Wednesday, March 09, 2011

How Much Do You Save By Buying an iPad 2?

The second generation iPad (iPad 2) is the result of a technological revolution. The combination of powerful hardware with graceful touch screen abilities come together to open a whole new world of possibility. Software designers have taken the iOS platform on the iPad 2 and extended it's capabilities farther than any one company could have done. Layers of genius functionality are available as iPad applications. It is now possible to hold a tablet in your hands that weighs just over a pound, but does the job of a small mountain of other gadgets and replaces many expensive services. The best part is that by replacing these things, and providing access to them in a mobile device, it can save you money. It may even add a few intangible benefits, too.

Let's walk through a day of using this technology and see where it could save you money or add to your life in other ways.

Imagine waking to your favorite music in the morning, rather than the radio, the same old CD, the same morning DJ along with ads for mattresses on the radio or the stressful sound of a buzzer.

After getting ready for the day, you check your email over breakfast without having to wait for your laptop to start up. You read the morning headlines from major news outlets on the web because you cancelled your newspaper subscription a long time ago. The experience is enriched with video reports and other interactive content. You check the weather without having to turn on the television.

On the bus or train ride to work, you read the latest financial report for your board meeting, saving you time and making you more prepared for your upcoming presentation. If you drive to work, you could listen to your speech that you recorded earlier in Evernote. If you didn't finish, you continue to listen at your workstation or any other computer since Evernote automatically syncs across the web, saving you time and foregoing the need for an expensive voice recorder, audio file converting software and a web-based service to access your notes.

When you get to work, your presentation goes smoothly since you are able to present your slide show with your iPad. The video out cable makes this possible, without the need for a laptop. You may even earn points for style.

Students love the iPad 2 for it's versatility. If you are a student, you could be listening to professor's lecture that you recorded, instead of a business presentation. You can be following along with the PowerPoint for the lecture at the same time, or taking notes in Google Docs that you can print from any computer. Who needs a laptop when you have this kind of computing power in the palm of your hand?

Taking notes on the iPad 2 has never been easier. If you prefer, a physical keyboard is available to make typing notes for several hours a lot easier. Since you don't need to carry around a laptop, your bag will be several pounds lighter. Many publishers now offer their textbooks in an online format, making it unnecessary to carry your huge textbooks everywhere. With the iPad's competitive price, working without the laptop will save you hundreds of dollars as well as your back.

For lunch, you look up reviews on restaurants and navigate to the one with good reviews that you have never been to. It is easy with the GPS capability on the maps app. The expensive and slow dedicated GPS navigation device is a relic of the past. Now you can see real-time traffic flow on major roads. There is no need for a monthly service fee for this feature on the iPad.

At lunch, you can practice your second language that you are learning with many of the free podcasts on iTunes. Hiring a tutor is expensive, but podcasts offer you hundreds of hours of instruction from a native French, Spanish or Mandarin speaker. You get a pop-up reminder from your iCal calendar and remember that today is your Aunt's birthday! You give her a call from your Skype application on your iPad and wish her the best birthday ever.

Later in the evening, you are ready for some entertainment. You got rid of your cable service and TiVo a long time ago in exchange for a more personalized and inexpensive option. All your favorite shows on ABC are available for free, hundreds more can be watched on Hulu Plus for ten dollars a month. If you still want to watch your shows on your big screen TV with friends and family, you are in luck. All you have to do is plug in the video out cable to your TV or video receiver.

If you're in the mood for a good book, hundreds of bestsellers are available through the iBookstore and the Kindle marketplace. Ebooks cost less than their paperback cousins and don't fill up heavy boxes when it is time to move. You will also save money on shipping costs since your ebooks are delivered to you instantly over the Internet. No more waiting weeks for your book to ship or standing in lines at the bookstore. Ebooks are also a more earth friendly option because less travel is involved.

Lets compare the yearly cost of the iPad 2 with the alternatives.

iPad 2, 16GB w/3G $599

iPad alarm, Free

12 months 3G service, $120

Real time traffic info, Free

3 New York Times Bestseller eBooks, $30

1 year Hulu Plus, $120

ABC app, Free

iPad Personal assistant for important reminders, Free

100 Hours of foreign language tutoring via Podcast, Free

Built in voice recorder, Free

Online News, Free

Total iPad 2 cost, one year = $869

CD/Radio alarm, $45

Laptop, $1200+

GPS navigation system, $150+

Traffic updates, 1 year $120

3 New York Times Bestseller Paperbacks, $45+

1 year cable TV service, $800+

1 year of TiVo, $120+

Personal assistant for important reminders, Expensive

100 Hours of foreign language tutoring, $1500+

Voice recorder, $60

Newspaper subscription, 1 year $120+

Total cost of the alternatives, one year = $4,160+

Savings over one year = at least $3,231+

Technology has progressed to the point where we can hold an equivalent of a room full of different electronic devices and books in one hand. The real kicker is that the iPad 2 improves on every one of them. On top of it all, you pay less for it all.

1 comment:

Aussie Lexiphile said...

It's impressive what the iPad can do, but I have a few questions for you:

1. How you can upload images to (say) Google docs or to a website (eg, uploading a picture from iPad as your profile avatar) or
2. attach docs in gmail using safari.
I've spent hours trying to do any of the above but it all ended in tears. Is this a case of the iPad's limitations -- or is it just me?? Help greatly appreciated, Granny Joan!