The iPad 2 is out and while many have figured out what iPad 2 they should buy or whether or not they should upgrade from the original iPad, I've decided to pass on the iPad 2. That's right, unlike most of our staff, I plan on sticking with my original iPad. Hit the break to hear my reasons for not jumping on the iPad 2 bandwagon.
It isn't my main device
I know a lot of users can get away with just an iPad. This simply isn't a viable solution for me. I have two devices that are vital for me. The first is my actual Mac. The iPad 2 still can't replace it. I spend a lot of time writing, uploading images, working in Creative Suite, and editing video. While I may be able to write and edit video on an iPad, I can't do a lot of the functions I do everyday. Not to mention I can whip out an article on my Mac a lot faster than I can on the iPad. It's more than usable but for lengthy pieces, an iPad just won't do.
Until the iPad can stand on its own without relying on a physical computer, it shouldn't be considered a replacement even for the modest user. Apple does claim it's an "in between" to be fair. I guess I just haven't found an "in between" use for it yet within my own ecosystem.
My second essential device is my iPhone. I depend on it to conduct business on a daily basis. It also does most of the basic functions an iPad can do. Sure the iPad is more comfortable to type on and you have the advantage of having a larger screen but it essentially runs the same software. While I may "prefer" reading news feeds and books on my iPad due to the better screen real estate, my iPhone gets the job done just as well. The difference is I could do without the iPad, but I can't do without my iPhone.
I'm not a heavy gamer
I know there are a lot of hardcore iOS gamers out there. From what I've read and seen, the iPad 2 is aimed at you. The graphics improvements and speed enhancements seem to put it over the edge when it comes to gaming. My idea of gaming is playing Tiny Wings and Angry Birds. While Infinity Blade and other games look awesome on the iPad 2, I just never really sit down to play them all the way through. Heck, I'm a huge Harry Potter freak and I've yet to even finish Lego Harry Potter. So for me, the gaming improvements aren't a huge selling point. Angry Birds works just fine on my original iPad.
Wait, my iPhone 4 already does that
Like many of you, I also own an iPhone 4. Apple has added FaceTime to the iPad 2. While that's all good and fine, my iPhone already does it. I barely use it now so I don't see this being a feature I would necessarily jump up and down over. And all the features of iOS 4.3, yeah I can have those too. I actually still find myself picking up my iPhone a lot more than I do the iPad. I really only use the iPad when I want to read lengthy content or watch a video. On our recent trip to Florida, it was definitely more enjoyable watching movies on the iPad during our flight than on a tiny 3.5" screen. But again, my original iPad plays movies just fine.
There's a jailbreak for that!
Come on, you knew I was going to say it at some point! And in this case, the one feature I would actually find useful I already have on my original iPad. That feature would be display mirroring. There's a nifty little jailbreak app called Display Out that will give the original iPad this capability. Jailbroken iPads have had this capability since just shortly after the launch of the original iPad. You don't need an iPad 2 if you're willing to jailbreak.
The original version can be had on the cheap
If the differences between the first generation iPad and the iPad 2 aren't a huge deal to you, you can pick up an original iPad at an amazing price. Not only did Apple drop the prices by $100, but tons of people are trying to off them all over the internet. Apple also has refurbs available online that are another $70 off the original price. Now we're talking almost $200 off the original price.
We had one iPad in our home for almost a year now. It's always worked out alright as both of us work opposite schedules. Plus we both have iPhone 4s. If one of us is on the iPad, the other just jumps on one of the many other devices we have floating around. We each have our own pages on it with our own folders. It's always worked out just fine but now I'm actually thinking of picking up another one. In the Chicago area, I've seen 64GB wifi models of the original IPad going for as little as $450 on sites such as Craigslist. And most are in mint condition, if not almost brand new. These are devices people paid $700+ for not even a year ago. So if the new features of the iPad 2 aren't terribly important to you, you may save quite a bit of cash picking up a lightly used original iPad from someone locally. The iPad 2 may have an edge but no one can deny that the original iPad is still a very capable device.
I guess my main point is that I really haven't found a compelling reason to upgrade to the iPad 2. A higher resolution display or a higher storage capacity may have convinced me. I already assumed we wouldn't see a resolution increase just yet. Display cost is still an issue which would make it hard for Apple to stay at the same price points. Not to mention formatting issues for already existing applications. I'm hoping for iPad 3 we will get both of these things. But until that time, I'll stick with the original.