Like much of the rest of the folks who bought one, I’m really loving the New iPad (aka “iPad 3″). Yes, it really is that wonderful: instantly responsive and fluid, wonderful screen, and even without Siri, its dictation feature is a real boon when I’m writing small bits of text (for me, that’s when I’m marking up PDFs or design comps with feedback for work).
When I got the first one, in 2010, I wasn’t sure what sort of mileage I’d give it. While I was excited to get my hands on one, I didn’t really know how much I’d wind up using it after the “honey moon” was over, and it was no longer that shiny new thing. So I decided to exercise some fiscal restraint and pick just one of the available options for “upgrade” from the base model, between the storage bump (32G instead of 16G), or the mobile data option. Since I had already been happily using my iPhone heavily for on-the-go data access, I decided the extra storage space would give my buck the biggest bang.
Turns out I used the shit out that iPad over the two years that followed, but definitely come to missing the data connection option that I had eschewed on several occasions.
I skipped on the iPad 2, in part for fiscal discipline, but also because I had used the iPhone 4 and knew a Retina Display would be the irresistible iPad upgrade lure. Thank goodness that the 2012 iPad had delivered on that display, too, because the newer versions of all my apps had already started putting a noticeable strain on the CPU and RAM on my two-years-old iPad.
I put my order in for this iPad the day it was announced.
This time, I knew I’d use this thing heavily for the next few years, so I opted to max out the storage at 64G, and â€” being sick of AT&T’s shitty signal coverage on my iPhone â€” I opted for the model that supported Verizon’s LTE mobile data option.
Everything about this new iPad is brilliant, and I’m really enjoying having on-the-go data.
I won’t belabor the points about the smooth performance and the dazzling screen you’ll already have learned from other sources. They are indeed that good.
If you’re wondering whether I recommend you get one, the answer is almost certainly “yes”. If you’re similarly struggling, as I had previously been, between the getting additional storage or mobile data, I’m going to say most people would be better served by the mobile data option.
I do have two points of mild warning, however, both regarding the mobile data option:
My high hopes for Verizon’s data coverage have been tempered by actual usage. Neither my iPhone’s AT&T 3G connection, nor my iPad’s Verizon LTE coverage gives me a lick of actually-usable mobile data throughput in my Time Square office. Both devices show many bars of “signal strength”, but trying to actually load content over the mobile data network gets me nothing but quality time with “Loading” spinners. While one can simply write off Time Square as a dead zone for data (as well as the prospect of finding any good food, or much else of particular value, frankly), I’ve also had data timeouts in other places in NYC’s boroughs. Perhaps I’d set my hopes too high, or maybe Verizon just had a surge in the load of new iPad-owner LTE traffic that they’ll adjust to over time. Time will tell.
When data throughput is available on the Verizon LTE connection, it is very (very) fast. When coverage is available, my iPad’s Verizon LTE service is faster, in many cases, than the WiFi connection at my house which has a Verizon DSL Internet connection. So here’s the “warning” part of this point: be very wary of streaming any video content. Most video delivery services are designed to deliver lower-quality video to lower-bandwidth connections, and higher-quality video to higher-bandwidth ones. The trouble here is that the LTE connections are so fast that video streaming services deliver the highest bit-rate renditions of videos to your iPad. This will tear through the allotted data quota of whatever data package you’ve subscribed to far faster than you’d expect.
In any case, I’m delighted to be able to pull the latest posts from my RSS subscriptions into Mr. Reader while waiting for my coffee and eggs at brunch, or to review the tasks I’ve got in OmniFocus and ensure I’m working the latest sync of my data.