Which iPad 2 do I want/need?

I’m tempted to just go with the basic model with Wi-Fi and 3G, 16GB. I don’t stream movies, just do routine web surfing, email, watch some Youtube vids, no gaming. Whaddya think?

Changed “Whick” to “Which” in title.

I’d say go for the 36GB model - you’ll never regret having too much space.

I ended up with the 16Gb WiFi+3G model. My rationale for the 16Gb choice was the same as yours; I don’t download entire movies (I do stream via Netflix, but don’t store media) or similar large content. Thus far, pretty well apped-up, things are fine.

I wasn’t going to go with the 3G model because I’m around WiFi 98% of the time, but:

  • the 3G model has GPS hardware; the WiFi only model does not;
  • since there are week-at-a-time data plans, having the option of 3G on road trips is nice.

I ended up with the 64 GB 3G model. My rationale was that the first gen 16 GB WIFI model didn’t hold enough of my photo library, and didn’t have a real GPS receiver. I don’t plan to ever use the actual 3G radio.

The 36GB is just too much money. I keep all of my music and photos on my laptop, which is the bulk of space storage. I only want 3G because we do RV trips and not all parks have Wi-Fi. Verizon offers a no-long-term deal for the iPad for as little as $20/month for 1GB. That brings up another question: 1GB of what, exactly?

Here’s some anecdata that might be interesting: my mom stopped into an Apple store, thinking she’d pick up an iPad for my dad. (He’s so not a technophile. But he’s always poaching Mom’s iPad.) The employee there nicely told her that she could get one, but iPad3 would be coming out in just a couple of months, like later this summer.

I’ve no idea if any of this is true. (Well, Mom probably did go into the Apple store, but I didn’t, and so I didn’t hear any of the conversation she had with any employees there.) So take that for what it’s worth. In any case, it might be worth waiting to see what’s next; if nothing else, you’ll probably get a better deal on the iPad2 then.

Here’s an articleon it. It was apparently based on a slip.

So what’s the deal with the 1GB data thingy with the 3G service? What exactly does that mean?

I believe it’s the amount uploaded plus the amount downloaded. So if you browse to a website, you send a request of maybe a few hundred bytes, and you get back the web page, some linked files, and some images. It can add up quickly, but 1GB means a billion bytes (more or less). That’s very little if you browse through 3G every day or stream videos or download files, but a lot if you just check e-mail and sometimes read the news. I’m currently on the AT&T 250 Mb plan, and it seems fine for me. I rarely browse outside of Wifi.

I can always upgrade if I need it, I guess. It’s not like they’ll turn down money.

I imagine that Apple management must hate the idea of their employees talking a customer out of a purchase, especially based on a rumor of questionable validity. (Considering they just released the iPad2, even an autumn release seems too soon for the next one.)

Yeah, Apple Store employees are explicitly forbidden from talking to customers about rumors. (I read that at Consumerist, so I don’t know it first hand. But, given Apple’s secretive nature it makes sense to me.) So, that guy is on the road to getting fired if he keeps it up.

ChefGuy, since you aren’t going to watch a lot of video I would go with the smallest amount of storage available. If you are traveling a lot, 3g is really worthwhile. It’s nice that you can choose between AT+T and Verizon, too. So, yeah, I would go with 16 gigs and 3G if I were you.
For me, I would just get wifi. Because, I already have phone with internet access, and can’t imagine myself in positions that require the 3g very often.

You have the choice of 16, 32, and 64 GB. That’s internal storage. There’s no 36. For 3G, do you not have a device you can tether off of? Either per contract or ex-contract?

I don’t doubt that. However, Apple’s practice of releasing something that costs a ton of money, then releasing the next big thing just a couple of months later isn’t winning them any fans either. I know Mom appreciated the tip. And they haven’t lost a sale, really - Mom will still probably buy Dad an iPad someday - but it might not be at the price they’d like, either.

But they don’t release “the next big thing just a couple of months later.” There’s almost a year between the original iPad and the new one, and that’s about the amount of time between new versions of most of their products. And that’s basically true of the entire consumer electronics industry. You just have to be willing to accept that by buying now, you might miss the next upgrade, but then again, you have the product now.

And it’s not like Apple’s releases render the previous version useless or obsolete. My iPhone 3GS works just fine.

Nope. I am the sworn enemy of iPhones, Blackberries, Droids, etc. That whole culture of texting and the perceived need to be able to look up the weather in China RIGHT NOW! just doesn’t appeal to me. Seriously, I just have no need for such a device, as I’m no longer working.

Yeah, I knew 36 was wrong when I typed it, but was in a hurry so didn’t change it.

pricciar: I’m also the sworn enemy of AT&T after my frustrating and expensive bout with their wireless service. They swore to me that I would have coverage all over the US on our 6 month RV journey, but outside of metropolitan areas, it’s hopeless, and it doesn’t work at all in places like Montana or Wyoming or most of Idaho outside of Boise. Most RVers will tell you that Verizon is far superior, but I didn’t know that at the time.

For what you use it for, 16gb of storage is fine. I would go for the 3G since you’re planning to use it while traveling and only the 3G has GPS.

I have the 3G model even though with the upgrade to the latest OS, I usually tether to my phone.
I have an american SIM card for my US travels and it’s much easier to get a short term data plan for the ipad than it is for my phone. Same goes if you travel from the US to Canada.

I really got burned in Canada on the roaming charge with ATT. It didn’t work at all between Alaska and near the southern border with the US. When I finally did get access, I was online for about ten minutes and the charge was over $200 (!). I was nearly speechless with rage when I called ATT, and they told me that Canada is considered “overseas” or some such bullshit, but they gave me retroactive coverage. It was still an expensive bill despite that. At the end of our trip I cancelled all ATT service and paid the penalty just to be rid of them.