You’d think it’d be pretty embarrassing to be a tech journalist and still rock a first-generation iPad.
I got the original iPad when it was first released, back in 2011. I didn’t really need one then (does anyone really need an iPad?), but it looked cool. And I thought I would use it.
Now that the new iPads have come out, I’m still not going to upgrade. In fact, I don’t think I’m ever going to upgrade. And that’s OK with me.
Apple unveiled two new iPads — the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3 — at an event in Cupertino, California, on Thursday. They boast faster performance, better cameras, and Touch ID, Apple’s fingerprint sensor technology.
The iPad Air 2 is now 18% thinner, at 6.1mm. CEO Tim Cook said you could stack two of them on top of each other, and they still wouldn’t match the thickness of the original iPad.
But the original iPad is plenty thin. And thinner doesn’t necessarily mean better. It just means thinner.
The iPad Air 2 also has better camera specs: an 8-megapixel sensor, plus a burst-mode option.
The first-gen iPad doesn’t have a camera at all, but that’s fine. Nobody needs to hold an iPad up to take pictures when the iPhone’s camera is just as good.
I considered upgrading to an iPad Mini, but now I have an iPhone 6, which, at 4.7 inches, is plenty big enough for me to watch movies on when I’m travelling. And when it comes to reading books, I find that the Kindle is the best device, since there’s no backlight. It’s also smaller and doesn’t weigh as much.
The first-gen iPad is also stuck in the past in terms of iOS. It doesn’t have the specs to run anything past iOS 5.1.1.
But there’s nothing really in later iOS versions that I would need specifically on an iPad. Apps are still apps.
In fact, when my colleague Steve Kovach asked an Apple employee to run him through the iPad Air 2’s new features, it felt like there was nothing new to say. Instead, he was shown all of the iPad’s hardware features, which aren’t that much different from what you get in the new iPhone.
I don’t need an upgraded iOS to display recipes while I putz around in the kitchen. And I can keep it on the coffee table if I need to look up something online and want a bigger screen.
I have a device for everything I need: a MacBook Air to do work on, an iPhone 6 to play games on and take pictures with, and an older MacBook Pro if I need to rip a CD (!).
The iPad is a niche, luxury device. It doesn’t replace a computer or a phone. It barely even replaces a television or gaming console.
Even though it’s 4 years old, my original iPad still works great.
Every year, a new iPad comes out boasting better specs and upgrades and faster performance. If you’re a first-time tablet buyer, the iPad Air 2 is a great deal. But for me and my older-generation device, there’s no real reason to upgrade.
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