Why I Opted for iPad 2 Instead?

(Updated: please see notes at the bottom of this article)

Why did I settle for iPad 2, and forego the new iPad — or iPad 3?

(Note: Apple is not calling the new third-generation iPad the iPad 3, but for purposes of this post and the discussions hereinafter, and to avoid confusion, I’ll refer to the third-generation iPad as the iPad 3.)

When I sold my iPad “Classic” back in June 2011, I had it then in my mind to just get the next version of the iPad. Thus, the delight when the iPad 3 was announced by Tim Cook last March 7, 2012 (or March 8 in the Philippines).

The major improvements (or changes) of the iPad 3 from the iPad 2 are:

  • Retina Display — capable of 2048-by-1536-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi);
  • New A5X Chip — same dual-core processor as the A5 chip of the iPad 2 but the upgrade comes in the quad-core graphics (vs. dual-core GPU);
  • iSight — 5-megapixel back camera;
  • 4G LTE connectivity — for faster cellular data browsing;

See detailed comparison at the Apple Store.

Before I took the plunge and got the iPad 2, I have watched the video reviews by The Verge and MacWorld. And from that, here are my impressions:

Retina Display

The only improvement I guess that I considered relevant to this decision is the iPad 3’s Retina Display. For each pixel of the iPad 2, there are actually four pixels in the iPad 3 — thus one color is broken down into four “more descriptive” colors, making the pictures (and texts) finer — in short, it could display more details.

Yet, I speculated:

  • I have a poor eyesight — I wore glasses since high school. With the naked eye, I probably couldn’t tell the difference;
  • I have fiddled with the iPod Touch and iPhone 3GS, and even with my glasses on, I actually couldn’t tell the difference the Retina Display makes on my iPhone 4;
  • Notwithstanding my poor eyesight, even tech bloggers are using microscopes to demonstrate the difference that Retina Display makes;
  • These Retina Display Ready iPad Apps sure now require bigger storage space to accommodate their high-resolution interfaces. (Oh crap! I’m pretty sure we iPad 2 and iPad 1 owners are as well burdened by these upgrades if these apps’ developers don’t maintain separate versions for Retina Display and non-Retina Display devices. Glad I bought the 64GB model).

Aside: Do All Those Pixels Matter?

Quad-Core GPU

Quad-core graphics is most useful for heavy-graphic games in the iPad. And yet, I am no gamer. I have better — or rather “more productive” — use for my device. Apart from chess, I only usually play some “pick-up gameplay” games — those you turn to play on if need to kill time.

5-Megapixel Camera

I’m not comfortable and I don’t want to be using my iPad as a camera device. It’s just awkward to shoot with.

Yet, a camera on a tablet could prove helpful in video conferencing, or maybe when it’s really necessary and you’re running out of alternatives.

Aside: 21 Reasons You Should Never Take Pictures With An iPad

4G LTE Connectivity

In the Philippines? Come on! Maybe in the next two years. Enough said.


In addition, I also contemplated on the following factors:

  • Discounted price — following the announcement of the iPad 3, iPad 2 prices dropped by Php5,000 to Php6,000. That translates to around US$115 to US$140, which is actually more than the discount offered in the US at US$100.
  • Time is of the essence — in simple words, I can’t wait any longer! So far we’ve seen long queues at Apple stores in the US. We’ve read about the iPad shipping estimates slip. So when should we expect it reaches Philippine retail stores — in 2 or 3 months? Besides, I’m going to Kuala Lumpur next week, and I can’t wait to bring my iPad with me.

Thus, I bought the iPad 2 instead.

Now tell me if I’m vindicated in the comments below.


March 18, 2012

This discussion is not complete without the following points:

  • The new iPad ships with an improved battery capacity. Yet, with the Retina Display and all, the device just managed to match the battery life of those previous versions, which is 10-hours web surfing on Wi-Fi.
  • The new iPad also sports the Personal Hotspot feature, which lets you tether your cellular data connection to other Wi-Fi devices. This feature has been available to the iPhones but not to the previous versions of the iPad. Nevertheless, I already have my iPhone to tether — backed by the Boostcase Hybrid for additional battery juice if necessary — and on top of that a Huawei E5 HSPA+ mobile wi-fi router.

March 26, 2012

Yes I feel vindicated. Gizmodo noted that because of the new iPad’s bigger battery, it takes around twice the time to recharge to full capacity (100%) than it usually takes the iPad 2. This is a big letdown especially when you’re going out of town and forgot to recharge the iPad overnight.

No Comments

Sandro March 19, 2012 Reply

I’ll also do the same if I’m wearing eye glasses 🙂
Seriously, Php6,000 savings is huge. It is like more than Php8/day you saved in the span of 2 years.

deuts March 19, 2012 Reply

It is like more than Php8/day you saved in the span of 2 years.

I could hear #sarcasm! hahahaha

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