I’m going to keep this short and to the point. I don’t have to. I have plenty more than three reasons you should take a pass on the new iPad, but I think three pretty much sums things up.
1. LTE is essentially nowhere
Apple spent a decent chunk of its time today touting the super-fast LTE speeds the new iPad was ready to exploit. The simple reality is that LTE is available to a tiny minority of the country, and its even spotty for those folks. LTE might be awesome when its out–in all likelihood it’s going to mean a massive increase in your cell phone or home internet access plan–but for nearly all intents and purposes it isn’t out yet.
You could definitely make the case that Apple needed to make the LTE upgrade so that networks didn’t have to wait for those pesky 2012 iPad buyers to get off the network. All the same, you likely won’t be able to take advantage of LTE so why pay for it now?
2. The screen difference doesn’t matter
I’m sorry, nerds, it doesn’t. Certainly not in any meaningful way. The current iPad screen is just 10 inches and ridiculously crisp. Crisp in a way that is almost unnecessary for a 10-inch screen. The new screen is definitely unnecessary for a 10-inch screen. Even for professional applications like showing off videos or photography to potential clients, the increased resolution will do nothing for mediums in which those resolutions are actually applicable. I don’t need to see a document in 2048×1536 on an iPad to imagine what it will look like in print. If my designers are not morons, it will look fine, even if you show it to me on the iPad 2 screen.
At this screen size, resolution is an utterly meaningless arms race. It does nothing but raise the cost of the device.
3. The iPad 2 is $529 with 3G
Bet you didn’t see that coming. I’m not an iPad hater. Hell, I want one. I’ve wanted one for a while now. The only reason I haven’t purchased one is that I’m not sure how much use it would see beyond casual reading (no kids). It’s probably for the best that I try to curtail my Netflix consumption, anyway. But that’s not the point. The point here is that the iPad 2, which is for all practical purposes just as good as the new iPad, can be had for $529 with a 3G sim in it. Pair that with an a la carte data plan and you have a much more useful device than the $500 bragging rights of the latest model.