Which iPad To Get? New User Here

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Jabar18, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. Jabar18 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2015
    #1
    Hi folks, I'm new to the iPad realm but am excited to be making my first iPad purchase soon! Here's the deal:

    I'm using a 2007 15' MBP as my main computer. It's heavier than rocks, the machine itself/display is almost dead, and I'm probably going to shell out for another 15' MBP soon. (I just can't go any smaller than 15 inches for a laptop screen, 13 is too small for me.) I need a 15' MBP for the 1TB disc option (I don't want my media/files, etc spread out across multiple external hard drives.) As an aside, I also have an iPhone 6 and use that for web surfing most of the time because I can't be bothered to get my old computer up and running.

    I'm a PhD college student and my plan was to obtain an iPad to use as a bridge between home and campus so I don't have to lug a 15' MBP around all the time. I've visited an Apple store and decided that the iPad Mini is just too small. So then it leaves the Air or the Air 2.

    I've already decided to buy refurbished. I don't have a lot of cash to buy new and waiting until October when the school year is already in swing for the Air 3? doesn't appeal to me. So my basic questions are:

    Given my situation, is an iPad necessary? I'd be using it mainly for apps, email, basic web surfing, note taking, etc.

    Is the original Air going to hold "value", not cash value but user value (speed, power, etc) for 3-4 years? Am I better off going for the Air 2 if I'm looking for a tablet to use for the next 3-4 years? I'm really excited that many people use their same iPad for 3-4 years. I'm not the type of user that is looking to renew/refresh every year and want a tablet I buy NOW to last me 3-4 years. Thus, given that, is the Air 2 worth the extra $100 difference in price over at the Apple store refurbished stock?

    What are some people's thoughts?
     
  2. hovscorpion12 macrumors 65816

    hovscorpion12

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    As a PhD student, I would recommend not buying an iPad now, but rather wait until October. I say this because Apple will announce a new iPad with a larger 12.9" display (With a possible stylus). The larger screen real estate would fit your student profile better then the current 9.7" display. The iPad would be smaller then your 15" MacBook Pro, but would have decent hardware for your studies. It would not run OS X like your Mac, but with some of the same programs found on OS X it could hold you from spending $2,300+ on a new Mac.
     
  3. Trickhot3102 macrumors 6502

    Trickhot3102

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2013
    #3
    If you can wait 4 months you can get the Air 3. That's what I'm gonna do :) if you're looking for longevity, it would be best to wait for the Air 3. If you can't wait, definitely get the Air 2. It will get split screen multitasking with iOS 9, while the Air 1 will not.
     
  4. Codeseven macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    #4
    Trickhot is right.

    If you can wait, then hold off until the iPad 3 or iPad Pro come this Fall.

    If you can't wait and probably won't upgrade when the new models come out, then definitely buy a Refirb Air 2.

    PS: I know what you mean about your 2007 15" MBP, my 2008 15" MBP feels like I'm carrying around a ships anchor. I bought a Refirb iPad Air 1 to use until the new models come out. Sure is nice not to lug around the MBP.
     
  5. Jabar18 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2015
    #5
    Not really interested in getting a 13" iPad. A 4.7" iPhone, a 9.7" iPad and a 15" MBP seem to be the right size ratio of "apple screens" in my life. An iPad Pro would be size overkill for me, just as the iPhone 6 was. I want a phone, not a phablet. I want a tablet, not a tabputer.
     
  6. silverblack macrumors 68030

    silverblack

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #6
    I am not sure what you meant by necessary. If you were asking whether an iPad is effective in apps, email, browsing, note taking, my answer is as follows.

    Email and web surfing - no problem, now to 3-4 years from now, with either Air or Air 2.

    Apps - no problem for most apps. For really demanding apps, Air 2 will be better than Air in 3-4 years, especially with the split-screen function.

    Note taking - do some research on how students think of note taking with iPads in general. It is a mixed-feeling. I think it is not as good as the old fashion pen-and-paper, but no worse than using a laptop. You may want to invest a good keyboard if you plan type a lot.

    I am not going to comment on the iPad Air 3 topic, since you clearly stated that you weren't interested. I will however suggest looking for a used iPad Air (craigslist, for example). You may be able to find one at a very good price, especially if you don't mind the 16GB. Despite that many would think 16GB is too small, you should factor in the savings too.
     
  7. Jabar18 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2015
    #7
    I saw you post this in another thread. Are you waiting to get a 15' MBP once they have Skylake chips? From what I have heard, it may be a complete redesign. I was strongly considering upgrading my MBP this summer, but now I'm not so sure.
     
  8. Jabar18, Jul 7, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015

    Jabar18 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2015
    #8
    Good feedback. Thanks. I know you can't ever "future proof" technology, with new upgrades to hardware and software coming out yearly, but it seems perhaps bit silly to me to purchase an Air now when it'll be two cycles behind in less than six months? I don't plan on taking full scale "notes" on the iPad, rather jot down ideas here and there using evernote, etc.

    As far as 16gb goes, I can't justify getting it when apps like Facebook, MLB.tv, Skype, Messages, etc will all take up almost 5-6gb of space for me right there. 16gb in tablets is really for light users who barely use apps at all. What about when you upgrade the OS? That's another 7-8 gigs right there. Not enough space.
     
  9. silverblack macrumors 68030

    silverblack

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #9
    Sounds like you already have your decision made, and are just looking for approval.
    Well, I just purchased a new 64GB Air 2 last week, and couldn't care less about the iPad Air 3/Pro too.
     
  10. Jabar18 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2015
    #10
    I guess. I'm still kind of on the fence. If folks here feel that the iPad Air is still a great tablet for the next 3-4 years, I might look at getting that in a 32gb. Goodness knows it's well over $100 less than the iPad Air 2, even refurbed.

    If I may ask, why did you get a new Air 2? Were you upgrading from an Air? From an older iPad/other tablet? Why did you get the Air 2 and not the Air? What differences between the two made getting an Air 2 worth it?
     
  11. EsbenJohnson macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2015
    #11
    Hey Jabar,

    I know this question was not for me, but I will answer it anyway.

    I have both the iPad Air and the Air 2, and bought both on launchday. What I can tell you, is that with your needs, both iPads will do you just fine. You are a student and do not need the latest and best, but just something that can get the job done, and still be very portable.

    I'd get the Air 1 with 32/64gb if I were you. But you should remember that only the Air 2 gets splitscreen multitasking, which could be very usefull for you - as a student.

    100$ is a lot of money for a student, so the Air 1 32/64gb for around 450-500 bucks, or whatever the price is in the US, should do you fine.
     
  12. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    #12
    Much faster, but more importantly double the RAM. This is the main reason we are only seeing split screen on the Air 2, is because if it were on the Air 1 users would likely see the second app quit in front of them if it were resource heavy. It's clear that the iPad Air 2 is the next iPad 2 in terms of being the next longevity model. I was going to get an Air when they first came out but chose to wait it out until Apple would release a tablet with 2GB of RAM (as I was worried that the Air would get outdated quickly if it were at the end of a RAM upgrade cycle). And I was right, it's already not getting features.

    That reason alone was worth holding out for me. Other reasons to picking the air 2 or the air 1 would include a much better camera, Touch ID, thinner and slightly lighter, a much better display (doesn't feel cheap like the Air ones plastic like display and it has much better contrast).
     
  13. silverblack, Jul 7, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015

    silverblack macrumors 68030

    silverblack

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #13
    In my case, the cost wasn't a high priority in my decision making.
    I had an iPad in the past, but didn't have one when I purchased the Air 2.

    [Edit] I also thought the Touch ID was a much more logical and practical means of device locking/unlocking.
     
  14. Jabar18 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2015
    #14
    All good calls for the Air 2. Now the important question...color? I'm leaning black because I feel the white screen would be distracting. Others feel that way too?
     
  15. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    #15
    I went black as you don't see the separation between the screen and the bezels. On the White and gold models you will notice this. Very minor though, just go with what you'd like :) if I were to buy again and never went black, I would have probably went gold haha
     
  16. Jabar18 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2015
    #16
    So basically if I'm looking at it this way, the Air 1 has about 2-3 years of use left before it becomes sluggish and slow to the point of needing to be upgraded and the Air 2 is more in the 3-4, perhaps 5 year camp? I guess 2GB of Ram vs 1GB makes a big difference in a tablet? We'll see even more if the new Apple tablets only have 2GB of Ram.
     
  17. IrishVixen macrumors 68020

    IrishVixen

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #17
    Casting my vote for the Air 2 over the Air. We have one of each. For your usage, either really would be fine, but the Air 2 is probably good for 2 years longer than its predecessor, and its capability for split screen multitasking on iOS 9 is aimed at students and professionals doing things like taking notes.

    If you already had an Air, it probably wouldn't be a value add to upgrade, but since you're starting fresh, it would be foolish to sacrifice two additional years of useful life for $100 or so difference.

    I don't find the white color at all distracting, but I did when reading on the original kindle e-readers, so I can see where it might bother others. Fingerprints are more noticeable on the black, which bothers me more than the white bezel does.
     
  18. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    #18
    No, I'd defiantly say that is overestimating. In terms of RAM usage, which is the bottleneck of these devices, the iPad Air 1 is worse off that the iPad 3 and 4 due to 64 but applications consuming around 30% more RAM. So to put that in an example, the 1GB of RAM 64 bit iPad Air 1 will get you as far as a 666MB of RAM 32 bit iPad if all applications are running 64 bit. When using 2 different Airs in the family, I can already see a slight jittery motion when scrolling on a heavy website where as the same site is super smooth on my Air 2. I can also commonly have apps force quit in the background. I really wouldn't be surprised if the Air only has 2 good years left before it feels silly slow (usable, but not snappy) due to software upgrades.


    It's not only double the RAM either, once taking into account that iOS uses around 700MB of RAM after a reboot with no apps running and some caching, that leaves the Air 1 with just 300MB of RAM for apps you open. The Air 2 on the other hand would have 1,300MB of free RAM available for apps (2GB - 700MB). That's more that 4 times the space for apps to be open, as well as head room for new features of future OS upgrades (remember iOS 5 days? iOS 5 would use only 150-250MB of RAM depending on the device in use, so OS upgrades seem to have a large effect on RAM usage and increase their footprint).
     
  19. jonblatho macrumors 6502

    jonblatho

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Location:
    Oklahoma/Missouri
    #19
    On the reverse, I despise black fronts because of fingerprints. They can oleophobically coat it all they want—it's never enough!
     
  20. sparksd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Location:
    Seattle WA
    #20
    I debated this myself as every tablet I've had (a lot of Android devices) has been black but I ended up picking white and I really like the clean look it presents.
     
  21. Codeseven macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    #21
    Hi Jabar.

    Yes....and maybe no. I've been waiting to replace my MBP, hopefully with a Skylake powered redesign after deciding the slightly 'upgraded' new 15" that came out recently just wouldn't be worth it if the redesign comes out by the end of the year.

    However, I have some traveling to do and didn't want to haul my old MBP around with me again so I bought an inexpensive Refirb Air 1 to see if I even liked using an iPad (I only own a MBP and iPhone). Turns out, I'm really liking the Air, allot! For my use (I'm not a power user) it has been filling in for the laptop nicely. Now I'm thinking maybe I don't need a new expensive powerhouse MBP, maybe something like the the new Air 3 or even iPad Pro would better suit my needs (and save allot of money too!).

    I'll continue to use the Air and see what's new this Fall. Maybe a new MBP is not for, Skylake or not.
     
  22. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #22
    I would definitely spend the extra $100 for the Air 2 for your use case. For one, it makes the device a much more capable multi-tasker right now - switching between two apps - say Safari and Evernote - is instantaneous - as opposed to the Air where one will almost certainly quit as you switch and it must restart each time you change apps. Two, with the upcoming split-screen, the Air 2 will get the full complement of features, while the Air will be left behind.

    The iPad is a good general notes taker, but I wonder whether it will be enough for you compared to a full laptop for regular school work? I would reconsider your 'need' for a 15" screen. Since your generation of computer, screens have improved greatly. With the new Retina screens you can now get a workspace as large as you have on the 15" model, while text remains legible because of how sharp the screen is. In fact, many people may be able to work at a higher resolution on the new 13" rMBP than you have on the 15" model - and the new 13" is worlds more portable than your old 15".
     
  23. nj-morris macrumors 68000

    nj-morris

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #23
    Well it seems like you have made your mind up on the Air 2. If you are you are making the right choice. It's faster and has more RAM, as everybody is saying, but the ones people aren't really talking about are the best features in my opinion. Touch ID for example, huge plus. And once you have the laminated display, you will never go back. Other advantages include it being thinner, better camera (Slo-mo is really grainy, but you have it).
    Colour? It's subjective, but I have the silver one, and the only thing that bothers me about the white bezel is how bright the display is when turned on. Apart from that, I like the white bezel because it just makes the display stand out, which I like, but you may not.
    Hope that helps.
     
  24. Jabar18 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2015
    #24
    What about the vibrating speaker/sound issue on the Air 2? I know that's been discussed on other threads, but is it really as big of a deal as it's being made out to be?
     
  25. sparksd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Location:
    Seattle WA
    #25
    Really depends on you and how you use the iPad. It's a non-issue to me as I usually use earbuds or headphones with my Air 2 and when I don't, the vibration (which does exist) doesn't bother me in the least. For others, it's an absolute dealbreaker. You'll just have to try one at a shop and make your own decision on the importance of it.
     

Share This Page