5 Things to Consider When Buying an iPad


If you keep up with our blog, you’ll know that last week I posted an article talking about social isolation and loneliness.  Because these two factors can significantly decrease one’s longevity, my colleagues at Keiro have begun to actively seek out and create new opportunities to reduce social isolation and increase informal networks and new connections our community.  One such way has been through our 6-week ‘Introduction to iPad’ class.  This relatively new class has been extremely popular among our community partners largely because of Apple’s successful integration of their iPad products into our modern day lives.

In my opinion, one of the cooler things about this course is that if you do not have an iPad, Keiro will actually provide you with a loaner iPad to use (and take home) during the 6-week course.  Great opportunity for those who are still on the fence about investing in one.  Typically one of the more common questions I get at the end of the course is ‘Kevin, this class was amazing and I think you’re the best instructor we’ve ever had (just kidding about that part), but now I think I’m ready to actually buy my own iPad. However there are so many options to choose from.  Which one do you think I should get?’

Great question.  Being Japanese/Japanese American, I’m sure you already did your homework and checked out the Apple website and cross-referenced prices with other online retailers, and you might have even checked to see how to make the most out of your purchase (check out this former blog post if you don’t know what I’m talking about). Honestly, even if you did all of that, it’s still a pretty daunting task trying to figure out which one to buy.  Here are 5 things to take into consideration when buying your iPad:



#1 Size

The first thing you probably face when determining what kind of iPad to buy is what size should you get.  The iPad Pro (which is the newest iPad as well as the largest) comes with a 12.9-inch screen, while the iPad mini comes with the smallest, a 7.9-inch screen.  Size is entirely up to you and mainly depends on what you plan on using it for.  While having a big screen is nice, an iPad Pro is almost as large as a regular Macbook Pro screen (13-inch screen), and you would have to justify having an iPad that large.  For everyday use consisting of reading online articles, watching TV shows and sending e-mails, iPad minis seem to do the job for me.  However some seniors in our iPad class have noted that their dexterity problems make it hard to use the smaller screen.  My advice is to go to the Apple store and try them out yourself.  See which one you are comfortable with.




#2 Memory

The next thing that stands out when buying an iPad is the different memory options.  GB is an acronym for Gigabyte, which is a unit of measurement for the iPad’s digital storage.  1 GB equals 1,000,000,000 bits.  Historically speaking, Apple has increased the amount of storage available over the years, and you can now purchase an iPad Pro that has the absurd amount of 256GBs (the largest memory option for the first generation iPad was 64GBs).  To put it in perspective, the average 4 minute song uses 4MB (megabytes) and if you do the math, 1GB worth of storage can hold up to 250 songs.  Check out the table below for more conversions.

Songs TV Shows Movies Pictures Apps
1 song = 4MB 45 min TV Show = 200MB 2 hour movie = 1-1.5GB 1 picture = 2.3MB 1 App = 10-60MB
1GB = 250 songs 1GB = 5 TV Shows 1GB = 1 movie 1GB = 435 pictures 1GB = 20 Apps (50MB)

iPads can store a LOT of things, however it is important to know that when Apple advertises that an iPad has 32GB, you should anticipate only being able to access 28GB because the operating software uses some of your iPad’s memory. Regardless you may want to think twice before a salesman pushes you to upgrade to that 64GB or 128GB iPad. Personally speaking as a Millennial, I have a 16GB iPad but a 32GB iPhone.  Both are enough to suffice my needs. (Public service announcement = while it is socially acceptable to take pictures and videos on your iPad out in public settings, you may receive impartial judgement from children/grandchildren.  Remember how embarrassing it was taking your children/grandchildren out in public while the ‘saggy jeans’ trend was in?)




#3 Wi-Fi or Cellular Option

Since a majority of the iPad features require you to connect to the internet, this question is a little difficult to answer.  There are two ways you can connect to the internet, the first being through a Wi-Fi connection and the second being through your cellular provider (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are the only contracted providers).  Now in order to answer this question you have to proactively think about where you will be using your iPad the most.  If you use your iPad at home, hotels, school or any other place with Wi-Fi, then I would opt for this option.  If you plan on using your iPad in the middle of the desert or in a forest, get the Cellular option.  Just remember if you get a Cellular option, you will get billed for how much data you use.




#4 Color

There are 3 main choices when it comes to iPad colors; silver, space gray (it’s really just gray) or gold (4 options if you choose the rose gold which is only available on the 9.7 inch iPad Pro).  For this category you’re all on your own but note that the back side of the iPad is the only part that is colored.  If you are planning on using a case, the back side will most likely be hidden and therefore people can’t tell if you have a silver or gold iPad.  However there is one difference in the front.  Silver and gold iPads have a white bezel while the gray has a black bezel (the frame around the screen).  This will make a huge viewing difference if you plan on using your iPad for cinematic purposes.




#5 Apple Care

The last hurdle you have to overcome before purchasing your iPad is Captain Hindsight’s worst enemy, Apple Care.  Technically speaking, Apple Care is a year-long warranty that comes free with all iPads and covers manufacturer damage and defects.  Apple Care+ is the additional $129 one-time fee that covers any ‘accidental’ damages including cracked screens or water damage.  The only kick is you get 2 free claims, then after that you have to pay a deductible.  I lie to myself every time I buy a new iPad or iPhone and swear that I will be super careful with it.  Last year alone I cracked my screen 3 times and recently I spilt water on my Macbook.  So this one is up to you, but if you are like me and forego giving Apple any more of your money, don’t lose hope if you do accidentally damage your iPad.  Taking a damaged iPad that does not have Apple Care+ back to the Apple store will ring you up a hefty bill.  My recommendation is to go on Yelp and search for a qualified repair shop nearby.  These technicians can fix your iPad for a fraction of the cost.



Keiro is expanding our reach from a focus on long term health care facilities to broadly engaging and supporting older adults wherever they call home.  Serving primarily Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange counties, Keiro provides services to older adults and caregivers, along with programs for residents of Keiro’s former facilities—helping older adults in Our Community realize the aging experience they desire.  For resources and upcoming programs please visit our website at: http://www.keiro.org



About the Author: 


Kevin Onishi is the Community Engagement Specialist at Keiro.  He attended the University of California at Irvine where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Health Policy.  In his spare time, Kevin stays genki by being an accomplished amateur food critic, a Golden State Warrior fan, and his parents’ favorite child.  Additionally, Kevin is an avid golfer and a frequent gym visitor.

The material presented on this site is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Keiro, or its contributors. Readers should consult appropriate health, legal, or financial professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.  Full disclaimer

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