It’s hard to believe that my first-generation iPad (64 gig, w/3G) is having its second birthday this month. In ways it still feels new, but in many ways I feel like it is a grandpa (as the 3rd Gen family member has already come out.) So after two solid years of using it, I thought about if I still liked it, and if I found it still useful. My immediate answer was “Yes… but….”

Yes, I still use it everyday. Yes, I love it. Yes, I use it for work. Yes, I still find it useful.

But… When I traded in my Android phone for an iPhone last Christmas, I noticed that there were many things that I did from the iPad (email, songs, basic web browsing) that I could just as easily do from my iPhone. All with the convenience of placing the device in my pocket when I was done, rather than lugging it around in my left hand all the time. However, the iPad is still my go-to device for conference and meeting material reading, as well as a few other apps that benefit from the bigger display.

But… the iPad first-gen has suffered somewhat from the iOS upgrades over the (two) years. The latest upgrade has significantly impacted the keyboard response (I’ve checked with a few other iPad first-gen owners and they also seem to suffer from this “feature.” Now, if I were to think that Apple were made up of evil geniuses, I’d think they did this little feature on purpose to try to get first-gen owners to upgrade to the new iPad 3 (codename: Just iPad). However, Apple tends to be really good about fixing features like this, so I’ll wait until the next iOS upgrade to see if they’ve worked it out.

But… no camera? meh… I can grab the iPhone out of my pocket for things like that.

But… slower processor. In today’s world, it’s not about being too rich or too thin… it’s about processing power and storage. Although Apple is stupid when it comes to storage (stupid from the consumer’s point of view at least), the processing power of the third-gen iPad is a significant change and one that might make me want to upgrade.

But… no retina display? Not sure about that. I hear that retina display is great for HD movie watching (which, honestly I don’t do a lot of on my iPad), but that, just like in the porn industry, sometime HD doesn’t do web pages any favors.

But… everyone has a new iPad than me?? This does play on my mind. However, I kind of gave up on the idea just by having an iPad, I was cool and cutting edge the first time I rode up the elevator and saw one of the Partners had one.

But… I only have 3G capability!! The 4G does tempt me. One of the things that keeps me from upgrading is that I was grandfathered in to the “unlimited 3G” term with AT&T. I still haven’t seen a clear answer on whether I could keep that unlimited status if I upgraded to 4G. My guess is that I probably could not keep it.

But… won’t the iPad 4 (AKA “The New New” just iPad) come out next January? Probably. Maybe I should just wait until my first-gen iPad becomes a great-grandpa before I plunk down $900 for the younger, sexier model. I’m leaning toward waiting another year.

What’s your opinion? Should I jettison my old iPad first-gen (or at least give it to my high schooler), and purchase the new iPad??

  • Greg, I upgraded to the 3, I mean "New iPad", from my lovely Generation 1 tool. I like the retina display and it does perform faster for creating notes. The camera is handy, even though I have an iPhone as well.

    My reason for upgrading? To share the old tech with my spouse. He is very happy with iPad 1.

  • Anonymous

    Greg – I just bought the new iPad – have not owned a previous edition. I had decided last summer to buy, but iPad 2 had been out for awhile and I decided to wait. There was a longer wait between iPad 2 and new than between 1 and 2. You could be waiting awhile for "new new".

  • Anonymous

    You could get a Windows tablet!

  • I still love my Gen1 iPad. It does what I need, and I take it everywhere. My supervising attorney still loves her Gen1, too. We're both kind of the "why fix what's not broken" school of thought. I also like the more solid feel of it compared to the new generation iPads.

  • If everything works fine then for me it's better that you wait for the "new new" iPad. Some people don't even have Gen1 iPads.

  • Anonymous

    I am keeping my First Gen. It still works. I do not do video on it so the retna display will be no big deal to me. It does everything I want it to do. I have not seen an app that makes the faster processor worth it.

    One thing I want to get into is dictation with it. That may be the killer app that gets me to switch. Although Dragon's app works well on my first gen.