Digital Crave

Seven things to know before buying an iPad

Digital Crave

View gallery

.

So you want to buy an iPad. Great, which one?

This past week alone saw the debut of not one but two new Apple tablets: iPad mini (from $329) and a fourth-generation iPad (from $499), now officially called iPad with Retina display. These two join the second- and third-generation ("new iPad") models.

Confused? You're not alone.

For a company known for its simple, minimalist approach to technology, they've made their current iPad offerings clear as mud.

Don't worry, as we're here to help put your finger on the right iPad for you and your budget. The following are a few things to keep in mind, to help you decide which one to go with — or dare we say it, another tablet platform altogether.

Size does matter

Let's get the obvious out of the way: some people just want a smaller tablet. At 7.9 inches -- nearly 2 inches smaller than all other iPads -- iPad mini is portable enough to fit in some purses, suit jackets and perhaps even your jeans' back pocket. Those who want an iPad primarily as an ebook reader will also find iPad mini lighter and thinner at 0.68 pounds and 0.28 inches, respectively; compare this to the latest 9.7-inch iPad that weighs 1.44 pounds — not the easiest for bookworms to hold for extended periods of time.

Do you really want an ereader?

If you're buying an iPad mini primarily as an ebook reader, remember standalone ebook readers are not only easier to read outside with its no-glare e-ink screens, but illuminated backlit screens have been proven to stimulate the brain rather than relax it, which might be good to know for those who like to read in bed. Also, at 10 hours of battery between charges, iPad mini can last as long as its big brother and other tablets, but dedicated ebook readers — like most Kindle, Kobo and Nook models — can last up to a month in some cases. Finally, dedicated ebook readers are less than $100, on average, compared to the starting price of $329 for an iPad mini. Apple's petite tablet can do much more, of course, but this is all just food for thought.

View gallery

.

Base price

If you're buying brand new, iPad mini is the least expensive of all iPad models, followed by iPad 2 at $399 and iPad with Retina Display at $499. But be aware these are just for the Wi-Fi models and only with 16GB of storage. iPad mini with Wi-Fi + Cellular starts at $459 (16GB), while the same wireless radios in the iPad 2 will set you back $529. The latest iPad starts at $629 for Wi-Fi + Cellular (16GB). If this is too steep — and you really want an iPad -- you might consider sourcing prices for refurbished iPads from major retailers or second-hand iPads from online marketplaces like eBay or online classifieds sites such as Craigslist or Kijiji.

How much power do you need?

If you're looking for a powerhouse of a tablet, you should go with the just-unveiled fourth-generation iPad. It might've not received the same amount of media attention as iPad mini, unveiled on the same day, but this surprise announcement is newsworthy for serious gamers, video lovers, music creators and other demanding tablet owners. At the same price as the third-generation iPad (from $499), the new iPad with Retina display houses a A6X chip for performance that's twice as fast as the previous-generation A5X chip, and delivers up to twice the graphics performance, too. Wi-Fi is also twice as fast. The new iPad retains the same Retina display (3.1 million pixels), industry-leading 10-hour battery and support for more than 275,000 apps.

App support

Most -- but not all -- of the 275,000+ apps work with all generations of iPad. Some require more power under the hood, therefore it will say on the App Store if only the third- or fourth-generation iPad is required to run it. Others require a camera or two, therefore the apps won't work with the first-gen iPad from 2010. Also be aware iPad mini and iPad 2 have the same A5 chip, which isn't as powerful as the newest iPad and its A6X processor. Finally, while many apps have been optimized for the Retina display, only the latest iPad has this incredibly high-resolution screen (2048 x 1536 pixels) at 264 pixels per inch, compared to the iPad 2 and iPad mini's screen at 1024 x 768 resolution, at 132 pixels per inch. With all of this in mind, memory-intensive apps will work faster and smoother on the last two iPads, but on the flipside, iPad mini's smaller and lighter body means it's much easier to type with thumbs while holding it.

View gallery

.
Accessories

If you've invested in a number of tablet accessories over the past few years — perhaps a speaker dock, in-car charging kit or fitted cases to protect your investment — remember the latest iPads have ditched its 30-pin connector with the new Lightning connector, therefore you're likely going to need an adaptor [LINK], such as the Lightning to 30-pin Adapter ($29) or the 0.2-meter Lightning to 30-pin cable ($39). To make matters worse, both of which are still not available at the time of writing this. Even if you buy these adaptors, they'll work for charging, synching and audio — but not video. Your older AirPlay- and Bluetooth-enabled accessories will work with news iPads, though, as they're wireless, but they won't be able to charge them up. iPad mini Smart Covers cost $39. Smart Covers for the full-sized iPads cost $39 to $69, depending on the material.

View gallery

.

Galaxy Note

There are other tabs, too

Newsflash: iPad isn't the only game in town. Those in the market for a new tablet have many other options to consider, primarily from the Android camp (from $99 to $499) but also Windows 8-based tabs beginning to surface. Those who like many hardware options (in price, size and power) and more freedom and flexibility in their operating system, should go with Android. Google Play now has more than 500,000 apps, too, but not all work (or work well) on tablets and/or all versions of Android. Windows users, on the other hand, might opt for the Windows Surface RT (32GB; from $499) as it's ideal for content creation along with media consumption — especially if you go with the optional touch cover ($119.99) that doubles as a keyboard. Also included are familiar apps like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and others.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Foreclosed mall once valued at $190M is auctioned for $100

      TARENTUM, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania mall that was foreclosed on after its owners failed to repay $143 million has been auctioned off for $100.

      Associated Press
    • One by one, 3 utility workers descended into a manhole. One by one, they died.

      When a utility worker in Key Largo, Fla., noticed that a section of a paved street was not settling properly, he decided to remove a manhole cover and descend into the earth. Moments later on Monday morning, the 15-foot-deep hole went silent. Sensing the man was trapped, a fellow utility worker climbed into the drainage hole to rescue him. When he, too, stopped responding, a third worker entered the same hole. All three men died, overcome by poisonous fumes underground, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. A Key Largo firefighter who made a desperate attempt to save the men also became unconscious within seconds. The firefighter, Leonardo Moreno, an eight-year veteran of the

      Washington Post q
    • George Clooney's wife Amal rumoured to be 'pregnant with twins'

      Speculation is rife that Amal Clooney is pregnant after she appeared to be showing the first signs of a baby bump while attending an event in London. The 38-year-old human rights lawyer — who married Hollywood star George Clooney in 2014 — was photographed at a screening for The White Helmets in London on 9 January, wearing a loose fitting floral dress.

      International Business Times UK q
    • Ex-president George H.W. Bush moved to intensive care; wife hospitalized

      Bush, who at 92 is the nation's oldest living ex-president, has been at Houston Methodist Hospital since Saturday after experiencing shortness of breath, family spokesman Jim McGrath said on Wednesday. Since then, Bush experienced an "acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia" and was sedated for the unspecified procedure, his office said.

      Reuters
    • Things You Should Never Buy at Aldi

      Haven't shopped at an Aldi supermarket yet? After steadily expanding its footprint in the eastern part of the country over the past 40 years - the first U.S. store opened in Iowa in 1976 - Aldi is now adding locations in Southern California. There are few shelves, few employees and none of the amenities you've come to expect from the likes of Wegmans or Whole Foods.

      Kiplinger
    • Forever stamps will cost more starting Sunday

      It might be called a "Forever" stamp, but not when it comes to the price of buying one. The cost of mailing a one-ounce first-class letter will return to being 49 cents, up from 47 cents, where it had been since April. The last increase came in January 2014, according to the U.S. Postal Service, when it went from 47 cents to 49 cents. Then last April, the Postal Regulatory Commission ordered the USPS to drop its prices for the first time in 97 years. Postmaster General Megan Brennan protested, saying, "given our precarious financial condition and ongoing business needs, the price reduction required by the PRC exacerbates our losses." So now the price is going to back up again. Postcards, letters

      USA Today q
    • We Simulated The NFL Conference Championship Games, And There Was One Giant Upset

      The 2016-17 NFL Playoffs has found its final four with just the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, and Atlanta Falcons remaining after a highly entertaining Divisional Round. If you take Madden 17’s Wild Card predictions from our simulation of the entire NFL Playoffs, coupled with our simulation of the Divisional Round individually, Madden 17 is sitting at a cool 6-2 heading into what should be a very interesting Championship Round.

      UPROXX
    • Tucker Carlson calls out “sham” paid protester company spokesperson: “This is a hoax”

      Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Tuesday evening had on his show “Dom Tullipso,” the self-proclaimed “director of operations” of Demand Protest, a fake protesters-for-hire website aiming to besmirch real left-wing protesters. Right out of the gate, Carlson called Demand Protest “a sham.” He went on: “Your company isn’t real, your website is fake, the claims you have made are lies, this is a hoax. Let me start at the beginning, however, with your name, Dom Tullipso, which is not your real name. It’s a fake name, we ran you through law enforcement-level background checks and that name does not exist. So let’s start out with the truth. Tell me what your real name is.” “Tullipso” wouldn’t admit that

      Salon.com q
    • The internet roasts a photo of Donald Trump writing his inauguration speech

      When times get tough, at least you can still meme. President-elect Donald Trump is slated to deliver his inauguration address on Friday, so he teased his Twitter followers with a little behind-the-scenes photo of himself writing a speech at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. SEE ALSO: Don's Johns: Port-a-potties get censored for Trump’s inauguration Writing my inaugural address at the Winter White House, Mar-a-Lago, three weeks ago. Looking forward to Friday. #Inauguration pic.twitter.com/S701FdTCQu — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2017 The staged photo and Trump's cold, dead gaze sent the internet straight into "meme mode alpha," where it was pointed out that Trump was actually holding Sharpie marker, which may or may not actually be closed. @realDonaldTrump that is a blank piece of paper and you're holding a closed sharpie pic.twitter.com/ekCcH8eTXe — Jules Suzdaltsev (@jules_su) January 18, 2017 @cajunmonkey439 @realDonaldTrump It is *obviously* a sharpie. pic.twitter.com/gdD2AUhBKX — Jules Suzdaltsev (@jules_su) January 18, 2017 .@realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/8CSroNshBR — XpeK (@peKofX) January 18, 2017 Surprised that you didn't just use this photo as your epic, bigly speech pic.twitter.com/SezwzToFg4 — Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) January 18, 2017 good job @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/Ioj869Tfy3 — uhhh (@_uhhhhhhh) January 18, 2017 pic.twitter.com/pAKcXAEAkD — Sam Grittner (@SamGrittner) January 18, 2017 @realDonaldTrump #NotMyPresident #TheResistance #conflict #Putin #Inauguration In house security cam Mar a Lago pic.twitter.com/diwnpjAS3F — Beo Bachter (@kaysintBB) January 18, 2017 Early draft of Donald Trump’s inauguration speech. #TrumpSpeech #MyFirstWordsAsPresident #MAGA pic.twitter.com/qgo1glv5cG — Tom ❄️ (@TommieWho) January 18, 2017 Exclusive sneak peek at Trump's inauguration speech! pic.twitter.com/6W6ex0Ks3z — Kara Calavera (@KaraCalavera) January 18, 2017 Exclusive: #Trump's Inauguration speech leaked! #TrumpInaugural #trumpgrammar pic.twitter.com/XzrXXpnjxD — Gerry Stergiopoulos (@GerryGreek) January 18, 2017 Trump's speech draft. #InaugurationDay pic.twitter.com/gZ0Lp8dsjC — Thinker (@SmellTheTea) January 18, 2017 According to CNN, Trump did write his inauguration speech himself. BONUS: NBD, just a massive alligator out for a stroll

      Mashable
    • Virginia man convicted of 2006 slaying of family is executed

      JARRATT, Va. (AP) — A man convicted of killing a family of four, slashing their throats and setting their home ablaze after they left their front door open while preparing for a New Year's Day party in 2006, was executed Wednesday.

      Associated Press 8 min ago
    • American Airlines is banning carry-on bags and overhead bin use for basic-economy passengers

      Flying American Airlines just got a bit more affordable. On Wednesday, the world's largest...

      Business Insider
    • This Family Actually Lives in The Bachelor Mansion: ‘There’s People Outside the Gate Climbing Over the Fence’

      The world knows The Bachelor mansion as the place to find Chris Harrison, group dates and dramatic rose ceremonies. In addition to the majority of the season being filmed in the short period of time, the 9,000-square-foot house also gets a massive overhaul which includes the crew repainting rooms depending on whether the upcoming season is of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette.

      People
    • Betsy DeVos just gave a master class in what not to do in a confirmation hearing

      Watch the full exchange between Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for education secretary, at DeVos's confirmation hearing. President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of education nominee could have had a smoother hearing Tuesday evening. There were several moments in her hours-long hearing when DeVos appeared not to know the answers to basic questions — about how much money her family had donated to the Republican Party ($200 million is “possible”), about whether states should follow a federal disabilities law (“I may have confused it” with a state law), about a debate roiling the education community over whether to focus on students’ grade-level proficiency or on growth.

      Washington Post q
    • Mic picks up Packers trainer telling Cowboys' Tony Romo 'you deserve better'

      When longtime Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo lost his starting job to rookie Dak Prescott, there was general consensus that Prescott won the job fair and square when Romo got injured. As Romo was leaving the field after the Cowboys lost to the Packers in the playoffs, Pepper Burruss, Green Bay's director of sports medicine, approached him.

      CSN Mid-Atlantic q
    • Take a peek inside the most expensive home for sale in the US

      A 38,000-square-foot mansion in Bel Air, California, is poised to become the most expensive home for sale in the U.S. at $250 million.

      CNBC.com q
    • ‘Monster Mom’ Sentenced to 43 Years in Prison for Killing Her 11-Year-Old Daughter

      On Tuesday, an Illinois judge dubbed a 35-year-old woman a “monster mom” before sentencing her to 43 years in prison for the 2014 murder of her 11-year-old daughter, PEOPLE confirms. Addressing the courtroom, 19th Circuit Court Judge James Booras questioned how anyone could treat their child the way Nicholette Lawrence did. “Who would lock a child up in a closet furnished only with a sink and feed the child only a bowl of cereal a day?” Booras asked aloud, according to a court transcript obtained by PEOPLE.

      People
    • Rare photos of Betty White you've likely never seen (25 photos)

      Happy birthday, Betty White! Our favourite Golden Girl turns 95 on Jan. 17 — and she’s certainly come a long way. White officially holds the record for the longest TV career for any female entertainer. In honour of her birthday, click through the gallery to see some rare, vintage photos captured earlier in her career. Let us know what you think by tweeting @ YahooStyleCA!

      Yahoo Canada Style
    • George H.W. Bush now in intensive care; Barbara Bush also hospitalized

      Former President George H.W. Bush has been moved to the intensive care unit of a Houston hospital, while former First Lady Barbara Bush is now also in the hospital.

      WPVI – Philadelphia
    • The Latest: Trump has late dinner at his DC hotel

      WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Donald Trump (all times EST):

      Associated Press
    • Fox News 9 p.m. ratings soar as Tucker Carlson takes over for Megyn Kelly

      Tucker Carlson's new prime time show is off to a great start. Since taking over for Megyn Kelly...

      Business Insider