iPad Q&A - Published April 15, 2012
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What are the "pros and cons" of the iPad 3rd Gen? Does it make sense for my needs?
Please note that the iPad 3rd Gen models have been discontinued. However, this Q&A still can be quite helpful for anyone considering one on the used market.
Like any other purchase, only you can make the decision whether or not an iPad 3rd Gen model -- the iPad 3rd Gen (Wi-Fi Only), iPad 3rd Gen (Wi-Fi/4G LTE AT&T/GPS), and iPad 3rd Gen (Wi-Fi/4G LTE Verizon/GPS) -- is the right tablet or mobile computer for you, but you can evaluate the pros and cons to see if your needs are met.
This "run down" may be helpful in making a decision:
- Very thin, beautiful, sleek, and extremely portable design.
- Bright, incredibly high resolution and sharp 2048x1536 (264 ppi) display.
- System-wide mirroring support.
- Excellent performance and solid battery life.
- Built-in support for 4G LTE and GPS on the iPad 3rd Gen (Wi-Fi/4G LTE AT&T/GPS) and iPad 3rd Gen (Wi-Fi/4G LTE Verizon/GPS) configurations, as well as 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 (all models).
- Dual cameras (front and rear) make video conferencing and 1080p video capture fairly easy.
- Entirely usable onscreen keyboard and support for an external keyboard.
- High-quality pre-installed applications, including a web browser, e-mail client, and integrated Google Maps (when running iOS 5), as well as support for thousands of other iPad applications.
- Support for new iPhoto application for photo editing as well as iMovie, Garage Band, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and more.
- Inexpensive compared to notebook computers.
- Sold unlocked and without a contract in the US with multiple wireless carrier options.
- Glossy display casts a glare in direct light.
- The battery is not intended to be replaced and self-replacement is quite difficult.
- Storage capacity cannot be upgraded and can be inadequate given increasingly large file sizes to display images and other content optimized for the high-resolution display.
- No SD card slot for easy photo transfer.
- Shooting photos and video with such a physically large device is awkward.
- Support for 4G LTE is limited in many locations and the device does not support 4G LTE frequencies in most countries other than the US.
- Commonly runs warm.
- No support for Flash.
- No bundled headphones (a particularly miserly omission given the US$499+ price of the device).
- iWork applications are somewhat hobbled by document translation issues, file transfer complexity, and officially limited printer support.
- Expensive compared to some netbooks and e-readers as well as the iPod touch.
Ultimately, if your mobile needs primarily lean toward consuming content and creating fun content that does not require a lot of typing and a handheld device does not meet your needs, the iPad 3rd Gen could be a great choice for you.
Site sponsor PowerMax sells new and used iPad models free of sales tax.
- What are all the differences between the iPad 3rd Gen models? Which should I buy?
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- What are the differences between the iPad 3rd Gen and the "Mid-2011" MacBook Air models available when this iPad was introduced?
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