Five Reasons Not to Buy the New iPad

The time has come once again for fans of iOS and its shiny Apple devices to flood retailers for the latest thing out of Cupertino.

The new iPad has arrived and early reports indicate that the screen is currently the biggest advantage to upgrading from previous models.

While graphics performance has improved, the camera technology was significantly upgraded from the iPad 2, and the screen is certainly different, is there really any reason to pick this one up over the original iPad or iPad 2? After all, when are you actually going to use that built-in camera for more than an occasional shot or two you could very well take from your smartphone or digital camera?

Here are five reasons not to buy the new iPad.

You Already Own One

If you already own an iPad, you don’t need the new one. I’ve said it: Your want and desire for the latest and greatest iPad is one thing, but the actual need to upgrade right now is another. Think about it; there isn’t currently an iPad app on the market that can’t run on the iPad 2. Sure, the new one may be all the tech world can talk about right now, but is there really any reason to drop another $500+ on a new one?

If you already have your hands on an iPad or iPad 2, keep it and enjoy it. Your money could be better spent on something you don’t already have, like perhaps some much-needed upgrades to your desktop or laptop computer, or a whole bunch of music and apps from iTunes.

Oh, and in case you think the 4G upgrade is worth throwing down another $500+ for, it isn’t. 4G is a marketing term that doesn’t always translate to improved connectivity.

Big Upgrades Often Follow Minor Ones

The iPhone 4S made quite a few minor improvements on the overall iPhone product, though it wasn’t itself a major upgrade. The iPhone 3GS was about the same, introducing one or two useful new features but not really bringing the house down with anything incredibly worthwhile.

Apple appears to be following the same scheme with the iPad. The iPad 2 was a big change from the original iPad, giving it a new body style, cameras, a faster processor, and a number of other features that it did not have previously. This new iPad has some great upgrades, though there isn’t anything truly revolutionary beyond the higher-resolution screen which didn’t really solve any “problems” users were complaining about with previous models.

If I were a betting man (which I can be from time to time), I’d bet that next year’s iPad will be another one of those major updates that introduces something that never existed on the iPad before. Perhaps an updated body style, screen size, integrated gizmos and doodads, or something else that changes the way people use the device.

While it’s hard to overlook the Retina Display, the latest version of the iPad was still a considerably minor update. For frugal tech users, the big updates are the ones really worth putting your money down for.

Alternatives May Be Worth Looking Into

I’d be missing the point if I didn’t at least take a moment to mention the incredible achievements made on the Android tablet front. Ice Cream Sandwich is an extremely robust operating system, and the Transformer Prime is arguably one of the finest tablet computers you can find on the market today.

Windows 8 is around the corner, and it could very well be the most comprehensive and robust mobile operating system to come to the platform since iOS was originally introduced. Windows 8 may not be a big hit on the desktop, but you can bet Microsoft will make waves with its ARM edition and Metro interface.

You Don’t Need a Tablet, Yet

Tablet computers are handy and quite trendy these days, but there isn’t much you can do with them right now that you can’t do on a smartphone or a laptop computer. For right now, there isn’t a big reason to get a tablet computer unless you really love technology and have the money to spend. Personally, I think $500 could go towards a very useful laptop or desktop computer that could run circles around the iPad.

That said, the day of the tablet is soon coming. It could be argued that today’s laptop computers may be all-but replaced by tablets as mobile operating systems continue to advance to the point where they can compete head-on with desktop solutions in the world of content creation.

Needs are relative, though I know of very few people who actually “need” an iPad to get their job done. If you fall into that category, there’s a fair chance that one is provided for you, anyway.

The Old Ones Are Cheaper

What better time to pick up an older iPad than right now? Seriously, the new iPad is great, but you can get an iPad 2 with the same amount of internal storage for $100 less. At $399, the iPad 2 is a very convincing deal, even for the frugal consumer who may not “need” one.

I love a good deal, and right now the older iPads are just that, a good deal. Priced less than many competitors, available just about everywhere, and still just as capable of running the apps you want; there’s no need to spend an extra $100 if you don’t absolutely have to.

If you really wanted a good deal, you could find the original iPad available on the interwebs for much less than its original going price. In fact, you can find some in very good condition for as low as $200, making it a great tablet at a Kindle Fire price. You can’t beat that with a wet noodle, no sir.

It could be the frugal geek in me, but I don’t think more pixels-per-inch or a better camera (which I’ll never really use) is a compelling enough reason to pay an extra $100. I’d rather spend that money on something more useful, like shiny 20-sided dice or LEGO minifigs.

Are you considering buying the new iPad? What are your reasons for upgrading? Do you think you’ll just stick with the original iPad or iPad 2?

Photo By: Matt Ryan

43 comments On Five Reasons Not to Buy the New iPad

  • Matthew Cheung

    Great Advice!

  • I have an iPad 2 and I’ll buy a “new” iPad. When an iPad “4” comes out Ill probably buy that as well. Why? because i can.

    And besides my kids love the hand me downs!

  • Michael Stokes

    At 16 years old, I don’t own an iPad, or any tablet for that matter. Once college rolls around I’ll probably look into getting a tablet for note taking, date planning, etc. Until then, a 15in laptop is doing the trick for me. 

    • You might find the laptop still being very useful for those purposes. I like the iPad, but taking notes is still a bit easier on the laptop.

  • Good advice.  Only, in my opinion,  if you intend to read books on the iPad,  I would not call the vastly improved retina  resolution a minor upgrade.

  • So the only big upgrades of devices was
    -Original iPhone (2007)
    (iPhone 3G only had 2 upgrades, which were 3G and GPS. The body design was a downgrade, and it was slower in daily usage, although had the exact same internals. 3GS was a bigger update)
    -iPhone 4 (2010)

    iPod touch:
    (1G wasn’t really that cool)
    -iPod touch 4G

    -iPad 1 (iPad 2 just had the cameras, which were to bad to use) 

    • I’d argue that iPad 2 was a major upgrade to the original iPad as it changed the body and added cameras. It also featured a bit more processing power under the hood, but not much.

  • Great advice Matt 🙂

  • No one needs any tech to live, but tablets are a lot more useful in some situations than laptops. Just using in class, unless your typing lots of notes, is perfect. Thin, light, small, and has lots of purposes. Browsing the web is handier, and you don’t experience all the problems of desktop computing. 

  • an ipad 1 is all you need and an iphone 4 everything else it is just like the hat on a new “baby malibu” simpsons refference =D 

    greetings from mexico

  • I think that if you already have an iPadd 2, the DON’T upgrade (this is my situation).  I’ll keep all my money earning interest, thanks!  I think that with things like iPads, EVERY SECOND one would be better. (i.e, If you have iPad 1, then go for 3.  If you have iPad 2, wait until #4, etc). It’s a bit like Operating Systems:  If you were using Windows 98, skip M.E and go for XP.  If you’re on XP, skip Vista and go to ‘7’, etc.  Every 2nd O.S, Every 2nd iPad.  (I’m still on XP, lol!).

  • There’s only one reason I won’t get one (well 2 but will keep the latter to myself).   Don’t have money is the main reason.  There is only one realy reason that I want an iPad though and that’s to be about to run Perculator.   I emailed the author of this cool app and he said there’s no plans to port it for Windows users but he might do so for Mac.   Sad for me.   lol


  • Alex Rodriguez

    The Ipad2 was my first.  I enjoy it, and though it may not do everything that a laptop does, it’s close enough for general daily use.  In my opinion, for what I use it for (browsing, emails, chatting, and reading) I think it’s better than a laptop.  At least easier and lighter to carry and better battery life.  I’m of the same thought that the few new features of the New Ipad was definitely not compelling to ditch my perfectly working Ipad2.  Maybe if they had added USB port or external memory it would have made a world of difference.  For now, I’m waiting to see when the New New Ipad comes around to see if it’s worth paying an extra $500+.  Otherwise I’ll stick to my trusty Ipad2, which is a nice even number.

    • don’t worry too much about the storage limitation of the iPad. I’m using the the airport extreme with an attached 3TB external drive. I basically backed up my DVD movie library (iSkysoft DVD Ripper) on it and can access/stream them using the “FileBrowser” app ($5). It’s also capable of streaming all of your music and pictures. FileBrowser also lets you stream your stuff over the web too, which basically makes it a “accessible everywhere” cloud. The software can be buggy at times, but it has solved my storage limitations issues and made the iPad feel a whole lot more flexible than it actually is.

      My favorite use it plugging my iPad into my stereo and having an instant 15,000+ song jukebox. Nothing special if you have an iPod Classic, but still… it’s cool. 😉

  • I don’t own an iPad, yet! But I’m with Matt, I’m gonna get the iPad2, you can’t beat that $100 discount. And for what I’m planning on using it, it’s good enough…

  • Angus McIntyre

    Apple wannabe-way-of-life counts on millions of compulsive buyers and thousands of simple morons. Why do I say “mr Burger is a moron”? Because I can.

  • Good article as it’s refreshing to read about consumerism from a more healthy approach rather than the irresponsible splurging you hear so much about. I personally think ending this piece with something like “forego a new iPad purchase and, instead, pay off old debts” rather than 500 bucks worth of lego toys, but I can only assume the gnome people aren’t targeting the family man. 🙂

    I have an iPad2, however I can’t do much on it other a few web look-ups from time to time. I gave it to the wife and I’m happy with a 13″MBP. I work primarily in Lightroom and Parallels/Excel which the iPad can not do. Bottom line, even if a tablet could handle those applications, they can’t speed up my workflow as I use shortcuts and scripts. Tablets require a lot of arm movements to operate an interface and they get a little exhausting compared to the swift response of the keyboard and mouse.

  • Replacing my iPad 2 with the New iPad was a no brainer for me. Why? Because now I can read full page magazines and PDFs with ease on the screen without zooming and scanning. The previous iPads are fine for content that has been formatted for a tablet’s screen but when viewing ‘standard’ content such as PDF versions of printed letters, journals and brochures etc, was frustrating. The same goes for print magazines that have an ‘e’ version that is basically just a PDF (i.e those in Zinio). The New iPad is hugely more useful for me now as a result (I work in academia and have to read quite a few journal articles printed to PDF).

  • TerriAnn van Gosliga

    We have an iPad2 and that’s good enough. I was just talking w/ my husband about how we should wait for the next release, just like we should wait for an iphone 5

  • Wolfee Darkfang

    Very level headed article matt. Still will probably see mad rushes to the local apple stores though. One of my friends once stood in line for 2 hours just to sell her spot for double the price of a iphone lol.

  • We have an iPad and it is only used the first week. Since then it is collecting dust. The iPad is just to limited. I might buy a tablet when Windows 8 is released because it is more flexible.

  • well…after reading this, and still using my original iPad i have to say that i use it and i don´t have yet any complaints or frustrations, everything runs extremely well. 
    I always consider if it is worth it to spend money on something that is very  similar on what you already have. The OS is the same, the screen is more than enough, the speed is ok for what i do. 
    I will keep my original iPad until something really new is worth to spend my money.

  • Just wondering. How are a “20-sided dice or LEGO minifigs” more useful than a tablet computer?

  • Indeed, this applies to a lot of device purchases these days.

  • i agree with you .!

    that what i decided to .. when it came out ..

    i’ll keep my ipad 2..

  • im in the market for my first tablet… i think i will save my money ’till next march and the ipad “4”

  • I bought the new iPad, because never had an iPad so why not?

  • I would love to see some 13inch tablets before upgrading, as long as they keep the weight down. 13in is just as portable as 10in, but would make movies and Internet much nicer. Apple’s current resolution would be just as nice at that size as well.

  • I would only argue that if you have a Gen. 1 iPad that the time to upgrade is now. if you have an iPad 2 then there’s no real reason to upgrade on that front. BTW I have the 3rd Gen iPad and it’s awesome!

  • I am thankful that the new iPad was released. For starters I purchased my iPad 2 for $300 at Best Buy, originally I paid $400.00 for it. The hype of the new product forced retailers to have somewhat of a clearance sale. I purchased it originally for $399.99, then the price was reduced by $50.00 within 2 days of purchasing it. I went to Best Buy with my receipt and they gave me the difference in cash I felt like I was ahead. Then a few days later I managed to find a coupon online for $50.00 off the iPad 2. I thought I would be pushing it but it was worth a shot. Sure enough Best Buy honored it and I received yet another $50.00. It offset the cost of all the cases needed to protect it, but it suits my needs being that I really just needed an iPad to test/troubleshoot mirroring as a solution to resell to educational customers.

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