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iPad Hardware and Accessories Discuss the iPad hardware and accessories

iPad buying advice


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cheshir3

 
Member Since: Jul 26, 2011
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I'm a current grad student and am looking for something to replace the Macbook I sold a few months ago. I've been considering tablets lately and have a few questions regarding the iPad.

My needs:
1. Basic word processing. I like writing for fun and of course I'd need to do some writing on it for classes. However, I work in a campus computer lab so I have access to computers for final editing and more extensive word processing/PowerPoints. It'd mostly be a page or two here or there at home/on the go.

2. Entertainment. I currently get all my TV needs from Hulu/Hulu+, HBO Go, and Netflix. What are these like on iPad? Is it possible to watch shows in the browser on iPad that aren't run on one of these apps by using third party flash apps? (Example- I watch a lot of British shows that aren't offered anywhere so I usually just use random video sites to watch them.)

3. Wireless connectivity- I don't have internet at home so I was thinking of getting the iPad Wi-fi +3g. However, I've seen some people use the Mi-Fi instead. This appeals to me because I could theoretically save on the up-front purchase cost of buying an iPad by just getting an iPad Wi-fi. What would be a better option? Either way I'm going to be stuck paying for some sort of cell carrier data plan.

4. Decent storage- I have no idea what size is the best for me. Sure, 64gb sounds nice, but do I really want to spend that much more? I don't download shows/movies, I don't store pictures, and I unfortunately lost all my music when my Macbook and external HD crashed at the same time so I now just use Pandora for music. I also don't download many apps. I tend to download a few and swap out as I go along. I do however like downloading e-books. What size would you suggest?

5. Note taking/drawing- I'd like to be able to use a stylus for handwritten notes and sketching. Does anybody have experience with that?

Finally, the iPad vs iPad 2. I'm leaning towards the original iPad...any extremely important reason I should choose the iPad 2 instead? I know I won't use the cameras or facechat or anything. I'd like to use this as my main on the go entertainment/light work device until I graduate in 2 or so years. Would the original iPad still be viable by that point?

Thanks for the advice!
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StMFA

 
Member Since: Jun 06, 2011
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I spent last semester using my iPad2 for on the go computing. Here are my best answers for most of your questions.
1) There are three basic word processing apps, Docs to Go, Office2, and the iWork suite. All I'm sure will do what you need. In terms of ease of use I tend to steer toward the iWork suite, but be warned that when exporting to and from iWork format to MS office format you will have quirky things happening. Overall I really love iWork though.

2) Hulu+, HBO Go, and Netflix are all available, I personally don't have the first two, but Netflix works fine on it, though it does not have HD playback.

3)Can't really comment on this.

4) If that's all your using, at MOST you'd need the 32gb version. The 16 would probably more than suffice though if you're not doing any local storage.

5) I bought an Acase capacitative stylus on Amazon. There are plenty of note taking apps, just find the one that best suits your needs. But yes it works well, though it is a bit slower than actual handwriting.

6) I would recommend the iPad2, it is faster, thinner, a bit easier to hold, especially when reading books. It will easily last you two years. and the 16gb version is only 499, which is still cheap.
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EvenStranger

 
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Good information above. Re: #3, this is my second month with a 3g iPad 2, and I got lazy about making sure I quit applications, turning off 3g when it wasn't needed, and so forth. I got an email today stating that I had used 1.7gb of my 2gb this month, and I still have 2 weeks to go. That's one definite plus with the Mi-Fi. Turn it on when you need it, turn it off when you don't. Much less likely to forget and leave Pandora streaming for three days (whoops!).

An additional note on #1 - you might consider the various cases that provide a better keyboard or a bluetooth keyboard, especially if you're going to spend much time writing. The iPad keyboard is pretty good for short tasks, but for long term writing projects, I find I have to go back and edit my text way too often with it. Some of that is practice, but some of it is the tactile response of a real keyboard.
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cheshir3

 
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Thanks for the great replies.

Quote:
An additional note on #1 - you might consider the various cases that provide a better keyboard or a bluetooth keyboard, especially if you're going to spend much time writing. The iPad keyboard is pretty good for short tasks, but for long term writing projects, I find I have to go back and edit my text way too often with it. Some of that is practice, but some of it is the tactile response of a real keyboard.
What cases would you suggest? Is it possible to buy a case with an included keyboard?
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chas_m

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheshir3 View Post
What cases would you suggest? Is it possible to buy a case with an included keyboard?
Yes, though I think you'd want to look at one that has the OPTION of removing the built-in BT keyboard if you want to sit more casually or use it for something else, etc.

Here's one such option:

Qmadix: Portfolio with Removable Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad? 2

And here's another option -- a case that also lets you store the Apple Bluetooth keyboard (which is not included) as well as the iPad:

Origami Workstation for iPad and Wireless Keyboard : Products By Incase
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StMFA

 
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Just in response to the whole keyboard thing. I agree with chas_m. IMHO I think that it might be worth trying out actually typing on the touch screen before you go and invest in a case and keyboard for it. I've found that with an adjustable portfolio case I can type just fine on my iPad without a keyboard. Try it out, see how it goes. I've personally never used a bluetooth keyboard, so I'm not sure if the touch keyboard comes up when using it, but in either case you can't really see that many lines of text when you have the iPad in landscape mode. I think if you are going to use a keyboard having the iPad in portrait mode would be much better as you would be able to see much more of the document.
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chas_m

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StMFA View Post
I've personally never used a bluetooth keyboard, so I'm not sure if the touch keyboard comes up when using it
It doesn't. The iPad is very smart like that.
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StMFA

 
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Do the arrow keys work for navigating through the text line by line?
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