A 16GB wi-fi only iPad 2 is more than enough

THE iPad 2 has finally arrived, officially, in Brunei. And with the right pricing, too. Those who have bought an iPad 2 at other stores prior to its release through AV Electronics will definitely smack their heads on the wall after looking at the more affordable iPads that AV Electronics are selling at their stores today.

But I noticed something remarkable about Brunei consumers during launch day. Just before noon, the entire 3G models of the iPad 2 were sold out from AV Electronics store shelves during launch day last Friday. This shows how much we love to have the high end stuff as much as possible. We want the highest capacity, memory, processing power built into our devices, whether they're laptop computers, smartphones, and even the iPad.

I, for one, believe that tablet devices are no longer about the specs, but more about the user-friendliness. It's about how it works and not worry about the technical stuff, like what we used to do on our computers. While the iPad already scores in that department, it gives consumers a choice of six configuration option, and that's where it starts to get messy.

So while everyone's getting the 3G models, the more affordable wi-fi only models are still up for grabs. Though many would get the highest capacity possible, here's why I think a 16GB wi-fi only iPad would suffice.

Capacity

Since the first generation, the iPad has been designed to be less of a media creation device and more of a media consumption device. This means that you will spend most of the time browsing websites, reading online news, updating your Facebook or Twitter, checking your mail, etc.

Most of the things you will do on the iPad will be cloud-based anyway, so you won't need more than 16GB of space. Apps like Dropbox and Evernote will help you save your created documents into the cloud so you can access them anywhere and anytime on your iPad and even on your computer at home. You can stream movies and music from dedicated apps.

You want to store a lot of stuff? Don't overload them on your iPad. You already have a computer and an external hard drive for that. Only upload the stuff you need onto your iPad. A few movies won't take so much space on a 16GB. There is certainly no need to store your digital music collection in them when you can store your music in your smartphone, which is far more convenient to play music.

The cost of 3G

So you want to be always connected wherever you go. Big deal. Wait, what's that in your pocket? Oh, an iPhone! And it just sent you a tweet notification. So it turns out you already have an always-connected device with you, and it's far more portable to carry around anywhere than the iPad.

Chances are, there will always be a wi-fi hotspot in your every stop. At home, at work, at school, at the cafeteria, etc. How much Internet time you need on your iPad really depends on what you normally do with it. In fact, the iPad is still usable when there's no Internet connection. Play games, watch movies, read books, take pictures, record a short film, there are apps that can get you going while you're offline.

Also, if you're paying more than two phone bills every month, stop right there. You don't want to add another one to your monthly obligations. You're paying for your personal phone line, which is already 3G enabled, and you're also paying for your Internet connection at home. So why pay another broadband service which will only be used on one device?

If your smartphone has wi-fi tethering capabilities, this would certainly solve the problem.

Price

I'm saving the best for last. The 16GB wi-fi only iPad 2 costs only $668. That's cheaper than an average touchscreen smartphone. A 3G model starts at $848 at 16GB, that's $200 more. Save it for iTunes gift cards and enjoy the many wonderful apps that can keep you constantly entertained and boost your productivity for the next few months. After all, the iPad is really all about the apps.

-The Brunei Times/Asia News Network