Those shopping for a new full-size tablet from Apple have two options: the new iPad Air and the iPad 2. This decision is a very, very easy one, as the iPad 2 is a model that should have already been discontinued.
The iPad 2 debuted in 2011, and while it was fine device back then, it has been left behind by the march of progress in the last 2.5 years. There’s just no way this tablet is worth the $400 Apple is asking for it.
The second-generation iPad is just $100 less than the iPad Air — at that price, one might be tempted to think that it’s almost as good as the new model. That assumption would be totally incorrect. Apple’s latest has a display that has four times as many pixels, so images are vastly sharper. And the iPad Air’s Apple A7 processor is more than five times faster than the one in the iPad 2.
While it’s true that the iPad 2 is able to run a stripped-down version of iOS 7, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, it’s possible this will be the last OS upgrade it will ever get. The A5 processor is so slow that the date when it just can’t handle what a future version of iOS needs can’t be far away.
Look for Bargains That Are Actually Bargains
Best Buy is going to be offering Apple’s second-generation tablet for $300 on Black Friday. Even at this price the device is not going to be worth it. And there will likely be other stores offering the iPad 2 at significant discounts. Unless the price gets close to $200, shoppers should look elsewhere.
So what are some better options?
Another option for those who want a large tablet but whose wallets are thin is the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9. It’s not as powerful a tablet as the iPad Air, but it’s $120 cheaper.