The iPad and iPad 2 are undoubtedly the two most popular tablets on the market today. Apple has really revolutionized the tablet marketplace with the first iPad, and the second one has sold more units than all of the competing Android tablets combined, which is certainly impressive considering that it doesn’t actually have that much to offer when it comes to hardware features.
And now, the iPad 3 is coming – Apple has a special event scheduled for March, which is most likely going to be dedicated to the iPad 3 or at least used to officially announce it. The iPad 3 is supposed to bring quite a few improvements to the table, but is it worth waiting for it if you’re looking to buy a new tablet or should you just go with the iPad 2? That’s one of the most asked questions these days, so let’s go through a few points to find a good answer.
What does the iPad 2 have to offer?
The iPad 2 has pretty much everything a normal user would ever need on a tablet and then some. It’s almost a perfect tablet, and aside from the overly small integrated cameras (only 0.7 and 0.3 megapixels each, but still good for 720p video recording), the hardware specs are almost top of the line.
You get a very nice and slim design, with an aluminum and glass body that is sturdy and looks great, a dual core processor and 512 MB of RAM (which is more than enough for iOS – only Android usually needs more), 3.5 mm audio jack, USB and HDMI out capability, a beautiful 9.7 inch touch screen with a 1024×768 pixels resolution and enough space for most needs, especially if you get the 32 or 64 GB models. I don’t see how anyone would need more than this hardware in normal use – you can even edit HD video on the tablet without issues.
What will the iPad 3 bring along?
The iPad 3 will have several improvements over its predecessors, although the exact features are as of yet unknown. According to the leaked information, it’s fairly safe to say that the iPad 3 will have a new high resolution display (double the resolution of the iPad 2, i.e. 2048×1536 pixels), a 4G LTE modem, a faster processor (either dual or quad core) and more RAM. There is also a high chance that the main camera on the back will get an upgrade to a 5 or 8 megapixels sensor instead of the current 0.7 megapixels unit).
Is it worth waiting for the iPad 3?
If we’re judging by the difference in hardware alone, then I’d say there’s no need to wait for the iPad 3 – the iPad 2 is more than enough even for power users. 3G speeds are good enough, especially in Europe, the cameras are good for video chat and the occasional photo, and the dual core processor is definitely more than enough to run any kind of apps and the latest games. The “Retina Display” is also not that much of an improvement in everyday use, but it will definitely look great and better than the current display. If you want the latest hardware inside your tablet, then the iPad 3 is obviously a better choice, if you can wait.
There’s also another reason not to buy the iPad 2 now – if you’re not in a hurry to purchase a new tablet, you can save a lot of money on the iPad 2 when the iPad 3 launches. Just as was the case with the iPhone 4 and the first iPad before, the iPad 2 will go down in price once the iPad 3 is on sale, and that’s a pretty good reason to wait.
But if you need a tablet now and you don’t need to save a hundred or so dollars, there’s no need to wait for the latest and greatest iPad 3 when you can get the current one right away.