iPad 2 rumored for April so should you wait?

To answer that question, here's a bunch of other questions you should ask yourself before you head out to the store.

'Tis the season for rumors about Apple's next iPad, and it's only going to get worse as the expected release date draws closer.

The latest report from DigiTimes says Apple will launch the iPad 2 -- or whatever it's finally called -- in April, with mass production and shipping from factories in China to begin in February. Component makers reportedly expect Apple to sell up to 15 million next-generation iPads in 2011.

If you're thinking of getting an iPad or a tablet in general, now you've got to ask the obvious question: Is the iPad 2 worth waiting for? To answer that question, here's a bunch of other questions you should ask yourself first:

Do you care about video chat?

Rumors of a front-facing camera for the next iPad were flying around pretty much immediately after Apple announced the first iPad. Apple will, in all likelihood, bring Facetime to its tablet, but you may not need it so badly despite what Apple's marketing suggests. Think of it this way: If your laptop has a webcam, how often do you use the video chat on it now?

Are you interested in tablets from other companies?

With the exception of Samsung's Galaxy Tab, the tablet market was all about Apple this year. Next year's going to be different. Android tablets are coming from Motorola, Acer, LG and countless others. Research in Motion will launch the BlackBerry PlayBook. Tablets are going to get pretty interesting in 2011, and you may want to wait to weigh all of your options.

Do you plan to travel a lot in the next few months?

Once you've used an iPad on an airplane, there's no going back to a laptop. It's the ultimate time-waster, especially if you're willing to pony up for in-flight Wi-Fi. And unlike a laptop, with a tablet you won't have to worry about the person in front of you leaning back too far and cramping your screen. Bottom line: If you get good use out of an iPad over the next four months, it's a worthwhile purchase.

How much you care about nonfunctioning features?

Some rumors suggest that the iPad 2's features will include screen resolution on par with the iPhone 4 and a gyroscope for better motion-sensing. Chances are the hardware will also be lighter and thinner. All these things would make for a superior product, but they don't bring any new functionality to the device. Still, if you crave the latest and greatest tech, getting an iPad now is going to make you bitter.

How comfortable are you with eBay?

Apple products tend to do nicely on eBay. As I write, there's a 16 GB Wi-Fi iPad on auction that's going to sell for almost full retail value, even though you can walk into an Apple Store and get a brand new iPad right now. Of course, the value of first-generation iPads will fall when next year's model arrives, but if you're comfortable selling items on eBay, you'll probably be able to trade up without spending much extra.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags tabletsGoogleApplehardware systemstablet PCslaptopsRIM BlackBerryapple ipad

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?