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Old Jun 26, 2012, 04:18 PM   #1
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Would a 1st Gen iPad be any good?

Is a 1st generation iPad a good buy these days? I'm talking base model, with wi-fi only, so that it could possibly replace the only computer my father has today: an ancient iBook G4 which is still running pretty strong despite a battery on its last legs and the annoyance of using outdated software (plugins want to be updated, some websites won't play videos, etc.).

My only concern is with the "new" iPad out, is the first iPad still any good? Would it be able to efficiently surf the web, and view pictures and videos stored on the device? I'm trying to find a Mac alternative that would be cheaper than a new or refurbished MacMini.
27" 2011 iMac, 3.4 GHz, 12GB RAM, 2GB VRAM - Late 2009 Macbook, 2.26 GHz, 4GB RAM - iPod touch 32GB 4g
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Old Jun 26, 2012, 04:24 PM   #2
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It would definitely still be efficient for all of those. Depending what your price range is though you can get a refurb iPad 2 from apple for $319, comes in perfect condition.
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Old Jun 26, 2012, 04:27 PM   #3
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I got my wife the iPad 3 and got her handmedown iPad 1. It works fine for most games, my VNC/RDP apps, web browsing, etc. Can't complain!
Voted "Most likely to start his own cult" by my high school class.
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Old Jun 26, 2012, 04:27 PM   #4
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It depends really on what your dad does with his current computer, whether an iPad would really be a good fit for him at all. But if you do get him an iPad, I would get him an iPad 2 at least, maybe even a refurb, or a lightly-used one off eBay.

The original iPad will surf the web fine. Storing pictures on any iPad though, usually requires either a desktop computer to sync with the iPad (your dad's old iBook won't cut it) or use of a cloud service like dropbox, flickr, or 500px where the pics can be uploaded and shared with the device.

App support is good for the original iPad now, and everything should work fine, but when iOS6 gets released, your dad will find that more and more apps will no longer support his iPad once they start requiring iOS 6 to run. The original iPad will not upgrade to iOS6, so he'll be stuck at a dead end there... which is why it's probably not a good idea to go with the original at this point.

On the other hand, you could get all the apps he needs or wants now, and just understand that upgrades and new apps for the original iPad will grow increasingly unlikely as time passes.
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Old Jun 26, 2012, 04:28 PM   #5
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It will do a job but I found with iOS 5, there was a certain UI lag creeping in which I wasn't prepared to put up with. Just buy a refurb 2 if your budget can stretch to it. That way you can also take advantage of FaceTime and the like
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Old Jun 26, 2012, 05:01 PM   #6
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My vote as well for a $319 refurbed iPad 2 from APPLE. I don't trust Ebay or Craiglist iPad's. At least with Apple's refurbed iPad's you get a new outer shell and a new battery. They also perform extensive tests on the device before they sell it. If there are any problems with it they fix it.

Apple's refurbed iPad's come with a 1 year warranty and free shipping.
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Old Jun 26, 2012, 05:40 PM   #7
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I had a 1st gen iPad... sold it, got a refurbed iPad 2 and couldn't be happier. I love the extra speed and no typing lag!
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Old Jun 26, 2012, 06:31 PM   #8
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I just purchased a refurb iPad2 for $319 direct from Apple - it came yesterday. Looks brand new and includes a new battery and new shell and 1 year warranty. It is far more powerful than the iPad1 so I would consider it the best value going. I wouldn't touch an iPad1
MacBook Pro 15", 2.4Ghz i5, 8GB RAM (2010), 750GB WD Scorpio Black + NEC 26" LCD2690W2-BK-SV Monitor
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Old Jun 26, 2012, 11:21 PM   #9
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I've got a first gen iPad and I use it for web browsing... Works fine providing you have a little patience
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Old Jun 26, 2012, 11:33 PM   #10
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Coming from what he's got, he'd love a first gen iPad. I just passed mine down to my husband who uses a G4 iBook. He now wants to get rid of the iBook. But, it isn't a replacement for a computer, depending on what he does.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:33 PM   #11
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Current refurb numbers:
32GB gen. 1 - $349
32GB gen. 2 - $399
For fifty bucks get the gen. 2 - it's faster and will run iOS 6, which the gen. 1 won't.
I have a gen. 1 and a gen. 3. The gen. 1 is still perfectly capable, but the 3 is faster.
13" MBP i7 8/750 Yellow Miata Touch 2 & 5, buncha Nanos iPad 1, iPad 3, iPad Air 3 ATVs more
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:45 PM   #12
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im bias to the mac mini
such a good buy if you want a mac. they are speedy too.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 03:00 PM   #13
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I'm thinking of picking one up too. Purely for Reeder, Pocket, Tweetbot and reading Epubs on my daily commute.
15" MacBook Pro (Early 2011), 2.0GHz i7 Quad, 4GB RAM, 500GB iPad Air 16GB Wifi+4G White iPhone 6 64GB White
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 04:02 PM   #14
Bob Coxner
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Gen 1 16gb refurbs don't come into stock very often direct from Apple, and only last briefly, but they're $279 when available. If cost is an issue, these are hard to beat.
MBA i5 13/4/128, iPad 1, iPad 3, iPod Touch 5g
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