Which iPad to buy?

ipad-models-and-colors

Which iPad to buy? a reader asks…

I’m done with computers. I’m going to buy a new iPad and just use that for everything. I’ll use Pages to write letters and such, and do email (Gmail) and surf the web. I really don’t need anything more at my advancing age. I already have a printer that’s AirPrint capable, and I’m only going to use this at home on my wifi network, so it now comes down to which model of iPad I need. Do I need the new iPad Pro?

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Lots of folks are finding that a tablet computer can do everything they really need to do, and make the same switch you’re doing now. Using an iPad has some distinct advantages including being very light and portable, having instant-on capability, and not suffering from the many woes of your average personal computer. Notably, viruses and malware. Since you’ve already got your printing needs covered, and don’t need coverage outside of Wi-Fi, your choices are easier because there are only 4 models of iPad to choose from.

Your first choice is what size iPad to get. From the iPad Mini to the 12.9″ iPad Pro, there’s a lot of difference. I think the two iPad Pro models are overkill for you, they’re more designed for work. So it really is a choice between the regular iPad (with 9.7″ screen) and the iPad mini 4 (with 7.9″ screen). Both those come in the same three colors: Silver, Space Gray and Gold. That choice is really your own personal preference.

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ipad-memory-options

Next is the amount of memory. I think you should just not consider anything other than 128gb (which only matters for the regular iPad). Do not get the 32gb model, you’ll regret it. That’s really all the choices you can make, so go ahead and order your new iPad!

If you are going to use Pages and do a bit of writing, then adding a keyboard can often make the difference between that task being easy and being hard. There are plenty of good keyboards for iPads, just remember that the current version selling at Apple.com is the 5th generation iPad and is almost identical in size to the iPad Air 2. You’ll want a keyboard that fits your model of iPad. I really like keyboards from Brydge, they’re expensive but very high quality.

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Once it arrives, you’ll want to set it up and connect it to your Wi-Fi network, setup your Gmail account, and familiarize yourself with how it works. Apple has a great tutorial and help section on their website at https://support.apple.com/ipad, and if you prefer to see it in action versus read about it, there’s even an app for that at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tutorial-app-video-user-guide-and-tips-for-ipad/id481112890. Fortunately, it’s hard to really mess up with iOS, if anything goes wrong, just press the Home button and you’re back in business. The biggest risk you have with an iPad is dropping it and cracking the screen. For that, consider a sleeve for your iPad (& keyboard).

There are currently 674 reader comments on my articles, care to join in? Use the Leave a Comment form below/at the bottom of any existing comments. This is a good place to ask follow-on questions on this subject.

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