Now that Apple’s new 4th-gen iPad and the new iPad Mini have officially been announced, those wishing to upgrade may be wondering exactly which device will best suit their needs. We take a look at the various options in the hope of helping you decide.
iPad mini vs The New 4th-Gen 10-inch iPad
If you already have an iPad, you may be wondering whether it will be worth upgrading to Apple’s new offerings. In short, it depends on how you’ll use the device. People that enjoy viewing videos or playing games will get the best picture and performance from the new 10-inch iPad – but those who read, and carry their iPad in a bag will likely prefer the iPad Mini.
The 10-inch iPad’s Retina display will be crisper, and best if you spend a long time viewing photos, and browsing the web The iPad mini lacks a Retina display – but it is sharper than the iPad 2, so you should see some improvements there as well – it will also provide a more comfortable reading experience for long sessions.
Should I Choose Black or White?
This boils down to personal preference, as well as how you plan on using your iPad. People I know who have a white iPad claim that reading books or viewing web pages is a better experience on the white iPad, as it appears closer to the white backgrounds in most books, and on many web pages.
If, on the other hand, you use your iPad for watching videos or playing games, you’ll likely prefer a black iPad, as it blends into the background much easier when watching video content or viewing rich images.
To 4G, or Not to 4G?
If you have a decent internet connection and WiFi in your house, office, and most places you go, you may not need 4G at all. Keep in mind that 4G will cost you an extra $130 up front, as well as at least another $30 per month, depending on how much data you use.
If you already have a 3G iPad, moving up to 4G is a no brainer. In most cases, a 4G data plan will either cost the same or marginally more than 3G data, and the increased speed of 4G LTE (or the much faster 3G supported by the new iPads) will be most welcome.
AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon?
Data speeds from AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon are typically fairly similar in most areas. The bigger question is which provider will offer better coverage. It’s also worth taking a look at a coverage map to see which of the two carriers have better network coverage near your home, workplace, and places you frequently visit.
Should I Choose 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB?
If you’re upgrading, and you’re already close to capacity on your current iPad, it’s likely going to be worth it to move to the next size up. If you’re buying your first iPad, think about what you’ll be doing on your device. If you plan to store photos, music and videos on your device, or if you plan to use a lot of apps or play a lot of games, you should probably choose at least a 32GB iPad.
It’s also worth noting that the iPad’s improved camera will take higher quality pictures and video, which take up more space, and also supports 1080p videos, which use significantly more space. Keep these things in mind as you make your decision.
Is AppleCare Worth It?
The answer to this question is almost always yes. The $99 AppleCare+ plan offered for the new iPad not only extends your warranty to a full two years, but also covers up to 2 incidents of accidental damage protection. If you’re at all accident prone, or think there’s even a remote chance that your iPad may encounter problems (like a stuck home button) after the first year, it would be wise to purchase AppleCare.
At $99, AppleCare+ is a very affordable extended warranty, and you’ll most likely see its value time and time again as you use your device. In the real world, devices break. People drop their iPads. These things happen. You may as well be prepared when they do.
Should I Pre-Order, Or Wait in Line?
Getting in quickly on pre-orders is the best way to guarantee you’ll have a device on launch day – but the pre-orders sell out fast, so be there right at 12:01AM Pacific when pre-orders open! Waiting in line can be a fun and rewarding experience, but if you want your iPad for as little hassle as possible, I recommend pre-ordering now. For more on this, visit our other article on when and where to buy your new iPad.
Wrapping it Up
Don’t worry if you make the wrong choice at first. Load your new iPad up with content and see how much space you have left. Apple doesn’t charge a restocking fee, and will let you trade for another model within 14 days. They also keep a stock of replacement devices on hand, so even if the Apple Online Store and Apple Retail Stores are out of stock, you’ll likely still be able to make an exchange.
Good luck, and enjoy your new iPad!
Feel free to check out our other iPad-related guides as well:
- Ten essential apps for your new iPad
- New iPad launch day survival guide
- How to set up your new iPhone, iPad or iPod touch
- How to migrate from your current iPad to a new device
- Seven things to do with your old iPad