Thursday, March 15, 2012

New iPad Goes On-sale Tomorrow What You Need To Know

Apple's new third-generation iPad will officially hit store shelves tomorrow, March 16, here's a bit of what you need to know before reaching for your wallet and shelling out that hard earned cash.

When and where can I get my iPad?

Apple will be opening the doors to their retail stores at 8 a.m. local time. There may or may not be long lines, some areas are prone to higher traffic so plan ahead. Another option would be to head to AT&T or Verizon locations, assuming you're interested in one of the LTE-enabled iPad models. Verizon In Store Sales begin 8:00 AM local time with Online Sales beginning at 3:01 AM EST.

The third option would be opting to try to find it available and in-stock at the select Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Sam's Club and Radio Shack stores that will be carrying it. I'd check with your stores tonight to see if they will have them.

Reports are indicating that Walmart will begin selling a limited quantity of the new iPad at 12:01 AM. Supplies and selection will be limited and will vary by store.

How much id the new iPad going to cost me?

Depending on the option you choose and the amount of storage you need you'll spend anywhere from $499 to $829. Here are your options:
  • 16GB Wi-Fi-only for $499
  • 32GB Wi-Fi-only for $599
  • 64GB Wi-Fi-only for $699
  • 16GB Wi-Fi + 4G for $629
  • 32GB Wi-Fi + 4G for $729
  • 64GB Wi-Fi + 4G for $829

With Apple's new retina display images and image files, as well as applications are going to be growing in size. For this reason I strongly suggest buying something other than the 16GB model. You may find yourself running out of space very quickly!

Each model will be available in your choice of white or black. You will be able to choose either AT&T or Verizon as your carrier if you select one of the LTE-enabled models. You'll also need to sign up for data service with either company and rates vary from $14.99 to $50 per month on AT&T and $20 to $80 on Verizon. No long-term contract is required with either option as there is no subsidized pricing.

The early reviews for the new iPad

I usually take early reviews with a grain of salt and I don't like to put a lot of stock in Apple's hand picked "reviewers" but the early reviews can be nice to read just to get the idea of what you are looking at. Here are just a few:

Should I buy it, keep my old iPad or what?

If you read Geek News very often you know I'm not a big Apple fan, nor am I a big early adopter. I can usually wait on new tech to hit, get some decent reviews and then make a well informed decision. The third-generation iPad looks impressive in some areas and really lacking in others. If I were an owner of an iPad 2 or one of the latest Android tablets I probably couldn't see the justification to buy the new iPad. If however I were the owner of the original iPad an older Android or I was buying my first tablet I could see the iPad at the top of my list of choices.

The problem for me is as Michelle Maisto of eWeek said, "this new version lacks a specific “wow” factor that's been common to Apple products." There isn't anything there that really pushes me over the top in comparison to anything else I can get at a cheaper price. You can find some screaming deals on the iPad 2 or even better in my opinion some great deals on some of the new Anrdoid tablets.

I'm sure the third-generation iPad is going to be a major hit, aren't all Apple products these days? For me however, I'll be relaxing at home tomorrow watching my March-madness while any Apple-madness ensues.

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