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

    • 7-foot-7 'Game of Thrones' actor Neil Fingleton dies at 36

      LONDON (AP) — Neil Fingleton, a 7-foot 7-inch actor who played the giant Mag the Mighty in "Game of Thrones" has died at 36.

      Associated Press
    • Oscars 2017: Jimmy Kimmel sets personal record with Trump tweet

      Jimmy Kimmel just set a personal record!

      Entertainment Weekly
    • Classic Chrissy! Teigen Takes a Nap During Casey Affleck’s Oscars Acceptance Speech

      Fans are well aware of Chrissy Teigen’s silly, care-free attitude, and couldn’t help but to laugh at her latest shenanigan: napping at the Oscars. The supermodel and new mom was caught snoozing on her husband John Legend‘s shoulder at the 89th Academy Awards as Casey Affleck accepted the Best Actor award for his role in Manchester by the Sea. “Chrissy Teigen sleeping during the Oscars is my 2017 mood,” one Twitter user wrote alongside a photo of the model sleeping.

      People
    • Melania and Ivanka Trump opt for opposing sartorial strategies at the Governor's Ball

      As Hollywood's finest took to the red carpet on the West Coast, First Lady Melania Trump was hosting her debut Governor's Ball in Washington DC. Bringing together 46 Governors for a 'dazzling, sensorial experience', Melania was out to woo at the first event she has personally organised as First Lady.

      The Telegraph
    • This one tweet explains that truly bizarre Oscars Best Picture mixup perfectly

      In what is certainly the weirdest moment in Oscars history, the incorrect Best Picture winner was announced on stage to finish off the 89th Academy Awards. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway first announced La La Land as the big winner of the night. The cast and crew walked onstage and began to make their speeches, only to be stopped halfway through — the correct winner was actually Moonlight. Comedian Jackie Jennings quickly pointed out a perfect explanation for the bizarre mistake. WAIT BUT THIS IS ACTUALLY THE REAL END OF LA LA LAND AND ITS GREAT #Oscars — Jackie Jennings (@ohhijackie) February 27, 2017 La La Land' s depressing dream sequence finale was oddly similar to the ending of the Oscars. The Oscars ended exactly like La La Land did. La La Land is the Oscars. The Oscars are La La Land . SEE ALSO: Your guide to the 2017 Oscars, in highly accurate charts As the dust settles on the weirdest Academy Awards thing of all time, more dazed viewers have begun to realize the connection. Hey "La La Land" remember when you gave us that fake happy ending and then took it awayHow's it feel — Daniel "Kibblesmith" (@kibblesmith) February 27, 2017 This was super meta for La La Land- the movie about following your dreams with the most crushing ending. — Tiffany Mink (@minkus) February 27, 2017 I hope they put that alternate ending on the La La Land blu ray — pat tobin (@tastefactory) February 27, 2017 So that was actually just like La La Land, where they imagine the joy and glory they would have had, only to accept a different ending. — Joshuah Bearman (@joshbearman) February 27, 2017 Remember at the end of La La Land where it shows the happy ending but then it's snatched away? And it's nighttime? And there's MOONLIGHT?! — Corey Vidal (@CoreyVidal) February 27, 2017 Insane the Oscars would have the same dream sequence ending as La La Land. — Peter Sherer (@psherz) February 27, 2017 BONUS: Oscars contender 'La La Land' gets an old school video game treatment

      Mashable
    • George W. Bush: A free press checks the ‘addictive’ power of the presidency

      “I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy,” Bush says in a “Today” show interview. “We need an independent media to hold people like me to account.”

      Yahoo News
    • Yes, California's drought is all but over, and the dramatically revived Cachuma Lake proves it

      Heading into February, things were looking grim here in the rugged hills north of Santa Barbara. While much of California was emerging from five years of drought, this giant reservoir had dwindled to a weedy channel at just 7% of capacity and was perilously close to being written off as a regional water supply. And then the rains came in unrelenting horizontal sheets. It was one of the largest storms in memory over the Santa Ynez Valley on Feb. 17, swamping historical records and causing the lake to rise a whopping 31 feet in depth in just a few days. It “slammed us with intense sideways rain,” recalled Beverly Keller, manager of the Cachuma Lake General Store. “Falling on the roof of my mobile

      Los Angeles Times q
    • Former President Bush breaks his silence, defends Trump

      Reaction from Fox News contributor and former White House speechwriter Marc Thiessen

      FOX News Videos
    • Ryan Gosling's barely stifled giggle over Best Picture fiasco sweeps social media

      As much as he probably should have been disappointed that La La Land didn't scoop Best Picture following a colossal envelope error, Ryan Gosling was all of us at last night's Academy Awards. A picture of the Oscar-nominated actor taken as he learnt that it was in fact Moonlight that had taken the night's top prize has quickly swept social media, Gosling's barely restrained laughter capturing that universal feeling of getting the inappropriate giggles. It's the Oscar equivalent of irrationally cracking up at a funeral.

      The Telegraph
    • ‘Game of Thrones’ Actor Neil Fingleton Dies at 36

      Neil Fingleton, who played the colossal warrior Mag the Mighty on “Game of Thrones,” died from heart failure on Saturday. He was 36. Fingleton was the U.K.’s tallest man at seven feet, seven inches in height. In addition to “Thrones,” Fingleton appeared in “Doctor Who,” Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and “X-Men: First Class.” His death was announced... Read more »

      Variety
    • Danica Patrick Rips New NASCAR Rules Following Daytona 500 Crash

      Danica Patrick was right in the thick of Sunday’s Daytona 500 when she was forced to exit following a 17-car crash that began when Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 car was struck by Trevor Bayne’s No. 6 car. After she was cleared by medical personnel, Patrick spoke with For The Win’s Michelle R. Martinelli and put the blame for the crash on NASCAR’s new rule changes, specifically the rule that created staged racing. “The stages are definitely going to add to it,” Patrick said per Martinelli, “because not only is it creating a reason to push at certain points in the race that aren’t anything but the last 20, but you’re also seeing it shuffling the grid up.” But, that wasn’t the only new rule that Patrick

      New England Sports Network q
    • Guy quits his crappy job in the best way possible

      Sometimes, you need to go out with a bang. Or a flush. Giving two weeks is a pretty standard practice when employees move on from their current job. It allows the company a short amount of time to search for a replacement, and gives the employee an opportunity to leave on good standing. You never know when you may need that reference — or worse, when you may need your old job back. While most people quickly Google "two-week notice letter" and follow a pretty standard form, this guy decided on a different method. SEE ALSO: Lucky woman wins lottery days after quitting her job According to his wife, Redditor Girlofgodsbadday, this dude decided to quit his job by writing his two-week notice on a few sheets of toilet paper.  "I have chosen this type of paper for my 2 week resignation as a symbol of how I feel this company has treated me, and ironically, how it is disposed of is where I feel the company is going," the letter reads. Just in case the message wasn't clear, he drew a toilet next to where he signed his name. While he didn't use the term "ironically" properly, we're going to give him a pass because handing that over to any boss takes some serious guts. BONUS: A new way to take selfies — and six other features the iPhone 8 might have

      Mashable
    • Oscars 2017: Jimmy Kimmel tries - but fails - to bury the hatchet with Matt Damon

      Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon continued their "feud" as the 89th Academy Awards host took aim at the actor in his opening monologue. The host claimed he would "bury the hatchet" with Damon, whose Manchester by the Sea was up for six Oscars, before ripping into the actor. "I would like to bury the hatchet with someone I've had issues with -- Matt Damon.

      The Telegraph
    • Bill Paxton Dies at 61: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt and More Celebs Pay Tribute to Actor

      The actor was perhaps best known for his roles in 'Twister,' 'Alien,' 'Titanic,' and most recently, 'Training Day' the TV show.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Father of Navy SEAL killed in Yemen raid to Trump administration: 'Don't hide behind my son's death'

      The father of William "Ryan" Owens, the Navy SEAL Team 6 member who was the first US...

      Business Insider
    • Oscar Moments You Didn’t See on TV (10 photos)

      The behind-the-scenes moments rivaled those on stage

      People
    • OK, We Need To Talk About Nicole Kidman's Oscars Applause For A Minute

      We all know that with an awards show like the Oscars, quite often the best place to keep one eye on is the audience, rather than the action on stage (just ask any Rihanna fan, for example).

      The Huffington Post UK q
    • Stars react to ‘Moonlight,’ ‘La La Land’ Oscars mix-up

      In a shocking upset, Moonlight won best picture at this year’s Academy Awards, but only after an onstage mix-up when La La Land was first declared the winner. The announcement came after the La La Land producers had already taken to the stage and started to give an acceptance speech, and the news that Moonlight was the real winner sent shockwaves throughout the Dolby Theatre — and across Twitter.

      Entertainment Weekly
    • Game Of Thrones actor and UK's tallest man Neil Fingleton dies aged 36

      Game of Thrones actor and former UK's tallest man Neil Fingleton has died at the age of 36. The successful actor also appeared in Doctor Who and X-Men: First Class, Avengers: Age of Ultron, after a basketball career that saw him play professionally in Spain, China, Italy, Greece and England. Raised in County Durham, he starred in HBO's iconic Game Of Thrones series as the giant Mag The Mighty in 2014.

      International Business Times UK q