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Old 04-17-2012, 01:25 AM   #1
bobj
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Advice for my first purchase

I plan to order the iPad 3 for use as an e-reader of academic papers. I need something fast and responsive, so that I can efficiently flip through multiple sources simultaneously. I will be using it for both online and offline access to papers and scanned notes (pdf/djvu).

I have never owned an Apple product in my life. (I'm frugal and adore FOSS.) From what I hear, the retina display is quite incredible, and my eyesight should be good enough to appreciate it. It's a huge deal for me to be dropping ~$600 on a product which I don't fully comprehend, so I'm hoping that the like-minded people here can help to walk me through the process of making my purchase.

Is the online Apple Store the best vendor?

I'm thinking white borders. I think it would blend nicely with paper margins. Anyone have a strong opinion on white vs black?

I'm happy with Wi-Fi only, but I'm worried about storage capacity. It seriously pisses me off that Apple charges $100 for an extra 16GB when you can buy a 16GB SD card from Amazon for $12. Could I make due with 16GB, or am I shooting myself in the foot? I store most things online anyway, but I'm worried that I'll need the space someday for unforeseen circumstances. But is it worth the $100?

Should I buy the smart cover? Normally I would just buy a 3rd-party cover, but the smart cover seems popular. I wish they had a dark green cover. (Probably I'll just go with blue polyurethane.)

I will be buying from the US, but I'm moving to Italy this summer. Will the included USB charger work with a standard 220V European adapter?

Should I get AppleCare+? If not, I may become ultra-paranoid about damaging it. Would I have to return it to the US to obtain service? If so, that probably negates the benefits.

Having it engraved with my name and contact info seems smart. How common is this? Will it be much more difficult to sell?

How can I ensure that my iPad remains protected? I plan to carry it around in my backpack, which sometimes gets thrown around, and crammed under airplane seats. Should I buy a sleeve of some sort?

What accessories should I buy? For example, should I buy the camera connection kit so that I can use USB?

Thanks so much for reading through all these questions. I'd really appreciate your thoughts.
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobj View Post
Is the online Apple Store the best vendor?
Generally, you would expect to pay the same price wherever you buy it, so it is a question on what you find the most convenient. If you have a nearby Apple store, you might as well pop in and have a play with one first.

Quote:
I'm thinking white borders. I think it would blend nicely with paper margins. Anyone have a strong opinion on white vs black?
I do a lot of reading a night, so went with black borders, black probably also works better for video. Apart from that? Probably personal preference. There will be a small black border between the actual screen and the bezel.

Quote:
I'm happy with Wi-Fi only, but I'm worried about storage capacity. It seriously pisses me off that Apple charges $100 for an extra 16GB when you can buy a 16GB SD card from Amazon for $12. Could I make due with 16GB, or am I shooting myself in the foot? I store most things online anyway, but I'm worried that I'll need the space someday for unforeseen circumstances. But is it worth the $100?
Books, PDFs, etc take up very little space, so if that is all you want it for, you should be fine.
Video takes up a lot of space, magazines and comics take up quite a bit.
Figure ~1GB per hour for video, ~100-200MB per issue for a magazine, ~20-50MB for issue for a newspaper, ~10-20MB for a comic.
Some apps can take up quite a bit of space, for example you can get a full offline copy of wikipedia, but that takes up around 2GB.
Personally I always buy the biggest capacity available.

Quote:
I will be buying from the US, but I'm moving to Italy this summer. Will the included USB charger work with a standard 220V European adapter?
You will need a physical plug adapter from US to EU, but don't need a voltage converter, it is rated 100-240V, 50-60Hz.

Quote:
What accessories should I buy? For example, should I buy the camera connection kit so that I can use USB?
I have one, and have found uses for it, but it isn't anywhere near essential.
You can upload photos and videos from a camera.
You can connect a keyboard, and some other accessories. (I use a barcode scanner with it.)
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:53 AM   #3
Andy_T
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobj View Post
How can I ensure that my iPad remains protected? I plan to carry it around in my backpack, which sometimes gets thrown around, and crammed under airplane seats. Should I buy a sleeve of some sort?
I bought the iPad 1 when it came out with my two boys aged 7 & 6 as the intended majority users. So I slapped an "XGear Pad Shield" snap-on polycarbonate shell and a screen protector on it, this has proved to be a good idea as it has been bumped around quite a bit and dropped a few times since then.

Best regards,
Andy
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:10 AM   #4
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We have the original iPad and two of the “new” iPads, all in 16 GB wifi. Space-wise, we have been fine because we don’t store a lot of multi-media on the devices. They are mostly used for e-mail, browsing, magazine reading and some games.

They are very durable, but I would strongly suggest a cover or sleeve of some sort, most especially if you will be transporting it a great deal. Spills and scratches happen and the iPad is a significant investment. We have Oberon covers on all of ours, and they are terrific, but not your cheapest option. There are lots of choices out there in every price range. If you have a Red Target card, you could receive 5% off your purchase – I am pretty sure this would also apply to an iPad, but I can’t confirm for certain. All of ours were purchased directly from Apple.

Our first generation iPad has a black bezel; the newest ones are in white. I like both pretty equally, but to be honest, with the cover on it does not make much difference because that part of the device is pretty much covered anyway. If I had to make a choice I think I would go with the white, but you might want to check them both for comparison as some folks seem to have strong preferences for one over the other.

Ours are engraved (one was a gift). As we plan to hand them down to family members, we aren’t particularly concerned about the resale market.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:05 AM   #5
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I just go a smart cover with my new iPad, and I love it. It integrates nicely, and it puts the iPad to sleep when you close it.

For my first iPad, I had a bulkier cover, and it really added to the weight and size of the thing.

It looks like Amazon has the 16GB model in stock:

http://www.amazon.com/Apple-MD328LL-...4675038&sr=8-1
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobj View Post

I will be buying from the US, but I'm moving to Italy this summer. Will the included USB charger work with a standard 220V European adapter?
If you are talking about the cable, yes. If you are talking about the wall plug, no... unless the voltage and actual pins are exactly the same. New ones arent that expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobj View Post
Should I get AppleCare+? If not, I may become ultra-paranoid about damaging it. Would I have to return it to the US to obtain service? If so, that probably negates the benefits.
Applecare will serve you well, its worldwide so you wont have to return the unit to the US

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobj View Post
Having it engraved with my name and contact info seems smart. How common is this? Will it be much more difficult to sell?
I wouldn't have engraving done unless there is absolutely NO chance that you would want to sell it. If I were buying a second hand iPad there is no way in this wide world that I would get one already engraved with someone else's name and contact details. Useless to the buyer and a definite nono if you are planning to sell in the future, or even if you think its just a remote possibility that you might.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobj View Post
How can I ensure that my iPad remains protected? I plan to carry it around in my backpack, which sometimes gets thrown around, and crammed under airplane seats. Should I buy a sleeve of some sort?
Yes. I know that the glass is supposed to be super strong, but I wouldnt risk it, especially if you are going to do as suggested (throw it around in a backpack? HORRORS!!! Cramming under airplane seats? SACRILEGE!!)

Seriously though, if you plan to abuse your ipad in this way, you need to get a smartcover or a case with a cover, as well as a sleeve (as in one designed for a netbook, you'll need the additional space to accommodate the case/cover) for extra protection. Applecare won't be much use if you haven't taken at least a modicum of care with your idevice.
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