We just found out that there are ways to buy an iPad 2 with deep discounts and so we added an iPad 2 to our iMac/iPhone/iPod/iPad lineup. What I am finding is that I am spending a lot of time reading on my iPhone. Yes, itty-bitty screen and all, so I decided that I just might save a few months of eyesight by moving up to a larger screen. While we were upgrading a regular (not smartphone) phone at a local dealer, we found out about some significant discounts. So why didn't I spend my hard earned cash on an iPad 3? Good question. Buying a newer one is not out of the question, even though I have a iPad 2.
So how do the various models stack up?
I have an iPad 1 and an iPad 2. Without getting into technical specifications, the two devices are very similar. I can only go on the specifications of the iPad 3 as to how they differ.
The iPad 2 has both a front facing and a regular camera but it is 720p HD camera only compared to the 5 MP camera in the iPad 3. But let's get real. You are actually going to hold up this tablet computer and take photos? Yeah, probably. Especially if you are using the device to take notes while visiting libraries or cemeteries. The original iPad 1 does not have a camera.
The iPad 2 was considerably thinner and lighter than the original iPad. When I use the two different devices, I find the difference is noticeable. If asked, I would prefer the iPad 2 for day to day use. By the way, from looking at some of the new tablets out there like the Samsung and the Kindle, Apple's iPads are on the chunky side. So it depends on how you use the device and what your expectations are. I understand that the iPad 3 is slightly thicker and heavier than the iPad 2. It looks like to me that increasing the capabilities of these machines has reached a physical limitation. If you want to pack all that stuff into a notebook sized tablet, you have to trade off size and weight.
The main difference seems to be the display with the iPad 3. I don't see much difference between the iPad 1 and the iPad 2. Absent some compelling reason I have yet to discover, I have no buyer's remorse at having purchased an iPad 1 almost two years ago. I am also happy with the iPad 2 even though it is "last year's model."
My recommendation. Look around. Take some time to look at the Samsung tablets. Look at the iPads and make a decision based on cost, functionality and, of course, style and what your neighbors will think. (I am just kidding).