As First World as it Gets: Getting a New iPad


Back in December last year, I made a post where I reported on the condition of my iPad, which was two-and-a-half years old at the time. I stated that it was getting a bit slow now, where websites would freeze, and apps would take their own merry time to open and load new content.

Fun Fact: due to a higher resolution, the iPad 3
 is actually slower than the iPad 2
That device is now of course just under three-and-a-half years old, and it's still my daily driver. But to get a sense of its condition now, imagine my car daily driver is a 40bhp VW Beetle, and everyone else is overtaking me on the motorway in their flashy BMWs and Mercedes. What I'm trying to say, of course, is that things haven't exactly got any better throughout 2015. Though one thing that has vanished is the long periods of freezing on a website; that's just been replaced with hardcore lag, right down to when you type something. If you type quick enough, the iPad will quite literally forget what you inputted.

Now I feel the time is ripe to treat myself to a brand new iPad. I, of course, am fully aware that Android tablets exist out there, but they just don't appeal to me. You see, I use tablets as a haven for media consumption - be that websites, YouTube, social media or video calling. I do not use tablets for games, emulation, data tools or activity trackers; things that I personally believe that Android does better. I wouldn't have an iPhone in a million years, but I wouldn't go to anything other than an iPad for tablets. The iPad is locked down and gives very little customisation, but my god does it do media well.
Android tablets don't entice me

Anyway, I'm talking about this because I have come across what has to be one of the biggest first world dilemmas that the world has ever seen. Here's the situation: Apple now has three sizes of iPad available to the public: the Mini (of which I have no interest in at all), the Air series, and the newly announced Pro series. Which one do I go for? It truly is a tricky situation.

If the current Air model (the Air 2) wasn't over a year old now, it would be a no-brainer for me, because I would go straight for that. It's half as much as the new Pro in terms of pricing, and it's still pretty powerful. But there's just something so unsatisfying about buying a product that's already a year old. Granted, you don't pay the full RRP anymore, but it's still a bit wrong for a technophile living in the first world.

The Air 2: Sexy, sleek, and smooth, but already a
grandad in the technology world
The Pro on the other hand is so new, it's not even available yet. It has some beastly specs, such as the 4GB of RAM. It doesn't sound like loads, but remember that it runs iOS - an OS that runs smoothly on a single GB of RAM. It also has 4 speakers on each corner, and a processor which should apparently match up to the Haswell Intel i5s you find in laptops, according to Apple. Not to mention obviously the 12.9' screen; it's width is the same as the height of a normal iPad screen. Crazy stuff, and it should make YouTube videos really pop... whilst simultaneously browsing Reddit. Apple finally introduced proper split-screen multitasking for the iPad in iOS 9.

So obviously the Pro is the unsurprising winner in terms of the specs war, but the dilemma I face is this: is it actually worth it? The Pro is going to cost $799, which translates to £530 in today's currency conversions. But such is the way taxes are so heavily involved in the UK, the suggested price is actually going to be £679, which is a huge sting in the tail. For now, these are still rumours, but they are coming from pretty legitimate sources.

So, when you consider that I only tend to use an iPad for media consumption (most likely the same as 90% of other iPad users), is the literal 2x price jump worth it? Getting the Pro will of course give me a newer, sexier device that will most likely stay faster for longer, but then again, the £330 Air 2 is not a slouch. It still outperforms pretty much all flagship smartphones from this year, as is on par with the brand new iPhone 6S when it comes to benchmarks, as both return around 4,500 in Geekbench 3 for the multi-core test.

I don't need it, but bloody hell I want it. SO MUCH SCREEN SIZE \o/
Getting the Pro will probably brand me as someone with 'more money than sense' (even though I have no income whatsoever), but I think it will be an investment that will pay itself back to me in the currency of pure media joy. I suppose if I splashed out £220 for a steering wheel for my PC games, £680 will just about be justifiable for a cutting-edge tablet. Yeah, I'll just keep telling myself that one.