2015 iPad Buying Guide (unofficial X advice)

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2015 iPad Buying Guide (unofficial X advice)

Postby Shopper X » Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:56 pm

2015 iPad Buying Guide
Personal opinions from Shopper X about which iPad to buy and a list of Black Friday iPad deals.

Which iPad should I buy?
Quick Answer: For a long-term purchase for yourself, you should buy an "iPad Air 2" or an "iPad mini 4", with at least 32 or 64 GB memory. If you need to save money or buy a gift for someone else, you could instead buy an "iPad Air" or an "iPad mini 2" or buy a device with only 16 GB memory.

Overview:
There are 5 current iPad models to choose from this year: "iPad Air 2", "ipad Air", "iPad mini 4", "iPad mini 2", and "iPad Pro". The Air models are regular sized with a 9.7-inch display while the smaller mini models have a 7.9-inch display. The "iPad Pro" has a 12.9-inch display.

All 4 of the Air and mini models have the same resolution, the same number of pixels on the screen. However, the pixels are smaller on the mini models, with more pixels per inch. So, the same amount of text and images are displayed on these devices, but everything is smaller on the mini models. The pixels on the "iPad Pro" are the same size as those on the Air models. However, the screen is larger. So, the text and images are the same size, but more of them fit on the screen.

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.)

iPad mini 2 ($269 16GB, $319 32GB):
This is last year's model. It was a solid choice last year, and it is still a good product and a good value for the price. It has a slightly slower processor, slightly less-good screen, slightly older wifi technology, and no Touch ID fingerprint sensor. This model was also previously named "iPad mini with Retina Display".

iPad Air ($399 16GB, $449 32GB):
This is essentially the same product as the iPad mini 2 in terms of specifications, except with a bigger screen. It has the same processor and capabilities. You should consider the two models to be to be equivalent, except for size. Again, a solid choice.

iPad Air 2 ($499 16GB, $599 64GB, $699 128GB):
This was the current model last year, and it is still the current model this year. It is $100 more than the iPad Air, but 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 fingerprint sensor, plus it is slightly lighter and thinner. For these numerous reasons as well as for "future-proofing" purposes, this is the model to buy if you want a regular size iPad.

iPad mini 4 ($399 16GB, $499 64GB, $599 128GB):
Similar to how the iPad mini 2 and the iPad Air are basically the same except for size, the iPad mini 4 is almost equivalent to the iPad Air 2. The only difference is that the iPad mini 4 has the A8 processor which is slightly slower than the iPad Air 2's A8X processor. But again, compared to the older iPad mini 2, the iPad mini 4 has a much faster graphics co-processor, plus a better-quality display (antireflective), plus next-generation wi-fi capability, plus a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, plus it is slightly lighter and thinner. For these numerous reasons as well as for "future-proofing" purposes, this is the model to buy if you want a mini size iPad.

iPad Pro ($799 32GB, $949 128GB):
The iPad Pro is new this year. It is a much larger tablet with an optional keyboard ($169) and electronic stylus ($99). It is aimed at business professionals and graphic artists. It is more powerful than the Air and mini models, but because of its unwieldy, large size, it might not be of interest to most people. If it is something that would be of value to you, you probably already know if you want it or not.

Other Models
There are other, older models with names like "iPad", "iPad 2", "iPad 3", "iPad 4", "The new iPad", "iPad with Retina Display", "iPad mini", and "iPad mini 3". Some Black Friday sales might be for those older models rather than the current models. Discussion of the older 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. Please see the comparison chart for details.)

Regular size or mini size?
This is mostly a matter of personal preference. Again, both the regular and mini size iPads have a Retina display with the same resolution and 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.

Storage size?
Models variously come in storage capacity sizes of 16, 32, 64, or 128 GB. I recommend getting at least 32 or 64 GB of storage. Up until now, I would have just said to buy one with the smallest capacity and least expensive price. However, we've come to the point where people are using iPads to watch movies and play games. Both can take up a lot of space. While 16 GB is probably usable (and a perfectly-fine size for a gift iPad), I recommend getting at least 32 GB. If you know you'll be using the iPad a lot for movies and games, you might even want to go get one with at least 64 GB.

Topics I'm not sure I can give good advice about:
- Wi-fi only or cellular?
- Which celluar company?

More Info:
Current model comparison: http://www.apple.com/ipad/compare/
Current and older models: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPad#Model_comparison
Last year's advice: posting.php?mode=edit&f=25&p=284373

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Shopper X
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Re: 2015 iPad Buying Guide (unofficial X advice)

Postby Shopper X » Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:57 pm

2015 Black Friday iPad Deals
Updated: November 22, 2015
(I'll keep updating these deals as new ads are received.)


iPad mini 4 Deals ($399/$499/$599 16/64/128 GB regular price)
  • Best Buy: $100 off 64 and 128 GB
  • eBay: $549 64 GB ($50 off)
  • h.h. gregg: "up to $50 off"
  • Staples: $100 off 16 GB
  • Staples: "up to $25% off"
  • Target: $100 gift card

iPad Air 2 Deals ($499/$599/$699 16/64/128 GB regular price)
  • BJs Wholesale: $50 gift card 64 and 128 GB
  • Best Buy: $100 off 16 and 64 GB
  • Best Buy: $125 off 128 GB
  • eBay: $359 16 GB ($140 off)
  • Groupon: "up to 60% off"
  • h.h. gregg: $400 16 GB ($99 off)
  • MCX Marine Corps Exchange: $440/$540 16/64 GB ($59 off)
  • Sam's Club: $150 off 64 GB and 128 GB
  • Sam's Club: $175 off 64 GB and 128 GB cellular models
  • Staples: $374 16 GB ($125 off)
  • Staples:, $449 64 GB ($150 off)
  • Target: $150 gift card
  • Walmart: $399 16 GB ($100 off)

All of this year's iPad deals listed on BFAds.net:
  • BJs-Wholesale
    • Promotional Items,iPad Air 2 128GB + Free $50.00 iTunes Gift Card,,,Free w/ Purchase, link
    • Promotional Items,iPad Air 2 64GB + Free $50.00 iTunes Gift Card,,,Free w/ Purchase, link
  • Best-Buy
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air 2 128GB (Assorted Colors),,,$125.00 OFF, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air 2 16GB (Assorted Colors),,,$100.00 OFF, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air 2 64GB (Assorted Colors),,,$100.00 OFF, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Mini 4 128GB (Assorted Colors),,,$100.00 OFF, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Mini 4 64GB (Assorted Colors),,,$100.00 OFF, link
  • FredMeyer
    • Electronics >> Tablets,iPad Mini 2 16GB,,,$199.00, link
  • Groupon
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad 2,,,Up to 60% OFF, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad 3,,,Up to 60% OFF, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad 4,,,Up to 60% OFF, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air 2,,,Up to 60% OFF, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air,,,Up to 60% OFF, link
  • Marine-Corps-Exchange
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air2 16GB,,,$439.99, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air2 64GB,,,$539.99, link
  • Meijer-Thanksgiving
    • Promotional Items,Save $125 When You Buy One iPad,,,, link
  • Navy-Exchange
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air 16GB w/ Wi-Fi,,,$376.99, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Mini 2 16GB w/ Wi-Fi,,,$259.99, link
  • Sams-Club
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad 2 Cellular 128GB,,,175.00 Off, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad 2 Cellular 64GB,,,$175 Off, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air 2 128GB,,,$150.00 OFF, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air 2 64GB,,,$150.00 OFF, link
  • Staples
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air 2 16GB (Gold),,,$374.00, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air 2 16GB (Silver),,,$374.00, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air 2 16GB (Space Gray),,,$374.00, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air 2 64GB (Gold),,,$449.00, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air 2 64GB (Space Gray),,,$449.00, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air Retina Display 16GB (Silver),,,$319.00, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air w/ Retina Display 32GB (Silver),,,$359.00, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air w/ Retina Display Wi-Fi 16GB (Space Gray),,,$319.00, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad mini 2 16GB (Silver),,,$239.00, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad mini 2 16GB (Space Gray),,,$239.00, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad mini 4 16GB (Gold),,,$299.99, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad mini 4 16GB (Space Gray),,,$299.00, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,iPad Models (Select),,,Save 25%, link
  • Target
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air + Free $100.00 Target GiftCard,,,From $399.00, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air 2 + Free $150.00 Target GiftCard,,,From $499.00, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Mini 2 + Free $80.00 GiftCard,,,From $269.00, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad mini 4 + Free $100.00 Target GiftCard,,,From $399.00, link
  • Walmart
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad mini 2 w/ Wi-Fi (Black),,,$199.00, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad mini 2 w/ Wi-Fi (White),,,$199.00, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,iPad Air 2 16GB Tablet w/ Wi-Fi,early bird,,$399.00, link
  • eBay
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air 2 16GB,,,$359.99, link
  • eBay-Thanksgiving
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Mini 4 64GB,,,$459.99, link
  • hhgregg
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air 16GB (Silver),,,$349.99, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air 16GB (Space Gray),,,$349.99, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,Apple iPad Air 2 9.7" 16GB,,,$399.99, link
    • Electronics >> Tablets,iPads,,,Up to $50.00 OFF, link


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