Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

We’ve got the answer to the question dogging humankind… Do I really need to buy the iPad2?

The iPad2′s out…and the verdict’s in. Put your wallet back in your pocket.

THE iPAD2 hit US stores on Friday, selling out within hours. Now Apple fans have had all weekend to get to grips with their new device, we reveal whether it’ll really be worth queueing in the rain for – especially if you’re one of the 15 million customers worldwide who already has an iPad1.

So, do you really, really need to buy the iPad2 when it goes on sale here on March 25?

It’s faster, smaller, and lighter than the model introduced a year ago…Apple shaved 0.17 pound off the Wi-Fi version and 0.26 to 0.27 pound off the 3G version. The iPad 2 is also 0.16 inch narrower, 0.06 inch shorter, and 0.16 inch thinner than the original iPad.
Power users will still want a laptop. People primarily interested in reading text-only books might prefer a cheaper, lighter eBook reader. Les tech-savvy folk might find event the stripped-down interface of iOS too confusing.
This is a tablet. You are almost always holding it. Thin and light are unbelievably important for comfort and the overall delight. So are rounded edges, which the first iPad didn’t have.
The rumoured USB port and SD slot didn’t materialise and the screen has not been upgraded as many had hoped. So, now the tricky bit: what do I think? Bearing in mind I’ve not actually seen one, I don’t think it really is iPad 2. It’s more like iPad 1.5. Apple have already reduced the price of the first-generation model to clear their inventory. If you’re looking for an iPad, and taking everything into account, I’d probably go with iPad 1

But if you’re still undecided, the following cautionary insights from US computer science student Kyle Conroy might give you some food for thought.

Conroy has put together a table that shows how much better off you’d be if you’d SKIPPED buying Apple products over the last 15 years and invested in the company’s stock instead.

  • For example, if you’d decided not to buy a $5700 Apple PowerBook G3 250 in 1997 and put the money into Apple stock, and your shares would now be worth $330,563.
  • If you’d declined to purchase the iPod 3G in 2003 for $299, and gone for the stock, your investment would be worth $11,685.
  • If you’d skipped an Apple Xserve G5 in 2005 for $3999 and bought Apple stock instead, your investment would now be worth $33,877.
  • However, the news isn’t so good for recent Apple customers. If you’d gone without an iPod shuffle in 2009 and invested the $59 it cost in shares, they’d only be worth $93 today.

Oh, and if you’re one of the unlucky few who bought an iPad in the weeks before the iPad2 was launched, don’t despair – Apple’s offering you a $100 refund.

See Kyle Conroy’s chart in full >

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