Should I buy an iPad?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Sixthdeclension, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Sixthdeclension macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
    Right now, I'm in my 3rd year of college. I go to a commuter school, and the trip is typically 1.5-2 hours by public transportation, so I usually try to travel with as little bulk as possible. I started considering buying a tablet recently for a couple of reasons.
    1. Portability. I was extremely anti iPad/tablet for a long time, but eventually I could no longer deny the benefits of its portability. It's so thin, and definitely lighter than carrying several notebooks and folders and countless sheets of hopelessly unorganized papers that make my poor shoulder ache for days on end.
    2. Notetaking. Okay, I have done some research, and I am aware that there is some debate on this matter, but many of my classmates have iPads, and they seem to have no issues with taking notes on it, and there are some great apps out now for notetaking, and some even record speech. The latter feature would be perfect for long, boring lectures.
    3. Internet Access. As I mentioned above, I commute to school. I do have a laptop, but I almost never bring it with me. For one thing, it's pretty heavy. In addition, it holds its charge for about two hours, usually a little less than that. It's pretty sad. Especially considering the fact that I spent over $1000 on it, and it's only 3 years old now. Thanks, Sony. I did think about just buying a macbook to replace my Sony laptop, but I just don't want to get rid of it because it is still new (to me, at least. I'm not the type to buy the latest technology), and it does work really well. It just has a terrible battery life.
      Anyway, the iPad would be great for internet access while I'm at school because several of my classes post a lot of readings online, and require that we have the readings while in class. Having an iPad would save me the hassle of printing out the readings, which are usually 20 pages, but can be as long as 50-100 pages.
    Of course, I'd use it for entertainment as well (watching tv/movies, listening to music, playing games, etc.) The only reason I haven't already bought an iPad is, of course, the price. Spending $500+ on what is basically a giant iPod touch is a big decision for me. I will be paying for this myself, and I have saved for it, but I'm nervous that it might be a waste of money.

    From what I've stated above, do you think the iPad would suit my needs? For what else do you use the iPad? Does it really make a difference between the iPad 2 and the iPad with retina display for someone who's never owned an iPad? Are there any other tablets besides the iPad that would better suit my needs? I would appreciate your input. Thanks!
  2. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    1. Portability is awesome and I have an iPad min in that I use for school that is great. Being able to grip it with one hand is a plus. It also has better WiFi, Siri.

    2. You could look into shedding some of the weight from your Sony and buying a new battery. Switching from a HDD to a SSD sheds both weight and energy requirements(which might actually help battery life) and removal of ODD would also lighten the load. That should cost less than what you're willing to spend on an iPad.

    3. Even thought it is the same OS as an iPod touch, the larger screen changes that. You could also say the same for buying an iPod touch that it is a lot of money for a tiny iPad. <---There is no attitude here even though it might come across as it.

    I love my iPad mini. I had an iPad 2 that I had to sell along with a bunch of other electronics during a tough financial period and am glad to have the iOS device back. The mini has the same resolution on a smaller screen which makes Retina(for me) unnecessary. If you want to watch 1080p movies however, the retina might be the better option. The iPad would definitely suit your needs and I think you would enjoy it.

    There is an ASUS tablet that I used during a longer class break and I was impressed with it. It was customizable, had expandable memory and seemed to work really well. Other than that, I would always recommend an iPad because of the app availability, longevity of the device, and usability as well. I hope you enjoy whatever you choose to buy.
  3. quasinormal macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2007
    Sydney, Australia.
    I'd an iPad purchase is something you'll definitely won't regret given your situation. Whatever 3G version you get, just make sure it is the 64GB model.
  4. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    The thing is, the OP said $500+ which says to me that $500 is closer to their actual budget as opposed to paying:

    1. $660+tax for the iPad mini 64GB WiFi+4G/LTE
    2. $540+tax for the iPad2 16GB WiFi+3G
    3. $830+tax for the iPad4 64GB WiFi+4G/LTE

    Those prices(given the implied budget and the act that they still have their laptop) are crazy and the OP could buy another Windows-based laptop with that much.

    I would recommend the 32GB iPad mini with WiFi. It's $430+ tax and works great. If the school has a WiFi network like mine, a data plan is almost unnecessary and the 32GB of storage will be plenty for putting movies and tv shows on there for the commute.
  5. JoeRito macrumors 6502a


    Apr 12, 2012
    New England, USA
    Like many other students, you may find it benefical to use a snap in keyboard. If thats the case, you'd essentially have a lightweight laptop. Sure you don't want an MBA? Still a very light, very portable machine.
  6. Sixthdeclension thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
    I actually like that way of thinking about it! :)

    I did consider the iPad mini, but I have tried out both the mini and the full size iPad, and I do prefer the regular iPad over the mini. But it has been awhile, so maybe I'll check them out again.

    The expandable memory is what I like about the Asus and Samsung tablets I've briefly looked at. But I do think the iPad is superior to them, especially in regards to longevity.

    In terms of budget, I definitely would prefer not to go over $700, because then I might as well get a new laptop all together if I'm spending $1000. So my main considerations are the iPad 2, and the 16GB & 32GB iPad with retina display. I don't need the 3G/4G versions because I have great wifi at school and home, and I definitely do not need the 64GB. I currently have a 16GB iPod Touch, and I'm only using about 8GB of that. Part of the reason for that is that my iPod is older, about 4-5 years old now, I think. It doesn't have a camera, so I store very few pictures on there, and a lot of apps are not compatible with it, so I am pretty limited. But still, I think the 32GB would be more than enough for me.

    I'm still considering the iPad 2 and 16GB retina because I've used so little of the memory of my iPod. Still, I kind of want to splurge on the 32GB retina because iPads do not have expandable memories, and there's so much more to do on an iPad than on an iPod, so I'm worried that if I get the 16GB model, I'll fill it up way too quickly.

    So my choices are:
    1. 16GB iPad 2 with wifi --$399
    2. 16GB iPad with wifi -- $499
    3. 32GB iPad with wifi -- $599

    And that's in addition to the cost of accessories (I'd definitely get a smart cover, and probably something else to protect the back) and AppleCare. I mean, I was thinking of not adding AppleCare, because I never used it for my iPod. I don't know. Any opinions on it?
  7. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I like the expandable memory as well, but I have become accustomed to Apple's product quality and am pretty much hooked until another company finds the recipe that Apple has.

    There are dropbox apps for the ipad as well and I think the basic free dropbox account comes with 2GB of storage with a limit of 18GB(if you refer enough people b/c you get 500MB of storage for each referral)

    I would advise against the iPad 2 and for the iPad mini/iPad4 for the following reasons:

    1. Better WiFi
    2. 4G/LTE capability
    3. FaceTime HD camera
    4. records 1080p video
    5. same resolution as iPad 2
    6. less expensive than iPad2
    7. better battery life
    8. more advanced bluetooth
    9. Siri
    10. same processor/better processor for iPad 4
    11. better screen quality due to same resolution in smaller area.

    In fact, the only differences between the iPad mini and the retina iPad are the size, processor type, and retina. These similarities between the mini and the retina would prevent me from buying an iPad2 again because of what you would have to sacrifice.

    A retina iPad 32GB + smart cover+AC will cost ~$820
    A retina iPad 16GB+smart cover+ AC will cost ~$709
    an iPad mini 16GB +smart cover+ AC will cost ~$520
    an iPad mini 32GB +smart cover+ AC will cost ~$565

    If it were my money, and I had $700 as my budget, then the 32GB iPad mini +SC+AC+rear shell/ case would be the way I would go.

    I always get Apple Care; always. It might not be necessary, but when it is; it is awesome. My HDD failed on my 2009 iMac and since I bought AC, I qualified for in-home replacement and repair, OS reinstallation, and cleanup of my computer. That was well worth the $149 I paid for it.
  8. Sixthdeclension thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
    Thank you so much for suggesting the mini! I went to the Apple store today to check out the retina and the mini and I really fell in love with the mini. The retina is so much heavier than I remember it being the last time I tried it out, and the mini was just so lightweight and lovely. Plus the price is great! I got the 32GB mini with AppleCare and it was only ~$575, leaving me with enough money to buy a cover/case. Thanks again!
  9. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    That's great! What do you think about the screen overall?
  10. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    Given your situation I think getting an Ipad is handy. If you are storing images and playing games, might as well get the highest memory model. A Mac tech told me 16g ram is not enough for games and storing large amount of images.
  11. Jord5i macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2012
    When I started college my parents got me an iPad (iPad 2). Right now I am using an Macbook pro, but the iPad was great for the year I used it.

    My suggestion would be to either find an iPad 2, or go for the iPad 4, and get a (decent, I got the Apple) keyboard for it. That way it's pretty much a laptop when it comes to taking notes, but still has the portability to use it in between classes etc.

    I wouldn't get an iPad mini if I were you, I really like it, but I don't think it's suitable for taking notes, it's too small.

    Also the whole iPad 4 has a better resolution isn't that big of a deal. Sure reading is a lot nicer on the retina screen, but let's not act like the iPad 2 has a terrible screen, it's perfectly fine.

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