Is the newest iPad worth it?
The newest generation tablet from Apple has some fancy features. But is it the best device for the money?
The newest iPad is thinner, faster and adds not one but two cameras. But as Apple CEO Steve Jobs extolled the device's newest features today, many consumers had only one real question: Should I buy one? Post continues after video.
One thing is for certain: Tablet fever doesn't seem to be going away. Apple already sold the lion's share of tablets last year, some 15 million overall -- approximately 85% of the tablet market -- which generated $9.5 billion in revenue for the company.
This year, dozens of competitors are expected to debut competing tablet computers, and tablet sales across the board are expected to triple. Samsung and Motorola tablets are already available; devices from Research in Motion, HP and HTC are anticipated later this year.
With such a considerable head start, the iPad is still the tablet to beat, analysts say.
"They're raising the bar for everyone else," says Joseph Beaulieu, an equity analyst for Morningstar. The competitors have yet to build something that's as easy to use, speedy, and good-looking, critics say. Plus, the also-rans aren't cheaper: The big names already on the market range from $500 (also the price of the new entry-level iPad 2) to $900, depending on memory and whether you want the ability to hook up with a wireless provider. As of today, they're all more expensive than the first-generation iPad, which now starts at $400.
But unlike a cell phone or a full-fledged computer, tablets still fall into the "toy tech" category. "It's something you want, not something you have to have," says Jeff Orr, a senior analyst with ABI research.
What tablets can do is still limited: The touchscreen keypads aren't great for typing, there's minimal storage, they rely on apps, many of which won't work if there's no Internet connection available. Want a constant connection? That'll cost you: Devices that can access wireless carriers' networks are more expensive to begin with, and may require the extra burden of a two-year data contract at an extra $20 to $80 per month.
Of course, there is a device on the market that's portable, lightweight, has tons of memory and all the multimedia features most users want. It's called a laptop, and experts say they're still better than tablets for users who want something that's truly functional.
Downloaded software trumps apps for productivity, and doesn't require an Internet connection to function well, Orr says. There's easily twice the storage capacity for all that media you're watching, and a DVD drive for those who aren't ready to stream. And for users interested in a device that supports Flash multimedia, that capability is still widely available -- even on Apple products, despite the company's decision not to support the technology on the iPad.
Plus, they're significantly cheaper, notes Orr: A basic-but-decent laptop runs about $350 -- 30% less than the cost of the cheapest iPad.
More from SmartMoney and MSN Money:
I have a galaxy tab. It is a great machine. Cost 550 dollars has 32 sd which I can load a movie on or pretty much what ever I want on it.
It costs me 20 bucks a month with no contract for internet sims card. If I get desperate skype will work on it as well.
I'm not sorry I bought it. Does pretty much what a laptop would do, If I want to develop websites or appies no it won't do that
but that is not what I bought it for. It's my light machine for movies books and docments email and messenger or what ever you use. And it is easy to type on and fast. what more do you want in a machine.
Motorola XOOM great all around besides the price.
Samsung Galaxy Tab = Wanna be tablet running phone software.
More high-tech toys...to make losers feel like winners, and to make nobodies feel like somebodies. Pathetic...
Personally this article is very disingenous, you can do so much more with an iPad then the author claims. First the majority of apps do NOT require an internet connection, that is just false. Only the internet connected games require a constant connection. Second, as an IT manager I can use my iPad to manage my network, create presentations, create word processor documents, etc.
The iPad is a really really nice inbetween product that does quite a bit and lets me leave my laptop at home most of the time.
sounds like your an elitist twixter ( maybe Asian by breed i am assuming ) that still lives at home with mommy & don't appreciate the value of a hard earned dollar. I don't own any Apple product, so I guess i best get on the welfare line tomorrow morning.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'