iPad, iPad2 Should You Take The Leap? My View

Right now there are Apple freaks lined up for hours to get their mitts on the new iPad, the iPad 2.

As someone that has owned an original iPad for the past three months I’d like to give a little advice to those of you who are considering the device.

First off I absolutely love mine, the first Generation which came out about a year ago. It is the coolest electronic device I’ve ever owned. At this point I should also state that I am not a blind Apple follower. I was hugely unimpressed with the last gen MacBook pro and feel that the last generation incredibly underperformed my Windows laptop which cost about one third the price. So this review is coming from a guy who is completely impartial and judge these things based on how easy they are to use and how quickly they get them done.

There are several types of computer users and I will spell out what device I would buy based on several different scenarios.

In my opinion 70% of computer users in the US could easily use an iPad and never miss a single feature of a desktop or laptop computer. This is based on my theory that 70% of computer users don’t do much more than check email, Facebook, YouTube and occasionally upload a picture or two and that is the extent of their computer use. I would argue that the form and function of the iPad is awesome for those tasks and any more computer is overkill and a waste.

If you fall into that category and are debating wether you should buy a laptop, I would suggest you buy yourself an iPad instead. Now you have a couple of different choices. You can buy a refurbished first generation iPad for $349. Or you could buy the newer generation one for $499. I haven’t played around with the new one yet but I can tell you that the one I’ve had is awesome. I reach for it before I reach for the laptop at the house. So if money is a bit tight I wouldn’t hesitate recommending you get yourself a $349 refurbished unit from Apple. You will love it, trust me.

If you are rolling in dough I wouldn’t fault you buying the iPad2. It is 33% thinner and 15% lighter and has a faster processor. I guess it can’t hurt to have a faster processor but I’ve never felt that the first gen was sluggish. $349 for a like new refurbished iPad to me is a sweet deal though. For the amount of time you will use it that $349 sounds just sooooo doable.

Despite what the Apple folks would like you to believe however, for the other 30% of computer users who use their computers to create lots of content. To edit videos, to edit photos, to really write long blog posts or novels or articles or word documents or spreadsheets, you want a laptop.

While the iPad is the best device out there to consume content on the go, and it is capable of creating content, it just isn’t nearly as efficient for creating large quantities of content for the power user or above average content creator.

So if you don’t already own a capable laptop or desktop computer but create a good amount of content I would say those are easily a better option than either the iPad or iPad 2.

Now for those of you with the means and you already have a laptop or desktop but want to splurge, by all means go out and get yourself an iPad for travel or commuter rail or browsing the internet on the couch.

With the amount of content I create, a small laptop is probably a better option for me than my iPad as I create one to two videos a day and upload anywhere from 2-30 photos a day. I can’t justify owning both so I’d like to sell my 3 month old iPad. I figure since it’s only 3 months old and in perfect condition that it should bring in $300 if anyone wants to buy it and I’d go get me a small laptop and someone would get a great deal. Last week I offered my iPad for sale for $375 to a few friends. I never expected apple to offer refurbished units for $349 quite honestly. $349 for a refurbished one is a great deal as well, but mine for 300 with a $30 sweet case included is a much better deal.

I hope I shed a little light on the subject for those of you considering taking the leap. Feel free to ask any questions.

9 comments

  • Probably worth noting that in order to setup the iPad (and update firnware, load content you already own, etc.) a computer with iTunes is REQUIRED. So it’s not really a replacement device – close – but not quite there.

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  • 349.00 for most of us an ouch! but…. sounds like a good deal when your on vaca. where the hotel offers free wifi. looks like a great mothers day gift for my wife! :)

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  • I’ve been holding out because of the camera feature! I want to get one for my parents so they can Skype and talk to the little guy and the old one doesn’t have that capability.

    Also, I think at the Apple store they will load your data if you don’t have a compy. Not sure, but I believe that’s an option for folks that want just an iPad and no desktop.

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  • I think the Motorola Xoom is a better device. Honeycomb is Android’s new Tablet optimized operating system and in my opinion works much better than iOs which is designed for both phones and tablets.

    Having full access to the file system is important, full desktop browsing (no mobile sites like with the iPad) and Adobe Flash makes it a hit for me. The Xoom also has the same processor as the iPad, double the memory, and much better screen resolution.

    I like not being locked into Apple. With Android, I have a choice of a different App stores (Android Marketplace, Amazon and more) and don’t have to deal with Apple’s tight control.

    Downsides:

    Not as many Applications because Honeycomb is only about 2 weeks old.
    Not as thin as the iPad.
    Price, though we will see a wiFi only Xoom at Sam’s Club for the same price as the

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  • Hi Joey,

    Is this still available?

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  • Thanks for letting me know I wasn’t missing something because I only use my ipad to lie in bed and read the NYT, which I love doing, but I was sure it was supposed to eliminate every piece of electronics in my house, including the washing machine.

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