It’s almost time. The iPad 3 should be on shelves in a matter of weeks, with an announcement next week. Now that you have decided to get yourself a tablet, will you go with Apple or one of the many alternatives? For some, the decision will be easy due to brand loyalty, specific feature requirements and/or price, but for the rest of us that are tempted by the lure of the iPad, the answer to “Who Should Buy an iPad 3?” is not so simple. This post will help you gather the right information to make the best choice for yourself.
The first question to ask yourself is: “What scenarios do I see myself taking advantage of a tablet?” Answer this question without looking at any technical specs or apps. The goal here is to come up with a list of scenarios where a tablet device would improve your life. Note, I said tablet, since the answers to this question may immediately point you to a different tablet or help you come to the conclusion that you don’t need any tablet.
The answers to the above question will set a reference point as you explore the following questions.
What is your budget? Depending upon this answer, you will have different options, both outside of the Apple ecosystem and within the various Apple iPad models going all the way back to the original iPad. You can now immediately rule out several options.
How much battery life do you need? Do you anticipate being in situations where you will not have access to an outlet for a long period of time? If you have extraordinary battery requirements, you may need to look into external power solutions.
Do you always need Internet connectivity? This answer will help you decide whether you need the 3G (possibly 4G) model or WiFi only. Though, even with the Wi-Fi only you can achieve always on Internet connectivity with a MiFi, though that option may be more expensive and less convenient since you will have to carry another device and keep it powered up.
Are there specific applications you need? For example, will you be interacting with Microsoft Office documents regularly on your tablet? Once you answer these questions, you can explore the app stores for Apple, Android, Microsoft and Blackberry to see if you are covered. Take the time to read the reviews for the apps you need.
Finally, I suggest you review the following articles for further food for thought:
- iPad 3: Who Will Buy One, and Why? [INFOGRAPHIC]
- Forget Apple iPad 2: Reports Say iPad 3 Is the One to Watch
- Five iPad 3 Rumors That Just Might Be True