The iPad, Apple's most talked about device of 2010, is gearing up to experience its first holiday season. Like the iPhone before it, the iPad has revolutionized personal productivity and mobile transactions, becoming the most sought-after gift for entrepreneurs. How do we know? You told us: countless @IncMagazine followers tweeted about their fascination and desire to have one of these sweet tech toys. But before you dare to brave the holiday Apple Store queue, check out Inc.'s suggestions on how to purchase the right iPad for your business needs.
Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 3G
Although 3G service is nearly essential for smartphone users, the $25 per month data plan from AT&T for only 2 GBs of data ($14.99 for a paltry 250 MBs) doesn't seem to merit the extra expense of purchasing the iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G.
Inc.'s Pick: We recommend the Wi-Fi only model. For your 3G needs, utilize your iPhone until you arrive at a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The iPad comes with either 16 GBs ($499), 32 GBs ($599), or 64 GBs ($699) of memory capacity for Wi-Fi only models.
Inc.'s Pick: Of course this will really be determined by how you plan to use your iPad. But since the iPad is often a secondary computing device for most users, we recommend buying the 32 GB model. That's more than enough storage when divided between smartphone and laptop usage.
Apps to Download Immediately
There are thousands of apps you can download and hundreds you may think are indispensable, but here are the apps we think you should download the second you crack open the box.
- iTeleport - Imagine that you're on an important business trip and you've forgotten an urgent file on your home computer. With iTeleport for iPad, you can connect to your desktop remotely and retrieve that file no matter where you happen to be. COST: $19.99
- Feeddler - This handy app allows for the quick organization of all your essential news feeds and subscriptions. COST: $4.99
- The Weather Channel Max - When planning for that important business trip, never fail to vet weather conditions beforehand. COST: $0.99
- iA Writer - Note taking and transcribing occasionally test the conventional rules of SimpleText and Textedit. When you need to type sans formatting and autocorrect, this is the app of choice. COST: $4.99
- Twitter - The official app for Twitter by Twitter, Inc. will keep you from missing a beat when it comes to client engagement and customer interaction. COST: Free
- Kayak HD - Need a flight in a pinch? There's an app for that. If you're on a budget, check out the Explore feature, which allows you to track down an affordable flight within your specific date parameters. COST: Free
- New York Times - Keep track of national and international news on the go. The Top News, Most E-Mailed, Business Day, and Video sections are all accessible free of charge. For all other sections, registration is required.
If you're buying an iPad in the coming weeks, be savvy about the features that will work best for you and your business. With a slick design and full-screen viewing capacity, it's the device that will be the computing prototype for the new millennium.