Five Reasons Not To Buy The iPad 2

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?

Lifehacker's weekly Loaded column looks at better ways to manage (and stop worrying about) your money.


Comments

    Rumour is it still has 256MB RAM, lame.
    If I decide to get a tablet it will be Honeycomb.

      I'm with you boris. Moving from iPhone to Android (Galaxy S) was the best tech decision I've made in years. Well, maybe second best - that dirt-cheap netbook I put Jolicloud on and gave to my wife is still earning me 'good' points.

      My phone has 768mb RAM....

      Apple sucks

      Little boys care about specs. Adults care about getting things done.

      All the rumors I read stated 512MB. Where did you read yours from or are you making it up.

      Regardless, it doesn't matter. What matters is how it performs, which by all early hands on reports is very very fast. Remember that you shouldn't compare CPU or RAM usage from on OS against another. Android for instance might need a lot of CPU and RAM just to make it perform the same as iOS. I wouldn't know for sure though, I'm just speculating.

      All I know is that my old iPad works very well and it only has 256MB of RAM and a lowly A4 single core processor ... bugger :)

        So hows that "Adult" playing in steves walled garden working for you?

          LOL. there are no adults in his walled garden.

          "Freedom from porn" - Steve Jobs

          Hope you didn't install any of that malware infested software from a vendor that doesn't care...

        This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted

        Bernard,

        Your logic of not improving a device because it already works reminds me of those old fellas who go on about their Torana and their turntable.

        Thankfully no one takes those types seriously.

        In regards to you accusing me of making up rumours:

        http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/03/does-the-ipad-2-really-only-have-256mb-of-ram/

        Rumour was from Matt Buchanan at Gizmodo. Read the article. Is that good enough rumour for you old boy?

        In regards to 256MB of RAM not mattering - ask any computer programmer (e.g., me) whether it matters and they'll let know the truth.

        This is really what is happening in your reply -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-purchase_rationalization

        Boris (nom de plume)

          Hmmmm.... i'm pretty tech savvy 'boy', and run a 27" 3.6ghz i5 for music production and graphic design, hooked up to a PS3 for a media server and run a couple of other gadgets on the side. Honestly will say, do not dismiss the humble turntable. Especially when they cost $1500 each to buy. I've been djing vinyl for 12 years, run pioneer CDJ's and can say the technology change is no where the fun of vinyl or the sound it delivers. Even if it is stereo & analog. There is just something magical about the sound of an original Doors record belting out through the amp.

          A rumor from Gizmodo is worthless. They can't even get into any Apple event.

          When the playing field is level, then specs matter. But they're not level. Different OS, different apps.

          Try the machine, not the specs. By the way, I am a computer programmer and I've worked with lots of great code on poor hardware that would always blow fancy hardware away. Crap code or lazy programming will always suffer no matter what the specs.

          By all means check out the specs, but don't judge on it alone.

          P.S. It has more than 256MB of RAM

            @Dean cool story bro

            @Bernard
            I did tell you read the article right? The rumour was from an Apple event so they got in. I am pretty sure that ban for leaking iPhone 4 got relaxed.

            Apple is definitely NOT doing more with less in regard to programming. For example their poor implementation of multitasking, notifications, etc and non existent implementation of widgets, live wallpapers, etc.

            512MB is also a rumour, worth about as much as Gizmodo's rumour. Still leaves iPad2 100% behind every other 2nd gen tablet in RAM.

    This soothes me :-)

    once again apple herp derps its way into the market with products that are sub standard, sure it looks nice but the iOS is pretty much gonna be the same, nothing revolutionary there, just alittle bit faster. Why bother wasting the cash on it when you could get the new HP Slate or the Motorola Xoom which both run a far superior tablet OS which provides greater functionality and customisable UI... i think anyone that reads LH should know what to choose

    Finally! A review that uses common sense as the benchmark rather than the "it's new and it starts with i-" standard.
    Reminds me of a friend I once had that would buy the newest pair of basketball boots as soon as they came out. Didn't need new shoes, last pair were in pristine condition, but these were the latest AND cost more... so he HAD to have them.
    Didn't improve his game or luck with women... much like the latest i-GotOne.

    I was disappointed with the announcement too. I like Apple and a lot of there stuff is great but the iPad 2 does not bring enough new features to warrant buying one.

    I would like to have seen more screen resolution, that would certainly have had me biting at the bit to get one. As it is, I'll wait for the iPad 3 (rumours are already abound it will be out before the year's end).

    The current iPad is still pretty darn sweet... I may get another one at this price...

    Really, nothing has changed that has made me want an iPad for more or less.

    I mean thinner and faster are always nicer but I feel the user experience needs to be improved. And I say this as an owner of an iPhone that I love to death (although it is admittedly jailbroken).

    I mean it just seems weird that they rewrote all of these apps (such mail) to take advantage of the extra space but they didn't work on the OS. until they make the homescreen something more than a bunch of icons, they won't really get my vote.

    I'm guessing the "almost all" is hedging bets about apps which will need to be updated for iOS v4.3? Or ones which rely on being a phone? Unless they're doing something radical to change the APIs for it, seems unlikely to be anything other than safe marketer speak.

    I imagine that the applications that don't run on iPad would be applications that are designed for phone and SMS functionality.

    There's a lot of hatred in the thread for a product that seems to be doing fairly well in the marketplace. You guys aren't living in the post-PC world, you're living in the past. Apple won't sell 40 million tablets to guys with social problems, they'll sell them to people who have lives to conduct who just need an appliance to live in the digital world. Apple got the MP3 player right, they got the smartphone right, and now the tablet. The funny thing is that a post-PC world is also a post-geek world. I think that's why there's a little bit too much spec-envy going on here.

      I'll personally believe the iPad is post-PC when you don't have to plug it into a PC to set it up.

        Hard to have spec-envy when 'the spec' is actually worse than the other tablets it is being compared to.

      Hi - Yes I have social problems !! I am not earning enough money to warrent getting an ipad. My girlfriend has just left me..... More rants - more raves. Also I am guily of owning a android tablet and worse being happy really with it. It's great there is some competition to apple though..Stephen

      They got the smartphone right? Worldwide iOS phones are the 4th most popular in smartphones. That's a great effort isn't it. iPods are the laughing stock of the music industry with vastly inferior sound quality compared to devices by numerous other companies, and far more restrictions.

      Heck iDecices still don't support widgets. It's a lot harder to "live in the digital world" when you have to go through a lot more effort to look at information rather than a quick glance at the screen.

      As a recent article in an Australian tech mag said - "Android is for people that are tech enthusiasts. iOS is for people that think they're tech enthusiasts"

    After I read your post Angus Kidman I don't find any reason to buy this new ipad2.... it is like du déjà vue but I prefere to waiting and get it free...

    iPad2 as a first tablet FTW!

    ipad2 is better than ipad1. i own both.

    If you buy ipad2 you will be very sorry. It is a piece of crap like one cannot belive. Beside hipe, nothing of it. I get only frustration & frustration from it.

    I think I'll still buy one but that is smart

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