5 reasons NOT to buy the new iPad

March 16th, 2012 | by Raymond Lau
5 reasons NOT to buy the new iPad

You’ve heard all the praises and maybe even queued up on launch day to get your hands on the newest iPad. Everyone knows why you should get the iPad; virtually every tech blogger and pundit out there is raving over Apple’s newest gizmo.

But if you’re still sitting on the fence, here are five reasons why you should not get the new iPad.

1. You’ve already got an iPad 2

Apple has the largest market share in this category, so a lot of you are probably reading this on your iPad or iPad 2. Take a trip on the MRT and you’ll see more iPad 2’s than any other tablet.

If you’ve already got an iPad 2, there’s really not much more to the new iPad that’s a must-have, perhaps other than the higher-res screen and LTE connectivity (more on those later). I’m just going to ignore the camera upgrade because photography, even the point-and-shoot kind, is just plain silly on a tablet and should not influence your decision to get one.

If you’ve already got an iPad 2, save your money and give this a pass. And if you’ve got a first-generation iPad, you can get the iPad 2 for a much lower price!

2. LTE only works in North America

Don’t buy into the 4G hype. The standard for 4G has not been finalised, but many brands are using it in their marketing, including Apple. The new iPad uses Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, a high-speed stepping stone to the eventual 4G standard.

Here’s the problem with “4G”: it doesn’t work in the same way everywhere. The new iPad supports North American LTE networks, which utilises the 700MHz and 2.1GHz frequency. But the rest of the world usually uses the 800MHz, 1.8GHz, 2.3GHz or 2.6GHz frequency bands for its networks.

In Singapore, SingTel and M1 has confirmed that their LTE networks operate on 1.8GHz and 2.6GHz frequency bands, while StarHub does not have any specific information on its planned LTE networks to share.

A My Paper report stated that iDA “does not rule out making part of the 700MHz band available for 4G services in the future”. The iPad does tap onto the faster HSPA+ network, but until the blazing speed of LTE arrives, you might as well stick to the 3G iPad 2.

3. The screen alone is not worth the upgrade

Now that LTE is out of the race, we come to the only major upgrade in the new iPad: the so-called Retina display.

Admittedly, the screen is fantastic. Text looks razor sharp and colours are extremely vivid. But a major reason for the hoo-hah over the Retina display is the fact that the original iPad screen sucked, displaying only 1,024 x 768 pixels worth of information. Still, it was functional enough and did not provide any difficulty in reading and browsing.

If you don’t have a problem with the 1080p display on a 40-inch HDTV, and are satisfied with the 1280 x 800 displays on typical 10-inch Android tablets, why fork out extra cash for so many pixels on just a 9-inch screen? You won’t be able to tell much of a difference at a distance anyway.

Plus, developers who want to make their app pretty on the Retina display will have to pack in huge graphics that take up a lot of space. For example, The Verge reports that the Keynote presentation app was previously only 115MB, but its latest version is 327MB.

16GB of storage is starting to look paltry, as you’ll run out of space fast once all the apps start piling up.

4. Still largely the same unexciting hardware

The first iPad had only one proprietary port, the iPad 2 still had one proprietary port, and with the new third-generation iPad, we still get only one proprietary port for charging and data transfer. The iPad is still missing USB ports, and micro SD card slots, among others.

The screen, too, is still the 9.7-inch with no hint of extra enhancements like a piece of Gorilla glass for protection. The aspect ratio is still 4:3, which isn’t ideal for enjoying movies.

In fact, if you put the iPad 2 next to the new iPad, very few people will be able to tell the difference from a distance. Compared to the range of hardware available on Android tablets, and the upcoming Windows 8 tablets, the iPad’s design is getting pretty old.

5. It’s not the only tablet

Most of the new iPad’s features can actually already be found in existing tablets, just not in a slick Apple package. You can also get good Android tablets at lower price-points, or tablets with a full operating system like Windows 7 tablets.

At the end of the day, it depends on what you’re going to use your tablet for, and it’s definitely worth checking out other tablets and not settle on the iPad by default.

(Photo credit: blakespot, Flickr Creative Commons)



  1. Normally bloggers write why you should buy it but you are writing why you should not buy it…..however i agree with your 2nd Point 4G is still not launched in many of the countries i am an Indian and some days ago it have been launched in some of the Indian Cities but still it will take more then a year to be launched over whole India……

  2. kvanar says:

    Absolute rubbish ‘review’.
    As a former iPad 2 now iPad 3 owner, I’d find it difficult to go back to the fuzziness of the older display. Color saturation, contrast details and inky blacks are so much better and obvious on the new iPad. Websites, images, videos, documents all benefit a quantum leap.
    While not LTE, the speed difference on HSPA+ is also quite obvious.
    As for “unexciting hardware”, it seems that the reviewer is relatively uneducated about the plethora of quality accessories for the iPad. As for missing USB ports, sd card slots etc., Ive not missed them one bit with cloud storage.

    • Doodle says:

      I must say that this is to each its own. But I have an IPad 2 and I will definitely NOT be buying the “new” IPad, as it is not worth forking out another $900+ just for a slightly better screen, which is good enough for me as is, and the same old same old processor (with so called upgrades in GPU).

      I might, however, consider switching to the new upcoming Transformer Infinity if it lives up to its promises.

      But to call this review a rubbish …. it seems like classic fanboyism.

      • kvanar says:

        Listen doodleboy, I own 2 iPads – an iPad 2 and iPad 3, an Android phone, a WP7 phone and I’m a PC user. Which part of my IT agnosticism spells fanboy dumbass?

  3. Shareefa says:

    I have iPad 1. I never bought iPad 2 because I was waiting for iPad 3 but you folks are now making me think again. Please help me while I think. Maybe I should compare it with windows 8 tablet? Speed is very important for me. Likewise no worries about virus is also impt. I use my computer very rarely since I got this iPad. However I always wish that Apple supports Flash.

  4. By the way Raymond, great read and I have to say as an iPad/iMac/iPhone user I do agree with your points 1 through 3.

    I actually went to a store and saw the iPad3 the other day and even as an anal person who has very good eyesight, I cant say the retina screen look ‘that’ much better than the iPad 2’s screen. Really, im not being funny abuot it, im not hating cause Im not getting it (I love Apple). It really doesnt look that different. Not the iPhone 4S.. thats different – what a screen res on a screen that small!

    • kvanar says:

      The difference will come once you actually use the iPad 3 for a week and then go back to the iPad 2. Your eyes would then be ‘retrained’ to notice the difference.

  5. 2cents says:

    i only agree with the “iPad 2” part. And if you think about it, your contradicting yourself, those who don’t already own an iPad should all the more get the new iPad simply because its priced at the same price point of iPad 2. If you think the iPad 2 was priced reasonably and was able to meet all your needs and usage, the new iPad would definitely top that at the same price and can be recommended to new users. 

    Not to mention the much more developed app store compared to Android’s marketplace. And Apple always provide continuous support even for older generation devices. They control all their functions and can tailor their software according to their hardware specs. For Android, the same specs might not work when force fed into different company’s proprietary software and modified hardware. But whatever, its just my 2 cents, ppl can still do whatever they want.

    • Raymond Lau says:

      You seem to have mistaken the article for an iPad vs Android debate. I’m merely stating why one should not get the new iPad because of these five points. Thanks for reading 🙂

    • doodle says:

      I think his point is that it is not worth the $100+ top up just to get a screen upgrade (and presumably a GPU upgrade)

      As for apps, mmm do you use android at all? I uses both and I must say that Android market (now google play) is maturing fast and have some unique games and productivity apps not readily found in the Apps Store.

  6. Andreas Hendarto says:

    Um may i just point out every iteration of ipad and iphone uses Corning’s so-called gorilla glass? Apple was responsible for the fact that it exists and is in industrial production. Other manufacturers followed suit.

    Also about the so-so performance…it beats the Tegra 3 chipset, Android’s flagship, in graphics performances and lost by less than 10% for the Java script benchmark, despite having half as many cores.

    If you’re just going to be repeating content from famous tech blogs (like the storage issue with Retina apps) just link them. Those articles at least get their facts right.

    But yeh if you have an ipad 2, skip out on this one.

    • Raymond Lau says:

      There’s no concrete evidence that Apple uses Gorilla glass. If Apple didn’t state it in their marketing materials, I think it’s safe to deduce that they’re not using it.

      I didn’t mention chipsets at all, and I did link to The Verge, which states that apps are going to take up more space.

      Thanks for reading 🙂

  7. Apple&PCsAreFine says:

    Don’t but it cos it’s slick, has a higher resolution and you’re not interested in awesome Apple apps.


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