Five Reasons Not to Buy the New iPad

The time has come once again for fans of iOS and its shiny Apple devices to flood retailers for the latest thing out of Cupertino.

The new iPad has arrived and early reports indicate that the screen is currently the biggest advantage to upgrading from previous models.

While graphics performance has improved, the camera technology was significantly upgraded from the iPad 2, and the screen is certainly different, is there really any reason to pick this one up over the original iPad or iPad 2? After all, when are you actually going to use that built-in camera for more than an occasional shot or two you could very well take from your smartphone or digital camera?

Here are five reasons not to buy the new iPad.

You Already Own One

If you already own an iPad, you don’t need the new one. I’ve said it: Your want and desire for the latest and greatest iPad is one thing, but the actual need to upgrade right now is another. Think about it; there isn’t currently an iPad app on the market that can’t run on the iPad 2. Sure, the new one may be all the tech world can talk about right now, but is there really any reason to drop another $500+ on a new one?

If you already have your hands on an iPad or iPad 2, keep it and enjoy it. Your money could be better spent on something you don’t already have, like perhaps some much-needed upgrades to your desktop or laptop computer, or a whole bunch of music and apps from iTunes.

Oh, and in case you think the 4G upgrade is worth throwing down another $500+ for, it isn’t. 4G is a marketing term that doesn’t always translate to improved connectivity.

Big Upgrades Often Follow Minor Ones

The iPhone 4S made quite a few minor improvements on the overall iPhone product, though it wasn’t itself a major upgrade. The iPhone 3GS was about the same, introducing one or two useful new features but not really bringing the house down with anything incredibly worthwhile.

Apple appears to be following the same scheme with the iPad. The iPad 2 was a big change from the original iPad, giving it a new body style, cameras, a faster processor, and a number of other features that it did not have previously. This new iPad has some great upgrades, though there isn’t anything truly revolutionary beyond the higher-resolution screen which didn’t really solve any “problems” users were complaining about with previous models.

If I were a betting man (which I can be from time to time), I’d bet that next year’s iPad will be another one of those major updates that introduces something that never existed on the iPad before. Perhaps an updated body style, screen size, integrated gizmos and doodads, or something else that changes the way people use the device.

While it’s hard to overlook the Retina Display, the latest version of the iPad was still a considerably minor update. For frugal tech users, the big updates are the ones really worth putting your money down for.

Alternatives May Be Worth Looking Into

I’d be missing the point if I didn’t at least take a moment to mention the incredible achievements made on the Android tablet front. Ice Cream Sandwich is an extremely robust operating system, and the Transformer Prime is arguably one of the finest tablet computers you can find on the market today.

Windows 8 is around the corner, and it could very well be the most comprehensive and robust mobile operating system to come to the platform since iOS was originally introduced. Windows 8 may not be a big hit on the desktop, but you can bet Microsoft will make waves with its ARM edition and Metro interface.

You Don’t Need a Tablet, Yet

Tablet computers are handy and quite trendy these days, but there isn’t much you can do with them right now that you can’t do on a smartphone or a laptop computer. For right now, there isn’t a big reason to get a tablet computer unless you really love technology and have the money to spend. Personally, I think $500 could go towards a very useful laptop or desktop computer that could run circles around the iPad.

That said, the day of the tablet is soon coming. It could be argued that today’s laptop computers may be all-but replaced by tablets as mobile operating systems continue to advance to the point where they can compete head-on with desktop solutions in the world of content creation.

Needs are relative, though I know of very few people who actually “need” an iPad to get their job done. If you fall into that category, there’s a fair chance that one is provided for you, anyway.

The Old Ones Are Cheaper

What better time to pick up an older iPad than right now? Seriously, the new iPad is great, but you can get an iPad 2 with the same amount of internal storage for $100 less. At $399, the iPad 2 is a very convincing deal, even for the frugal consumer who may not “need” one.

I love a good deal, and right now the older iPads are just that, a good deal. Priced less than many competitors, available just about everywhere, and still just as capable of running the apps you want; there’s no need to spend an extra $100 if you don’t absolutely have to.

If you really wanted a good deal, you could find the original iPad available on the interwebs for much less than its original going price. In fact, you can find some in very good condition for as low as $200, making it a great tablet at a Kindle Fire price. You can’t beat that with a wet noodle, no sir.

It could be the frugal geek in me, but I don’t think more pixels-per-inch or a better camera (which I’ll never really use) is a compelling enough reason to pay an extra $100. I’d rather spend that money on something more useful, like shiny 20-sided dice or LEGO minifigs.

Are you considering buying the new iPad? What are your reasons for upgrading? Do you think you’ll just stick with the original iPad or iPad 2?

Photo By: Matt Ryan