iPad Q&A - Updated December 20, 2012
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What are the "pros and cons" of the original iPad? Is it right for my needs? Is it "worth" buying?
Please note that the original iPad has been discontinued. This Q&A still can be quite useful for anyone considering the original iPad on the used market, however.
Like any other purchase, only you can make the decision whether or not the iPad is the right mobile device 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:
- Thin, beautiful, sleek, and extremely portable design.
- Bright, high-resolution display with an excellent viewing angle.
- Easy-to-use "multi-touch" interface.
- Impressive battery life in general and particularly for 3G use.
- Large storage capacity (up to 64 GB).
- Built-in support for 3G and GPS (some configurations), as well as 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR (all models).
- High-quality pre-installed applications, including a web browser, e-mail client, and integrated Google Maps, as well as support for thousands of other applications designed for the iPad (as well as the vast majority of applications designed for the iPhone and iPod touch).
- Usable onscreen keyboard and support for an external keyboard and iWork applications (at additional cost) makes it possible to use the iPad for some "real" work.
- Inexpensive compared to notebook computers, cheaper than the "thin and light" MacBook Air.
- Sold unlocked and without a contract in the US.
- 1024x768 display dimensions are less than ideal for HD video.
- Glossy display casts a glare in direct light and the display is harder on the eyes than "e-ink" displays used by e-readers.
- Battery life, albeit impressive, is less than that provided by e-readers and the battery is not designed to be easily replaced either.
- Storage capacity cannot be upgraded.
- No SD card slot for easy photo transfer.
- No camera for video conferencing, still photos, or video capture.
- No support for Flash.
- No bundled headphones (a particularly miserly omission given the US$499+ price of the device).
- No true multitasking (as originally shipped, multitasking support added with iOS 4.2 on November 22, 2010).
- Dependent on a Mac or PC for syncing content via iTunes.
- iWork applications are somewhat hobbled by document translation issues, file transfer complexity, and no built-in printing support (limited "AirPrint" support added with iOS 4.2 on November 22, 2010, official support for additional printers no doubt forthcoming and third-party "hacks" also are available).
- Expensive compared to some netbooks and e-readers as well as the iPod touch.
- Technical limitations prevent the proper use of carriers other than AT&T for 3G in the US.
- No support for iOS 6.
Ultimately, if your mobile needs primarily lean toward consuming content rather than producing content, you want to travel with more than a handheld device, and you are not concerned by its limitations, the iPad could be a great choice for you and it could be well "worth" buying.
Site sponsor PowerMax sells new and used iPad models free of sales tax.
- How does the original iPad compare to the iPod touch and iPhone that were available when the iPad was introduced?
- How does the original iPad compare to the MacBook and MacBook Air that were available when the iPad was introduced?
- How does the iPad compare to the Amazon Kindle 2, Kindle DX and B&N nook? Which one is right for my needs?
- What market is the iPad designed to reach? What type of needs does it address? Who is expected to buy it?
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