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iPad 2: Should You Buy It?

IN THE March 12 ISSUE

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by Jesus Ibarra

Yesterday, March 11, the iPad 2 hit stores, to replace the best selling product Apple has launched since the iPhone. Making some improvements on the original iPad, iPad 2 is sure to be a best seller, the real question is should you buy it?

Let me get into the hardware first. The iPad 2 is much faster than its predecessor, with two built-in cameras on the rear and front for video conferencing. The graphics also got an improvement, and it is significantly thinner and lighter than the previous iPad, with ten hours of battery life. Other than that it is the same iPad with a few improvements. It’s offered in black and white. Pricing wise it remains the same with the Wi-Fi models coming in at $499, $599, and $699 for the 16, 32 and 64GB. The 3G models that require data plans with major carriers run for $629, $729, and $829.

Now as a tech geek I absolutely love this product and if I could afford it I would probably buy it happily. But, as I think about it more, I wouldn’t for a couple of reasons. First of all, the price alone gives pause. It’s not that this isn’t a good product. It is just too pricey for what it can do. You could actually get a good reliable laptop with the same if not more features for the price of the iPad, especially if storage is important to you. Secondly, there isn’t a clear purpose to the iPad. Is to replace your PC or just a tool you use on the go to justify spending so much money? It can’t multitask as a PC can and if you’re a gamer you probably have a console that is much superior. In addition, it doesn’t allow for a lot of customization; with Apple’s operating system being completely closed, you can’t tweak it without hacking it, which you could do but you would run the risk of voiding the warranty and losing files.

Finally I ask myself (as you should), “Do I really need it?“ I already have a smartphone, an iPod, and a laptop computer that do all the things the iPad can do — probably better. So for me, it’s just a pretty toy for adults who have the money. So if you have the money and can realistically say this tablet will replace all of your current hardware, go for it. But, if you are like me and can’t see yourself using this product all the time, don’t bother.

Jesus Ibarra is 18 years old and an ongoing contributor to our Teen Talk section; with a love of all media, he’s always on the lookout for the best finds.

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