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266 of 275 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What do you want it for?
I bought the iPad 3 at release, which at the time of writing was about six months ago. This review is not so much about the technical abilities of the iPad (which are well covered elsewhere), but more about the difficult-to-define allure of the product.

People I know who also own an iPad, or who are considering buying one, often seem to spend some time coming...
Published on 11 Sep 2012 by JB

versus
240 of 246 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BUYERS BEWARE: received item certified as refurbished by Apple - not new!
I hope this review reaches as many people as possible.

Firstly I must state the iPad is undoubtedly a 5 star product and I don't like giving 1 star reviews in such cases, as I'm aware the review is for the product, not the seller.

But I do feel the need to bring this to buyers' attention. I purchased this very item from Amazon expecting it to be new,...
Published 21 months ago by M. Smith


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240 of 246 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BUYERS BEWARE: received item certified as refurbished by Apple - not new!, 11 Jan 2013
By 
M. Smith "ms" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I hope this review reaches as many people as possible.

Firstly I must state the iPad is undoubtedly a 5 star product and I don't like giving 1 star reviews in such cases, as I'm aware the review is for the product, not the seller.

But I do feel the need to bring this to buyers' attention. I purchased this very item from Amazon expecting it to be new, and a *refurbished* unit was sent out.

Here's how to tell if the item is refurbished: turn the iPad on, go into Settings > General > About. If the model number starts with an F, this means it is certified as refurbished by Apple, and it is not new stock.

As the item would have been received from Apple as certified refurbished stock, I am extremely sceptical as to whether this was an honest mistake or not.

I notice I'm not the only one to have received a refurbished model.

If you are considering buying this item, note the following:

1/ iPad 4 is (at time of writing) the newest model, and is actually slightly cheaper than this model

2/ Believe it or not, Amazon.co.uk does not currently sell the iPad 3 or iPad 4 directly to customers. They only fulfil the orders on behalf of marketplace sellers. It's pretty easy to set up as a marketplace seller.

Not convinced? Type "ipad" into Amazon search, choose a department (Electronics and Photo), scroll down then select "Amazon.co.uk" as the seller. If you were to go through all 289 pages (!) you'll notice Amazon.co.uk does not sell the iPad!

I hope the above informs your purchase! I ended up sending the unit back, thankfully Amazon's marketplace policies mean returns will always be offered in such an event. I then purchased the latest iPad directly from Apple, which was a great all-round service, and the price was right too.
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266 of 275 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What do you want it for?, 11 Sep 2012
By 
JB (Cambridge UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Apple iPad (16GB, Wi-Fi, Black) 3RD GENERATION (Personal Computers)
I bought the iPad 3 at release, which at the time of writing was about six months ago. This review is not so much about the technical abilities of the iPad (which are well covered elsewhere), but more about the difficult-to-define allure of the product.

People I know who also own an iPad, or who are considering buying one, often seem to spend some time coming up with justifications for the purchase: it'll help with their work, it will be great to watch movies on the train, it will keep the kids amused. After all, no-one *needs* an iPad; we can all get along quite adequately without one and at the back of our minds we are well aware of this. The iPad is expensive and for most of us it's a lot of money to fork out on what is essentially a luxury item. Deciding what you want to get out of the iPad, and whether there's a cheaper alternative available might be questions worth considering before committing.

Having thought through the sensible stuff though, I, like many others was seduced, and parted quite happily with £500 odd in the expectation of...what exactly? You often see the words "Apple" and "magic" in the same sentence, and this ability to produce products which go beyond one's expectations are at the core of the company's success. Having bought an iMac a year or so ago, I was confident that I would again have my investment in an Apple device repaid several times over in the sheer enjoyment which goes with an amazement at the uncanny perfection of the product's capabilities.

So, there I was in the Apple store, seated at a table, an attendant at the quasi-mystical ceremony at which my own iPad was removed from its packaging and prepared for set up. As this was the first day on sale, various people gathered to watch in awe. I was required to do the unboxing and unveiling, instructed in every move by the assistant. After removing the protective sleeve it was time to flick the button and bring life to the screen. A hush descended. As smooth as silk, the interface appeared in all its cool beauty. This truly was a work of art.

Six months on and it's almost always in constant use, whether by me or another member of the family. Interestingly, different aspects seem to appeal to different people.

For me it's the mail which is probably the singularly most useful feature. I have my work email as well as private email accounts all in the mail application. The messages are clearly laid out, and writing and responding I find is easy enough on the keyboard, though I know a lot of people don't find it so; it takes a while to adapt your hand shape to the keyboard, but the predictive text ensures that even if you hit the wrong key the word will probably still appear as you intended. Somehow Apple have made even such a mundane program as mail glamorous, and Excel, Word and pdf documents look spectacularly clear and professional on the retina display.

Kids love the apps, particularly the gaming ones of course, and there's always a new one coming along in this seemingly inexhaustible supply of the new and extraordinary.

Photos look a million dollars on the new screen and iPhoto ensures that albums can be easily organised. The iPad cleverly syncs with your PC so not just photos, but music moves seamlessly between the two.

iTunes, YouTube and the BBC app mean you could be entertained for hours, if you should so choose. Whatever you watch you'll be treated to pin-sharp definition. The sound is fine on the basic headphones.

All these things, in my opinion, make this a luxury worth having. However, the iPad is somehow more than the sum of its parts, and the robustness of its manufacture (I can attest to this as it's been dropped from a height on more than one occasion) together with the absolute lack of any indication whatsoever that there are actually processors whirring and chips buzzing below that crystalline surface, instil a confidence that this is somehow more than just a mass-market device. I defy you not to be beguiled...
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949 of 988 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ipad 3 - wow, 26 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Apple iPad (16GB, Wi-Fi, Black) 3RD GENERATION (Personal Computers)
I have resisted buying a tablet for a long time as I thought it couldn't offer me anything more than my pc or laptop ----- wrong,wrong,wrong ---- i am rarely impressed with anything but this is just the most fabulous creation since the invention of the personal computer.
Being of advanced years I thought I would have to undertake a long learning process to grasp the fundimentals, but you can use this straight from the box - came 85% already charged & is so intuitive to use you can just dive straight in.
As there is no manual I would advise anyone to download this first to help you get the full use of it - but you can learn a lot quickly by just using it.
There are so many free apps to begin with that will keep you occupied for hours before you think about buying any.
If you are considering buying a tablet I would advise you to forget the rest - go for the best, - IPAD3.
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132 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best ebook reader ever, and much more!, 21 Jun 2012
This review is from: Apple iPad (16GB, Wi-Fi, Black) 3RD GENERATION (Personal Computers)
I bought The New iPad 16GB White WiFi and Cellular. I am going to restrict the review to the plus and minuses which are relevant to me.

Plus points:

Retina Display: Nothing beats the screen resolution of the new iPad and this it is a pleasure to read on. It like reading a magazine which is backlit. It is surprisingly not stressful on the eyes. The best reading experience after my Kindle e-ink reader.

Apps: The applications you have for iOS are top notch. And thus makes the iPad very versatile. I work full time and study part time thus I like to read my study books whenever I can. With Dropbox and GoodReader I can sync my last reading page, annotations, etc of various documents mainly PDFs and thus have a seamless experience when I change from my deskstop to iPad and vice versa. Hence having the cellular network helps a lot.

Third part accessories: iPad has the most comprehensive support of cases, styli, accessories, you name it!

Battery life: I do not use the iPad for gaming or watching videos. I use it for reading, RSS feed, Skype calls and more reading. And believe me I get 2 days out of a single charge! Best of the lot. The stand by time is awesome as well, there is so little battery used during stand by that the battery level hardly decreases as compared to other tablets.

Drawbacks:

Lack of ports, no expandable memory, mono speakers. People seem to complain about the weight but I am alright with it.

I hope this helps. If you do a lot of reading and want a multi purpose device look no further. I promise.

Update: After 2 weeks.
The battery life is amazing! stand by time is awesome, drains 2% in 3 hours. WiFi is awlays on, is clever to switch it on when in a known WiFi network. I was apprehensive about leaving WiFi on all the time but now I do leave it switched on.

Eagerly waiting for iOS 6.

Please do not hesistate to ask questions, I would be more than happy to be of any help.

Update after 3 weeks:
When I play Real Racing 2 HD on it the device gets warm/hot, whichever way you put it. But it does not do any harm to your fingers because of the temperature, it is just that all the clyinders under the hood were firing to give you a smoother experience.

Final update:
On my trip to Liverpool I charged the iPad and started my day at 9:00. 3 hours outward journey the iPad was used for locating restaurants in Liverpool and reading up! It was used during my few hours stay in Liverpool on and off. While coming back to London the iPad was used continuously used to listen to music and watch some videos and messaging using Skype. When I reached home at 23:30 the battery left was 64%! I don't have to say anything more about this versatile workhorse.
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289 of 301 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect, 18 May 2012
This review is from: Apple iPad (16GB, Wi-Fi, Black) 3RD GENERATION (Personal Computers)
I have never really embraced the world of Apple, mainly because I think their products are generally expensive, but since getting my iPad 3 I have to say I have been impressed. I love how easy it is to use and that it came practically fully charged so I could start playing with it straight away.

There are so many apps that are free to download that you don't have to spend more and more money once you've bought it. You can connect easily to things like emails and Amazon kindle accounts so you can use it for lots of things.

There are only two things that stop me from giving it full marks - firstly it is pretty heavy and I find it difficult to hold for long periods of time - not great if you are reading a book on it. Secondly, if you don't have wifi access it would be pretty useless because there are so many things on it that you need an internet connection for.

I'd definitely recommend it but I would advise you to think carefully about how much it costs because it is just a big smart phone and it isn't good enough to replace a PC/laptop. It is a lot of fun though!!
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532 of 557 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smooth as silk!, 23 Mar 2012
By 
Pepper (Uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Apple iPad (16GB, Wi-Fi, Black) 3RD GENERATION (Personal Computers)
I had used a friend's iPad 2 before and that helped me make the decision that I did actually want a tablet computer to use around the home. I had thought long and hard about an Android tablet before taking the plunge and buying the new iPad. Where I think the iPad scores is in its sheer quality of build and simplicity, and also the existence of many "newstand publishers" that publish iPad versions of their publications but not Android versions. Also, I notice in the workplace iPads seem far more prevalent than Android tablets.

In my view you can get up and running with the iPad out of the box without reading anything as it is so intuitive, and, mine was 85% charged. I was concerned about the absence of Adobe Flash but already Apple has things going their way (towards HTML 5 rather than Flash) and lots of websites that didn't function properly before now work well. For example, the Audi website used to transfer you to its' mobile website on an iPad - this is no longer the case and you get full functionality - you can configure your new Audi R6 on your iPad! There is also a BBC iPlayer for iPad that's great as well as an ITV version. In summary, these are my thoughts;

Pros
- The design and construction are of a very high standard - the iPad is an iconic item.
- The operating system seems robust and offers a bit of an adventure if you're only weaned on Windows like me.
- Performance is fast and graphics are excellent - although I am not a hardened gamer, some of the driving games in particular, are highly responsive and have very lifelike high resolution graphics that seem to be rendered effortlessly by the iPad.
- The Retina Display is breathtaking and the rear camera is very good too - there is anti-shake and genuine low light capability but no flash.
- I love the way the (optional) cover switches the unit on and off - if you have an Apple cover from your iPad 2 that will definitely work with the new model.
- There are fewer limitations whilst browsing as a result of not running Adobe Flash than I thought.
- Battery life seems very good - circa 9 hours.
- I could see the iPad becoming the defacto standard in tablets - many vendors don't seem to do Android versions of magazines etc.
- Lots of accessories are available, and, unlike an Android tablet, there is no need for internet security products. It is worth noting many iPad 2 accessories do actually fit the new model.
- Wide range of apps available and more come out everyday, many of which are optiimised for the Retina Diaplay.

Cons

- Not too sure what you can do with MS Office documents on an iPad as yet.
- Some websites still depend on Adobe Flash although this is diminishing.
- No HDMI port or SD card slot - (the iPad is certainly not alone in this) - you can buy various adaptors to connect your memory card/camera/TV. Also, you can't browse pictures on an SD card, even with a card adaptor you have to actually load them onto the iPad or iCloud first.
- You need to learn the Apple OS if you're used to Windows but it's easy (at least the basics).
- If you buy the 4G version, in the UK, you only get 3G performance.
- Release 3 of the iPad is really "more of the same" - some tweaks but nothing conceptually radical.

I bought the WiFi only (32GB) version of the iPad and when on the move use my mobile phone as a hotspot - it works well. Finally, I have three other friends who have bought the new iPad and they are all delighted with theirs too. Yes, there may be the odd thing that irritates you, and, I know the iPad isn't without its critics, but, overall, I have to say it's a very, very well designed and executed consumer product and most people seem to love it! The iPad is undoubtedly a beautiful and iconic object of our times.

Recommended as a first time tablet purchase, or, if you need to replace your existing iPad. However, I'm a bit more reserved about an upgrade from Version 2 for the sake of it despite being a gadget fiend!
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Android to Apple, 6 Aug 2012
This review is from: Apple iPad (16GB, Wi-Fi, Black) 3RD GENERATION (Personal Computers)
I have owned a total of four tablets : The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7, The Kindle Fire, the Toshiba Thrive and now the Apple iPad (3rd Generation). By far I come to love the iPad the most. I would highly recommend this product to anyone that would like a device which allows them to do almost anything.

Pros:

Beautiful Retina Display, which now has more apps then ever that take advantage of that
Lightening fast speed and response time
Incredible battery life
Not extremely heavy

Cons:

The back easily scratches unless you have a cover
With the Retina Display apps, they do take up much more space then before
Battery does take a long time to charge
Does get overly warm after a long period of use

Recommendations:

I wish Apple would clean up some of the settings and "required" apps as they do take up space
Notifications are a little difficult to manage.
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76 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended as a secondary device, 25 May 2012
By 
Macman (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Apple iPad (16GB, Wi-Fi, Black) 3RD GENERATION (Personal Computers)
I bought the base 16GB WiFi-only model to complement a new Mac mini. I'd previously used a MacBook as a "catch-all" device and was missing having a something that I could use anywhere, so rather than spending loads on a new MacBook I decided the iPad fulfilled all of my needs and would be better in some respects. As I use my Mac mini for work it's quite nice having a device with a fun and different OS for recreational purposes.

Largely I use my iPad for three things: reading digital comics, internet browsing and watching videos. The retina display means it's very good at all of these use cases. Text and illustrations on comics look even better than they do on paper. Aside from the odd 1080p trailer on YouTube I've only really used 720p content, but the iPad upscales it very well and it looks great. As for browsing, text looks excellent and even very dense home pages on news sites are legible without zooming. The only real problem is that most sites don't employ high enough resolution images for this display so they appear blurry compared to text, which makes pages look quite messy at times.

Aside from the screen there are a couple of hardware features that I'm very pleased with. For one the backlight auto-dimming feature's pitched just right. I haven't ever owned a device that can do this so maybe I'm easily impressed, but I haven't needed to touch manual backlight adjustment at all. Its ability to strike the fine line between overly luminous and too dim means that it doesn't cause eye strain whilst it ensures that letterbox bars blend with the black surround. The other thing is battery life. I can read comics for about 3 hours and the battery will only have dropped 10% whilst a 50-minute TV show will only take about 5%. It's only really games that I've found to be a problem for battery life, as you'll be lucky to get 3 hours with something GPU-intensive. Nonetheless its longevity has definitely improved with a couple of cycles.

I do have a few complaints though. Firstly the screen's pretty reflective, which can be an issue in anything but dark conditions, and it takes a lot of concentration to focus on what's on the screen rather than what's up my nose. Secondly the screen smears easily, which is also distracting, and I generally have to give it a wipe every couple of hours (the smart cover works well for this). Thirdly it's heavy and I struggle to hold it one-handed for more than a few minutes at which time I end up sitting it on something or holding it two-handed. On the other hand I barely notice it's in my bag so it's far better as a mobile computer than my old MacBook. Lastly I don't really understand why it only has a mono speaker as it makes it pretty poor for watching stuff without headphones. The sound clearly projects out of one side when in landscape.

This is my first iOS device and it only took an hour or so to figure out how everything works and set up iCloud for syncing with my Mac, so I'm very happy in terms of software. I've downloaded a few apps and all in all they're pretty good, but I do find the iPhone/iPad apps tend to be geared towards the iPhone's small screen, and many of the dedicated iPad apps have yet to be updated for retina support. Hopefully this'll improve over the next few months.

I was a bit worried that 16GB wouldn't be enough, but I can get about 100 standard length comics on there and still have enough room for 6 720p TV shows (just over 1GB each), which is enough to mean that I don't need to constantly manage content to fit new material on. This is probably helped by the fact that I have an iPod for music and I'm not a photographer (on that note - why does this thing have a rear camera? It's not bad but sort of pointless). If I wanted to put music or a lot of photos on it I'd probably have opted for a larger model, but for my uses I couldn't justify the extra outlay and I'm happy I didn't spend more than I needed to. I feel professional reviews are a little misleading when they say 16GB isn't enough for most users - it definitely is unless you're going to use this as your primary device.

So essentially it's everything I hoped it'd be, with a couple of pleasant and a couple of unpleasant surprises (but none of them deal breakers). It complements my Mac mini very nicely as I now have a moderately powerful desktop with a big monitor for work and CPU-intensive tasks/storage and an ultra-portable tablet for use anywhere. Whilst the iPad is definitely a luxury item (for me at least) its use cases don't overlap with my Mac's enough to feel like I've thrown away my money for the sake of novelty. I'm not sure I'd recommend this in place of a full-blown computer, but it's certainly very good if you have a desktop and don't need a proper laptop as well.

I'm knocking a star off because the reflective screen makes it hard to use at times, but otherwise I'm very happy.
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140 of 148 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok tablet but not the best, 26 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Apple iPad (16GB, Wi-Fi, Black) 3RD GENERATION (Personal Computers)
First of all I would say what a fantanstic display this iPad has got. The clarity, colours and sharpness are second to none. Our holiday pictures look absolutely brilliant and the iPhoto app is very good too which helped the slightly imperfect ones.
My problem with this tablet is the lack of sharing back and forth the pictures. We have another tablet which will connect to our laptop through usb and we can copy and paste pictures, music and videos with the greatest of ease but the iPad cannot do this. I am very disappointed with the iPad ( maybe a bit more research before buying ) as I thought things would have been simpler. If you are used to Apple and iPhones and are considering one of these and are happy with the way Apple works then you cannot do better.
I am selling my iPad3 after 3 weeks to buy the Samsung tablet 10.1, not for screen quality, although it is very good, but for the versatility that the iPad does not have.
Sorry Apple but I understand why you want us to use iTunes but my pictures are mine and I want to be able share them with friends and family without pulling out the rest of my hair!
To sum up, this is a very good tablet with the best resolution screen which is absolutely the best I have seen but not versatile enough. I think it is overpriced for what it is. I would look at the Samsung or similar.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light, fast and beautifully designed. Best tablet available, 29 Dec 2013
By 
John Ryan "One man and his Kat" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Apple iPad (16GB, Wi-Fi, Black) 3RD GENERATION (Personal Computers)
This iPad is not quite the most recent iPad (it's been upgraded to the iPad Air), but it's still an incredibly beautiful device. Oddly enough, it's so beautifully easy to use (my one year old daughter loves playing with it), it's almost doesn't feel like a computer at all.

A word of warning - this review is written for people who've never owned an iPad before - and are wondering what all the fuss is about. Don't read this if you already own an iPad and are thinking about an upgrade - I'd recommend you simply buy an Air.

Just what's all the fuss about?
--------------------------------------

I used to own a laptop for work, and (very occasionally), it'd sit on my lap on the sofa, and I'd use it for pleasure (eMail, watching films or playing the odd game). Then I bought my first iPad, and the laptop became redundant, a boring "work device". Hard to explain, but the fact the iPad is so small and light, and you navigate around with your finger by pointing and gently swiping the screen makes the whole experience a lot easier - a lot more fun.

Even my most "luddite" of friends have been won over.

It's incredibly simple and easy to use (it only has one main button), and everyone from my one year old daughter to my 85 year old dad have taken to without problems. It's size and shape also support using it like a book (literally to read a book or web page), but you can also watch TV and films.

Personally I'm also paranoid about my password getting "hacked", and someone running up a huge Amazon bill or buying stuff with my credit card on eBay. Well one of the benefits of the iPad (and iPhone) is it's "almost impossible" to get a virus - one of the most common ways to get hacked. This doesn't mean you shouldn't use strong passwords, (both Sony and Adobe got hacked), but it's reassuring to leave the Windows world behind.

Finally, I love the way these devices (iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Apple Mac), increasingly work together. The fact you can start a Pages document on your Mac and edit it on your iPad, or take photos on the iPhone, and in seconds see them on the iPad or Mac and display them on the Apple TV.

The thing is, "it just works".

What would you use if for?
----------------------------------

* Shopping online. Obviously - you could be reading a review on Amazon about the iPad Air!
* Reading web pages. As you can hold it like a book it's great to read the news online (my wife loves the Daily Mail Online).
* Reading Books. It's great for reading books from Amazon Kindle or Apple Books with the benefit of 1,000s of online book reviews
* Navigating web pages. Instead of clicking with a mouse, you gently swipe your fingers on screen to scroll around
* Watching Films. I use it to watch Netflix online videos (with an Apple TV you can send stuff to the telly)
* Watching TV. With the free BBC iPlayer app you can catch up or download BBC programs
* Reading and replying to mail. I use "mailbox" a great free app to read and reply to mails, but there's a free one included
* Showing and organising photos. Any photos on an iPhone are automatically available within minutes in "the cloud"
* Playing games. From fun puzzle games like "Cut the Rope" to fully fledged first person shooters.
* Listening to the Radio. With "Tune in Radio" you can listen to thousands of radio stations world-wide.
* Listening to music. I stream mine to an Apple TV, but you can also buy portable speakers or just plug into the AUX socket
* The list goes on and on.

Which model should I buy?
----------------------------------

I can't comment about Android tablets (apart from the Google Nexus 7 which is well regarded), but in terms of the Apple tablet line-up:-

iPad mini Size:-

* iPad mini is a lovely tablet. A 7.9 inch screen and astonishingly light and remarkably thin - it feels like a light-weight book.
* iPad mini with retina screen. Again 7.9 inch screen, but with the blazingly fast A7 chip and a "retina" (high definition) screen. Worth the upgrade if you can afford it.

Full Size iPad options. (much larger screen - makes a huge difference):-

* 1st Generation iPad. Seldom available new - best avoided - there's better options available
* 2nd Generation. Avoid the Apple iPad 2, it's a relatively old model, under-powered and with a lower resolution screen. If you really want an Apple but don't want to spend the cash, buy a 16g WIFI 3rd or 4th generation iPad from Amazon or eBay. Avoid this one.
* iPad 3rd Generation. First iPad with the "Retina" (high definition) screen. A5X chip. Excellent iPad - highly recommended
* iPad 4th Generation. With A6X chip. In short, not quite as fast as the latest chip but pretty zippy. Biggest difference is the smaller power socket and slightly faster processor.
* iPad Air. Same fast (A7) chip as the Mini with Retina - the latest and fastest iPad available. This has been re-designed to be even smaller than the iPad 2/3/4 and with the new chip making it even faster.

In terms of which to buy - if you want something REALLY small and light to read on the train, the iPad mini or retina is your best bet. Otherwise, the 3rd, 4th generation or iPad Air is your best option - depending upon your budget.

Me I've owned a 1st and 3rd generation iPad and most recently an Air. My daughter owns an iPad mini, and we've loved them all.

What are the Optional add-ons?
-----------------------------------------

Well, assuming you've dropped by the Apple Store or John Lewis (which I would highly recommend), and handled the iPad Mini (with/without retina screen), and iPad 2 and Air then your options are around memory size and cellular option.

Memory: Once bought, you can't add memory (space for apps, films, books etc). However, the basic price goes up a huge amount (+£80 for the 16g to 32g iPad Air). But, having owned a 16g and then a 32g iPad - I can safely recommend the 16g unless you really want to store a huge amount of videos and downloads. Only you can decide, and if you're lucky enough that money is no object then splash out. Otherwise, 16g should be fine for most people.

Celular: Allows you to connect to the internet while you're out and about. This will add an additional +£100 to the price and means you can slip in a mobile phone SIM card. This means (for an additional £7-15 a month extra), you can access the internet on the move. Alternatively, you can opt for the WIFI option, and use it at home or at at "hot spot" (eg. Starbucks, most rail stations and hotels etc).

Personally I'd buy (and indeed did), the 16Gb iPad Air WIFI. But again, it depends upon your budget.

Do I need anything else?
-------------------------------

Most people (me included) buy a cover. Apple (and now several copy-cats) make a "smart-cover" which automatically shuts down the iPad when you close it, and switches it on when you open it. There's versions which cover the back, or just the screen. Apple charge from £35 to £65 for their (admittedly) high quality fabric or leather covers, but there's many available from £10. Be aware, you do get what you pay for.

Personally,I think it's a pity to cover the beautiful aluminium industrial design of the iPad with a cover - but if you've spent hundreds of pounds you'll want to protect it from scrapes and bangs.

I also invested in a keyboard (£25-80), as I tend to write a lot of mails and documents (remember it comes with a word processor). I'd recommend (for the iPad Air) the Logitech Ultra Thin iPad Air Case with Keyboard - Space Greyand the ZAGG Keys iPad Air Case Folio with Backlit Keyboard - Black although these are strictly optional unless you want to use your iPad as a proper laptop.

Word of warning: If you're looking for a case or keyboard be sure to buy the correct size (they're all different):-

1. iPad mini size
2. iPad 2, 3 or 4th generation
3. iPad Air size

Finally, if you have another Apple device (eg. an iPhone, Apple TV or Mac) you'll find these work together beautifully. For example, you can create a reminder on your iPad and it appears on your iPhone. Equally, photos taken on your iPhone appear on your iPad, and you can stream music or videos from iPad, iPhone or Mac to an Apple TV.

One word of advice - make sure the entire family use the same "Apple iTunes Account" - but you all have a separate "iCloud Account". This means, when you buy an App, Music or Film on one iDevice its available to everyone, but you each have separate "Cloud Storage" to backup your iPad or store documents independent of each other. Incidentally, creating an iCloud account means your iPad is automatically backed up (no wires, no fuss) every time you charge it up. A wonderful feature - one of many.

Overall Opinion
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It's hard to believe the iPad version 1 was released just four years ago, and there's a huge raft of "me too" tablet computers to choose from, but the Apple iPad is still the one to beat. As "Which?" magazine put it about the iPad Air - "...the best tablet we've ever tested. Apple packs a beautiful screen and lightning fast processor into a slimmer-than-ever shell, and battery life is very impressive".

Yes, there are cheaper Android based alternatives, but the quality, design and beauty of this tablet just sets it apart. If it were a car it'd be a top of the range Mercedes or a BMW. Looking at the iPad 3rd or 4th generation, you've not quite got the "latest version" - but it's still a top end tablet computer.

Obviously, depending upon your budget, buy the latest iPad available - but whichever one you buy you're sure to be delighted.

Highly Recommended.

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Apple iPad (16GB, Wi-Fi, Black) 3RD GENERATION
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