2014 iPad Buying Guide (unofficial X advice)

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Shopper X
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2014 iPad Buying Guide (unofficial X advice)

Postby Shopper X » Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:29 am

2014 iPad Buying Guide
Opinions from Shopper X about which iPad to buy and a list of Black Friday iPad deals.

Which iPad should I buy?
Quick Answer: You should either buy an "iPad Air 2" or an "iPad mini 2". If you are in a situation where you deeply care more about price than you do about value (for example, you just need to get a gift for someone else), you could instead buy an "iPad Air" or an "iPad mini", I suppose. Don't get the "iPad mini 3".

Overview:
There are 5 current iPad models to choose from this year: "ipad Air 2", "ipad Air", "iPad mini 3", "iPad mini 2", and "iPad mini". The Air models are regular sized with a 9.7-inch display while the smaller mini models have a 7.9-inch display. All iPads have wi-fi capability. For an additional cost you can buy ones with cellular capability to allow network connections where wi-fi isn't available. (Prices listed below are MSRP for the lowest priced wi-fi model.)

Other Models
There are other, older models with names like "iPad", "iPad 2", "iPad 3", "iPad 4", "The new iPad", and "iPad with Retina Display". Discussion of those models is beyond the scope of this guide, so please be careful to compare specifications when considering a purchase. (Comparison of those models to the current models is somewhat complex. Some older regular size iPad models are actually better than the current "iPad mini". Please see the comparison chart for details.)

iPad mini ($249):
This is the bargain model. However, it is not even last year's device. Instead, it is two generations old with a slow A5 processor. The iPad mini is the only model that doesn't have a "Retina display". For just $50 more you could get the iPad mini 2, making the iPad mini seem like a poor value for the price. However, the iPad mini is still usable and would be a fine gift to receive for free. But, as a gift that you buy for yourself, my fear is that it might either become obsolete soon or feel that way due to its slower processor and its non-Retina display.

iPad mini 2 ($299):
By default, this is the model to buy if you want a mini size iPad. It is a good product and the best value for the price. This model was also previously named "iPad mini with Retina Display".

iPad mini 3 ($399):
This is basically just an iPad mini 2 with the addition of a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. I suppose it adds the functionality of being able to buy things in stores using Apple Pay. In every other respect it is identical to the iPad mini 2. However, it costs $100 more which makes it seem like a poor value. For these reasons, I recommend that you don't buy the iPad mini 3.

iPad Air ($399):
This is a good product. However, the iPad Air 2 simply seems to be a better value for regular size iPads. Also please note that the iPad Air and iPad mini 2 are basically the same product in terms of specifications, except with different sizes and price points.

iPad Air 2 ($499):
This is the most expensive iPad model, $100 more than the iPad Air. However, for that $100 you get a much faster A8X processor with a much faster graphics co-processor, plus a better-quality display (antireflective), plus next-generation wi-fi capability, plus a Touch ID finger print sensor, plus it is slightly lighter and thinner. For these numerous reasons and even with the higher price, this is the model to buy if you want a regular size iPad.

Regular size or mini size?
This is mostly a matter of personal preference. Except for the bargain iPad mini model, both the regular and mini size iPads have a Retina display. That means they have the same resolution-- the exact same number of dots on the screen. However, the mini size iPads have smaller screens with smaller dots, making the same images and text smaller. I recommend that you go to an Apple Store or some other place where you can actually try both models to see if you have preferences or issues regarding device and screen sizes. If we are forced to compare apples to oranges, the iPad Air 2 is noticeably better than the iPad mini 2, but the $200 price difference between the two makes them equal in terms of value.

Topics I'm not sure I can give good advice about:
- How much storage capacity to get? Models variously come in storage capacity sizes of 16, 32, 64, or 128 GB. I personally would just get the smallest model for myself, but I don't know if I would regret not having more. And, I don't know whether the additional costs for higher storage are good values or not.
- Wi-fi only or cellular?
- Which celluar company?

Comparison Charts:
Current models: http://www.apple.com/ipad/compare/#comparison-chart
Current and older models: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPad#Model_comparison

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Re: 2014 iPad Buying Guide (unofficial X advice)

Postby Shopper X » Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:31 am

2014 Black Friday iPad Deals
Updated: Nov. 20, 2014, 7:10 pm

Target
1. $100 gift card with purchase of any iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, or iPad Air.
2. $140 gift card with purchase of iPad Air 2 16 GB wi-fi. ($359 in effect)
3. $80 gift card with purchase of iPad mini 16 GB wi-fi. ($169 in effect)
Quantities limited; no rain checks. The deals start at Target's Thursday 6 pm opening.
http://bfads.net/Black-Friday/Target/Ad?page=5

Best Buy
1. Save $100 on all iPad Air 2, all sizes. ($199 and up)
http://bfads.net/Black-Friday/Best-Buy/Ad?page=1
2. Save $75 on all iPad mini 3, all sizes. ($324 and up)
http://bfads.net/Black-Friday/Best-Buy/Ad?page=20
Limited quantities. No rainchecks. Tickets handed out up to 2 hours before store opening, but it is unclear whether iPads will be ticketed items. The deals start at Best Buy's Thursday 5 pm opening.
3. iPad Air starting at $320. Regular price starting at $400. This is a 3-day 11/20-22 deal item.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/promo/ipad-air-131860

Walmart
1. Save $40 on iPad mini 16 GB wi-fi, plus $30 gift card with purchase. Regular price $239, sale price $199. ($169 in effect) This is a 1-Hour Guarantee item, Thursday 6 pm to 7 pm.
http://bfads.net/Black-Friday/Walmart/Ad?page=1
2. $100 gift card with purchase of iPad Air 16 GB wi-fi. Regular price $397. ($297 in effect). This is a Thursday 8 pm doorbuster item. Prices also valid all day Friday, while supplies last.
http://bfads.net/Black-Friday/Walmart/Ad?page=32
3. $100 gift card with purchase of iPad mini 3 16 GB wi-fi. Regular price $389. ($289 in effect). This is a Black Friday presale item.
http://bfads.net/Featured-Sale/Walmart- ... /Ad?page=7
4. $100 gift card with purchase of iPad air 2 16 GB wi-fi. Regular price $489. ($389 in effect). This is a Black Friday presale item.
http://bfads.net/Featured-Sale/Walmart- ... /Ad?page=7

Sam's Club
1. $100 off iPad Air 16 GB. 4-8 per club. Also availble online. #33393, 33400. The item numbers indicate this is the wi-fi model, with a regular price of $295. ($195)
http://bfads.net/Black-Friday/Sams-Club/Ad?page=5
2. $100 off iPad Air 16 GB. Also available online. # #33393, 33400. This is a pre-Black Friday Holiday sale item. This is the same deal as the Sam's Club Black Friday deal.
http://bfads.net/Featured-Sale/Sams-Clu ... /Ad?page=2

Meijer (Thanksgiving)
1. $100 gift coupon with purchase of iPad Air 2 16 GB wi-fi. Regular price $489. ($389 in effect)
2. $100 gift coupon with purchase of iPad mini 16 GB wi-fi. Regular price $239. ($139 in effect)
3. $100 gift coupon with purchase of iPad mini 2 16 GB wi-fi. Regular price $297. ($197 in effect)
4. $100 gift coupon with purchase of iPad with Retina Display 16 GB wi-fi. (This is an older model.) Regular price $299. ($199 in effect)
Gift coupons usable on next shopping trip. Limit 2 coupons per offer.
http://bfads.net/Thanksgiving/Meijer/Ad?page=24

h.h. gregg
1. iPad Air 16 GB for $299.
http://bfads.net/Black-Friday/hhgregg/Ad?page=1
2. iPad mini 2 16 GB wi-fi for $280.
3. iPad mini 2 32 GB wi-fi for $330.
4. iPad mini 16 GB for $249. (This is just MSRP.)
http://bfads.net/Black-Friday/hhgregg/Ad?page=12

AAFES Exchange
1. iPad Air 32 GB for $489.
http://bfads.net/Black-Friday/AAFES/Ad?page=5

Costco
1. $40 iTunes Card with purchase of iPad Air 32 GB Silver. (I believe that my local Costco's price for this item is $430.)
http://bfads.net/Black-Friday/Costco/Ad?page=1

Staples
1. iPad Air 16 GB for $319.
2. iPad Air 32 GB for $359.
3. iPad mini 2 16 GB for $239.
4. iPad with Retina Display 16 GB for $279. (This is an older model.)
Not available in all stores. While supplies last.
http://bfads.net/Black-Friday/Staples/Ad?page=5

NEX Navy Exchange
1. iPad Air 16 GB wi-fi for $370. Regular price is $390.
2. iPad mini 2 16 GB wi-fi for $280. Regular price is $295.
http://bfads.net/Black-Friday/Navy-Exchange/Ad?page=16

Fred Meyer
1. iPad mini for $199 plus $25 gift coupon. 16 per store. 1 per customer. ($174 in effect)
http://bfads.net/Black-Friday/FredMeyer/Ad?page=29

Micro Center
1. Refurbished iPad 2 16 GB wi-fi for $230.
http://bfads.net/Black-Friday/Micro-Center/Ad?page=12
2. This is just an ad for iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 at MSRP prices. No discount.
http://bfads.net/Black-Friday/Micro-Center/Ad?page=31
3a. iPad Air 16 GB wi-fi for $360. Regular price is $400
3b. iPad Air 32 GB wi-fi for $400. Regular price is $450.
3c. iPad Air 16 GB wi-fi and cellular for $500. Regular price is $530.
3d. iPad Air 32 GB wi-fi and cellular for $550. Regular price is $580.
4a. iPad mini 16 GB wi-fi for $230. Regular price is $260.
4b. iPad mini 16 GB wi-fi and cellular for $350. Regular price is $380.
5a. iPad mini 2 16 GB wi-fi for $280. Regular price is $300.
5b. iPad mini 2 32 GB wi-fi for $320. Regular price is $350.
5c. iPad mini 2 16 GB wi-fi and cellular for $400. Regular price is $430.
5d. iPad mini 2 32 GB wi-fi and cellular for $450. Regular price is $480.
http://bfads.net/Black-Friday/Micro-Center/Ad?page=32

GameStop
1. Pre-owned iPad 2 starting at $230.
http://bfads.net/Black-Friday/GameStop/Ad?page=10

A note about Apple Store Refurbished Models.
The online Apple Store occasionally has refurbished iPads that it sells at a discount. In terms of product quality and reliability, you should consider Apple Store refurbished items to be the same as new items. With no hesitation, practially identical.
Last edited by Shopper X on Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:12 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: 2014 iPad Buying Guide (unofficial X advice)

Postby lwmjr » Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:18 am

Thank you, for your hard work :)
Just here to have fun, keep the bad guys out, and give the stray dogs a place to stay

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Re: 2014 iPad Buying Guide (unofficial X advice)

Postby Paladen » Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:26 pm

Write ups like this take a LOT of time/effort. A co-worker of mine just sent me a text asking if I knew of any iPad deals. He wants to get his daughter an iPad for Christmas. I just texted him a link to this thread.

Thank you very much for your contribution. :)

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Re: 2014 iPad Buying Guide (unofficial X advice)

Postby Shopper X » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:00 pm

I updated the list of deals:

1. Added one more Sam's Club pre-Black Friday deal.
2. Added two more Walmart presale deals.
3. Fixed the price of the Fred Meyer deal.
4. Added all the Micro Center deals.
5. Added the GameStop deal.

Added another:

6. Added one more Best Buy 3-day sale deal.

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Re: 2014 iPad Buying Guide (unofficial X advice)

Postby blue3715 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:12 pm

Thanks for the explanations of the models, I never really knew the diff.

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Re: 2014 iPad Buying Guide (unofficial X advice)

Postby lovebf » Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:51 pm

Wow! Thank you for all your work.......

So, if I wanted to get my hubby and IPad Mini.....which one is the best deal this BF?
It just isn't Black Friday when it is Thursday.......

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Re: 2014 iPad Buying Guide (unofficial X advice)

Postby HighwayForFriday » Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:13 am

lovebf wrote:Wow! Thank you for all your work.......

So, if I wanted to get my hubby and IPad Mini.....which one is the best deal this BF?


Hands down, the iPad Mini 2 from Target as stated on the Original Post. It's identical to the iPad Mini 3 minus the Touch ID fingerprint scanner and it's $100 cheaper.
HighwayForFriday??? On Black Friday you gotta make a run to the nearest highway for your favorite deals duh!

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Re: 2014 iPad Buying Guide (unofficial X advice)

Postby BridgetinMD » Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:51 pm

really appreciate this breakdown!

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Re: 2014 iPad Buying Guide (unofficial X advice)

Postby blue3715 » Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:27 pm

Target's rebate was actually for all ipads/minis (16gb, 64gb, 128gb). For next year keep in mind this may also occur even if their ad just says 16gb.

We tried to get the Ipad 2 64gb for $699 (and $140 instant store gift card) but it was gone, so we got the 128mb for $799 (and the card).


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