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7 Reasons Not To Buy An iPad 2

Posted by Tania Mirza Monday, March 21, 2011

The iPad 2 went on sale in the U.S. on March 11, and already the device is selling out at Apple, AT&T, Verizon and various retail stores around the country.

Industry analysts are predicting that the device will outsell its predecessor, but that doesn't mean you should rush out and get one right away.

Take a look at 7 reasons why you should think twice before snapping up this shiny new tablet, and share your thoughts in the comments (below).

You can also check out our list of 7 iPad alternatives to get a feel for the iPad's competition. For more information about the iPad 2, browse our overview of the iPad 2's features and read what critics said about the tablet.

It May Be Obsolete Soon
It May Be Obsolete Soon

The day before the iPad 2's debut, an anonymous Apple employee allegedly came forward with the news that iPad 2 will be overshadowed very soon not by another tablet, but by the iPad 3. "[T]he third-generation iPad is the one to make a song and a dance about," the staffer said, according to Cult of Mac. Some are predicting that the new tablet may launch as soon as the fall of 2011.


There's No 4G Option
There's No 4G Option

With AT&T and Verizon updating their networks to the latest wireless standards, it seemed possible that Apple would lunch the iPad 2 as a 4G device. Like the original iPad, though, the iPad 2 is equipped only for 3G speeds. Meanwhile, rival tablets like the BlackBerry PlayBook, the Motorola Xoom and the T-Mobile G Slate were built to be 4G-capable devices. 

Complex Data Plans
Complex Data Plans

If you opt for a 3G version of the iPad 2, you've got two carrier choices: Verizon or AT&T, both of which offer tiered data pricing plans that can make the average consumer's head spin. "Determining how much you'll pay depends heavily on how much data you think you'll use," writes CNNMoney.com. "Go over that limit, and you could be shelling out a lot, depending on your plan." 

While AT&T previously offered an unlimited data plan for the original iPad, that option has been all but phased out. If you're an AT&T customer who bought an iPad 3G last year and retained your unlimited data plan, the carrier will allow you to transfer that plan to your new iPad 2. However, customers who are new to AT&T (and Verizon, for that matter) won't have the option of unlimited data at a fixed price.

It's Large For An E-Reader
It's Large For An E-Reader

With its iBook library and its wispy form factor, the iPad 2 (like the iPad 1 before it) crowds into the territory of e-readers like the Amazon Kindle, which Forrester predicts will be the only device that will truly compete with iPad 2 in 2011. However, reviewer Walt Mossberg of All Things D and the Wall Street Journal found that the iPad 2 cumbersome to hold and read. "Despite being slimmer and lighter, the iPad 2 still has roughly the same length and width as the original, so it can't compete with the Amazon Kindle, or the smaller seven-inch tablets, if you're trying to juggle it while standing in a crowded subway," wrote Mossberg. 


Subpar Cameras
Subpar Cameras

Though the iPad 2 includes both a front-facing and a rear-facing camera, Apple didn't boast about the webcams' resolutions. (In fact, the camera specs on Apple's website are pretty vague.) Reviewers found that the new additions produced mediocre videos and poor-quality photos. Writes Josh Topolsky for Engadget,
At the end of the day, the company is putting its flag in the ground when it comes to tablets with cameras, but it feels like it's done the bare minimum to make it happen. We won't lie: we're disappointed by how low end these cameras feel.

Its Price Tag
Its Price Tag

It's impressive that Apple was able to pack new features into the iPad 2's slimmer frame while keeping the price the same as last year's model, but that price tag is still not accessible to everyone. The iPad 2, like its predecessor, is intended more as an accessory to than a replacement for a primary computing device. Even though the iPad is cheaper than competitors like the Motorola Xoom, many potential customers may hesitate to shell out a minimum of $500 for a device whose functions exceed those of an e-reader but fall short of most laptops.

No Flash
No Flash

As with Apple's other mobile products, iPad 2 doesn't natively support Adobe Flash player, which means that the device will will load many websites only partially and won't play Flash-based videos. If you can't live without your Vevo or Hulu fix, you can download apps like SkyFire and iSwifter to enable Flash videos on your iPad 2. As for the competition, Motorola has rolled out a software update to make the Xoom tablet a Flash-ready device.

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