In a little over three weeks, you'll be able to buy a shiny new iPad 2. But if you've already got an iPad, then the reasons for actually shifting to the new model are somewhat slim. Here's my take on why.
First things first: working out whether or not the iPad 2 is a good deal is always going to be a rather speculative task until we know the actual local pricing. The US has been told prices will be the same, but given that Apple only just discounted the original iPad in Australia, we can't assume the same rules will apply here. With no pricing, it's difficult to even work out if those discount prices are a really good deal (and I imagine that's why Apple hasn't announced the local price yet). So we can't really think about cost, but we can think about technology. Here's five reasons why shifting to the iPad 2 might not make sense.
5. You already own a camera
The obvious enhancement to the iPad 2 is the presence of twin cameras, enabling both photography and video chat applications. What I want to know is this: how many iPad owners don't already own a device which has both an Internet connection and a camera? While it's an obvious enhancement, I can't view it as a revolution.
4. Faster games will not improve your productivity
In Gizmodo's hands-on review, the most noticeable difference from the iPad 2's better processing grunt was when playing games. That's great, but here at Lifehacker we're more focused on productivity, and that extra processing power may not make much difference. I've yet to hear many people complain that their existing iPad is too slow to load email or productivity apps, so it seems like the extra heft isn't going to be that essential for getting things done.
3. The original iPad is much cheaper now
If you haven't got an iPad already, then you can save a couple of hundred on the original pricing by buying some of the leftover stock. We don't know how much of a bargain that will be compared to the new iPad 2, but we do know that it's a more stable, well-tested platform that has redefined the tablet market.
2. There'll be a period of apps uncertainty
There's a minor ominous note in Apple's announcement of the new iPad:
iPad 2 runs almost all of the over 350,000 apps available on the App Store.
No, I don't think this means that Angry Birds or Evernote won't work out of the box (in fact I'm sure it doesn't), but it would be good to know a bit more about what is excluded.
1. Don't plan a purchase without knowing all the facts
I started this post by noting that we didn't know the cost of the iPad 2. And at the end of the day, until we know that, saying "I'm definitely going to buy this" is foolish -- especially if you already have an iPad. Is waiting really that painful?
Before the fanboy wrath explodes below, let me make it clear that I'm not saying that the iPad 2 isn't an impressive piece of technology, or possibly a good option to consider as a first tablet buy. It's more that it's not impressive enough that I can imagine it makes sense for anyone who laid out at least $629 for an iPad less than a year ago to lay out a similar amount again to replace it.
If you simply must have the newest technology because it's the newest, then you've already made your upgrade decision anyway. And if you're happy to pass your old iPad on to a loved one, that's another story as well. But as a straight upgrade story? I'm not buying it. On the other hand, Seamus totally is. Which side of the fence are you on?
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