The iPad 2 launches tomorrow, and I predict long queues and shortage of stock all over the place. For many, this will be their first iPad; others will be upgrading from their original iPad.
Although it’s not a huge upgrade compared to the iPad 1, I’ll still be getting myself an iPad 2. Yes, I’m swayed by the marketing and the hype! And, to be quite honest, I’m sick of having to fight the geekdaughter to get to use mine! So when I get my iPad 2, she’ll inherit my iPad 1. A win all round I think!
Apple have released the prices for the new iPad 2, and the good news is that it is coming in a little bit cheaper than the original iPad cost when it first launched. There are 6 different models available, but in order to choose the right one for you you only need consider two questions – “do I need 3G?”, and “how much storage do I need?”
Do I need 3G?
The 3G option will add £100 to the price of whatever size iPad you choose. But is it worth it? In my opinion it all depends where you are going to use your iPad, and whether you have other Internet connected devices already. If you’ll be mostly using your iPad at home, or in other locations where WiFi is available, I would say it’s not worth getting the 3G version. If you do plan to use your iPad whilst you’re out and about then I would also say that you should consider your other devices. It is now possible to “tether” your iPad to your iPhone 4 and share it’s data connection (if your provider supports this), and I wrote a blog post detailing the costs of doing this. If you don’t have an iPhone 4, consider getting yourself a MiFi – this is a little mobile hotspot which can be used to connect up to 5 devices to the internet. When I last researched it, the data prices were cheaper than iPad 3G plans, with the added benefit that you could connect other devices as well.
One good point of the iPad 3G data plans is that you don’t have to commit to any regular payment plan – there are “pay as you go” options that allow you to buy just 24 hours’ worth of data connection at a time, which is pretty handy if you don’t travel much.
My verdict: I don’t want to be paying for multiple data contracts, so I will be buying the WiFi only iPad, and using my iPhone4 as a personal hotspot.
How much storage?
The things that will take up the most storage on your iPad are videos and apps, and of those two, videos are certainly the most space-hungry items. You may not expect to use your iPad as a media player, but I can assure you that it is actually extremely good for watching video on. As a Mum I always make sure I have a few episodes of Peppa Pig on hand in case I need to distract the geekdaughter. If you don’t travel much you can get away with less storage for video, as apps like StreamToMe allow you to play video files directly off your PC, without having them take up space on your iPad. If you do travel, consider getting more storage to allow you to take a few favourite movies or TV series away with you.
When I first got my iPad, the apps didn’t take up much space. However, as time has moved on, and the developers have started writing more complex apps that use the full power of the iPad, the apps have started to take more space. The newly released Garage Band, for example, weighs in at a hefty 500Mb! I would estimate that the average app is still under 100Mb, but they’re definitely getting bigger. My current iPad is a 32Gb model, and my storage currently looks like this:
Now, if I wanted to free up more space I could clear out some older, less-used apps, or even remove some of my video. I can certainly comfortably manage with my 32Gb model. But the new one comes with a camera and I have yet to see whether I’ll actually use it much for taking photos or videos – if I do, that will all take space as well.
My verdict: I am still undecided. I would be happy with another 32Gb model I think, but I can’t decide if it would be prudent to pay the extra for a 64Gb model!
What about you? What model will you be getting, and why?