Help me decide which iPad to buy
November 20, 2010 1:32 AM   Subscribe

How much memory do I need, to accommodate my uses for an iPad?

I'm looking to buy an iPad in the next few months. I'm trying to figure out my use cases for an iPad, and thus how much storage memory I will need. I know I'll be using it for at least the 3 following things:

1) To show photos to customers (portfolio or gallery review). These will be jpegs, and most of them (gallery review) will only stay on the iPad for a limited time. The total number of portfolio jpegs will never top 1000 photos.

2) To use as a live streaming photo display device. Again, these will be jpeg photos only, and again they will live on the iPad for a limited time (during the photo session, perhaps for a few days after for photo review).

3) To use when I'm working out at the gym - to read blogs, to read email, etc. Perhaps to watch a movie or TV show. I'm not a big movie/TV viewer and don't anticipate storing many on the iPad.

Based on these use cases, it doesn't look like I'll need a whole lot of memory. But I haven't actually USED an iPad yet. So that's where you guys come in.

What I'd really love to learn is the following:

A) How much memory you have in your iPad.
B) How much free memory remains in your iPad.
C) Are you using more or less memory than you initially thought?
D) Do you think you bought more or less memory than you really need?
E) Where are the unexpected memory uses you have encountered?

And based on the above, what would you recommend for my purposes?

The media leaks about the next-gen iPad are very enticing - possibly a front-facing camera, possibly a world-model (that works on cell systems all around the world) etc. I might end up buying a used iPad off of craigslist and using it for a few months until the next-gen iPad is out, then getting the model I really need and selling the older model back out on CL (likely at a loss, but hopefully not as big of a loss as if I bought a new one now).
posted by jcdill to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Best answer: 32gb
Books. I read lots of books. And PDF documents.
posted by dfriedman at 1:41 AM on November 20, 2010

Best answer: I have the 32GB (shows as 29GB on the device) and have 21.3GB free of those 29. Turns out unless you use your iPad as an iPod (so you have tons of music on it) or store loads of videos on it (which I don't), you hardly use any space at all given how compact most software for iOS is.
posted by wackybrit at 2:50 AM on November 20, 2010

Best answer: 16gb
About 11gb
I have the lowest memory size, and it's more than I need
Videos; I don't use that many either, but quite like having a few waiting on the device for long journeys.

I used *far* less memory than I was initially expecting to, and suspect you'll do the same. Comparing my ipad's storage capacity to my laptop's (as I did at first) gave me a very skewed impression of how much space I'd actually need.
posted by Catseye at 3:41 AM on November 20, 2010

Best answer: A) 16gb
B) 5.1
C) exactly the amount I thought I'd use
D) perfect amount
E) Audiobooks, music, podcasts

I never intended to use it to store/watch movies, so it's perfect in that regard. Most of my space is taken up with music from one artist and podcasts -- even though mostly what I do with it is read and surf and play games. I think 16g would be fine for plenty of pictures.
posted by MeiraV at 7:24 AM on November 20, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks gang! Please keep the answers coming, this is VERY useful.
posted by jcdill at 7:32 AM on November 20, 2010

Best answer: I don't have an iPad currently, but I did have a 16GB 3G. With that grain of salt:

About right

I did heavy browsing and PDF reading on mine. The reason I ditched it was actually due to a nasty and persistent IOS PDF rendering flaw that rendered several documents unreadable.

I do currently have a 64GB iPod Touch. I use every byte of it, but if I removed the music I'd have been fine with an 8, and I use it for many of the same tasks as the iPad (same processor, just a smaller screen). Given your uses, I wouldn't worry about it too much, but you might want the 3G over just a WiFi.
posted by Rendus at 7:44 AM on November 20, 2010

Oh, and be sure to look at Apple's site for possible refurbished iPads. They're usually $50 cheaper, but come with a full warranty. I've never had an issue with a refurbished Apple product.
posted by Rendus at 7:45 AM on November 20, 2010

Best answer: 32gb
About what I expected: one of my major uses is to view ripped videos (either clips from DVDs I own, or saved youtube clips) and to hold my music collection.
About right: if I needed to, I could have gone with the 16gb model, but it would have required me to do a lot of work to actively select what music to carry with me.
Ebooks are the one use that might take off for me, but I don't know how much books really add up for memory when compared to video.
posted by philosophygeek at 8:46 AM on November 20, 2010

Response by poster: Quick question - is it cheating if I mark every answer as a "best answer" because you have all been equally helpful?
posted by jcdill at 8:35 PM on November 20, 2010

Best answer: I have the 64 gig iPad. I have 51.5 gigs free. I was going to load it up with a shit ton of photos. One day.

Get the 16 gig. I've heard places are selling them for 400$ in the states.
posted by chunking express at 7:02 AM on November 21, 2010

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