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To Buy or Not to Buy the New iPad
By Seow Tein Hee - on 08 Mar 2012, 6:01am

I have the first generation iPad. And as I read through all the promised hardware upgrades for the new iPad, it's undeniable that the thought of ditching my old iPad for the new one is weighing heavily on my mind.

But in less than 15 minutes, I've decided against it.

To understand the reason behind it, you'll need to understand how I use the iPad. Last year, just when the first iPads were given a price slash, I seized on the opportunity to purchase the cheapest 16GB Wi-Fi version. Since then, the iPad has been used for a wide range of activities. Reading an e-book, using it as a photo stand, playing Tiny Towers, Ghost Trick and going through my social media feeds via Flipboard are the core functions of the iPad.

The single-core 1GHz processor has been more than sufficient to power through the above mentioned activities without a hitch. And a 9.7-inch display with a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels? That's just fine to read through my e-books.

Ask not whether you want the new 2048 x 1536 display or the new Apple A5X processor, but whether you need it.

I find myself quite satisfied with the experience I get out of the basic specs on the iPad. Compare it to say, a gamer or a movie buff who might be tempted with the 2048 x 1536 resolution of the third generation iPad, or the new Apple A5X processor with a quad-core graphics processor. Now that might be a real draw if someone is looking for a smooth gaming experience on the iPad.

And let's not get started on the camera. If there's one thing I just can't get my head around, it's the fact that people are actually taking photos with the camera on the iPad 2's 0.7-megapixel camera. A few weeks ago, during Chinese New Year, I've had relatives doing just that. And here's the fun part - once they took the picture and started viewing it, the pixelated image was quite noticeable. Being the geek of the family, they turned to me and asked for a reason behind the low image quality. True story.

So, there's now a 5-megapixel camera on the third generation iPad. Again, I'm still not tempted at all. It just doesn't work for me, especially since I have a smartphone that's handier for me to whip out and snap a picture without looking awkward. And I believe most tablet owners do have a smartphone. So again, I'm not sold on the idea of a camera on a tablet.

Right about now, I'm sure the pre-orders for the new iPad that'll be available from March 16th onwards in Singapore are challenging the servers for the Apple Store. I won't be surprised if some of my colleagues have started doing so. Me? I'm more of the "buy if there's a need" camp.

Till now, the iPad is still functioning fine, and it has been receiving the latest iOS updates. In fact, right after Apple's announcement, I've gotten the notification to install the over-the-air update for iOS 5.1. I'll be milking it dry till it finally fails on me. Until that happens, I have all the time I need to decide if I should go for the upcoming crop of quad-core tablets with Google Android 4.0 or visit the online Apple Store once more.

Seow Tein Hee

Seow Tein Hee / Former Associate Editor

Attuned to the latest mobile technology and news, Tein Hee is always on the lookout for innovation and creativity in the mobile industry.