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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Who Wants to Buy Me the New iPad?

[Image Source: Apple.com]
Let me just start by saying that I need to branch my news sources out from Mashable.com. In my defense, however, they make it very difficult to do so with all their great articles and infographics. So when the new iPad debuted yesterday, where was the first place that I went to learn more? That's right friends and neighbors! Mashable. Check out their collection of articles [here] and tell me they aren't awesome.

Anyways. How was the iPad announcement for you yesterday? Were you disappointed like some? Blown away, like others? Or are you like me: going through a roller-coaster of emotions, one minute making a list of items to eBay so I can afford one, the next trying to justify the cost of buying one on the March 16th release date, then trying to find reasons why I shouldn't start camping out now at the local Apple Store?

When the iPad 2 came out last year, I barely batted an eye. Don't get me wrong. My wet dreams had wet dreams for an iPad. The thing is: when the original iPad came out, I could not afforded one. Then before I knew it, the iPad 2 landed on store shelves and the last of the old iPads were gone. I was impressed by the fact that the iPad 2 now had a camera (two in fact), but honestly, that was enough to rope me in. They were dismal at less than a mega-pixel. Despite the faster processor and increased RAM, both the original and the iPad 2 were virtually the same. [See chart below.]  It still was only, at most, 3G capable and the screen resolution was the same. Also, I already began to hear rumors of bugs in the operating system. I suspected that, just as the iPhone 4GS and 3GS were released to improve upon the 4G and 3G models, newer units coming off the production line would have these issues addressed. If nothing else we might get a "iPad 2s" in the near future, if not the iPad 3 outright, if we wait just a little longer. So I waited.

[Image Source: Wikipedia.org]


As 2011 and, now 2012, rolled by, it's become apparent that the day the spousal unit and I will have to make the decision to purchase an iPad is fast approaching. You see, our 4g (pre-Pentium) MacBook is on the way out. It's so old we struggle to justify the cost of a new battery nor  can we sync our iPhones any longer. Even our tax program is too advanced to be installed on to our laptop. After explaining to the Apple Genius what we wanted to do with our next Mac, he recommended that we purchase the 21.5-inch iMac for $1199 for general computing and network administration needs (it would also provide the photo editing capabilities Brooke wanted), then add on an iPad 2 for portability. This combination, he said, would provide better performance than a MacBook Pro at the same price point. Soon, I said to myself, soon we will be the proud owners of an iMac and an iPad 2 for the price of one laptop.

Then, the news of the iPad 3 announcement broke. It was all everyone could talk about. Speculations and rumors circulated. Everything from what it would look like to what it would be called to how well it would preform was debated and analyzed. As Apple CEO Tim Cook announced their new product lines (a new HD 1080p Apple TV, iPhoto for iOS, iOS 5.1, to name a few)  the audience and the world waited at the edge of their seats. Then, there it was: the iPad—not iPad 3 or iPad HD as everyone had guessed, but the new iPad (no, not the New iPad, just the new iPad). 

Debuting to better than mixed reactions, the new iPad was both hailed as a vast improvement over it previous iterations and criticized for not going far enough, sometimes by the same person [1][2][3].  Many criticized the iPad for continuing to lag behind the iPhone 4GS (and some of its competitors) in resolution and camera mega-pixels. Others wondered why it did not include Siri. Some questioned why Apple would baby-step the CPU to the A5X rather than to the A6. Twitter exploded in criticisms over the less that flamboyant name. Meanwhile Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, was dead set on criticizing not-Steve-Jobs via Twitter during the entire Apple Event over everything, especially for not being Steve Jobs.

I can say this much though: I am not as excited about the new iPad as I was yesterday—I definitely will wait until the crowds have died down a little—but I definitely will be buying the new iPad. Forget the iPad 2. If you refer back to the chart above, you can see that when compared to the previous models the new iPad (which, by the way, I insist on referring to in the colloquial as "iPad 3") is the best choice for our needs and for the money at this time, despite my hemming and hawing about whether I should wait for the the iPad 4. I know Brooke and I had discussed that, if and when we actually decide to buy and iPad, we would wait for the next generation release and then buy the older model at a reduced price. But I think, she will be more than willing to join me in breaking that promise. 
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