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Latest isn't always the Greatest

Adnan Kussair / Wednesday, April 04, 2012

At TRANSFORM we have a pretty simple technology upgrade rule: "Always skip a version". For example, if we have version A of some hardware or software, we will wait until version C is released to actually make the upgrade investment (basically skipping version B). This rule minimizes expenses, gets the most value out of our investment, as well as maximizes the reasons for the upgrade (faster processor, smaller size, better industrial design, etc.)

So when it came to the purchase of an iPad for my family (based on the TRANSFORM rule) it made sense to buy the latest iPad 3 because I currently didn't have one, thus I was essentially skipping two generations of the product, right? Nope. Before making the purchase I really thought about the cost to value ratio of the new iPad (iPad 3) verses the 2 vs the 1. Everything pointed to the 1st generation as the better choice:

  1. The iPad 1 starts faster (despite the faster processors in the 2 and 3). I did notice however that the iPad 1 is a bit sluggish when using iBooks, the Kindle app however is super quick.
  2. The iPad 1 costs approx. 1/3rd less than the lastest iPad 3 (I purchased a used iPad 1 64 GB wi-fi+3G for $289.99 a new one costs $829.99)
  3. You can get an awesome deal on accessories for the iPad 1 right now (I purchased a Black incase perforated case for $13 shipped)
  4. When I did have an iPad 2 (later returned) I rarely ever used the cameras. The facetime was cool but even that was minimal. Most importantly it's considered an epic FAIL to use your iPad as a camera.
  5. With the money you save going with the iPad 1, buy a real camera. For about $550.00 shipped you can get a Nikon D3000 DSLR. Trust me it will take much better pictures than any built in tablet camera.
  6. Out of warranty? No problemo, look at aftermarket warranties like SquareTrade (these are usually better than Applecare because they cover accidental damage as well)

The lesson here is that the latest iteration of a technology product doesn't always make sense to buy. Follow the TRANFORM rule, weigh all the options, and most importantly look at the value rather than getting caught up with the marketing hype.

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