General discussion

Considering an iPad -- but should I?

I'm pretty much brand-agnostic -- my computers all run Windows and Linux, my smartphone and current tablets run Android (or FireOS); but now I'm in the market for a new tablet and none of the Android tablets under $500 impress me much. So I'm considering getting a 2018 iPad 9.7.

This will be used mainly for content consumption (YouTube, email, Web surfing, reading, etc.), not content creation. I could actually get by just fine with my smartphone, except for the screen size. I could almost get by with an Amazon Fire HD 10 (my Fire HD 8 is powerful enough), but Amazon doesn't offer a few of the apps I want on a tablet. And I really like the idea of getting the latest OS upgrades, which has always been an issue with Android (tablets even more than phones).

I don't intend to get the Apple Pencil or a keyboard; if I later decide to add a keyboard, I'll probably buy a third-party Bluetooth unit.

The iPad's 9.7-inch screen is close enough to my current (but hopelessly old) Samsung tablet's size, and the resolution is good enough. The claimed battery life should be satisfactory, and the apps I care about most are available in an iOS flavor. But is 32GB enough for a casual tablet user, or do I really need the 128GB version? Will I be able to tether a Wi-Fi-only iPad to my Android phone (Moto Z Force Droid running Android 8.0) for data on-the-go? How quickly does the iPad recharge using the supplied charger? Are there any issues with either the iPad or iOS 12 that I should be wary of?

The base32GB iPad costs about $320 at Sam's Club, the 128GB version is just under $400; the best Android tablet I've seen is the Samsung Galaxy S4, at over $600 most places. I realize I'm asking an almost-exclusively Apple audience, but can an iPad that costs less really meet my needs as well or better than an Android tablet that costs hundreds more? This will be my first Apple device since the late 1980s, when I used an original 128K Mac for work (and before that an Apple //e, best keyboard I ever used btw), so I have no particular expectations either way.

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You'll get no arguments from me regarding the //e keyboard,

I have yet to find one that comes anywhere close to it.

On the subject of the iPad, 32Gb should be just fine if all you are going to do is surf and stream video.
That said, user generally go for the most Gb that they can afford and with only a $60 difference, I would personally go for the 128GB device.

As long as your Android phone is capable of producing a "hot spot" you should have no problem joining the WiFi network it produces.


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You are choosing the correct device!

However you are paying too much.

Wally World has been offering 9.7” (128GB) iPads for $275-325. Keep looking online for when this price changes again...

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