Buying my first iPad
I want to buy an iPad but I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out exactly what is right for my needs, or if an iPad even matches those need. Even after reading a million articles and reviews, and talking to various sales people (who don't ever actually seem to know anything!), I still have no idea.
I want to use the iPad for:
* Downloading iLectures for uni (videos).
* Downloading pdf powerpoint summaries for uni.
* Opening and editing powerpoints and word documents from uni group members.
* Writing essays and creating powerpoint presentations for uni.
* Using YouTube and downloading a few kids videos for work.
* Accessing my uni website whenever I'm early for work/in between sessions and dont have time to go home.
The three things really confusing me are whether to get an iPad 2 or the new iPad, which size is best for my needs (keeping in mind that each pdf file I download onto my netbook for uni is about 900 MB, and I have 5 a week, yet others do this to their iPads just fine, how?) and whether I should get 3G/cellular or just wi-fi.
I hope somebody can help me understand everything!
You're talking to the wrong people, I think.
There are some other college students in the forum, with a little luck they will see this and chime in.
But, I'd spend my time talking to two groups. One, visit your university's IT staff and make sure they support the iPad, or are at least familiar with it. They will have heard of any specific problems you may have to overcome. If they get exceedingly negative, keep in mind they may be seeing things from a 'more work for me' point of view. Tech support can be that way.
Second, hunt down some fellow students with iPads. There are bound to be some. Maybe your campus even has a support group. Connecting with them would be ideal.
As for which iPad to get. Get the best you can afford. No one regrets having a feature they didn't need, and it's hard to add them after the fact if you find a need for them. Even if you are absolutely sure you'll never use a cellular service, GPS is surprisingly useful for a variety of task not related to navigation, and you simply can not have too much storage.
Definitely the latest model (iPad 3), no question about that.
And I strongly recommend you get the 4G and more disk space, as well. I knew nothing about iPads when I bought my 16GB device and today I kind of regret it. The iPad is wonderful and it's worth the extra money.
As for the uses you mentioned, I'm not an expert and I'm afraid I won't be able to help you much.
There are, however, two apps that you may find extremely useful: Dropbox (for sharing files with other devices and computers, incl. PCs) and iTunesU (University).