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.
- 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 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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