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iPad 3 vs iPad 2 vs iPad 1: Which iPad should I buy?

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. 😉

Our Recommendation

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. 🙂

About Quentin Moore

Quentin Moore is the creator and senior editor of Tech Blog TV. He's a self proclaimed Tech Guru and spends most of his non-working hours playing with or blogging about tech gadgets. Check out Quentin's Google Plus Page.


  1. Well said. Thx 4 a gr8 piece.

  2. the new one

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