16GB version is absolutely fine; whether it's enough for you will depend on how you use the device.
posted by pipeski at 1:10 AM on September 25, 2012


The iPad 2 I bought three months ago does not have Siri or a number of the functions of iOS 6. So yes, they do update the software for most devices, but they're certainly not complete.

I would advise that you buy the iPad 2 if you think they'll be light users and won't appreciate future features. For us, it's mostly video playback and some light note-taking and e-mailing, meaning a bunch of the core features don't get used anyways, but be warned that already iPad 2 is missing some features.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 3:50 AM on September 25, 2012


- poorer battery life than the iPad 2

I have one, and I don't really think its the case. Screen brightness seems to be the largest determinant on battery drain.
posted by empath at 6:16 AM on September 25, 2012


Most of the iPad 2's produced after March use a more efficient version of the A5 processor and have better battery life than the 2011 iPad 2's.

Overall battery life will be good for pretty much any iPad, especially if you're used to laptops.
posted by The Lamplighter at 8:50 AM on September 25, 2012


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