Buying an iPad

So, you’re in the market for an iPad to use for your educational needs. Well, there are two options to choose from. There is the iPad 2 that was released in March of 2011, or the New iPad (or 3rd generation iPad), released about a year later in March of 2012. There are many differences between the two models, and obviously the new model will have new features, but it also comes with a bigger price tag. After reading this help page and maybe a few of our resources posted below, you should be able to decide which model suits your needs.

Storage Space

The New iPad comes in three sizes:

  • 16 GB
  • 32 GB
  • 64 GB

The iPad 2 is now only available from Apple in the 16GB model on their website, but can still be purchased from online retailers like Amazon with the same capacities as the New iPad. 16 GBs will suffice in most situations, such as web browsing or checking your email, but if you start downloading movies, or putting your entire iTunes library on your iPad, those 16 gigabytes will dry up quickly. So it might be a safe idea to upgrade to the 32 GB or 64 GB model of the New iPad, but if you don’t think it’s worth the price, the 16gb model will work just fine.

Wi-Fi vs. 4G/3G

The next option that really affects the price is whether you would like to buy an iPad with Wi-Fi, or an iPad with both Wi-Fi and 3G/4G services. To sum up the difference between Wi-Fi and 3G/4G, refer to this article that breaks it down nicely.

The New iPad and the iPad 2 offer both options, but the 4G/3G option is more expensive by about $130, and the iPad 2 uses 3G and not 4G. 4G/3G is great when you’re in areas where Wi-Fi isn’t available, but if you’ll mostly be using your iPad in areas where you know there is Wi-Fi, then the 3G/4G won’t be necessary.

The New iPad vs iPad 2

There are all kinds of technical specifications differentiating the two models, but if all of those numbers seem a little overwhelming, then we’ll break it down for you like this. The New iPad is new with upgraded features, makes sense right? It has a new, highly-praised, Retina display, which offers twice as many pixels as the display in the iPad 2, meaning that the letters in your newly downloaded book will be exact, and your pictures will be crystal-clear. The New iPad also has an upgraded camera with 5-megapixels. It offers autofocus and HD 1080p video recording.

If you've owned or used an iPad 2, and you buy the New iPad, then those may be the first differences you notice. There are obviously more technical specifications between the two models, and you can view them here, but if you've never owned an iPad of any sort, you're likely to be impressed by either model.

For more information on the two models, read over this helpful article from CNET:

Here Is Who Should Buy The New iPad

This article by CNET brings up the following points to consider: 

  • Choosing between the Wifi only model and the 3G/4G + Wi-Fi model
  • Information for first time buyers
  • For people who are upgrading from an older model of the iPad to the New iPad
  • For people who are already users of Apple products
  • For people who are currently Android users
  • For Professionals of all fields who wish to integrate the iPad into their work or School
  • Choosing between the two supported carriers AT&T or Verizon

Last updated: 01-09-2013