Tuesday, October 4, 2011

iPad Conundrum

Question: "So.... What type of iPad should I get? I want to be able to create/edit documents from the iPad. I want it to be 3G capable (do I actually need that though?/ is it worth the price?). How much space do word documents/ apps really take up. I won't need any or much space for music b/c I already have an iPod (32g) full." - J

Answer: First, the memory question. Documents do not take up much space at all. Most are a few kilobytes (KB) or a few megabytes (MB) at most. With a 16 Gigabyte (GB) iPad you will have about 14-14.5 GB of actual free space to start with. If you even got to 1 GB of documents I would be surprised. Also, if you do not plan on putting much music on it that is another reason to go for the lowest memory option. Apps do not take up a significant amount either unless you go App crazy. You might take up 1-2 GB with your apps. So say you put on a little music, had a ton of big apps, and some documents. You would be at 3-4 GB used and have 10GB free. This will give you a decent amount of space for any videos, movies, or other items you want to load. Media content is really what takes up all your free space. If you want lots of movies and music, you will want a lot of free space.

Having 3G is a good question. This will depend on how and where you intend to use it. If you are primarily using it in locations where Wi-Fi is available, there might not be much to justify the extra initial expense (adds $130) and the monthly expense($15-80) of a data plan with Verizon or AT&T. If you are on the go a lot and in areas where Wi-Fi is not available or is difficult to connect to these extra expenses may be worth it to you. You can monitor your data usage on the iPad so you are sure not to go over your plan. Be sure to do this since overages charges can be expensive. The carriers often allow you to go month to month without a contract so you can activate or cancel your data plan at any time. Both carriers offer different plans with different amounts of data for the price. For example, Verizon has 2GB per month plan for $30 and AT&T has a 2GB plan for $25. You do need to choose a carrier before purchasing the iPad as carrier specific software is loaded for the band of cell signal they use. To make sure you do not go over, turn off the 3G radio on the iPad an run it just on the Wi-Fi when you can, like in your home. This will not only guarantee you to not use any cell network data but will save a little battery life too as every radio turned off will save power, and don't forget Bluetooth counts too.

Let us know what you choose!


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