Fourth-Generation iPad: 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Buy This Tablet

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-10-31

Fourth-Generation iPad: 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Buy This Tablet

The fourth-generation iPad was announced at a special event in October that most market watchers thought would only witness the introduction of the iPad Mini.

Instead, Apple revealed its own October surprise—a new, large iPad that looked like previous versions, but came with an A6X processor, delivering twice the processing power and twice the graphical prowess. The move was met with celebration by Apple fans who hadn't yet bought an iPad, but raised the ire of those who recently purchased the third-generation iPad that Apple launched just months prior.

Starting Nov. 2, Apple's fourth-generation iPad will be available. Later in the month, the 4G LTE-equipped model will hit store shelves. That imminent availability, coupled with the busy holiday shopping season around the corner, has prompted many consumers to consider whether they should buy Apple's latest tablet.

Rather than allow them to labor through the pros and cons of buying that device, it might be easier to inform them on why buying the fourth-generation iPad now would be a bad idea. The tablet is undoubtedly a nice product with some real value for consumers and enterprise users. But there are several reasons to save the cash and ditch plans to buy the iPad.

Here are the reasons why.

1. The price is too high

Apple's iPad starts at $499. For that price, customers are getting a WiFi-only tablet with only 16GB of storage. Considering the top-of-the-line Amazon Kindle Fire HD, featuring an 8.9-inch screen and Long Term Evolution (LTE) costs $429, what's Apple's justification for charging so much for so comparatively little?

2. Early adoption is never a good idea

Looking to buy an iPad now? Think again. As history has proven time and again, being an early adopter is never a good idea. Even with Apple products, customers often find that their devices don't work properly out of the box. Sometimes, the issues relate to hardware, and other times it's an issue with the software loaded on the hardware. In either case, it's best to let Apple get the issues worked out before jumping on the iPad bandwagon.

3. The jump is big, but not major

Although Apple is touting the A6X processor's ability to deliver twice the processing and graphics power as the A5X in the third-generation iPad, reviewers who have tried it say that the difference isn't so starkly apparent. In fact, most customers won't notice it all that often. If the A6X is Apple's best value proposition, buying the tablet might not make much sense.

4. You already own the third-generation iPad

Those who already own the third-generation iPad shouldn't have any reason buy the fourth-generation model. As noted, the new tablet comes with the same design and same display. The only differences between them are a Lightning port (more on that in a bit) and a processor that isn't as much of an upgrade as Apple would have customers think. That doesn't sound so great, does it?

Fourth-Generation iPad: 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Buy This Tablet

5. It's not as mobile as the iPad Mini

If mobility is what a customer is after, choosing the fourth-generation iPad over the iPad Mini makes little sense. After all, the iPad Mini comes with a smaller screen measuring 7.9 inches and is shorter, thinner and lighter than the larger iPad. If mobility is crucial for customers, opting for the fourth-generation iPad is a bad idea.

6. LTE pricing goes up quickly

As noted, customers on a budget won't be happy with Apple's starting price on the WiFi-only model. But those same folks should consider that Apple charges a whopping $130 premium for LTE service. In addition, those customers will need to contend with plans from carriers that can cost anywhere between $15 a month to much, much more. Be aware of the high total cost of ownership on the LTE iPad model.

7. A new design is likely coming

Apple showed off a new tablet design in the iPad Mini. And although it didn't say that the design would come to the larger slate, rumors have suggested it could happen sooner rather than later. In the event a new design is coming, it'll likely arrive next year. So, why not wait a year for that to happen?

8. The Lightning port

Apple's Lightning port is a major issue for many customers. Although Apple says that the port will allow for better charging and data-transfer performance, for those who own accessories equipped with the old 30-pin connector, it's useless. Don't forget about that before buying the latest iPad.

9. Apps aren't optimized yet

Apple's new A6X processor is nice, but let's not forget that developers have yet to optimize their applications for that chip. So those hoping for beautiful video games that take advantage of the processor's graphical power just won't see that for some time.

10. The camera is just so-so

Apple's fourth-generation iPad comes with a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera. Although that's better than what's available in the second-generation tablet, which is still for sale, it pales in comparison to those available in just about every mobile product on the market. Plus, it highlights one important point: Apple's components, in some cases, won't match what customers can find in other tablets.

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