The Ultimate iPad Buyer Guide

If you are in the market to get yourself your very first iPad, you will find that the buying option is not as easy as it should be. From which iPad should I get, which plan should I sign up, to which apps should I install, they are all small, yet important decisions that you have to make. Rather than making all the decisions by yourself, let us help you out, shall we?

Choosing the Right iPad


There used to be only one iPad on sale, but since Apple allowed iPad 2 to continue to remain on the shelf, you now have the choice to get the newest iPad with better display quality and a faster processor, or an economically friendly iPad 2. If you have the budget, the new iPad is your obvious choice. Not only will you have the latest tablet, you’ll also have a gadget with a great resale value. When the next iPad (the new new iPad? or the newer iPad?) comes along, the new iPad will essentially pay for a majority (if not all) of the price when you sell on eBay or trade it in a year from now. On the other hand, if you are not willing to fork out an extra $100, iPad 2 is still a great choice.

16, 32 or 64 GB?

In term of storage, you are offered many choices as well. The new iPad is available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. The cheapest model is the WiFi + 16Gb iPad ($499) while the 3G + 64GB ($849) is the most expensive. Depending on your needs and budget, you will want to choose the one that suits you best. For this iPad cycle, a 128GB version isn’t available, however there is still hope for such an option with the next iPad.

The 3G Plans with iPad


You have made up your mind which iPad to choose, now it’s time to choose whether to go for the WiFi-only model or the WiFi + 3G model. There are many strengths and flaws with choosing either one. A WiFi only model is a lot cheaper, but you don’t have Internet everywhere. The WiFi + 3G model allows you to have Internet everywhere from your office to a nice weekend roadtrip, but you’ll have to pay $200 more.

In addition to that, you have Internet payments. However, thankfully (but still painfully) you aren’t tied to a contract, just pay as you go per month. If you sign up in April for that spring break trip, you are signed for the whole month. However, you won’t have to pay again in May, unless you want to. In terms of 3G payments, they are pretty much even with each provider. AT&T and Verizon both are in the 3G ballpark for iPad.

If you are interested in choosing either, make sure to know how the signal is in your area before purchasing. AT&T 3G starts at 14.99 for 250 MB and $30 for 3GB. 5GB is available for $50. Verizon is charging $20, $30, and $50 for 1GB, 2GB, and 5GB respectively. AT&T offers more bang for your buck, however, Verizon is notorious for it quality cellular service. Choose with discretion.

Understanding iPad


The iPad is fairly easy to use. You just pass it to a 3 year old kid and he/she can get around it in a minute. The new iPad and the iPad 2 have a camera at the very top. This can be used for everything from photos, video, and even conference calling. There is also the multi-touch screen and the home button at the very bottom. Turning your iPad to its right reveals a screen orientation lock and a volume rocker. The left shows the SIM card region. The top reveals only the headphone jack. The bottom shows a port. The back is again, simple, revealing an Apple logo at the center, the rear camera, and general information at the very bottom.

To boot up your iPad, just press and hold the power button until the Apple logo appears. To wake an iPad in sleep mode, simply press either the home button or power button once. From there, just slide (on the screen) to unlock the device. You are now presented with the home screen where all of your applications are outlined, more being available for purchase and/or download from the App Store.

The home button is your best friend. From returning to the front home screen to returning to the front page of applications, the home screen does a lot of things. Double tap (on the home button) and the multi-task region appears, allowing you to run multiple apps at one time. To save on data and battery life, it’s highly recommended to quit some of these apps when finished by pressing and holding on the apps in multi-task until they wiggle. Click the red “X” button from there, the app won’t be deleted from the system, it will just stop running in the background. This is a main overview of what your new iPad can do.

Essential Apps for Beginners

Once you are familiar with the iPad usage, the next thing is to install essential apps from the App Store. A good problem about the App Store is that there are just too many apps that you can install, that you have no idea which one is good and which one is good, which one is essential and which one is not. Luckily, we got you covered. Check out here for a list of essential apps to install on your new iPad.

Sum it All Up…

If you are in the market for iPad, you have a lot of choices ahead of you. From which device to choose to which model, the buyer has a lot to choose from. In terms of devices, individuals who can afford it will find it better in the long run to buy the new iPad. Individuals who still want an iPad, but on a budget, will find the iPad 2 to be a good choice. As what Apple would love to say, “there’s an iPad for everyone.”

Ari Simon
Ari Simon

Ari Simon has been a writer with Make Tech Easier since August 2011. Ari loves anything related to technology and social media. When Ari isn't working, he enjoys traveling and trying out the latest tech gadget.

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