How To Choose The Right iPad

iPad
iPad

The Apple iPad tablet computer rocks for increasing productivity and just plain having fun.

If you decide to follow my recommendation and buy an iPad, there are two key decisions you have to make.

Wi-Fi Or 3G?

First, you must decide between the Wi-Fi version and the 3G version.

This means you have to decide whether you want to be able to access the Internet (1) only when you are near a wireless network or (2) everywhere there is AT&T 3G service.

The Wi-Fi version can only get to the Internet if you are near a wireless network such as you may have in your home or office. (There are also wireless “hotspots” many other places, including chain stores such as Starbucks, Panera, Barnes & Noble and McDonalds, as well as many airports, hotels and motels. The list is growing and, at some point in the future, I think these free wi-fi hotspots will become ubiquitous.)

The 3G version works virtually anywhere. When you’re not near a wireless network, the 3G iPad operates on AT&T’s 3G network (as does your iPhone). If you are near a wireless network, your 3G version will give you the option of using the wireless network to connect to the Internet.

So, decision one is whether to choose Wi-Fi or 3G.

That’s easy. 3G enables you to use the Internet so many more places, including a Carribean beach, a cabin in Montana, or anywhere else, as long as there is 3G service. So I strongly recommend 3G if it’s within your budget.

Storage Capacity

Your second choice concerns storage capacity.

The alternatives are 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.

The things that really eat up storage space are photos, music, videos and movies. So, if you intend to put a lot of them on your iPad, opt for more storage capacity.

I didn’t think I’d need it, but I decided to get the maximum storage, 64GB.  So far, I’ve put thousands of photos on my iPad, 3 movies and more than 50 applications — and I’ve used about 20GB of space. So in just a few months, I’ve already exceeded the low-end storage capacity. It looks like I made the right decision on storage capacity.

Price Considerations

iPad prices range from $499 to $829. For a 3G version, the prices are $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB and $829 for 64GB. For Wi-Fi, the 16GB is $499, the 32GB is $599 and the 64GB is $699.

You can check prices and get authoritative information straight from the Apple’s mouth here.

In addition to the basic iPad, you can buy other optional equipment and I’ll talk about that in another post.

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