Which iPad 3 Should You Get?
The new iPad is a beautiful thing and will attract many more people to the platform, and so the big question is; which iPad 3 should you get? The answer is pretty simple: buy the 16GB Wi-Fi model. Here are four reasons the base model is perfect, and an attempt to answer questions about color and the never-ending Verizon vs AT&T debate.
- 16GB is Enough: The average person uses an iPad mostly for browsing the web, reading and writing emails, and using a handful of apps. 16GB of storage is more than adequate for these tasks, and as long as you don’t intend to store a ton of music or movies on the device, it’s very unlikely you’ll run out of space. Remember, things like Netflix, Pandora, iTunes Match, and iCloud stream video and audio to the device rather than storing it, so you won’t use much space with those apps either.
- Wi-Fi is Everywhere, 4G LTE is Unnecessary: Most people don’t need an iPad with a cellular connection. First, studies show that most people use the iPad at home in the evening, doing something like sitting on the couch while watching TV. Secondly, the next iPhone is almost certain to have 4G LTE. What’s an iPhone have to do with the iPad? Wi-Fi hotspot of course! You can do this already with an iPhone’s 3G connection, and soon enough you’ll be able to share the next-generation iPhone’s 4G LTE connection with the Wi-Fi iPad model, plus other devices. Frankly, everyone I know with a 3G iPad never or rarely uses the 3G ability, let alone leave the house with the device. Wi-Fi is ubiquitous these days, especially when your iPhone can spawn a hotspot. Save the money.
- Price: This is obvious but it’s the cheapest model, why spend more for features you probably won’t use and for space you likely don’t need?
- Best Resale Value: The cheapest model holds it’s resale value the best, whereas the 32GB, 64GB, and all 3G models quickly lose their price premium on the resale market.
Keep in mind that iPad 3 specs are the same other than the storage capacity and 4G capability. All models have the same gorgeous Retina display, all models have the same processor and graphics abilities, and all models include the same camera. The only other difference between models ends up being the availability during the initial months, with the 16GB models tending to sell out faster than anything else. To avoid that, you may want to pre-order now.
What About Color?
This will be a matter of opinion. The black model tends to make on screen images look their best, simply because a black border is less distracting and emphasize images on the display instead. On the other hand, the white model doesn’t show nearly as many fingerprints and smudges, and the white iPad will in turn look much cleaner than the black model. Ultimately the color comes down to choice, but ask yourself, do you want the iPad to look cleaner? Or do you want the iPad border to emphasize what’s on the screen? Personally I prefer the black model, but for an iPad that gets a lot of use a white model will look nicer since fingerprints don’t really show up on the border at all.
Screw You, I Want the 4G LTE Model Anyway. Should I Get Verizon or AT&T?
Ultimately this depends on your service area and where you intend to use the iPad. Coverage and reception quality varies between Verizon and AT&T, and you probably know your location better than anyone. Data plans for both providers cost the same at this point, although Verizon offers a 10GB plan that AT&T doesn’t. How you would consume 10GB of data on an iPad is beyond me, you’d have to be streaming a lot of movies I guess.
What About iPad 2 for $399?
Personally I think the Retina display is going to be such a huge difference that it’s worth the extra $100 to get iPad 3. Yes, the iPad 2 at $399 is a great deal, but chances are good that once you see an iPad 3’s display you’re going to wish you had one, much the same way the iPhone 4’s display looks leaps and bounds better than the iPhone 3GS. If you don’t care about screen quality though, sure, save yourself the $100. Actually, you can save $150 and get a refurbed iPad 2 for $349 from Apple’s Online Store.
Do you agree with this advice? Do you disagree? Let us know in the comments.