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rfaccord

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 2, 2015
15
3
I am in a market for a new larger capacity iPad to replace iPad 3 32 GB
Found a good deal for iPad air 128 GB with cellular for $499 B&H
or should I get iPad air 2 128 GB wifi only for $629 from Staples.

I will mainly use for email, browsing, reading my journal or books, photo editing while traveling, stream some movie.
cellular is not important as I can tether from my iPhone. But the price somehow cheaper with cellular.
Does anyone knows if purchasing iPad with cellular require activating cellular service?

Thanks
 

nightlong

macrumors 6502a
Jun 16, 2012
851
164
Australia
You don't have to activate the cellular service.

The choice is price vs longevity.

I have both and the iPad Air 1 works just as well for now. It might start to struggle later with just 1GB RAM when apps become more demanding.
 

iMi

Suspended
Sep 13, 2014
1,624
3,200
You don't have to activate the cellular service.

The choice is price vs longevity.

I have both and the iPad Air 1 works just as well for now. It might start to struggle later with just 1GB RAM when apps become more demanding.

I am thinking that the need for more RAM is becoming less important. The storage transfer speeds are increasing significantly with each new release. At some point, RAM would be a lot less important since the application can instantly offload any unused data to the SSD and load it back when needed. Maybe not today but in the near future, RAM could become obsolete if the data can be swapped at speeds that exceed or meet the RAM speed.

Of course, I'm no expert. Just thinking out loud here...
 

aneftp

macrumors 601
Jul 28, 2007
4,362
546
I am thinking that the need for more RAM is becoming less important. The storage transfer speeds are increasing significantly with each new release. At some point, RAM would be a lot less important since the application can instantly offload any unused data to the SSD and load it back when needed. Maybe not today but in the near future, RAM could become obsolete if the data can be swapped at speeds that exceed or meet the RAM speed.

Of course, I'm no expert. Just thinking out loud here...

Ram is a big issue. Going from 1gb (apple has had 1gb circa iPad 3/iPhone 5 circa 2012). The iPhone 6 plus struggles at times.

But iPad Air 2 has 2gb ram. Makes a difference. Big time with safari refreshes on 1gb vs no refresh on iPad Air 2 with 2gb.
 

mi7chy

macrumors G4
Oct 24, 2014
10,495
11,155
Wait for iPad Air 3. iPad Air is useless with insufficient DRAM and reload issues that the Air 2 fixes but Air 2 has other annoying design flaws.
 

rfaccord

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 2, 2015
15
3
Thanks for the input. I can probably wait until fall when ipad air3 is to be released.
 

s2mikey

Suspended
Sep 23, 2013
2,490
4,255
Upstate, NY
Thanks for the input. I can probably wait until fall when ipad air3 is to be released.

Not a bad idea to wait if you can. The Air 3 will hopefully tidy up some of the issues that the Air 2 has. The extra ram is nice for sure but the extreme thinness causes its own set of issues.

IMO, $499 for a cellular Air 1 with 128gb of storage is a darned good deal. No reason the Air won't be in service for a while yet. Look at the much less powerful iPad 2. It's still widely in use and runs perfectly good to this day. The Air has plenty of life left in it.
 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2010
4,910
7,087
Australia
Not a bad idea to wait if you can. The Air 3 will hopefully tidy up some of the issues that the Air 2 has. The extra ram is nice for sure but the extreme thinness causes its own set of issues.

IMO, $499 for a cellular Air 1 with 128gb of storage is a darned good deal. No reason the Air won't be in service for a while yet. Look at the much less powerful iPad 2. It's still widely in use and runs perfectly good to this day. The Air has plenty of life left in it.

The iPad 2 lasted so long as it was such an improvement in both ram and cpu speed over the 1. The Air does not have enough ram. I have the iPad Mini 2 (same as the Air 2) and its a disaster with iOS 8.

I say get the Air 2 as it will last a long time, or wait for the 3 :)
 

iamMacPerson

macrumors 68040
Jun 12, 2011
3,488
1,927
AZ/10.0.1.1
The iPad 2 lasted so long as it was such an improvement in both ram and cpu speed over the 1.

Well, that and the and iPhone 4s has the same specs but was released in 6 months later in October 2011. I think that is the real reason the iPad 2 is still supported.

OP, I think waiting is a good decision. The Air 2 is already reaching its halfway point in its lifecycle as the flagship iPad and the Air 3 is only guaranteed to have much better specs.

FWIW, I have the 128GB Air 2 and I love it. I was able to get it back when Best Buy was having their Black Friday sale and paid $599 (Wi-Fi only). The extra storage is worth the money (especially since I was already going to spend that much on the 64GB model).
 

Jawnathin

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2009
271
117
The Air 1 is a good tablet, a big improvement over the iPad 4, but if you need it now, get an Air 2. It is better than an Air 1 in nearly every way.

The improved specs offer a noticeably better experience today and will be even more noticeable as iOS and apps get more demanding. The 'problems' people claim related to the thinness are overblown. But don't take my word for it, go to the store and see it for yourself to determine how big of a problem they really are. If you believe everything you read here, you would expect it to rattle and distort any time you picked it up, but no such problems on any of the store models I've used.

If you can wait for an Air 3 coming out this October, then that might not be a bad idea. It will surely be better than an Air 2. But if budget is a concern, keep in mind you have to wait for both the Air 3 to come out AND wait for a discount. You may end up waiting longer than you think.

Good luck.
 

Rodster

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2007
3,177
6
But if budget is a concern, keep in mind you have to wait for both the Air 3 to come out AND wait for a discount. You may end up waiting longer than you think.

Good luck.

It didn't take long for discounts to show up. Best Buy and Staples were discounting the Air 2 within weeks of release and continue to do so. Last week Best Buy dropped the price of the Mini 3 by $150. iPad sales have been in decline for the last 5-6 qtrs so retailers are using them as loss leaders.
 

Jawnathin

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2009
271
117
It didn't take long for discounts to show up. Best Buy and Staples were discounting the Air 2 within weeks of release and continue to do so. Last week Best Buy dropped the price of the Mini 3 by $150. iPad sales have been in decline for the last 5-6 qtrs so retailers are using them as loss leaders.

Sure, that is what I've said. If he is looking for a discount, he will need to wait for a period of time after its release. A release in October might turn into a purchase in November or December when the discounts start rolling in.

The amount will vary too. I'm sure he can get a heavier discount on an iPad now than he could on the first round of discounts on an Air 3. Using your example, $150 off a Mini 3 is a significant discount, but it took 7 months to get here. They won't be discounting it by $150 just weeks after its release.
 

Mliii

macrumors 65816
Jan 28, 2006
1,126
5
Southern California
Going forward, the Air 2 is going to be a better deal. With the extra RAM and faster processor, you won't need to upgrade again for some time.
I upgraded to the Air 2 and really am happy with it.
 

Rodster

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2007
3,177
6
$150 off a Mini 3 is a significant discount, but it took 7 months to get here. They won't be discounting it by $150 just weeks after its release.

The device that typically gets discounted first are those that sell the most, which might be why the Air 2 saw the first discount. That said, I personally wouldn't buy any iPad with 1 GB of ram at this point which is why although tempted by the $150 discount, I passed on the Mini 3.
 
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