With the recent release of the New iPad (a.k.a the iPad 3), many people have been asking me if the new features make it a significant upgrade over the iPad 2 (and even the iPad 1). I’ve used both devices and I can tell you that the choice is clear. Check out our recommendation after the break.
iPad 3 Advantages over the iPad 2
Here are reasons you should buy the iPad 3 vs iPad 2:
- The iPad 3 has better screen resolution. Its Retina display has a resolution of 2048 x 1536 versus 1024×768 on the iPad 2.
- The iPad 3 has a better back facing camera. The iPad 3’s 5MP back facing camera is capable of recording HD video at 1080p.
- The iPad 3 has more processing power. The iPad 3 has a new A5X processor and a quad core GPU.
- The iPad 3 has 4G LTE capability versus 3G for the iPad 2. Thus the iPad 3’s wireless internet is several times faster than the iPad 2.
iPad 3 Disadvantages to the iPad 2
- The iPad 3 is slightly heavier than the iPad 2, although I doubt any one will complain about the difference.
- Availability is another minor consideration. It may take you a couple of weeks to get the iPad 3 after its launch date. This will not be a problem eventually.
- The only real disadvantage the iPad 3 has is price. The iPad 2 is at least $100 cheaper. If you get a refurbished or used iPad 2, you can save even more money. If the iPad 3’s advantages over the iPad 2 doesn’t appeal to you, a refurbished or used iPad 2 can provide a significant cost savings without sacrificing much functionality.
Which iPad should I buy?
Choosing between the iPad 3 vs iPad 2 comes down to one question- do you plan to make great use of the few new features of the iPad 3? While the Retina display is really nice, it’s not something everyone will see as a need. I don’t know many people that care about the quality of a camera on a tablet. You are more likely to use a camera or a camera phone to take pictures. I don’t know how many people will take advantage of the extra processing power. Maybe this will change if a killer app is released that requires the faster CPU and GPU.
The iPad 3’s 4G capability is great if you don’t mind paying for data. Personally, I’d rather use a smartphone’s mobile hotspot feature to provide wireless data to an iPad. That way you can provide wireless data to all of your tech gadgets. I suspect you Tech Gurus out there know how to share wireless data from your smartphone without even paying an extra charge. 😉
Cha… as much as I love getting the latest gadgets and would never discourage anyone from doing the same, I do not recommend getting the iPad 3 vs iPad 2 at this time. Maybe that will change as new apps are released that take advantage of the extra processing power of the iPad 3. For now, save your self $100 dollars or more and get a iPad 2.
Should I get an iPad 1 instead of the iPad 2 or iPad 3?
If you can get an iPad 1 for cheap, say under $300, that might be a good buy. Most people use iPads to surf the web and to use simple apps. The iPad 1 still does these things pretty well. On the downside, the iPad 1 will become obsolete much sooner than the iPad 2 or iPad 3. However, this might not concern you if you plan to upgrade to an iPad 4 or an iPad 5 in the future. 🙂