Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The iPad 2

Apple released it's latest flavor of the iPad: so the question of the day is "to buy or not to buy?" First, a rundown of the differences between the iPad and the iPad 2. They're pretty much identical except for the following improvements:
  • iPad 2 has a low quality camera on the front and a bit better quality camera on the back, good for videoconferencing, but that's about it. You're not going to want to try to take award winning photos with this, but if you want to talk to family members and see them, then this is great.
  • iPad 2 is twice as fast, with graphics 9 times faster. So a significant speed boost.
  • iPad 2 is 33% thinner and .2 pounds lighter. From what I read, it's pretty sleek to hold. (And it's got a cool new cover, which is nice--but shouldn't exactly make your decision for you.)
  • iPad 2 now offers 1080p video output (with the right cable), so you can see full HD video on your big screen TV with it, streaming Netflix or whatever else you'd like. That's pretty cool, and a bump up from the 720p available earlier.
  • iPad 2 comes in white as well as black.
And that's about it. Same great battery life. Same great screen. Same apps. It's a great product.

But should you buy it?

Well, that depends. If you already have an iPad, you could sell your old one for about half its value and upgrade. I have an original iPad, and I'm not upgrading. I just don't think the improvements warrant me giving Apple another $300 of my money, especially not when you know there will be an iPad 3 in the future. With Apple, you have to know which features are important to you, and upgrade when those features come. For me, that's not now.

If I didn't already own an iPad, I would definitely consider getting one. I use mine probably about 2 hours each day, minimum. I love it. Would I buy an iPad 2 or a refurbished iPad 1 for half the price? I don't know . . . Probably the refurbished iPad 1, because I'm not rolling in money. $149 saved is a good chunk of change, but that's a personal decision.

So there you have it. Hopefully enough info to make a fully-informed decision on the iPad. If you've got more questions, fire away!

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