The new iPad: 5 reasons to buy, 5 reasons not to


Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, speaks about the icons for new features; the retina display, quad core chip, a new camera with face detection, HD video, Siri and 4G LTE service for the new iPad during an Apple event in San Francisco. (Robert Galbraith/Reuters)
March 9, 2012

Every device has its pros and cons. Here are five reasons to buy — and not to buy — the latest iPad.

Reasons to buy:

1. The display: If you’re really into photos or video, then the screen is probably the single-most compelling reason to upgrade. Apple says that the iPad screen has more pixels than an HDTV.

2. Dictation: There hasn’t been much attention paid to this little feature, probably because everyone was bummed that Siri wasn’t in the new iPad. But dictation will go far on the iPad, as many people find typing on the tablet a total pain.

3. LTE: Faster Internet access means faster video streaming — which will be a joy to watch on the iPad’s new screen. It will also likely increase productivity on the iPad, because users will almost always be connected to a very fast network.

4. App store: This is really more a reason to buy Apple than specifically to buy this new tablet, but the fact of the matter is that the App Store has some of the best tablet apps out there — more than any other tablet app store.

5. Video/photo editing: This iPad might not be enough to finally persuade you to get rid of your computer, but this version of the iPad is creeping up. Before, it was kind of pain to edit photos and video that you took on your tablet and then share them from the tablet. Now, with an upgraded version of iMovie and a new iPhoto app, it’s much easier to do some quick work. Although the apps won’t be able to handle really complex editing, it’s welcome news for more the more serious amateurs who just want their stuff to look good.

And not:

1. LTE: Yes, I know I just listed this as a reason you should buy the new iPad, but it comes at a premium that might not be worth it for everyone. Adding LTE adds $130 to the price of any iPad model, plus the expense of the data plan.

And if you will do most of your non-WiFi iPad work somewhere without great LTE coverage, you’ll be roaming on the 3G network that already powers the iPad 2.

2. Competitors: Amazon is rumored to be coming out with a 10-inch version of the Kindle Fire. Microsoft is making a push with Windows 8. Even Google is expected to come out with a pure Android tablet.

3. Is it the size you want?: The iPad’s screen size — 9.7 inches — isn’t for everyone. The tablet is portable, but if you want to hold it one-handed for any length of time, if can be tiring for your hand muscles. That means commuters who often find themselves with standing-room-only might not find it completely ideal.

4. No SD card: The iPad comes in three memory sizes: 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB. And it seems like that’s going to be the case for a while. Other tablets offer users the option of expandable memory through an SD card or even the option of a USB port, but that’s not the case with the iPad. So if you want expandable memory, you’re better off with another tablet.

5. You own an iPad 2: The eternal agony of the upgrade cycle might have you completely paralyzed with the decision to buy or not to buy right now. But if you’re happy with your iPad 2, there’s really no reason to rush out and get the new version of Apple’s tablet today.

Related stories:

FAQ: Apple’s new iPad

Apple ready to tackle television with its new iPad

Apple TV: What’s new and when it’ll be available

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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