Which iPad Should I Buy?

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by KatieBug, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. KatieBug
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    KatieBug iPF Noob

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    Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum so please forgive me if I'm in the wrong place to be asking questions. Y'all may have to tell me how to get around. :)
    My husband is wanting to buy me an iPad2 for Christmas. I think I’ve about decided to go with the 3G instead of just Wi-Fi. It would be nice to use it while traveling w/o having to find a hotspot.
    AT&T is $15.00 (250 MB) a month or $25.00 (2000 MB). If you haven't used it all within that month, you lose your time for the rest of the month.

    Also should I get the 16GB or the 32GB? I plan on using it for Facebook, eBay, browsing internet, & email. I will probably also be downloading pictures on it from time to time. I won't need internet for it at home since my husband says it will pick up the internet we already have. I would want it when we're on the road, or in town w/o having to look for a hot spot.
    I have more questions but to keep from confusing anyone, I'll ask one at a time. Or try to anyway. :)
    KatieBug
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2011
  2. Abumuslim
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    Abumuslim iPF Noob

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    Welcome onboard.If your husband won't mind,I advice you go for ipad2 64GB,3G-wifi: full option.cos when u start using it,you will find out about the unlimited possibilities of this amazing gadget.
    So be at your best from now till December so that he will agree.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  3. leelai
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    leelai Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Katie, My advice is to get the biggest one you can afford. The iPad is such a wonderful device and what you may think you will use it for may vary somewhat when you actually do get one. It is just superb for viewing photos and movies and then there's music. Then there are the multitude of apps available, some of which will surprise you. You can document your homes inventory which is very good for insurance purposes. If you read and have a collection of books, there is a library app which you can also have on your phone, good for when buying a book and you're not sure if you have it or not, also great for recipe browsing and the list goes on. I think your decision on having 3G is a good one, I've just travelled overseas and took my iPad which was just brilliant for everything I needed. If you are good with managing your iPad you can get away with having a smaller model. Having said that I have seen many posts on this Forum from members that have lamented buying a 16gb. It is a personal choice and the decision is entirely yours, having said that I have a 64gb wifi with 3G. Hope I haven't confused you even more.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  4. bookdoc
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    bookdoc iPF Novice

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    I got the 16GB iPad2 and am using only 2GB or less. With the cloud storage you don't need a larger size. I also got the wifi model. I use it at home so I don't need 3G. It really is a wonderful gadget, you'll love it!

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  5. yorky48
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    yorky48 iPF Novice

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    :)Hi KatieBug, I agree with the comment of Abumuslim & Leelai,
    If you can afford it go for the biggest memory you can get. I have the 64gb wifi with 3g and it's fantastic. You will probably get away with the AT&T 250 mb a month if you are using your own wifi at home. The included bundle is only for the 3g use. I use my own wifi when at home and also free wifi hotspots like starbucks when out and about. But even saying that, there are times when I use 3g when camping, for internet and watching Sky Go and I have only used 350mb in total in the last 3 months.
    It all depends on what you think you will use it on most. It's a shame that they don't roll over the unused data bundle at the end of the month or at least a percentage of it. An extra $15 dollars a month is a lot if you don't need that much data, especially in these hard times.

    Whatever you get, I know you won't regret it, it's a fantastic bit of kit and I am still finding out daily what you can do with it. Now with icloud it combines all your files, appointments, photo's etc between your ipad, pc and iphone.
    Have fun.
    Cheers,
    Jill :)
  6. Liselot
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    Liselot iPF Noob

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    I purchased the 64 with 3G with no regrets! I pay AT&T $25.00 per month. I looked at both Verizon and AT&T and found AT &T was the better value for me. I travel with my husband and we both use it on the road. Hope this helps.
  7. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    3G 64GB is the way to go for optimum flexibility and usability. If money were a concern, I'd scale back on storage, rather than 3G. No 3G means no GPS and no flexibility when wi-fi or tethering isn't an option.

    Using public wi-fi also means taking risks with your data, including email, social networking info, contacts, etc.

    The AT&T 3G model lets you swap out your SIM card while traveling overseas. The Verizon model doesn't have a SIM card to swap out.

    Maximum flexibility also makes for greater resale value later, if that's a consideration.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  8. s2mikey
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    s2mikey iPad Addict

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    I don't think the 3G thing is as important as some make it out to be. Surfing on 3G networks is expensive and has its own set of issues. I understand that Wifi also can be iffy at times but you have to decide what your real usage will be. Unless I missed something, it appeared that the 3G plans were extremely expensive for the iPad. GPS is nice but life will somehow go on without it. Many cars have it and people own basic GPS devices that do the trick. You have to think about what YOU will do with it, not what everyone here says.

    Storage wise, 32 gb is working great for me. If you can swing the 64 gb then I suppose more is better but that's another thing you'll have to determine.

    Just my 3 cents.
  9. Gabriel1
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    Gabriel1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Just to chime in on the 3G thing.....if you don't need GPS then you can go wifi only and if you need cellular connection you can get a MyFi mobile hotspot. The benefit of this is that you can use it with any of your devices which require wifi, laptops, etc. I have gone down the MyFi route and it means that whenever I upgrade my iPad, etc, I can go for a cheaper option as I still have connectivity whenever I need it.

    The Archangel
  10. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    It's up to personal choice and budget, of course. But I have GPS on a standalone device and phone and still wouldn't do without GPS on iPad, because many apps (especially travel ones) use the GPS for maximum benefit.

    There's one GPS-based app that I use frequently on road trips, for instance, that identifies services -- restaurants, shopping, gas, coffee and much more -- off every freeway exit. I've used it cross-country and on shorter trips, and it's amazing. Without GPS, that app and many others would have much more limited use.

    I never use the iPad GPS for driving directions, but I've also used it for traffic maps, to see how long a snarl is on satellite view, so I get off the freeway quickly if needed. (Of course, this is with my husband driving.)

    The U.S. plans for 3G are $15, $20 and $25, depending on your data use. They're also without contract, so you sign up only when you want. Expensive depends on budget.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  11. KatieBug
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    KatieBug iPF Noob

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    What a friendly, helpful bunch you are! Thank you!! :)
    My sweet husband hasn't mentioned a limit so I guess anything goes? :D
    I was aiming for the 32GB, never even thought I might need the 64GB. There's so much to learn but I want an iPad 2 so bad that I can taste it. I won't use it for much except eBay, Facebook, surfing the internet, pictures & email. Of course, to be a good wife, I'll let my hiusband to use it sometimes too. He would probably like the GPS although we already have one.
    BTW, am I in the right place for all the questions I'll have?
    KatieBug
  12. Gabriel1
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    Gabriel1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You know the score, take him for all he's worth! No, not really!

    I have the 32GB, I use it for lots more than you are planning to use yours for and I still have plenty of space. Bear in mind many of us get iPads and only after start realising what useful beasts they are and end up using them for far more Han we originally planned.

    The Archangel
  13. KatieBug
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    KatieBug iPF Noob

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    Ok, expert advice needed. What's a MyFi Mobile hotspot? :eek:
    KatieBug
  14. Darkstar2007
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    Darkstar2007 iPad Addict

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    It's a device you can purchase through a carrier that provides 3G/4G LTE (depending on the model and carrier) connectivity on the go. A mobile wifi hotspot pretty much!

    The device can usual tether 5-8 devices at once. Providing portable wifi connectivity for your electronics. :)

    Hope this helps!
  15. KatieBug
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    KatieBug iPF Noob

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    Is it expensive? Better than paying $15-$25.00 for 3G thru AT&T?
    KatieBug

  16. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    Another option. More expensive but with added benefits.

    () You'll probably find that 32 Gig is the "sweet spot" in terms of storage. If you read this and other boards you'll find that relatively few people who choose 32G iPads wish they had more storage compared to those who have 16 Gig models. Many people get along just fine with 16 Gig models, but it does require more "management" as you add apps and other content.

    () I have a wifi only iPad and use it along with a 4G/LTE mobile hotspot from Verizon. This combo saves $130 in terms of purchase price. In addition, it provides 4G connectivity in areas covered by the new 4G Verizon network. Anywhere from 7-10 times faster internet access than 3G. AT&T has much less coverage for their 4G/LTE network currently but that won't be the case in another 6-20 months. And you'll never be able to use a 3G iPad on a 4G network. However, I pay $50 per month on a two year contract for 5 gigabytes of downloads per month. I travel frequently and use the mobile hotspot for my laptop as well as my iPad so it's worth it in my case. IMO, data plans of less than 2 Gig per month aren't very useful unless you use the access rarely and for only a limited time for web browsing and email. So for the sake of comparison you may want to figure you're going to spend $30 a month for any 30 day period in which you use cell access to the internet.

    () If you elect to go the wifi only route and need GPS, the best alternative I've found is a bluetooth GPS receiver designed for the iPad. They sell for about $90 on Amazon. They're about the size of a watch face and provide much more sensitive GPS accuracy than the 3G iPad. And because the GPS receiver is separate from the iPad, it can be mounted on an auto dash, for example, to improve reception.

    I don't mention these alternatives because they're "better." They are for me (and for anyone who wants/needs 4G "future proofing.") But they're not for everyone. If you travel only occasionally (less than once a month) the "no-contract" option for the 3G iPad may be a better choice.
  17. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    See my post above. Take a look on the Verizon or AT&T websites for 'mobile hotspots.' I use the Samsung from Verizon. It's the size of a playing card and weighs about 3 oz.

    To answer your question about cost, yes, it's more expensive. Typically, you have to purchase a full one or two year contract and cannot stop/start the service on a monthly basis as you can with a data plan tied directly to your iPad. However, you get a better rate (per gig) and can attach multiple devices simultaneously.

    And if you want 4G speeds, another option is to select one of the new 4G phones and tether the iPad to the phone when you need access. Amazon, for example, is selling the new RAZR 4G smartphone for $.01 on a two year contract for new users this week. It's "tetherable" (at a $20 per month charge) and you can use the phone as a mobile hotspot.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  18. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    A few suggestions if you're not familiar with mobile hotspots and tethering, OP:

    Mobile hotspots and tethering require that your devices be in range. So if you share an iPad and other devices with someone else, you must stay within range to use the connection.

    Phone battery life is especially important if you tether. You don't want to tether to a phone with cruddy battery life to start with, which means you'd tap out even faster.

    Compare the battery life of mobile hotspot devices if you go that way. Your iPad might have 10 hours of juice, but if your mobile hotspot device has five hours, you'll need to keep that in mind.
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