I heard a colleague pondering out loud the other day about the new iPad. He felt that because this tablet is now three generations in, it’s probably time to get one. So I asked him, “Why get the new one when you can get an iPad 2 refurbished for half the cost?” (In case you haven’t been following, I’m a sucker for second-hand). In truth though, even a new iPad 2 is still cheaper than the most recent iteration, and it’s almost as good.
So this was an honest question. The iPad 2 is incredible — beautiful display, fast, sleek, dual-core processor and a camera. My colleague looked at me like I had grown another head. For him, it was the new iPad or nothing, though I’m not sure he had a valid reason other than it was the new, shiny toy on the market.
For those of you wondering what you can get from the new iPad and if it’s worth the cost, here’s a run-down of its key features:
5MP iSight Camera
Well there’s that. Rabid iPad fans have been waiting for this feature, especially as people turn to their tablet to store pictures and create amazing-looking online scrapbooks. For those not into manual camera tinkering, this camera has features like auto focus, tap to focus, and tap to set exposure functions. In other words, it’ll be hard not to take amazing photos. You can also record 1080p HD video on this iPad, which is great for those who like to record and store stills and video all in one place. But unless you’re a camera junkie, you may not even notice a difference between this and the camera on the iPad 2.
Apple is making a big hubbub over the retina display in the new iPad, claiming that it makes images, movies and text remarkably more clear. I’m not entirely sold. Again, to the average, not-terribly-geeked-out eyes, the difference is minimal. The iPad 2 was a substantial improvement over the first iPad. While Apple says it has done it again, and the technical data is there, I’m not calling this as a game changer.
The new iPad is built for speed. That is, it’s built for the 4G network. It claims to work beautifully on both AT&T and Verizon, and can even support a SIM card. Something else kind of nice, especially for the executive who uses an iPad for work, you can use the iPad as a hotspot. If your carrier supports it, iPad can connect wireless for up to five devices over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB. Not too shabby.
The iCloud was one of the best releases for Apple in the last year. For business executives who are nervous about storing content on mobile devices, the iCloud can be seen as a lifesaver. I recently lost my iPhone and was able to quickly track it down using iCloud, then swipe all of the content off my phone, remotely, when I saw that the phone had been picked up by an evil thief. Restoring everything to a new device took mere minutes. And aside from the 20 minutes I spent watching my phone drive through Scottsdale via Google Maps, the iCloud saved me from a lot of anguish. Mostly, I wasn’t concerned that confidential data would be taken from my phone because I had total control, remotely, to save that data and plant it on a new device. Because so many more people are taking the iPad to work, this is absolutely a must. Of course, you can get this with your iPad 2.
To conclude, the third generation iPad is a beautiful device but may not be worth the cost for the first time iPad buyer. Instead, I would recommend it for folks who bought a first generation iPad and are ready for an upgrade. There are significant differences between these two versions. But if you were smart enough to purchase the iPad 2 last year, my advice is to hold on to it and get your money’s worth for another year.